Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Motley Crüe
Album : Dr Feelgood
Released : September 1, 1989
Metal Mofo Album Rating : 4.5/5 (One Of The Best Hard Rock Records Of The Late 1980s)
By the late 1980s the band Motley Crüe was known more for what they did in their personal lives than for the music they were making. After their first two excellent albums Too Fast For Love, and Shout At The Devl, they seemed to get too caught up in the “sex and drugs” part of Rock And Roll. It also didn’t help that their leader and main songwriter Nikki Sixx had become a full fledged heroin junkie, which had a huge effect on the music. Both albums Theatre Of Pain, and Girls, Girls, Girls had some highlights, but also weren’t near as strong as the first two albums. Although they still had a strong fan base, nobody was confusing them with bands like Guns N’ Roses, or Metallica, who had become the biggest bands of the Heavy Metal/Hard Rock genre where (even in GN’R’s case) the music was doing most of the talking. It was obvious that changes had to be made, especially for an attempt for respect.
Things that have happened in the whole Motley Crüe story can’t be made up. From Vince Neil’s car accident that killed drummer Razzle from the band Hanoi Rocks, to Tommy Lee marrying Heather Locklear. The biggest blow of all could’ve come in December of 1987 when Nikki Sixx was declared legally dead of a heroin overdose. Thanks to the medic (who was an actual Crüe fan) who gave him a shot of adrenaline into his heart that he was able to come back to life, and clean up his act. That event basically would scare the whole band straight as the other members would clean up their act too.
Shortly after recovering from the overdose Nikki would write the song called “Kickstart My Heart” about the whole ordeal. It was obvious that now the band was clean and focused the next album would have a much more mature sound. They would bring in Canadian Producer Bob Rock to give the music a much more lush, and vibrant sound. Nikki would write songs that had much more of his influences growing up reflected in the music. From The Beatles to The Rolling Stones, the songs had more melodic hooks, and power guitar riffs. It would become a winning formula, and give the Crüe their most consistent record since Shout At The Devil.
Once the album was released it was both critically, and commercially successful. Bob Rock’s production was praised for bringing out the strengths of the band that had been lacking before. That’s what caused (for better or worse) Metallica to hire him to produce their own album soon after since they were so impressed with the sound. Songs from the title track, to Kickstart My Heart, to Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) became radio and MTV staples. Making Dr. Feelgood the best selling Crüe album to date. No one knew at the time it would all fall apart just a couple years later when the band was given a new multimillion dollar contract. Like it or not, at least the band went out on top when Vince left a couple years later. Some of the original fans didn’t like the direction this record took the band, but it was a shot at respect, and respect in the end is what they got.
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