Too Fast For Love

Motley Crue

Elektra Records, 1981

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Reviewing debut albums from established bands years after their release is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one side, you're able to hear those moments where the signs of greatness first reared their heads. On the other hand, consciously or not, you're always holding that first effort up to the biggest successes that artist or group has achieved in their career.

Take Too Fast For Love, the 1982 debut (and reissue of their self-titled independent disc) from Motley Crue. Even back in 1982, you could probably have called Vince Neil and company the '80s version of a glam rock band, with the muscle in their music and mascara on their mugs. These were not the kind of guys you'd welcome into the house for Sunday dinner, let alone allow your daughter to date.nbtc__dv_250

Yet there are signs on this disc that the Crue were headed toward something big - and, no, I'm not referring to overdoses. While it's not the strongest metal album out there or even the best thing the band ever did, it has moments that will make you sit up and take note. If only there were more such moments on this disc. (Note: I'm working off an old vinyl copy; the 1999 CD re-issue includes bonus tracks which are not included in this review.)

Too Fast For Love had all the trappings of your typical California band wanting to make it big. You had the big-haired lead singer in Neil who tried to actually put a musical spin on his vocals instead of shredding his vocal chords. You had the flashy if somewhat simplistic guitar work of Mick Mars, a person who always has sounded more at home in a solo than in rhythm work. You had the frantic drumming of Tommy Lee, whose over-reliance on the cowbell is just damned annoying. And you had the less noticeable but equally menacing bass work of Nikki Sixx.

I know, "It's the music, stupid." And what of it? Of the nine songs that make up Too Fast For Love, the two best songs have already been featured on Decade Of Decadence '81 - '91, namely "Live Wire" and "Piece Of Your Action". "Too Fast For Love," a track featured on Greatest Hits, has too much of a half-ass New York Dolls vibe to it, and really doesn't go anywhere. (Incidentally, this was the first Motley Crue song I ever heard; no wonder it took me a long time to give this band a chance.)

It's not that the remaining six songs on Too Fast For Love are bad, but they're hardly groundbreaking. Granted, the Crue was still discovering where they wanted to go musically on this album, but songs like "Public Enemy #1," "Starry Eyes" and "On With The Show" don't necessarily hint that the Crue would be topping the charts by the decade's end.

There's still kind of a morbid interest in listening to Too Fast For Love, almost like taping an auto race with a series of crashes, then watching the tape down the road from the start in anticipation. There is some good material on this album... but you don't necessarily need to pick this particular title up for those songs.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 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.