Album Reviews

Mötley Crüe – Red, White & Crüe

(Mercury) UK release date: 30 May 2005

Mötley Crüe - Red, White & Crüe What the hell is going on? Here’s Red, White & Crüe, an 18-track compilation on one CD covering the career of one of Hollywood’s greatest glam-rock legends, Mötley Crüe. There’s a double-CD version too, and a DVD. And they’re all coming out on May 30th, hot on the heels of the Crüe’s recent UK gigs.

Great stuff – except didn’t the double CD come out in February? (Reviewer checks on Amazon again… yup, February 21st…). Someone is really trying to confuse us here – or maybe they’re a little confused themselves? Let’s dig a little deeper, as there’s certainly evidence of that.

Compare: the February 21st release was a pretty damn comprehensive 37-track affair that charted the rise and fall of Mötley Crüe. CD one rises through 20 classic cuts, climbing up from Live Wire, via Too Young To Fall in Love, Shout At The Devil and so on until, at the summit, it reaches five tracks from 1989’s awesome album Dr. Feelgood.

The second CD falls into the ‘what they did next’ category, ie. getting systematically more unlistenable to as it approaches the present day. However with the two CD set you can put up with that stuff once (out of historical or journalistic interest), and from then on just listen to the first one.

So great! There’s now a one-disc version, and for anyone not owning Mötley Crüe’s classic albums it’s an essential introduction to the true pioneers of glam metal with none of the crap. Except (as you may have guessed) I’m lying.

But for some reason the band have just cut the CD in half and left out most of the good stuff. Yup, that’s right, the majestic Dr Feelgood itself segues straight into a selection straight out of the manure that was the rest of Mötley Crüe’s career. By the time they get to Bitter Pill they’ve become a sub-standard Ugly Kid Joe.

Then there’s If I Die Tomorrow (Rock Mix) – yes, that’s right, ‘Rock Mix’ – shouldn’t it have been rock in the first place? Take out the guitars and I can almost imagine Westlife doing this.

By the time we reach Sick Love Song, and its attempt at goth-skateboarder metal, we are immersed in the sound of an aging band desperately trying to play music that the kids can simply do better.

Put simply, there’s almost no point in buying this edition of this compilation. If you’re a fan, a completist, or even a complete newcomer, buy the double-CD set, if you haven’t already. It’s not going to be much more expensive, and at least you have one full disc of genuine bona fide classics.

Alternatively though, if you can be bothered, track down the criminally hard-to-find Dr Feelgood – it’s easily one of the greatest rock albums of the 80s and is absolutely timeless. This compilation, however, just can’t be recommended.

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