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Motley Crue – Red, White & Crue

Motley Crue – Red, White & Crue (2005, Hip-O Records/Motley Records)

Disc 1
1. “Live Wire” … 3:15
2. “Piece of Your Action” … 4:40
3. “Toast of the Town” … 3:14
4. “Too Fast for Love” … 3:21
5. “Black Widow” [Previously Unreleased] … 4:26
6. “Looks That Kill” … 4:07
7. “Too Young to Fall in Love” [Remix] … 3:38
8. “Helter Skelter” … 3:12
9. “Shout at the Devil” … 3:14
10. “Smokin’ In the Boys Room” … 3:27
11. “Use It or Lose It” … 2:39
12. “Girls, Girls, Girls” … 4:30
13. “Wild Side” … 4:40
14. “You’re All I Need” … 4:43
15. “All in the Name of…” … 3:39
16. “Kickstart My Heart” … 4:48
17. “Without You” … 4:29
18. “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” … 4:40
19. “Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)” … 4:12
20. “Dr. Feelgood” … 4:50

Disc 2
1. “Anarchy in the U.K.” … 3:20
2. “Primal Scream” … 4:47
3. “Home Sweet Home” [’91 Remix] … 4:01
4. “Hooligan’s Holiday” [Brown Nose Edit] … 5:20
5. “Misunderstood” [Successful Format Version] … 4:58
6. “Planet Boom” … 3:23
7. “Bittersuite” … 3:19
8. “Afraid” [Alternative Rave Mix] … 4:08
9. “Beauty” … 3:46
10. “Generation Swine” … 4:40
11. “Bitter Pill” … 4:26
12. “Enslaved” … 4:30
13. “Hell On High Heels” … 4:16
14. “New Tattoo” [Single Version] … 4:02
15. “If I Die Tomorrow” … 3:46
16. “Sick Love Song” … 4:18
17. “Street Fighting Man” … 3:31

Bought this album for three reasons: “If I Die Tomorrow”, “Sick Love Song” and “Street Fighting Man”. Before anyone thinks I’m stupid for spending $15-20 for 3 songs, I actually picked up a used copy off for about $2.25.

Red, White & Crue is the band’s fourth compilation and came hot on the heels of the reunion of all four original members. This time it was Tommy Lee returning after having had some minor success with his rap-metal group Methods of Mayhem and two solo albums. The late Randy Castillo (ex-Ozzy) was Tommy’s replacement in the band and later when Randy became ill, Hole drummer Samantha Maloney would join the group in a touring capacity.

For my money (as little as I paid!), this album stands as the superior Crue compilation. Of the 5 compilations the band has released, this is the only collection to feature two discs (although a single disc version was released) and therefore it’s able to cover a lot more ground. It certainly makes 1998’s Greatest Hits album obsolete as it includes the two new tracks that came from that album. Quality begins to take a dip with Disc 2 as the collection is set up in chronological order and we’re taken through the Corabi albumGeneration Swine and New Tattoo songs.

The album ends on a high note with three new tracks. “If I Die Tomorrow” and “Sick Love Song” are classic Crue songs in my opinion and were foreshadowing what would come later on Saints of Los Angeles. Great mix of modern hard rock and the classic Crue sound and two of my favorite Crue songs ever and in my area they both got some decent airplay. The final new track is “Street Fighting Man”, a cover of the Rolling Stones song (and Josh Freese actually plays drums on this song). A good effort though I’m not a big Stones fan. A fourth new track called “I’m a Liar (And That’s the Truth)” made it onto Japan pressings of this album. I checked the song out on YouTube and while it would’ve been nice to see it included, it’s the least pleasing of the newly recorded songs. Kinda generic.

For old school fans, there is the previously unreleased “Black Widow” (You mean there are MORE songs that didn’t make it as bonus tracks to those reissues ) which was demoed in 1983 for Shout at the Devil but morphed into “God Bless the Children of the Beast”.

Listen, anytime a band releases a “best of” or “greatest hits” compilation, the debate can rage on endlessly about which songs didn’t deserve to be on the album and which songs did. Sure, we can all sit back and pick this album apart and list what we’d take out and put in but I think this is a great career overview, warts and all. They didn’t focus only on songs from the original four members, they didn’t try to pretend Corabi didn’t exist or that they didn’t go that weird alternative/techno route with Generation Swine and I think that’s cool. For better or worse, this album shows you all eras of Motley Crue… which is what a compilation should do, in my opinion, unless you’re calling it a greatest hits album.

