Yeah, Vince Neil wasn’t in the band, and this is one of the band’s least popular albums. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that it really wasn’t a terrible album. Pretty much any metal album that came out from an ’80s band in 1994 had the deck stacked against it. Grunge was king. Yet “Hooligan’s Holiday” stands the test of time, and “Misunderstood” and “Uncle Jack” are solid songs too. It made sense that Neil rejoin the band, but it been interesting to see what happened if John Corabi remained in the band.
5. Saints Of Los Angeles (2008)
The first album with all four original members since Generation Swine, this is a return for form for the band. Songs like the title track and “Mutherfucker of the Year” have a swagger that had been missing from the band for a long time. It was unexpectedly vital sounding for a middle aged band that many had written off. Since then, the band has followed it up with, well, nothing.
This was another album written during the band’s drug haze of the mid ’80s. Like Theater, there’s a cover (“Jailhouse Rock”) to pad out not that much material. However, the title track and (especially) “Wild Side” are a hell of a one-two combo to start the album off, and the ballad “You’re All I Need,” make this album essential despite the fact that half the band can’t remember writing it.
The band’s fifth album turned out to be their most popular. Roaring out of the gates with the title track, this album had a newfound energy, likely because the band recorded the album sober, as well as separately. “Kickstart My Heart,” an autobiographical song about Nikki Sixx overdosing and being brought back to life, is the band at their best, and “Without You” and “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” are a bit more mature. Metallica haters can blame this album on The Black Album, as it’s production convinced Bob Rock to produce that album.
This sounds like exactly what it was. A young, hungry band that made music like it was all they had. Mainly because it was. For better or worse, the band’s self-released album pretty much started the Sunset Strip hair metal scene. Every band that migrated to L.A. to get a deal for the next five years owed it to the Crue (and maybe a little Van Halen as well). A few months later, the band would sign with Elektra, and the rest was history, at least until 1998. “Live Wire,” “Piece of Your Action” and the title track are all classics.
Even the album title is metal as fuck. Not to mention, it had a pentagram on the original cover and backwards masking. But the music is what makes the band’s breakout album their best. The title track, “Looks That Kill,” “Too Young to Fall in Love” and cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” are all staples, and their over the top glam look helped with the ladies. It eventually rose to #17 on the Billboard charts and eventually went quadruple platinum, setting a standard that they came close to, but never surpassed.