Mötley Crüe - Greatest Video Hits Review

Full Tracklist

Kickstart My Heart
Same Ol’ Situation
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Without You
Wild Side
Girls, Girls, Girls
Dr. Feelgood
The Looks That Kill
Live Wire
You’re All I Need
Too Young To Fall In Love
Primal Scream
Anarchy In The U.K.
Afraid
Smoke The Sky
Misunderstood
Enslaved
Smokin’ In The Boys Room
Hooligan’s Holiday
Hell On High Heels
Home Sweet Home

Now then, this is long overdue. Mötley Crüe are a curious band. For anyone who lived through the horror that was 80's metal, The Crüe, as they shall henceforth be known, occupied a strange position. They bridged a gap between the sanitised, polished cock-rock as typified by the likes of Poison and Skid Row and helped pave the way for the more 'rough and tumble' rock bands such as Guns 'N' Roses and, ultimately the grunge scene which killed them off completely.

The Crüe are, it almost goes without saying, stupid, crass, ignorant, misoganystic and dumb. They are also great fun and managed to come up with some songs that still sound utterly fantastic. They lost their way towards the end of the 80's, though, in spectacular fashion, as this video amply demonstrates. For some reason, the videos are not in chronological order, and track by track is the only way to do this justice, so we shall have to classify which manifestation of the Crue is depicted in the video - it's going to be either the 'Kick-Ass Crüe’ or the Crüe Sucks Man'. Climb aboard that Harley there, friend, drop those shades and light that cigarette - it's gonna be a wild and scary ride...

Kickstart My Heart
Crüe Sucks Man

Straight away were into the bad period. The Crüe made the mistake of getting cock-rock king Bob Rock to produce their fifth studio album, Dr Feelgood, and this was the result. It's not as bad as they got, but is a fair indication of the bland years to come. With familiar power chords and a sing-along chorus, its not a dreadful song by any means. Features that awful voice/guitar thing that Bon Jovi (Hey, Bob Rock again) made famous with Livin' On A Prayer, and that's all that needs saying, really. The video is the standard concert type thing, intercut with clips of exciting things like skydivers and car races. B&W and colour, its fairly fast and exciting and nowhere near as poor as the next clip.

Same Ol' Situation
Crüe Sucks Man

Another live performance and another from the shambles years. This sounds like one of Poison's cast off songs and you can't get any worse than that. The video is all coloured lights and happy fans - Very, very bad.


Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Crüe Sucks Man

As we shall see as we progress, The Crüe are keen to portray stories with their videos. Unfortunately for them, their stories seldom make any sense whatsoever. This is one of the more coherent ones, though. It's an unhappy love affair for there is no other type in the world of metal. Poor Vince Neil finds his friends are the only thing he can rely on in his time of pain. Anyone who has read The Dirt will know this is nonsense. The video features the usual ballad conventions, staring out of windows and looking pained, you know the drill. It all has a happy ending, though, as Vince meets up with his friends and they all have a nice hard-rockin' jam and they're all best mates again. The song itself is awful.

Without you
Crüe Sucks, Man

Now, this is really, really poor. There is some sort of story here. Look at Vince Neil all dressed up as Robert Plant! The song is dirge of the lowest order, a by-the-numbers rock ballad. It features some bizarre images, Tommy Lee pours himself a glass of water (yeah, right) and is disturbed by a leopard entering the room. He's shocked and his mouth hangs open, but then we cut to a close up of his tiger tattoo, which spins and then is transposed over his twirling drum kit. What the hell is that all about? Whoever storyboarded this was on drugs, and not the good sort. And watch for the Vince Neil/Robert Plant thing knocking some pillars over in a cheap looking set if you want a laugh.

Wild Side
Kick-Ass Crüe

Now this is good. From Girls, Girls, Girls, it's possibly their finest moment and probably one of the best videos on here. It's the usual concert type thing, but dark as hell. The band look totally messed up. You can see the desolation in their eyes and Mick Mars can hardly walk. The direction is fast and exciting, and there is an air of sleaze about the whole thing, that still makes you feel like a shower after watching. And even the lyrics are quite good - "Name dropping no names, Glamorise cocaine/Puppets with strings of gold" It's not Pink Floyd, but hey, it's The Crüe. Quite excellent, epic and lean and what rock is meant to be all about.

Girls, Girls, Girls
Kick-Ass Crüe

Needs no introduction, surely. From the opening bike noises to the closing wolf whistles, it's sexist, stupid, dumb and irresponsible brilliance. The video simply shows the band at a strip joint with lap dancers, pole dancers and all sorts of lewd behavior. Viewers who remember this from British TV showings are likely to be surprised at the prominent role of the switchblade, which was always missing from The Chart Show. The song itself is a glorious paean to irresponsible living and more power to them for that. It’s fast and catchy and a great riff. The lyrics are interesting - amongst the strip joints mentioned by name in the song you'll find a reference to "The Body Shop at the Marble Arch". Maybe there are two, but extensive research has so far merely yielded a fairly dull soap shop.