This is the compilation I would recommend to anyone looking to get into the band. More than likely, the most amount of enjoyment is going to be found on Disc 1 as every song there is classic old school Crue but Disc 2 still has a few gems to offer.

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Bruce Kulick – BK3 (2010, Twenty 4 Records/Rocket Science Ventures)

1. “Fate” … 3:31
2. “Ain’t Gonna Die” … 4:11
3. “No Friend Of Mine” … 4:09
4. “Hand of the King” … 4:55
5. “I’ll Survive” … 4:48
6. “Dirty Girl” … 3:59
7. “Final Mile” … 4:14
8. “I’m The Animal” … 4:42
9. “And I Know” … 3:17
10. “Between The Lines” … 3:54
11. “Life” … 4:32

Bruce Kulick – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Gene Simmons – Lead Vocals (“Ain’t Gonna Die”)
John Corabi – Lead Vocals (“No Friend of Mine”
Nick Simmons – Lead Vocals (“Hand of the King”)
Doug Fieger – Lead Vocals (“Dirty Girl”)
Tobias Sammet – Lead Vocals (“I’m The Animal”)
Steve Lukather – Guitar (“Between The Lines”)
Jeremy Rubolino – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jimmy Haslip – Bass
Eric Singer – Drums (“I’m The Animal”)
Brent Fitz – Drums
Kenny Aronoff – Drums
Cliff Calabro – Backing Vocals

Producer: Jeremy Rubolino with Bruce Kulick

I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this release and while I expected it to be a solid effort, I didn’t realize how much I could would to enjoy this album.

Bruce is a vocalist in the style of Ace Frehley and Joe Perry — he’s not the greatest singer, but there’s a lot of charm to his voice and he makes it work. Not that he’s the lone vocalist for BK3. There are a number of lead vocal cameos: Gene Simmons and his son Nick get a song a piece, former Union band mate John Corabi sings, as does Edguy/Avantasia vocalist Tobias Sammet (who was recommended to Bruce by Eric Singer).

Musically, Bruce covers a broad range of rock ‘n’ roll. There’s some modern hard rock, old school hard rock, heavy metal, rock/pop, fast, slow, etc. You’d think this would make for a patchy album, but it doesn’t. Somehow, it all flows together and it’s a bit refreshing to go from the trippy Kulick-sung “I’ll Survive” to the rock pop of “Dirty Girl” sung by The Knack’s Doug Fieger. It keeps things interesting.

The album opens with “Fate”, which is a fast and fun song that throws a bunch of lyrics together that rhyme. Whether there’s a reason to any of this rhyming or not, I always enjoy songs like these. Good way to kick things off and it’s probably the must care-free song on the album.

“Ain’t Gonna Die” is up next with Gene on vocals. It’s an okay song but I have to say I think Nick outdoes his dad when he sings on “Hand of the King”. That’s a great heavy modern rock song and Nick’s voice is deep and powerful, sounding a lot like Gene. Both of these songs sound like they would have fit in well with KISS’ Carnival of Souls album. “Hand of the King” is probably my favorite song on the album but “No Friend of Mine” with John Corabi on vocals gives it a run for its money — another fantastic song with a modern edge.

Anytime I can hear Tobias Sammet, it’s a real treat. One of the best singers in rock today and “I’m The Animal” is  a throwback sounding something like what you might hear on a late ’80s KISS album or even Revenge. Eric Singer plays drums on this one. “Between The Lines” is an instrumental featuring Bruce & Steve Lukather. Very cool stuff with a Joe Satriani vibe.

Overall, this is a VERY cool release that went beyond my expectations. There’s definitely a number of iPod worthy tunes here for me (Where only the elite are playlisted!) and the album as whole has received steady play since it has come into my possession awhile back. I have not heard any of Bruce’s other post-KISS works previous to BK3, but if you were a fan of his work in that group, I think you’ll like this album.

