Friday, January 6, 2023

"Dr. Feelgood" by Mötley Crüe

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  4020
Date:  09/02/1989
Debut:  65
Peak:  6
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Metal

Pop Bits:  By 1988, Mötley Crüe were riding high (literally) and living fast. Their '87 album Girls, Girls, Girls had been their most successful to-date hitting #2 and eventually selling over 4 million copies. It was boosted by the album's title track, which was also their biggest hit yet getting to #12. While their music and live performances made them stars, their hard drinking and drugging lifestyle made them infamous. It got to the point where those close to the band thought someone would eventually die. Bassist Nikki Sixx nearly did in '87 when he overdosed on heroin. He survived, but the band's management wasn't having it. Faced with an ultimatum, the band agreed to go to rehab. After getting sober, the band then went into the studio with producer Bob Rock to cut their fifth studio album Dr. Feelgood. The renewed focus paid off as the LP would become for many the band's best effort. It would also become their commercial peak spending two weeks at #1 and eventually selling over 6 million copies. This first single would get things kicked off. It would quickly make the Rock Top 10 getting to #7. On the Pop chart it would become the band's first to make the Top 10. It would sell well enough to go gold. It would also earn the band a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.

ReduxReview:  This track was crunchy and rough, yet had enough hooks to make it memorable and palatable enough for mainstream radio. Bob Rock's production work took the band to another level and they never really sounded better on vinyl. With the band at a creative and popularity peak, this track was definitely going to do well. The fact that it finally got them in the Top 10 proved their power at the time.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  When this song first came out, some people may have thought this was a very odd song for the band to cover. However, it was not a cover tune, it was an original by band member Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx. Yet there was another popular song called "Dr. Feelgood" written and recorded by a legendary star. For her first Atlantic Records album in 1967 titled I Never Loved a Man the Way That I Love You, Aretha Franklin co-wrote (with husband Ted White) and recorded "Dr. Feelgood." The 12-bar blues style tune was a highlight from the LP, but was not released as a single. Of course, the famous hit from the album was her version of "Respect," which hit #1 and Pop and R&B. Later in 1971, Franklin would do a three night stint a San Francisco's famous Fillmore West. At the second show, Franklin performed a 7+ version of "Dr. Feelgood" that became somewhat legendary. She basically took the Fillmore to church in a way only Aretha could. The concerts were recorded and edited down to the 1971 album Aretha Live at Fillmore West. That LP would be a gold-selling #1 R&B/#7 Pop hit.


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