Dr Feelgood
Crüe Sucks Man

And back to the lows. In fairness, this isn't all that bad a song, but is testament to the fact that after the success of Girls, Girls, Girls, the follow up, Dr Feelgood, showed a distinct leaning to pop rock tendencies. The band look tired and uninterested, and you will be too.

Looks That Kill
Kick-Ass Crüe

Third album, Shout At The Devil, from which this is spawned, had a nice sort of 'Kiss-y' feel to it, and so does this song. A truly mind boggling video set on a cheap looking futuristic sound stage. The Crüe are obviously supposed to be some sort of future rock warriors rounding up evil women. Best not even to dwell upon it. It's ludicrous, but the song is pretty good, with a nice, driving beat to it. And behold the dual between the fire shooting woman and Mick Mars in the guitar solo bit. On the other hand don't, just close your eyes to it. Think 'Blake’s 7' and you have some idea.

Live Wire
Kick Ass Crüe

Baby Crüe here, and impossibly young they all look. Vince Neil sounds squeaky and the production is very tinny. The song is great, though. Very cheap, raw and tacky but still fun and with a pre-MTV innocence to it that would be impossible to capture again.

You're All I Need
Kick Ass Crüe

The Crue try to get serious here, and, of course, it all backfires badly. What on earth where they thinking? The song is the story of a man so in love with his girlfriend that he needs to kill her. It's almost as though they wanted to be pariahs. You get a warning, though, beforehand to alert you of the seriousness of it all (WHO EVER SAID THE SIX 'O' CLOCK NEWS WAS PRETTY?) and supposedly based on a true story. It's quite staggeringly tasteless and proves beyond doubt that rock can be as irresponsible as so-called shock merchants like Eminem. The video depicts the crime scene, inter cut with shots of the happy couple before the event. The song is a drippy sort of ballad. So tasteless it deserves to be seen by a much wider audience...

Too Young To Fall In Love
Kick Ass Crüe

Back to incomprehensible stories here, friends, with some sort of nonsense set in Chinatown for some reason. From Shout At The Devil, of course, the song is a fairly chug-along affair. The kids will probably know it from its inclusion on the GTA: Vice City soundtrack and if it makes anyone seek out the album, then that'll be a good thing as it's one of the weakest songs on that album. There's even a hilariously inept kung-fu fight half way through.

Primal Scream
Crüe Sucks Man

Dreadful song and a dreadful video. It's all dry ice and shadows and The Crüe are obviously trying to sound 'heavy' here and failing badly. Though not as dreadful as the next thing...

Anarchy In The UK
Crüe Sucks Man

Proof positive that they lost their way, never to return at the end of the 80's. We all know that The Crüe took all their musical cues from the Kiss's and Aerosmith's of this world, so when punk looked like it was going to break once more, their reinvention as wannabe punks was laughable. Now G'N'R managed to pull it off, as they realised that punk was far more than the music and swearing and the punk influence on Appetite For Destruction is plain to see. Cynical and awful by equal measures it's a thing that just should not be. If you ever saw Welsh Glamsters Tigertailz cover Metallica's Creeping Death, you have some idea of how awful this version of Anarchy is. If you haven't, then your life is all the richer for it. As Vince says, "Fuck the rat race, man!". All together, sing along now, "Is this the PMRC? Is this the DEA? Is this the CIA? I thought it was the USA?!!" See, told you it was bad. At least Megadeth covered the song way before punk was cool again.

Afraid
Crüe Sucks Man

Utterly dreadful and who's that on vocals? The video sees the band try to be all alternative and weird, and of course it just does not work. Bland metal at its drabbest but watch out for Larry Flint.

Smoke The Sky
Crüe Sucks Man

It's that weird man on vocals again. The one who isn't Vince Neil? Make him go away. Dreadful song, sounding like a sub-standard Pantera and the video is almost the definition of bland.

Misunderstood
Crüe Sucks Man

More bland metal/ballad nonsense. The video tries to tell some sort of story about a kid whose parents don't understand him. It is as awful as it sounds. And that man is on vocals again. You’ll wish he'd go away.

Enslaved
Crüe Sucks Man

It just gets worse and worse. Tommy Lee in dreadlocks. At least Vince Neil is back and looking like a whale. It's just wrong. And it contains horrible flashing lights, so epileptics beware. Luckily, it gets good again next...

