Motley Crue had a lot of firsts, and they defined the generation of the 1980s with hard rock music that everyone listened to. The band, which hails from Los Angeles, were the famous bad boys of rock who never had a dull moment in their life. The band had a notorious partying reputation along with a glammed-out image with pop songs that featured heavy metal theatrics that catapulted them to the top of the charts during the 1980s. Despise their wild lifestyles, which ultimately led to the band’s implosion and several lineup changes; the band still remained one of the most popular heavy bands during their heydays. The band has sold over 50 million albums worldwide, and their narrative has often been described as “an epic tale of rock ‘n’ roll Babylon.” In 2014, the band gave full details of their impending retirement, including a tour alongside Alice Cooper, who played as a special guest. Although the band has performed in several concerts since then, it’s safe to say that their career went downhill after the departure of Tommy Lee. Although we don’t know if the band will release another album in the future, we can look back at the band’s career and rank all their nine albums.
9. Generation Swine (1997)
After the departure of John Corabi, the band reunited with Vince Neil in their last album for Elektra Records for what would be arguably their messiest record. Things started well with a performance of the track “Shout at the Devil 97” during the American Music Awards, which was an industrialized remix of their classic hit, “Shout at the Devil.” Despite Generation Swine being released when heavy metal bands found it hard to get going, there is no denying that the 1997 album is the black sheep of Motley Crue.
8. New Tattoo (2000)
This album saw Motley Crue return to their classic musical style of the 80s and 90s that gave them massive commercial success. It is also the only album from the band that does not feature Tommy Lee, the drummer who had left the previous year and was replaced by Randy Castillo. The 11-track album was released in 2000, and it features some likable songs though not their finest work by a margin. Although the songwriting is not of the highest quality, the album is not as erratic as Generation Swine.
7. Motley Crue (1994)
With his looks, voice, and lifestyle Vince Neil was the typical frontman for a band of Motley Crue’s caliber, and we never thought the band would recover from his departure. Then came John Corabi, an underrated frontman who was the perfect match for the band for this album. Despite John Corabi’s vocal and writing prowess as well as his capability of playing the guitar, the album wasn’t a commercial success despite peaking at position seven on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was more of Motley Crue trying to fit in the grunge style of sludge.
6. Too Fast for Love (1981)
Too Fast for Love was released in 1981 — a year after the band’s formation, and is Motley Crue’s debut album. The self-produced debut album featured ten tracks of raw aggression and the kind of attitude that made the band so famous. The album cover was a manifestation of the glam scene with a great impression of a guy who seemed to be “too fast for love” since he was worried about other things. The album featured some great guitar work and amazing riffs that will engross you in the music throughout.
5. Saints of Los Angeles (2008)
Saints of Los Angeles was released in 1998, and it was the band’s first album to contain the original lineup since their 1997 album, Generation Swine. The album featured some high charting singles, such as the album’s title track which is the band’s second highest-charting song on the US Mainstream Rock Charts. This album’s lyrics and musical style are not far from the band’s classic sound, with most of the tracks talking about tattoos, drugs, and strippers.
4. Girls, Girls, Girls (1987)
As Metal Hammer referred to this album when they listed it among their 20 Best Albums of 1987, Girls, Girls, Girls was an “arena-rock juggernaut.” The album featured some impressive tracks such as “Wild Side,” which was quite popular on MTV, and the album’s title track was their second Top 20 Single. The album peaked at position two on the Billboard Charts and is the band’s third album to hit quadruple platinum.
3. Theatre of Pain (1985)
It becomes a real struggle when we get to ranking the top three Motley Crue albums. This album was initially thought to be the album that would halt their momentum, but it had some great hits such as “Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” which was the band’s first Top 20 track. Although some critics pointed to the fact that the album lacked real inspiration in its lyrics and play, it has been credited for ushering us to the pop-metal era of the 1980s.
2. Dr. Feelgood (1989)
“Dr. Feelgood” is the pinnacle of Motley Crue’s musical career and is arguably their best and most popular album. The album peaked at the top position on the Billboard Top 200 and has been certified platinum six times. It was a significant album for the band since it was the first album in which they recorded while they were sober, and it was the final album recorded with Vince Neil before he left the band. The album was mainly about drug dealers, and it inspired Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich to sought the services of producer Bob Rock to produce The Black Album.
1. Shout at the Devil (1983)
Everything about this album draws you in from the intro of the title track, and you cannot stop listening to it. The album was released in 1983 and had all the ingredients of a band that was flirting with evil. Shout at the Devil was the band’s most significant breakthrough album, and it assured them of their place among the best heavy metal acts of the 80s. The album sold 20000 copies in its first week and has been referred to as a “timeless L.A metal classic” due to its dark menacing lyrics, which to this day remains their finest album.