Motley Crue was founded in January 1981 in Los Angeles, California. Vocalist Greg Leon, bassist Nikki Sixx, and drummer Tommy Lee were the founding members. However, Leon and Sixx didn’t get along, so he left the group and was placed by Mick Mars Deal. It was after he joined the band that the group got its name. The group was also wanted to add one more member, Vince Neil, who was the vocalist for Rock Candy. Initially, he didn’t want anything to do with the project. However, after his current group decided to go in a different direction, he decided to join the band. After Neil joined the group, Motely Crue started their upward trend as one of the craziest bands in Los Angeles. Motley Crue not only gained recognition for their music, a blend of glam rock and heavy metal. They also gained recognition who drank excessively and pulled outrageous stunts. According to Louder Sound, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx once had one of them could go the longest without showering and still indulge in their favorite activity, hooking up with groupies. One got so nauseous she threw up on Sixx. Nonetheless, the band still had legions of fans and enjoyed a long career. Almost forty years later, the group is still recording and performing. Aside from their catalog, they have also done some fantastic covers. These are the 10 best Motley Crue covers of all time.
10. Rock and Roll – Led Zeppelin
Led Zepplin’s version starts out with an intense drum groove with electric guitar riffs. Plants voice echoes throughout this classic song. Instead of reimagining the song as a glam rock on something closer to Motley Crue’s style. The group plays the music more as a tribute. In fact, Neil’s voice has many of the same qualities as Robert Plant’s voice. The only thing that sounds updated on the song is the guitar which sounds more driving than echoey. Additionally, Crue’s version doesn’t have the lifts of the original version.
9. White Punks on Dope – The Tubes
The Tubes version is more glam than glam rock. It has a fun and poppy beat with what now sounds like campy elements. The refrain of the song mixes into the music without any discernable breaks. Motley Crue revels in the drug-laden lyrics and elevates the song to a full-throttle rock song that celebrates one of the group’s favorite activities. Additionally, in Crue’s hands, the music sounds more like a punk anthem.
8. Teaser – Tommy Bolin
There are many funk grooves and a smooth voice throughout the original version that weaves into the song with a rhythmic beauty. Additionally, there are several drum fills and guitar solos that create rounded music. Motley Crue’s version is a complete reimagining of the song. The opening is a brief guitar solo. Even though the song stays level, there’s a more sinister feel, much like some of the group’s catalog.
7. Smokin’ in the Boys Room – Brownsville Station
Brownsville Station turns the lyrics of the song into a bluesy song about the woes of teenage life. The guitar in the song adds rounds out the melody, and the ghost drum groove in the back is solely for tempo. Motley Crue prided themselves on being crazy and breaking the rules. Where the original room was more a fun song about a bad day during youth. Crue’s version is incitement to break the rules. The group’s interpretation is masterful because instead of using some of their well-known guitar riffs and drum licks, they use vocals to make the song have a different feel.
6. Street Fighting Man – The Rolling Stones
A warm guitar riff and laid-back drum solo begin the Stones version. Jagger’s smokey voice stands out against the instrumentation. The song is about the social uprising and working towards a more united front. The opening of Crue’s version is heavy electric guitar riffs, and drum fills. On the group’s hand, it’s less a song about social justice and more about social anarchy. The transition from Jagger’s smokey voice to Neil’s more nasally voice creates a new spin on a classic.
5. Lust for Life – Iggy Pop
Initially, the song was a full-throttle punk song with a drum groove that mainly focused on tambourine instead of typical fills. Overall, the instrumentation was simple but still had a depth that highlighted Iggy Pop’s voice. Crue’s version is brighter with a heavier influence on guitar solos, and more pronounced drum fills. Anytime Crue covers a song, Neil’s voice makes the music sound so different because it’s so distinctive. Additionally, Crue focuses more on electric guitar solos, making the song sound updated.
4. Like A Virgin – Madonna
There’s something ironic about a group who prided themselves on sexual conquests singing a song with this title. Motley Crue spins this song into glam rock with more emphasis on drum licks and guitar solos. Instead of the music being a pop staple, it sounds like a rock anthem that might be sung by Ozzy Osborne.
3. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis
Much of Motley Crue’s version sounds similar to another glam rock group, Guns, and Roses. Instead of classical guitar, the group uses full-throttle electric guitar solos and moves with complicated tabs. Lee’s drum licks punctuate the song with a stepping rhythm and several solos. Motley Crue completes the piece with a screaming guitar solo.
2. Helter Skelter – The Beatles
During their time together, the Beatles explored many genres of music and reinvented themselves several times. Helter Skelter was a considerable departure for McCartney, who typically sang plaintive love ballads. Motley Crue starts this song with electronic overdubs and a thin guitar solo. As the song progresses, the group focuses on a more traditional collection of guitar riffs instead of the grittiness of the original.
1. Anarchy in the U.K – Sex Pistols
There’s no mistaking Johnny Rotten’s voice. During the Sex Pistol’s short career, they owned the anti-establishment lyrics and created a small but distinctive catalog that kept cemented them as one of the greatest punk bands of all time. Anarchy in the U.K was one of the group’s most well-known songs. Since both groups had similar images, there wasn’t much Motley Crue could do to stand out from the original. However, they added drum and guitar fills that made the song sound more current and less punk.