It’s doubtful few would disagree that Motley Crüe’s 1985’s ‘Theater Of Pain’ and ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ were both immensely disappointing releases from a band who seemed on the verge of legendary status.
Written by: Dangerzone
ARTIST: Motley Crue
ALBUM: Girls Girls Girls
SERIAL: E2 60725
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Vince Neil – vocals * Mick Mars – guitar * Nikki Sixx – bass * Tommy Lee – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Wild Side * 02 Girls Girls Girls * 03 Dancing On Glass * 04 Bad Boy Boogie * 05 Nona * 06 Five Years Dead * 07 All In The Name Of, * 08 Sumthin’ For Nuthin’ * 09 You’re All I Need * 10 Jailhouse Rock
It’s doubtful few would disagree that Motley Crüe’s 1985’s ‘Theater Of Pain’ and ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ were both immensely disappointing releases from a band who seemed on the verge of legendary status following their first two albums. The story has been told too many times to mention of course as to why, but the recording for this album was fraught with incident, especially Nikki Sixx being so consumed by heroin addiction that he could barely summon the energy to write a full album of songs.
Of course the two hits he conjured saved the album from being a total write off, but the rest of the album seems to have faded into insignificance over the course of time and to be honest rightfully so. There’s a few decent songs, but the fact this went to number two in the charts showed that despite their ailing status, Motley Crüe could do no wrong commercially.
There’s little point dissecting the title track or ‘Wildside’ – I’m certain we’ve all heard them more times that we care to mention, although they’re still a classic pair of hard rock tracks which sum up 1987 perfectly. Motley Crüe truly had the lifestyle down to an art form and nothing spells it out more than these two. What about the rest though?
Little seems to have been written about them extensively over the years, so overshadowed have they been by their more illustrious counterparts. ‘Dancing On Glass’ seems unusually thin in the production value stakes, melodically it’s similar to ‘Wildside’ with Mars’ riffs along the same lines and the music missing the menace of the earlier years.
Obviously ‘Bad Boy Boogie’ is a nod to AC/DC title wise, but musically it isn’t fit to be mentioned alongside the Aussie greats despite a series of handclaps and acceptably sleazy riffs. ‘Nona’ is a short instrumental dedicated to Sixx’s late grandmother and hardly a song as such. ‘Five Years Dead’ has a definite swagger about it, although the chorus again is too close to the title track, showing the lack of ideas Sixx had in his drug addled state.
‘All In The Name Of..’ is the best track besides the hits and live was far superior to the studio version. It has a vibrancy you’d expect from Motley Crüe, but the production doesn’t do it justice, sounding sadly weedy and thin. ‘Sumthin’ For Nuthin’ is as cornball as the title, a truly forgettable track which shows zero creativity and melody and is surely one the bands most forgotten songs.
‘You’re All I Need’ was supposedly written by Sixx as a riposte to Jack Wagner who had dated some floozy he was seeing, hence the song title. As a ballad it’s better than the faceless hard rock surrounding it, but it’s hardly what was needed from the band at this stage. I suppose after ‘Home Sweet Home’ they felt compelled to repeat the formula. If any more proof was needed as to how bereft Sixx was of ideas the band threw on a live version of ‘Jailhouse Rock’ to pad the album out, a redundant move in my opinion.
Of course Motley Crüe would clean up their act (temporarily) for the far more satisfying ‘Dr. Feelgood’ in 1989, trying to banish the memories of the ‘Girls’ period and the debauched tour that followed, resulting in Sixx’s notorious overdose. Even the band has admitted ‘Girls’ was a sad excuse for an album and as much as I’ve tried to appreciate it over the years the songs just don’t measure up. It’s all part of the Motley Crüe legend I suppose and seems humorous now, but at the time it probably wasn’t, at least not to the band anyway.