It’s one of the great paradoxes of the youthful sound of hair metal; it’s ballsy, lacking class and delightful in equal measure but it was always going to fall victim to the ageing it seemingly rebelled against. Thirty years ago, no-one had any idea how things would have changed and in the case of Mötley Crüe, despite their controversies, Vince Neal’s trials and having to witness Tommy Lee’s tribulations at the hands of reality TV, not an awful lot changed with the Crüe. But they got old. But just as we used to laugh at our own parents for loving their own music and dispelling ours without so much as listening to one riff, we’ve learnt that the best things in life do indeed get better with age and that, sadly, our parents were right all along.
This August marks 30 years since Mötley Crüe cemented themselves as one of the great rats of the LA nest’s finest and arguably there are few better bucks to represent it than Girls, Girls, Girls.
Mötley Crüe still get the ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’…
It wasn’t perfect and was far from their best. Their greatest success was to follow, but in 1987, when everything seemed to be forming a layer of gloss and a softening blur all of its own ‘GGG‘ sounded raw as all hell. It got the mix just right. Combining modern rock crunch, pop’s ever increasing sugar, the rebellion of the LA scene, they layered all that on top of a dirge offering big nods to the punks that came before. It was a sound they’d never quite capture again.
It also wasn’t their most creative work. If you listen to Five Years Dead and Girls, Girls, Girls back-to-back, you’re going to have trouble telling the difference. The less we talk about the attempt at power-balladeering that is ‘You’re All I Need’ the better. It neither suited their buzzsaw guitars nor Neal’s overly-keen intensity.
But within the better songs you also hear the birth of goliaths; ‘Dr Feelgood’ in ‘Sumthin’ for Nuthin’ and the chunky ‘Kickstart My Heart’ in ‘Dancing On Glass’. While much of their later work sounded a more layered, it also resulted in them losing some of that rebellious streak that would trouble them through the ’90s. It’s both the upside and the downside to the dirge that made them unique. But you also hear the rockabilly of ‘Bad Boy Boogie’ making a surprising and welcome appearance to keep it interesting, and the riff of ‘All In the Name of…’ is one of their most underrated. The live tracks that finish out the album are mostly filler that the fan will appreciate and ‘Rodeo’ is another aborted attempt at balladry.
Ageing like a fine whiskey
Eventually it would go quadruple-platinum just as its predecessor, ‘Theatre of Pain’ had, with the title track bringing them their second Top 20 single and arguably their best known song and ‘Wild Side’ became an MTV staple.
As Crüe albums go Girls, Girls, Girls is one of the best and I could pontificate further about its many ups and downs, much like the band would endure itself over the years.
Ultimately, like the band themselves, no matter how old it gets, it is still so very FUN so if you take it on that merit, you’ll find fewer albums that do it better and that makes it timeless to anyone who loves their rock ‘n’ roll.
Now let’s go and laugh at the shite the kids are listening to…
This August marks 30 years since Mötley Crüe cemented themselves as one of the great rats of the LA nest's finest and arguably there are few better bucks to represent it than 'Girls, Girls, Girls'.