Mötley Crüe (album)

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Mötley Crüe
Later prints of the album have the band's name in red.
Studio album by Mötley Crüe
Released March 15, 1994
Recorded 1993
Studio A&M Studios, Los Angeles, California and Little Mountain Sound Studios, Vancouver, Canada
Genre Heavy metal[1][2][3][4][5]
Length 60:23
Label Elektra
Producer Bob Rock
Mötley Crüe chronology
Decade of Decadence
(1991)
Motley Crue
(1994)
Quaternary
(1994)
Singles from Mötley Crüe
  1. "Hooligan's Holiday"
    Released: 1994
  2. "Misunderstood"
    Released: 1994

Mötley Crüe (also known as 1994 or Mötley Crüe with John Corabi) is the eponymous sixth studio album by heavy metal band Mötley Crüe. It was released on March 15, 1994. It is the band's only album not to feature singer Vince Neil, it instead features John Corabi. It was also the first album of new material released by the band since their 1989 album, Dr. Feelgood.

The album, which was recorded under the working title of Til Death Do Us Part,[6] was the first release by the band after signing a 25-million dollar contract with Elektra Records.[6]

Background[edit]

Following the success of the Dr. Feelgood and Decade of Decadence albums and tours, the members of Mötley Crüe were tired and needed to take a break from the non-stop pressures of the road. Instead of being given a break, the band, then consisting of singer Vince Neil, bassist Nikki Sixx, guitarist Mick Mars, and drummer Tommy Lee, had returned to the studio to begin work on the follow-up album to their 1989 album Dr. Feelgood on a two week on - two week off schedule. While working on new material in the studio in early '92, Sixx, Mars and Lee had a falling out with Neil that led to the singer quitting or being fired from the band, effectively leaving Mötley Crüe without a frontman.[6]

Meanwhile, John Corabi was the vocalist of the Los Angeles-based hard rock band The Scream when he read an interview that featured Sixx in an issue of Spin magazine. In the interview, Corabi found out that Sixx was a big fan of The Scream's first record, Let It Scream. Corabi wanted to get in contact with Sixx and thank him for the compliment, as well as possibly opening the door for collaborating with Sixx on material for the next Scream album, so he had his manager get the number to Mötley Crüe's manager, Doug Thaler. After speaking to Thaler's secretary, Corabi was told to leave his phone number so that Sixx could get in contact with him. Not thinking much of it, Corabi left his number and continued with his responsibilities with The Scream.[6]

After receiving a phone call from Sixx and Lee, where they informed Corabi that Neil was no longer in the band, he was invited to audition. After a couple of sessions, the band told Corabi that he was their choice for Neil's replacement, but told him to keep quiet about it until they were able to work out some pending legal technicalities, as Elektra Records could have possibly reneged on the band's new contract if the label knew Neil was gone.[6]

Recording[edit]

  • The lyrics of "Uncle Jack" deal with the issue of child abuse.
    "Hooligan's Holiday" was the first single released by Mötley Crüe to feature John Corabi on vocals.
    "Misunderstood" describes the lives of several people who are dealing with the fact that life has passed them by.
  • Problems listening to the files? See media help.

For the recording of the album, Mötley Crüe reunited with Bob Rock, who had produced Dr. Feelgood, their most commercially successful album. With Corabi now fronting the band, the members took advantage of the fact that he brought more to the table than Neil did: Sixx had never worked with another lyricist before, and Mars had never played with another guitarist.[7][6] Mars noted that working with a second guitarist gave him "a chance to experiment and have some fun instead of having to focus on just keeping the rhythm."[8] Also, the band had never previously written songs through jamming. One of the first songs Corabi worked with the band on was "Hammered," as well as the acoustic portion of the song that would become "Misunderstood."[6]

During the recording of the album the band committed itself to sobriety, with a strict regimen of no drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, red meat or caffeine. The band worked with a physical trainer each morning, and took vitamin pills to keep their bodies nourished. Although there were occasional slips off the wagon, the members were determined to repeat the success of Dr. Feelgood.[6] The recording sessions proved to be fruitful, with a total of 24 songs written and recorded over the 10-month recording span.[8]

Lyrically, Corabi's influence pushed away from the band's usual themes of sex and rebellion. Sixx enjoyed working with Corabi on the lyrics, feeling Corabi’s "normal" lyrics balanced out his own "demented" lyrics.[7] Songs such as "Power to the Music" and "Droppin' Like Flies" were attempts at introspection and commentary on the state of the world, including then current events such as the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the battle over music censorship. The song "Uncle Jack" was about Corabi's uncle, a convicted child molester,[6] and "Misunderstood" was a song about people who were trying to deal with the fact that life had passed them by. Some songs still had more familiar themes, including "Smoke the Sky," which was about marijuana use, and "Poison Apples," which was about the decadent Rock 'N Roll lifestyle that the band was famous for living.

Artwork[edit]

The album was released with two different covers. The original 1994 artwork features the band's name in yellow on a scratched black background. Later prints of the album were released with the band name in red. On the inside, the CD tray features a white circle showing a fist with the word "CRUE" on its fingers emerging from a black circle. The CD shows the same thing but drawn differently. Later editions have the CD showing the circle and fist drawn the same way as on the inlay.

Release and promotion[edit]

Mötley Crüe debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Gold by the RIAA on May 3, 1994.[9][10] However, five years had passed since Mötley Crüe had released a full studio album, and much had changed in the popular music scene in that time interval. During that time, grunge and alternative rock had crossed into the mainstream, and many of the hard rock and glam metal acts from the 1980s struggled to generate sales in the new market. After initially charting in the Top 10, the album slid down the charts quickly and ultimately failed to sell as well as previous Mötley Crüe albums had before.

