Friday, June 9, 2017
Throwback Thursday: Theatre of Pain, by Motley Crue
In 1985 hair metal rockers Motley Crue released their third studio album: Theatre of Pain. Up to this point their music had been mostly straight up metal with a bit of melody for wider appeal. With this album though the band moved more into the main stream and gained the glam sound that they would become notorious for throughout the rest of the decade by making songs that would appeal to the masses as radio hits.
Theatre of Pain features two of the Crue's biggest hits: a cover of Brownsville Station's hit Smoking in the Boys Room and their own big power ballad that they closed every concert with, Home Sweet Home. This album has more of a hard rock kind of vibe than the heavy metal one they had had previously as I'd mentioned. It's a lot bluesier and in some ways kind of shows the musical roots of the band. Needless to say it was a remarkably noticeable change of pace and sound for Motley Crue.
Home Sweet Home is definitely one of the Crue's finest musical moments. It is the definition of cheesy 80's power ballad. Surprisingly it wasn't entirely written by bassist and song writer Nikki Sixx. This tune came into existence because of something that drummer Tommy Lee was tinkering away on the piano with one day while the album was being written. Sixx ended up forming a whole song around it and made it into one of the most instantly recognizable 80's metal hits we know of today.
Louder Than Hell sounds like it could have been on the band's previous album Shout at the Devil. In fact, it sounds a lot like the title track of that album. Sadly I think that is kind of what makes it fall a bit flat. It sounds like they were just trying to copy off themselves so they could maintain some amount of credibility with the fan base they had already acquired at that point. It just sounds like they were recycling their old riffs. It still rocks if you try to get that thought out of your head, but that is easier said than done.
Honestly, I think Theatre of Pain was Motley Crue's weakest album from their heyday. That is no surprise though considering that being the time period where everyone in the band's drug habits were at their absolute worst. I wouldn't say the entire album was phoned in, as their are some shining moments but this was definitely nowhere close to their previous couple of albums or even the ones that followed it. That said, it isn't a completely bad album. It still rocks, but it just leaves you wanting more.
Theatre of Pain, by Motley Crue receives 2 out of 5 stars.
1. City Boy Blues
2. Smoking in the Boys Room
3. Louder Than Hell
4. Keep Your Eye on the Money
5. Home Sweet Home
6. Tonight (We Need a Lover)
7. Use It or Lose It
8. Save Our Souls
9. Raise Your Hands to Rock
10. Fight For Your Rights
Buy the album on Amazon: