MOTLEY CRUE – Theater Of Pain (1985, 2003 Motley Records remastered edition)
Crue’s third was a mess, a smokey muddy mess of an album that served only to confuse and disappoint those who were enthralled with Shout at the Devil. The Crue, now wearing ridiculous striped (stryped?) jester suits had dropped the chromium metallic sheen of Shout, and replaced it with nothing but a notable lack of direction.
Theatre of Pain was one of the most anticipated albums of the ’85, and one of the most biggest disappointments. Yes, “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” is a fun jokey novelty, but it is also a novelty cover. “Home Sweet Home”, billed by the band as their “Dream On”, is not really. Broken down, it is a cliche-ridden proto-ballad, the type of thing that every L.A. band has done at least once. And usually, better. I mean, think about it — you can name better ballads by Bon Jovi or Cinderalla, can’t you? I can.
There is precious little metal on this album, the terrible “Use It or Lose It” being the only foot on the gas pedal, but itself also being nothing more than a grade C song worthy of most bands’ album outtakes. There is absolutely nothing on this album that would have made the cut on the great Shout at the Devil. Even a track like “Louder Than Hell”, one of the better songs, was demoed for Shout and dropped; the band obviously lowered their standards.
The mix is muddy, an alcoholidaze of robotic drumming and lifeless, uninspired vocals. You can hear the wasted band barely trying. Or, rather, trying as hard as they were capable given the chemicals. If a major band released this today as the followup to a beloved classic, it would be a career-ender. Not so with the Crue, as the 80’s were much kinder.
Bonus tracks on the remastered edition are laughable. Did we really need three versions of “Home Sweet Home”? The vaults must be a lonely place indeed. Tommy’s sleepy “drum piece” is worthy only of the skip button.No standout songs, terrible mix, and dull performances aside, the one guy who swims to the top is Mick Mars, who plays several solos that rise above.
|1. City Boy Blues|
|2. Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room|
|3. Louder Than Hell|
|4. Keep Your Eye on the Money|
|5. Home Sweet Home|
|6. Tonight (We Need a Lover)|
|7. Use It or Lose It|
|8. Save Our Souls|
|9. Raise Your Hands to Rock|
|10. Fight for Your Rights|
|11. Home Sweet Home [Demo Version]|
|12. Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room [Alternate Guitar Solo-Rough Mix|
|13. City Boy Blues [Demo Version]|
|14. Home Sweet Home [Instrumental Rough Mix]|
|15. Keep Your Eye on the Money [Demo Version]|
|16. Tommy drum piece from Cherokee Studios|
|CD-ROM. Home Sweet Home [Video – Bonus Track]|