Smokin' In The Boys Room
Kick Ass Crüe

Yeah, this is what it's all about. A cover of the Brownsville Station classic, of course, but a great version of it. The video stars the great Michael Berryman (Hill Have Eyes) as the bad school principal who punishes the protagonist of the video for not doing his homework. But we, the lucky viewer, see that it really has been eaten by a dog! Not quite such a rebel after all, is he? And the video, of course, shows nobody actually smoking. Remember, though, when homework was the only thing you had to worry about? Yeah, and this video'll take you right back there. The video's very confusing, of course, all taking place in a sort of alternative universe found behind the mirror in a school toilet. So we have alternative universes found in toilets and the Crües’ continued misogyny? Perhaps an academic could make a strong case for something here but this is not the time, nor the place, for a discussion of the latent homosexuality often found in these sorts of videos...

Hooligan's Holiday
Crüe Sucks Man

That weird man on vocals again. A sort of hymn to the wonders of violence, it's not a dreadful song and the video is fairly interesting, featuring a variety of costumes associated with the long and rich history of yob. It's still not The Crüe doing what they are meant to do, though, which is be stupid and funny.


Hell On High Heels
Crüe Sucks Man

Utterly mystifying, this one is. It's not, as you'd expect, a song about the band, but a song about the deviousness of women. Of course, if the only women you ever meet are groupies or porn stars, then you might develop a sort of skewed sense of the difference between the sexes. You could argue that it's sort of empowering, but you would be wrong. The video is a South Park style 'history of mankind' showing that women are devils in disguise or something. It's rubbish, unfunny and a dreadful song.

Home Sweet Home
Kick Ass Crüe

A ballad, but a good one for a change, with slow motion tour footage, shots from the tour bus and ladies pulling their tops up. Stupid and dumb, but it’s a great song to end on.

There we go. It's been quite a ride, hasn't it? You get the feeling that the reason the songs are not in chronological order is that then it would be far too easy to see them flounder as they try to copy whatever musical trend was in fashion at the time. You'd get a quite hilarious history of American popular music from the last twenty years as reflected by a fairly un-musical bunch of half-wits. It is arguable that this might have been much more amusing, but hey, you can always choose the songs from the menu...

You can't help but like The Crüe, really. Some of their early stuff is still fantastic and compared to their peers they were a fine band. Always good for a laugh and genuinely entertaining as you really didn't know what they were going to do next, from the 'Snow on the roof' palaver to the 'Nikki Sixx has been replaced by an imposter' nonsense via the public, ridiculous feud with Axl Rose (Axl would have kicked Vince's ass had they had their mooted boxing match) they are a constant source of amusement and despair. Obviously, you're not going to buy this if you're not a fan, but, even if most of the songs are Crüe Sucks Man', it's still worth having, just for those good songs and the uncut versions of videos found as extras.

The Disc

Picture quality is often very bad. Grainy and washed out, revealing the limitations of the source material. Flesh tones look grainy and there's a lot of flesh on some of these videos. Colours are weak and often the blacks look sort of dark blue and faint. Not much better than VHS, really. Sound is better, though and the 5.1 mix is very good, but there's also the 2.0 mix for the purists. It has to be said that the 2.0 mix is all you really need, as the speakers aren't really utilised that strongly, and it often sounds not quite right. It all sounds nice and clear, though, and will annoy the neighbors no end.

Extras

Best thing here, really, is the Interview with Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx running at 52 minutes, it would be better to have had a commentary, but they'd probably be really quiet during some of the more embarrassing ones. What you do get, is a sort of introduction to all of them and it's very interesting, funny and candid. There’s a lot of laugh out loud moments throughout. Interestingly, they are proud of the way they have adapted over the years, claiming that you can't have a career if you sound the same all the time. Wonder who'll go and break that to AC/DC?

Annoyingly, the sound on the review section was noticeably out of sync on occasions. Not too bad, though, and it doesn't really spoil things all that much but it's very shoddy, nonetheless. Fully subtitled, though.

You also get alternative versions of some of the videos. Girls, Girls, Girls is pretty much the same, but with a few extra seconds of nudity. A version of Dr Feelgood with different lyrics. Primal Scream is uncensored, with a bit more nudity, again. Misunderstood is also uncut as is Hell On High Heels, which is presented in non-anomorphic 1:85/1 and no better or worse than the edited version unless cartoon nudity floats your boat. And, finally, the remix of Home Sweet Home which features a real piano and a completely new version of the video. It's not better, just different. All 2.0 stereo and no subs.

You also get a Personal Playlist which enables you to choose the running order of six of the videos. A novelty and nothing more. A very complete Discography and a Web link.

There is, it is claimed, two versions of this DVD - an edited one, and this extreme one. Why anyone would pay money for a clean version is anyone's guess, but it's worth taking care when ordering. Or possibly, it's a marketing scam and there is no clean one, merely a trick to make you think you're getting something more exciting, but they wouldn't do that, would they?

Film
7 out of 10
Video
4 out of 10
Audio
8 out of 10
Extras
8 out of 10
Overall

8

out of 10

Last updated: 19/07/2018 03:22:15

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