Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"Looks That Kill" by Mötley Crüe

Song#:  1777
Date:  02/04/1984
Debut:  90
Peak:  54
Weeks: 10
Genre:  Hard Rock, Heavy Metal

Pop Bits:  This notorious L.A. band almost became more famous for the off stage antics than they did their music. Formed in 1981, the Crüe recorded and issued their debut LP, Too Fast for Love, on their own independent label. The album and their reputation on the L.A. strip helped them to get signed to Elektra Records, who issued a new remixed version of the disc. Although it wasn't a major seller (it peaked at #77), it did well thanks to their live shows along with the publicity they received from their bad boy hijinks (some of it staged publicity stunts) and their hard livin', sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll behavior. Their second album, Shout at the Devil, caused immediate controversy with parental and religious groups thanks to the pentagram (often associated with the occult) that was displayed on the cover. Of course, controversy sells and that along with their first exposure on MTV got the ball rolling for the band. The title track was a minor entry at Rock (#30), but this first official single got better traction and made it to #12. Although their brand of metal was still a bit harsh for Pop radio, it actually did fine on the chart and almost broke into the Top 50. It helped sell the album, which peaked at #17. Eventually, the disc would go quadruple platinum.

ReduxReview:  Okay, I admit it. I was a bit of a nerdy, no trouble, good boy back in the day. So of course I gravitated towards music that was more in the mainstream and popular. The kids who liked metal music were from the rougher crowd - burnouts and rednecks with a few of the aggressive athletes thrown in the mix. Therefore, hard rock/metal music represented a lifestyle that was way out of my wheelhouse and that I didn't like, and Mötley Crüe was probably the band that typified that feeling the most. I wanted nothing to do with them. They were horrible. Lawbreakers, druggies, alcoholics, etc. Well, as time moved on I became less judgemental and metal music started to quietly creep into my collection. I even ended up with the Crüe's hits compilation on my shelf many years later. My musical taste evolved and I'm the better for it. This first burst from the band was pretty good and really showed off their AC/DC influence, but I wouldn't rank it among their best. They would have sharper, more memorable tunes in the years to follow.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  As the band came together, they needed a name. Bassist Nikki Sixx suggested that the band name should be Christmas, but the other members were not thrilled with the name. Mick Mars had previously jotted down the name Mottley Cru after someone mentioned that his previous band were a motley looking crew. With a spelling change and the false metal band umlauts added (inspiration apparently from the beer they were drinking at the time, Löwenbräu), Mötley Crüe became their official name.


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