Highlights: “Fate”, “No Friend of Mine”, “Hand of the King”, “I’ll Survive”, “I’m The Animal”, “And I Know”, “Between The Lines”

BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION – Here Come the Brides

Brides of Destruction – Here Come the Brides (2004, Sanctuary Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Shut the F*ck Up” … 3:03
2. “I Don’t Care” … 3:21
3. “I Got a Gun” … 3:48
4. “2x Dead” … 5:38
5. “Brace Yourself” … 4:04
6. “Natural Born Killers” … 4:31
7. “Life” … 3:32
8. “Revolution” … 4:37
9. “Only Get So Far” … 5:07

London LeGrand – Lead Vocals
Tracii Guns – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Nikki Sixx – Bass, Backing Vocals
Scot Coogan – Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
John Corabi – Rhythm Guitar
Kris Kohls – Drums

Produced by: Steve Bruno

Brides of Destruction were a “supergroup”, which was put together by Nikki Sixx (while Motley Crue took one of their many breaks) and L.A. Guns’ Tracii Gun. Ex-Motley Crue singer John Corabi was recruited to play guitar and nu-metal band Adema’s Kris Kohls was to be the drummer, but both were out of the band by the time of this album’s release.

I remember London LeGrand catching a lot of flack before the album was even released, with some of the more negative rock/metal sites saying he “sucked” and was a horrible singer. Just not hearing that here. The guy’s voice is fitting this music perfectly, which is a blend of 80s hard rock, punk, power pop, and modern hard rock. I love London’s performance on “I Got a Gun”.

The band never took off though, even though they did manage to get an appearance on The Tonight Show. They chose “Shut the F*ck Up” as their lead single, which was a mistake because it was heavily edited for radio and received very little play. The band even chose to play that song on The Tonight Show and it sounded horrible without them being able to utter that four-letter word.

I remember as soon as the album was released, Nikki was crowing about how much more material they had and that they would be releasing ANOTHER album in 2004, but it never happened. Eventually, Motley came calling again and Nikki ditched the band, though they soldiered on without him and released Runaway Brides in 2005.

This album shows a lot of promise though, I don’t think there’s any filler here and I’ve often wondered what the follow-up album would’ve sounded like if Nikki had remained fully involved.

“Only Get So Far” was originally written by Nikki with Faith Hill & Tim McGraw in mind, but that didn’t pan out. And if anyone still has complaints about London’s voice, they should check out that song as well.

Highlights: “Shut the F*ck Up”, “I Got A Gun”, “2x Dead”, “Brace Yourself”, “Life”, “Only Get So Far”

MOTLEY CRUE – Motley Crue

Motley Crue – Motley Crue (1994, Elektra Records; 1999, Motley Records/Beyond Music)

Track Listing:
1. “Power to the Music” … 5:12
2. “Uncle Jack” … 5:28
3. “Hooligan’s Holiday” … 5:51
4. “Misunderstood” … 6:53
5. “Love Shine” … 2:36
6. “Poison Apples” … 3:40
7. “Hammered” … 5:15
8. “Til Death Do Us Part” … 6:03
9. “Welcome to the Numb” … 5:18
10. “Smoke the Sky” … 3:36
11. “Droppin Like Flies” … 6:26
12. “Driftaway” … 4:05
13. “Hypnotized” [Previously Unreleased] … 5:29
14. “Babykills” [Previously Unreleased] … 5:26
15. “Livin’ in the Know” [Previously Unreleased] … 4:23

John Corabi – Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Mick Mars – Guitar, Bass, Sitar, Mandolin
Nikki Sixx – Bass, Piano
Tommy Lee – Drums, Piano

Produced by: Bob Rock

Misunderstood. It’s the name of a song on this album and that very same word could be used to sum up the album as a whole. When I first bought this, when it was reissued, I didn’t like it at all. The only track that stood out to me was “Hooligan’s Holiday”, and the rest just seemed like a totally calculated “let’s join the grunge/alternative bandwagon” move. I wasn’t in the mindset to listen to a more experimental Motley. I wanted sleaze and decadence.

Looking back, I like this album alot. John Corabi is a great vocalist and his voice fits the more serious and dark sound of the album. I definitely couldn’t see him fitting typical Motley sound and I’m glad they didn’t even try. If you took the band’s name away from this album, I think it would’ve sold better and been better reviewed. This would’ve been a nice side project for Nikki, Mick and Tommy while they tried to patch things up with Vince, but since they went ahead and said this was the new Crue, it backfired on them big time. So they had to go back and get Vince in the band again anyway!

There’s no big sing along choruses here, but what they produced is good alternative hard rock and even if this wasn’t the best idea from a marketing standpoint, I gotta respect Motley for going in a totally different direction with a totally different singer when they could’ve just called it quits or found a Vince clone.

Highlights: “Power to the Music”, “Uncle Jack”, “Hooligan’s Holiday”, “Misunderstood”, “Til Death Do Us Part”, “Welcome to the Numb”, “Smoke the Sky”, “Driftaway”

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