While there was an expected backlash from fans toward the album regarding the popular Neil's departure, there were several other factors that led to the poor sales figures that the album received. Besides the aforementioned shift in popular music, the members of the band had a falling out with MTV, where Sixx threatened to knock the host's teeth out during an interview, as he felt that the line of questioning was "stupid" and he and the rest of the band walked out mid-interview.[6] Executives from the Elektra and Warner Bros. labels weren't supporting the band either, as many executives were involved in corporate boardroom wars related to the CEO change of Bob Krasnow to Sylvia Rhone, that took priority over the band.[6] With no support from their record label to promote the album and tour, and with no promotion from MTV following the disastrous interview, the subsequent tour was scaled back from stadiums and arenas to theaters to clubs to parties until it was eventually cancelled.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune 2/4 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly B[11]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[3]
Metal Forces (7/10)[5]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[12]

Mötley Crüe received mixed reviews. In general, critics remarked how the band had adapted their trademark sound to the new trends of alternative metal.[1][2][3][4][5] According to Neil Arnold of Metal Forces, this change of style misrepresents the band, which maybe "should have gone under a different name" for this album.[5] New vocalist John Corabi's vocal range and soulful performance are generally praised, as they are more suited to the new sound of the band.[2][3][4][5][11] For Katherine Turman of The Los Angeles Times his "voice is meatier and more appealing than predecessor Vince Neil's" and may be responsible for the shift in focus towards a less flashy style.[3] However, Arion Berger of Rolling Stone defined the music "samey",[4] while Chuck Eddy in his review for Entertainment Weekly appreciated the ballads, but called the album's heavy tracks "an overbearing plod".[11]

Accolades[edit]

In July 2014, Guitar World ranked Mötley Crüe at number 28 in their "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994" list.[13]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by John Corabi and Nikki Sixx, all music composed by Corabi, Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Power to the Music"   5:12
2. "Uncle Jack"   5:28
3. "Hooligan's Holiday"   5:51
4. "Misunderstood"   6:53
5. "Loveshine"   2:36
6. "Poison Apples" (Corabi, Sixx, Mars, Lee, Bob Rock) 3:40
7. "Hammered"   5:15
8. "Til Death Do Us Part"   6:03
9. "Welcome to the Numb"   5:18
10. "Smoke the Sky"   3:36
11. "Droppin' Like Flies"   6:26
12. "Driftaway"   4:00
2003 remaster bonus tracks
No. Title Length
13. "Hypnotized" (previously unreleased) 5:29
14. "Babykills" (from the Quaternary EP) 5:24
15. "Livin' in the Know" (previously unreleased) 4:23

Personnel[edit]

Mötley Crüe[edit]

Guest musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Bob Rock - producer, mixing, acoustic guitar, rhythm guitar, mandolin
  • Randy Staub - engineer, mixing
  • Brian Dobbs, Ed Korengo, Darren Grahn, Jim Labinski, Bill Kennedy, Kim Lomas, Roger Monk, Ken Villeneuve, Greg Goldman - additional engineers
  • George Marino - mastering
  • Bob Buckley - orchestral arrangements and conduction

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 1994 Gold (+ 500,000)[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Mötley Crüe - Mötley Crüe". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Kot, Greg (March 17, 1994). "Mötley Crüe - Mötley Crüe (Elektra)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Turman, Katherine (March 27, 1994). "Mötley Crüe, "Mötley Crüe" ; Elektra". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Berger, Arion (April 21, 1994). "Mötley Crüe - Mötley Crüe - Elektra". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Arnold, Neil. "Mötley Crüe - Mötley Crüe". Metal Forces. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lee, Tommy; Mars, Mick; Sixx, Nikki; Neil, Vince (2002). Strauss, Neil, ed. The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band. New York City: ReganBooks. ISBN 978-0060989156. 
  7. ^ a b Crücial Crüe Remaster liner notes
  8. ^ a b Kitts, Jeff. May 1994. "New Crüe Review". Guitar School.
  9. ^ Billboard Charting History - Mötley Crüe
  10. ^ a b "Gold and Platinum Database Search - Mötley Crüe". Retrieved March 29, 2008. 
  11. ^ a b c Eddy, Chuck (March 18, 1994). "Mötley Crüe - Mötley Crüe (1994)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "Mötley Crüe". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City: Simon & Schuster. pp. 562–63. ISBN 978-0743201698. Archived from the original on December 27, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994". GuitarWorld.com. July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Mötley Crüe – Mötley Crüe (album)". Australian - Charts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  15. ^ モトリー・クルーのランキング (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
  16. ^ "Mötley Crüe – Mötley Crüe (album)". Swedishcharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Mötley Crüe Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 59, No. 10, March 28, 1994". Library and Archives Canada. 28 March 1994. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "Artist Chart History: Motley Crue". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-11-18. 
  20. ^ "Mötley Crüe – Mötley Crüe". Hitparade.ch (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2014-11-18. 
  21. ^ "Mötley Crüe – Mötley Crüe (album)". Austriancharts.at (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "infodisc.fr Note : You must select Motley Crue". infodisc.fr. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  23. ^ "Mötley Crüe – Mötley Crüe (album)". Charts.org.nz. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "Album – Mötley Crüe, Mötley Crüe". Charts.de (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2014-11-18. 
  25. ^ a b "Mötley Crüe Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Mötley Crüe – Hooligan's Holiday (song)". Swedishcharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 18 November 2014.