Wild Side (Mötley Crüe song)

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"Wild Side"
Motley crue wild side.jpg
Single by Mötley Crüe
from the album Girls, Girls, Girls
GenreHeavy metal
Songwriter(s)Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars
Producer(s)Tom Werman
Mötley Crüe singles chronology
"Girls, Girls, Girls"
"Wild Side"
"You're All I Need"

"Wild Side" is a single by American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe. It was released on their 1987 album Girls, Girls, Girls.

Lyrics and style[edit]

"Wild Side" deals with life in the ghetto of Los Angeles, a familiar place for the members of Mötley Crüe. It came about when Nikki Sixx was chatting with a Hispanic school girl and asked her to recite the Lord's Prayer. It inspired him to write the song, twisting the words of the prayer into a testament of the "Wild Side". It describes the criminal activity associated with the neighborhood, such as pimping, organized crime, rape, assault, and armed robbery, and is told from the perspective of a gang member. "Wild Side" changes frequently in style, from a moderately fast intricate pace to a slower, more powerful blues-rock sound in the middle and at the end. The song ends with the repetition of "Wild Side" and various sounds of breaking glass, gunfire, screams, and police sirens.


Nikki Sixx described "Wild Side" as more complex compared to some of the simpler songs on the album. It is one of the few Mötley Crüe songs that changes in time signature.

Sixx had written the song during the most dangerous part of his heroin addiction. He mentioned this in The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rockstar.

The song's tempo is 118 beats per minute and the main riff uses a chord progression of A minor 7th, D sus, and D minor, on a guitar using distortion.

The time signature of the song is a basic 4/4 time signature. In the intro it switches from 4/4 to 2/4. In the chorus the time signature changes from 4/4 to 2/4 on the chorus. For the verse the time signature is 4/4 which uses power chords A5, D5, G5, and C5. In the chorus, for the lyric, "Take a ride on the", the time signature changes to 2/4. For the bridge and outro, the time signature changes to 12/8 which uses Power chords C5, A5, and D5.

The song does not have a true guitar solo. There are only some melodic lead guitar lines.

On the guitar tuning, the band tuned down their instruments a whole step; in D standard.

Live performance[edit]

The song has been a staple at live concerts and has not been left off the setlist since its release. It is usually accompanied by a tremendous amount of pyrotechnics, and is always a crowd pleaser. As the song does not have a guitar solo, a "drum solo" is used when Tommy Lee plays in a suspended, rotating drum cage over the crowd. The video for this song was recorded on July 18, 1987 in Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Cover versions[edit]

Country singer Gretchen Wilson covered the song for the multi-artist tribute album Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe.

In other media[edit]