I thought about calling this “Crücial Covers” but that seemed a bit too on-the-nose.
Netflix released The Dirt on Friday. I’m not going to recommend that you watch it. I like Mötley Crüe for their music, not their lifestyle. And even then, there is some music by Mötley Crüe I will not listen to. I try to be discerning with the lyrical content, so that knocks out a lot of rock songs. But what is left is often brilliant.
Mötley Crüe is one of the most influential hard rock bands of the 1980s, and their music has stood the test of time. The true test of a great song, though, is whether it can stand up under the scrutiny of a different genre. There are plenty of tribute albums and cover versions that try to stay as true to the original as possible. To that, I ask, “Why bother?” If I want to hear “Too Young To Fall In Love” in the style of Mötley Crüe, then I will listen to the song by Mötley Crüe themselves. This mixtape is not for the traditionalist. It is eclectic and eccentric but not always electric.
JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Mötley Crüe Covered
- “Too Fast For Love” by Stone Sour from Straight Outta Burbank. This is one of the most straight-forward cover here. The original appears on Mötley Crüe’s debut record, Too Fast For Love.
- “Live Wire” by Meghan Kabir. Meghan is an Afghan American singer/songwriter. This version was actually just released on Friday and was used in The Dirt. Her take on this Crüe classic is very ethereal.
- “Public Enemy #1” by Spiders & Snakes from London Daze. Spiders & Snakes’ lead singer Lizzie Grey played in bands with Nikki Sixx during the 1970s, and co-wrote this song that appeared on the Crüe debut.
- “Piece of Your Action” by These Idol Hands from Unbound. A little grungy, a little sleazy. These Idol Hands hail from the home of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.
- “On With The Show” by The Ataris from Let It Burn. Mötley goes emo/pop-punk.
- “Looks That Kill” by Susan Hyatt from Pin-Ups & Trumpets. She’s the lead singer for Pillbox, but this trumpet-heavy rendition is anything but grungy.
- “Too Young To Fall In Love” by Chelsea Lankes from Down For Whatever/Too Young To Fall In Love. This song presented the greatest challenge in picking a version. Lankes’ version is an electro-pop masterpiece, but Steve Taylor’s beautiful piano ballad from Got It Covered (Songs I Didn’t Write, Vol. 1) comes in a close second. But the options don’t stop there. Glorified High School delivers a haunting piano rendition.
- “Home Sweet Home/Bittersweet Symphony” by Limp Bizkit from Greatest Hitz. Don’t @ me.
- “Girls Girls Girls” by Richard Cheese. He is the greatest Vegas lounge singer doing rock and pop songs.
- “Dr. Feelgood” by BulletBoys from Rocked & Ripped. A great song, but Marq Torien and company do little to make it their own. In this case, I would rather listen to the original recording.
- “Kickstart My Heart” by The Booze Bros. from Two Fo The Show. A jazzed-up acoustic rendition of one of Mötley’s most popular songs.
- “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” by Ben Lee from Family Album: A Compilation. I was introduced to this version in the late 1990s while working for WRFL at the University of Kentucky. I have never been able to track down the album, but the song is available on YouTube.
- “Without You” by Clare Bowen & Sam Palladio from Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe. A bunch of country artists doing Mötley songs sounds awful to me, but in a couple instances it really works. This is one of my least favorite Mötley Crüe songs, truly a cringe-worthy ballad from my favorite Mötley Crüe album, but the country version is bearable. Not great, mind you, but bearable.
- “Hooligan’s Holiday” by John Corabi from Unplugged. Is this allowed? The original vocalist of the track, ousted after his one release with the band, recorded a stirring acoustic version of the best song on the album. There is also an acoustic rendition of “Loveshine” on this CD. Corabi has been quite busy lately with his new band The Dead Daisies, featuring the man-of-many-bands Doug Aldrich on guitar. They have released four studio albums, one live album, and four EPs since 2013.
- “Afraid” by Aaron Lewis from Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe. I’m breaking one of my rules here. Generally, I will not include two songs from the same tribute album, but Aaron Lewis’ southern-fried version of one of the only good songs from Generation Swine is simply fantastic.
If you prefer to just buy a pre-packaged tribute album rather than build your own, there are plenty of options out there. I don’t have any of these in my collection, so I cannot personally recommend any of them.
