Decade Of Decadence '81 - '91

Motley Crue

Elektra Records, 1991

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/03/2001

The fact that Motley Crue was still together - no, check that, still alive - for their tenth anniversary probably had people ripping up their Dead Pool tickets. Not only had the band survived, but they had thrived, going from made-up bad boys to a pretty tight musical unit. Of course, one can't help but think the production hand of Bob Rock had something to do with that success, but the Crue was on the top of the metal scene.

Decade Of Decadence '81 - '91 served two purposes, one of which would come out of left field. The primary purpose was to celebrate the band's 10 years together by putting a fresh coat of paint on some of their best-known songs. The second was to say goodbye to singer Vince Neil, who would depart the band for about six years. (Side note: Though it's been a while since I listened to my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Motley Crue, I seemed to remember liking John Corabi with the band.) While I'm a little surprised that this collection is presently out of print (though that could be because of the recently-released Greatest Hits), this is a collection that has some good moments, though it's a bit contrived for the long-time fan.

Whether each song had to be re-mixed for '91 is a question that the diehards can answer; I just don't think we needed a new version of "Live Wire" or "Home Sweet Home" (the latter being a song I just can't stand). Just last night, I dug out my vinyl copy of Too Fast For Love... and the original "Live Wire," while raw, was perfect for the time. Hell, the band was raw back in '82; why spit-shine something that wasn't meant to sparkle? I will admit, though, that "Shout At The Devil" sounds pretty fresh - though I always did kind of like that song.

Of the 10 "classics," the selection is pretty good, covering all five studio albums to that point fairly. (I'd have thrown in "Too Young To Fall In Love," though.) If you're a newbie to the Crue, this is a nice way to shake hands with the fiends and staying with familiar territory. (The live version of "Kickstart My Heart," though, sounds a bit raw... wasn't there a better live version?)

Decade Of Decadence boasts five additional tracks, ranging from the blah ("Teaser," "Angela") to the killer ("Rock 'N' Roll Junkie" - obviously, Nikki Sixx's autobiography - and "Primal Scream"). Their cover of "Anarchy In The U.K." - well, that's an interesting one. When I first heard this back when this album came out, I hated it, as well as what the Crue had done to a punk classic. Over the years, though, I've thought, "Isn't the Crue the right band to perform such a song?" It's still not my favorite version - sorry, but the Sex Pistols will never be topped in this category - but it's not as dire as I once thought it to be.

Decade Of Decadence '81 - '91 is a pretty good summary piece for Motley Crue, though cleaning up some of the tracks not only seemed unnecessary, but it seemed to pull away some of their power. It just goes to prove that you can clean these guys up, but... ah, forget it.

Rating: C+

User Rating: A-


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© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Elektra Records, and is used for informational purposes only.