Mötley Crüe vocalist Vince Neil turns 52 today. It would be easy to make fun of his struggles with the law, the bottle, and the city of Las Vegas. Too easy. Plus, we’re sure he’ll do something else dumb again that we’ll be talking about shortly. So instead, we’re going to look at the legacy of Mötley Crüe and rank their nine studio albums from worst to best. Also, keep in mind we’re not ranking Neil’s solo albums or any of the Crüe’s many greatest hits albums.
No offense to Randy Castillo or Hole’s Samantha Maloney, but a Mötley Crüe album without Tommy Lee isn’t a Mötley Crüe album. Granted, he had a good excuse (he was in jail), but this 2000 album is pretty forgettable on all counts. “Hell on High Heels” is about as close as this album came to having a hit, and considering it debuted at #41 and quickly faded into obscurity, everyone else seemed to think so as well.
The Crüe’s last album for Elektra, it was also the first one in eight years to feature birthday boy Neil. While it was a modest success at the time, no one’s clamoring to hear “Afraid” these days. And the less said about “Shout at the Devil ’97,” the better. This album was mostly written with John Corabi, who was replaced with Neil in a commercial move that ultimately paid off.
Fresh off the quadruple platinum success of Shout at the Devil, the band let fame go to their heads. Nikki Sixx writes in The Dirt about barely remembering recording the album, and with the exception of the mega huge ballad “Home Sweet Home,” the main hit was their cover of “Smokin’ in the Boys Room.” Pretty forgettable, and doesn’t stand the test of time.