Last year, while celebrating the release of Van Halen’s A Different Kind Of Truth, I decided to make a list of my favorite song from each VH album. It was a fun exercise, and one that I had planned to revisit with several other favorite bands…but like many other projects and ideas, it was pushed to the side and all but forgotten.
Today, I’m resurrecting that idea with another band that I love to listen to, and love to see in concert, the one and only Mötley Crüe. A few rules that I will generally try to stick to:
- Every studio album must be represented by one and only one song.
- That song does not have to be an official “single” released by the band to promote said album.
- Compilation albums can be included, but only songs that are new, previously unreleased, or remixes of songs from prior albums are eligible for the list.
- Live albums are a waste of time. There are exceptions to this rule, but not in the case of Mötley Crüe.
So without further ado, here is JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Mötley Crüe edition…
1. “Too Fast For Love” (Too Fast for Love, 1981)
2. “Looks That Kill” (Shout at the Devil, 1983)
3. “Home Sweet Home” (Theatre of Pain, 1985)
4. “Wild Side” (Girls, Girls, Girls, 1987)
5. “Dr. Feelgood” (Dr. Feelgood, 1989)
6. “Primal Scream” (Decade of Decadence, 1991)
7. “Hooligan’s Holiday” (Mötley Crüe, 1994)
8. “Bittersuite” (Quaternary, 1994)
9. “Afraid” (Generation Swine, 1997)
10. “Bitter Pill” (Greatest Hits, 1998)
11. “New Tattoo” (New Tattoo, 2000)
12. “If I Die Tomorrow” (Red, White, & Crue, 2005)
13. “Face Down In The Dirt” (Saints of Los Angeles, 2008)
Of course, every album has to have some “bonus tracks,” right? So here are some possible “bonus tracks” for the Mötley Crüe Ultimate Mixtape:
1. Mötley Crüe “Teaser” (Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell, 1989)
2. The Dudes Of Wrath “Shocker” (Shocker soundtrack, 1989)
3. Vince Neil “You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)” (Encino Man soundtrack, 1992, and Exposed, 1993)
4. The Brides Of Destruction “Only Get So Far” (Here Come the Brides, 2004)
5. Crashdïet “Alone” (The Unattractive Revolution, 2007)
6. Sixx:A.M. “Life Is Beautiful” (The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, 2007)
7. Methods Of Mayhem “Louder” (A Public Disservice Announcement, 2010)
8. John Corabi “Loveshine” (Unplugged, 2012)
Not a bad tracklisting in my opinion. I skipped over a few of the band’s compilations, and no live music is included here; also missing some key tracks from the band’s career, but this list represents my favorite song from each album, and throws a bit of attention to the members’ side projects. How does your list differ?
Rat Pak Records, 2012
Hard rock vocalist John Corabi has released his first solo recording, an acoustic collection of new songs and classics from his former bands. Corabi treats listeners to three songs originally recorded by The Scream (“Father, Mother, Son,” “Man In The Moon,” “I Never Loved Her Anyway”), two Mötley Crüe songs (“Hooligan’s Holiday,” “Loveshine”), and two Union tracks (“Love (I Don’t Need It Anymore),” “Everything’s Alright”) in addition to five new compositions.
Corabi’s voice has never sounded better as he attacks these songs with a vengeance, and his gritty tone sounds fantastic on top of the acoustic guitars. Joining him are D.A. Karkos (guitar), Topher Nolen (bass), Cheney Brannon (percussion), and Matt Farley (percussion). The chemistry these five musicians possess is evident in every song. Corabi’s Union bandmate and former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick also contributes his abilities to two songs on the album, but not the songs you might expect. Rather than playing lead on the Union songs, Kulick is featured on “Man In The Moon” and “Hooligan’s Holiday.”
All in all, John Corabi’s Unplugged is a fresh take on some great songs, and the new tunes fit right in with the same vibe. The best of the new tracks is “If I Had A Dime,” with “If I Never Get To Say Goodbye” a close second. It’s great to hear a few Corabi classics again as well, and the band truly shines on “Father, Mother, Son” and “I Never Loved Her Anyway.” Fans of acoustic rock and “unplugged” versions of familiar songs will love this record.
1. Love (I Don’t Need It Anymore)
2. If I Never Get To Say Goodbye
3. Are You Waiting
5. Everything’s Alright
6. Father, Mother, Son
7. Hooligan’s Holiday
8. If I Had A Dime
10. Man In The Moon
11. Open Your Eyes
12. I Never Loved Her Anyway
13. Bonus Interview Track