Motley Crue - Theater Of Pain

edited July 31 in year-1985

One of 'Theater's main problems is the production, it has little meat to it, and the bands usual dynamic sound was replaced by a thin and weak one instead.

Motley Crue - Theater Of Pain
ARTIST: Motley Crue
ALBUM: Theatre Of Pain
LABEL: Elektra
SERIAL: 60418-1-E (LP),
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 1990, Elektra, 60418-2 * 2000, Motley, ESM 954 * 2003, Hip-O, 440 067 630-2

LINEUP: Vince Neil - vocals * Nikki Sixx - bass * Mick Mars - guitars * Tommy Lee - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 City Boy Blues * 02 Smokin' In The Boys Room * 03 Louder Than Hell * 04 Keep Your Eye On The Money * 05 Home Sweet Home * 06 Tonight (We Need A Lover) * 07 Use It Or Lose It * 08 Save Our Souls * 09 Raise Your Hands To Rock * 10 Fight For Your Rights

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This album was recorded under difficult circumstances for the Crue. Vince Neil had recently been sentenced to 30 days imprisionment and fined 2.6 million dollars for his drunk driving car smash which killed his passenger, Hanoi Rocks drummer 'Razzle', and permanently injuring the two occupants of the other car.

Coupled with Nikki Sixx's drug addiction, the albums lack of killer instinct, just two years following the definitive 'Shout At The Devil', was worrying. The bands troubles are heard in the music, very formularized hard rock, with little of the aggression of the first two albums. That the album went multi platinum proved how little the Crue could do wrong at the time.

The Songs

One of 'Theater's main problems is the production. It has little meat to it, and the bands usual dynamic sound was replaced by a thin and weak one instead. Sixx later admitted there was little attention paid to it, as the band couldn't wait to get out of the studio.

The album's hits, the Brownsville Station cover 'Smokin' In The Boys Room' and 'Home Sweet Home', are the only remembered tracks, the latter supposedly because it was one of the first metal ballads.

Of the other eight selections, 'City Boy Blues' has a swagger in the chorus, aided by Lee's cowbell touches, while 'Louder Than Hell' is the only throwback to the metal sound of previous years.

With titles such as 'Fight For Your Rights', 'Raise Your Hands To Rock' and 'Save Our Souls', you might have thought it was a Manowar album, but the promise is not fulfilled as the melodies are forgettable, the music tame. There's a token burn up with 'Use It Or Lose It', but it hardly compares with 'Red Hot' (1983) or 'Livewire' (1981), which made use of Mars' savage riffs, absent here.

In Summary

1987's 'Girls, Girls, Girls' was a virtual copy, two hits, the title track and 'Wild Side', with seven faceless accompanying cuts. It was only when Motley got the drugs and alcohol out of their systems that the music spread itself out evenly in quality, 1989's 'Dr Feelgood' a more rounded release.

Clearly 'Theatre Of Pain' was classic Crue's poorest album, with none of the traits that made them an 80's legend. There has hardly been a bigger reversal in attitude and heaviness in the space of an album, all in the wrong direction.


Smokin' In The Boys Room

Home Sweet Home

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    edited July 30

    What a load of bollocks this album is. I was listening to it on the way to work today and my thoughts are exactly the same as when I wrote this review back in 2003.

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    edited July 30

    I think it was the Theatre of Pain tour I saw them blown off stage by Cheap Trick. I don't mind the first Crue album (and it has to be the Leathur version) but after that my interest dropped through the floor.

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    Aside from the debut, Shout at the Devil and the 1994 album, this bands output is shocking. They should have been banned for life after that 1997 disaster.

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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia

    I thought Dr Feelgood was decent enough, plus of course the first two and the 1994 effort.

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    ExplorerExplorer England
    edited July 30

    Their debut album is a genre defining release,but after that?? wait,the Corabi fronted album was an admirable attempt at reinventing the band, but apart from the two albums i've mentioned it's all been a bit half arsed hasn't it really?

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    CandymanCandyman Australia

    I still remember how let down i was as I played this for the first time. Was right into the Shout at the Devil album... Disappointing

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    I loved Girls, Girls, Girls and Dr Feelgood back in the day and the latter is still OK. However, other than the first two albums and the self titled with Corabi (which is superb in places) they really have been all bluster over substance.

    Theater Of Pain is the worst offender.

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    Oh, and worth mentioning 'Primal Scream' from their Decade Of Decadence greatest hits. Where the hell did that come from? Arguably the best thing they ever did.

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    I went through the MC catalog last year in preparation for writing a capsule guide to the studio albums. These are the conclusions I came away with:

    Too Fast, Shout, Feelgood - the gems of the catalog
    Theater, Girls - shockingly half-assed for a band at its commercial peak but you could probably cull the best material from each and come up with a decent if not impressive album
    MC94 - the surprise of the catalog, a brave and substantial stab at reinvention
    Generation - the nadir, full of embarrassing trend-chasing
    New Tat - underachieving but likeable back-to-basics effort
    Saints - surprisingly good songs & better use of alt-rock production than Generation

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