Album Rankings – Motley Crüe

I’m going to debut a new series today, though it’s one that might not stick around in written form for too long. My original intent was to do these as videos but time to make them proves ever-elusive, and I’m tired of sitting on this content that I originally compiled a year ago.

This will be just as the title says – album rankings of a band’s discography. My rankings aren’t based on any scores, though I do intend to go back through and score each album later on. I prefer to do the rankings based on other factors and then see how differently things come out later based on scoring. There are other factors that can influence where to rank an album that doesn’t reflect in a score, and this first one will give a vivid example of that.

I’m starting out with Motley Crüe – nine total studio albums and it’s a fair shot that this is their final discography. Doesn’t matter either way, let’s get to the rankings. Of course we run from worst to first as most any sane person’s rankings do.

#9 – Generation Swine

The 1997 reunion with Vince Neil did not deliver anything I found worthwhile. I didn’t like the album when I first heard it and last year I played it for the first time since the ’90’s. I was expecting to take to more of the album this time, or at least find some songs I could call quality. I did not. There’s just nothing here I can get into and I don’t really know what they were doing here.

#8 – Theatre Of Pain

I talked about this one awhile back and I didn’t have much nice to say about it. A few songs I thought were really good, a few that were ok but lifeless production and a lot of filler make for a fairly miserable listening experience.

#7 – New Tattoo

This 2000 offering was the only Crüe record not to feature Tommy Lee. It was a pretty good return to form album, it got back to basics and offered up some good cuts. It is consistent throughout but it doesn’t have, to me, any truly breakout or defining moments. It’s a high-floor, low-ceiling kind of thing. But from here and for the rest of the list we’re talking about albums I can enjoy listening to.

#6 – Girls, Girls, Girls

The 1987 album was a success for the band and was certainly better than its predecessor. It has one of the best tracks they’ve ever done in Wild Side (already an S-Tier song), a great title track, and honestly several other songs that I found better than I remembered them to be. Its production wasn’t great but there was a lot more to like here than on that prior one.

#5 – Motley Crüe

The 1994 self-titled effort spelled the end of the band as we knew them up to this point. Vince Neil had been fired and was replaced by John Corabi. The sound was something apart from the band’s prior output but it is still well-executed and has some great moments. It’s a record that gets (I think) unfairly maligned for not having Vince, though I can understand the sound is a departure from what we were used to.

#4 – Saints Of Los Angeles

The band’s final album from 2008. It seems to be a bit overlooked, from my standing this is a fantastic album and I don’t know why people didn’t give it more of a chance. This is the sound that I thought the band would get into after hearing Primal Scream in 1991. And it’s the band not giving a damn about radio play and just saying whatever they want, it’s truly Crüe uncensored. The grit and attitude just drip from this album. If this is what happens when Sixx AM bandmates write Motley Crüe records, then do more of it.

#3 – Too Fast For Love

The debut that kicked off a whole damn scene in Los Angeles and the official beginning of this crazy band. This is raw, ferocious and just great music. Not a weak track in the bunch. There honestly isn’t much more for me to say about it – it’s just a damn great record.

#2 – Dr. Feelgood

The Crüe closed out the ’80’s in style with their biggest success. A honed and polished affair saw several huge singles and perhaps their best song ever with Kickstart My Heart. While many bands were feeling the end of the hair metal train, this group rode into the ’90’s in style.

As for why this one ranks so high, I covered the reasons when it was the Album of the Week. It was the album that flipped a switch for me and made me massively obsessed with music. It’s a super important album in my listening history and there was a strong argument that this should be number one. But…

#1 – Shout At The Devil

Their second album is just unbeatable. This is packed from top to bottom with fantastic songs and some of the best moments of the band’s career. This stuff is loud, heavy and dangerous and the band gained massive notoriety from both the music and the album imagery. Nothing here misses or is even of a lower cut than the rest, even the cover of Helter Skelter fits both musically and image-wise.

That does it for my first-ever edition of album rankings. Let me know where you agree or disagree in the comments. It might be a minute before my next round, depending on who I choose to go with.

8 thoughts on “Album Rankings – Motley Crüe

    1. It seems like it’s always the middle of these lists that are so confounding. The tops and bottoms often line themselves up very nicely while the middle becomes a battleground.


  1. I like lists by the blog folk’s. Your list was a great read. I would go Too Fast as my number one followed by Shout and then the Motley Corabi album. I liked Theatre and Feelgood as well better than Saints and New Tattoo but hey that’s my 2 cents worth…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. New Tattoo and Generation Swine are definitely the last two.

    I have a soft spot for the Girls album. I really like most of it except the cover song. Plus it was created under life threatening circumstances with drug use and alcohol use.

    Liked by 1 person

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