RECORD STORE TALES Part 251: Punched In the Teeth By Love
Back in December of 1991, an old M.E.A.T Magazine article on Motley Crue revealed a cool little nugget of an exclusive. Motley were promoting their first “greatest hits” CD, Decade of Decadence. Like any good official compilation album should, it contained three brand new songs. They were heavier, alluding to an evolution in direction for Motley Crue. However there was a fourth new song that didn’t make the cut:
It always disappointed me that since Vince Neil left the Crue in early ’92, that song title never appeared on their next album. Too bad, I thought. Something about the title jumped out at me; I was looking forward to hearing the song, but it never came out. Bummer. Especially since I did indeed get “punched in the teeth by love” (figuratively) and been knocked out a couple times. But you could never keep me down for the count, I always bounced back.
Any time I broke up with some girl back then, I’d always tell the guys at the record store the same thing. “Man, I need to write a song called ‘Punch In the Teeth By Love’!” I figured, since Motley Crue hadn’t used it, the title was up for grabs! I threw some words and a rudimentary riff/melody together as a joke but it never went beyond that. It always generated a few laughs though, and laughing at work is healthy, especially when you’ve been punched in the teeth by love.
Of course later on (1997) Vince Neil did rejoin Motley Crue. Later still, after Tommy Lee quit the group acrimoniously, they released possibly their worst ever album New Tattoo (2000). Interestingly, that album’s track #7 was called “Punched In the Teeth By Love”!
I don’t presume this to be the exact song that would have come out in 1991, since Randy Castillo (Tommy Lee’s replacement) is credited as a writer. Maybe the lyrics are recycled, maybe just the title, whatever: it doesn’t matter. Finally “Punched In the Teeth By Love” surfaced and as hoped it was one of the heaviest songs. The riff was pretty generic, but Mick Mars’ guitar work is impressive. I’ve always felt Mick has grown as a guitar player tremendously, especially since Dr. Feelgood. It’s certainly not the greatest song, but it rocks hard enough and has a cool gang vocal chorus, so I’ll give it a B or a B+.
It was considered to be worthy of the concert setlist in 2000 (Samantha Maloney on drums now, filling in for the terminally ill Randy Castillo). It was played only on that tour though, and it was not included on any Crue compilation since then, including the double Red, White & Crue. So I’d like to bring your attention back to this track, a pretty good if not great dirty little Motley Crue song: “Punched In the Teeth By Love”!