Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited July 31 in year-1989

Let's face it, 1987's Girls Girls Girls' was a musical disaster, but 'Dr. Feelgood' was much better, produced by Bob Rock, the Crue back on form.

Motley Crue - 1989 Dr. Feelgood
ARTIST: Motley Crue
ALBUM: Dr. Feelgood
LABEL: Elektra
SERIAL: 9 60829-2
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Vince Neil - lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica, shaker * Mick Mars - guitars, backing vocals * Nikki Sixx - bass, organ, piano, backing vocals * Tommy Lee - drums, percussion, backing vocals

Guest Musicians: Mark Lafrance, David Steel, Donna McDaniel, Emi Canyn - backing vocals, Steven Tyler - backing vocals (#3, 8) * Bryan Adams - backing vocals (#8) * Jack Blades - backing vocals (#7, 8) * Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen - backing vocals (#9) * Bob Rock - backing vocals, production * Skid Row (the band), Bob Dowd, Mike Amato, Toby Francis - backing vocals (#11) * John Webster - piano, keyboards, programming * Henry Christian, Ian Putz, Ross Gregory, Tom Keenlyside - horns (#4)

TRACK LISTING: 01 T.n.T (Terror 'n Tinseltown) * 02 Dr. Feelgood * 03 Slice Of Your Pie * 04 Rattlesnake Shake * 05 Kickstart My Heart * 06 Without You * 07 Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.) * 08 Sticky Sweet * 09 She Goes Down * 10 Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) * 11 Time For Change

WEBLINKS: Site Link | FB Page


Like many, I was one of the fans that departed the Crue Railroad Express back in 1985 upon the release of 'Theater Of Pain'. The band enjoying the excesses of rock n roll life and putting decent music on the back burner it would seem. After the monumental first two records, TOP was a complete letdown for me.

External issues plagued the band, substance abuse, the driving incident which resulted in the death of Hanoi Rocks drummer 'Razzle' (aka Nicholas Dingley) in December 1984 with Vince Neil at the wheel, plus far too many scrapes with the law.

To be fair, both 'Theater Of Pain' and 1987's 'Girls Girls Girls' were decent sellers for their time, but truth be told, musically they were both poor, something the band readily admits to, saying that both albums were compromised by their excessive lifestyle at the time.

After agreeing to clean their act up in 1988, the band went into rehab, and also found sobriety for the first time in years. This resulted in their most successful album to date: 'Dr. Feelgood' released on September 1st 1989.

Motley Crue Band pic 1989

The Songs

I'll preface this review by saying that this album was well covered across the globe, with the album and the self titled single making the charts in many countries. That in itself says something about Crue's journey of redemption.

The brief instrumental 'T.n.T (Terror 'n Tinseltown)' is notorious for copying the vocal sample off Queensryche's track 'Eyes Of A Stranger' from their 'Operation Mindcrime' album the year before. 'Dr. Feelgood' is the killer track on this LP. The prowling guitar lines from Mick Mars and the attention to detail given by the band makes this one a standout.

Maybe 'Slice Of Your Pie' is where a band like Warrant got their inspiration for their 'Cherry Pie' album. The various inferences throughout makes for a strong case. 'Rattlesnake Shake' is a fusion of hair metal and blues, with an overblast of horns blowing in like a sea breeze.

'Kickstart My Heart' was an enjoyable romp, though the song refers to Nikki Sixx's near death experience in 1987 but judging by the rockin' delivery you'd be none the wiser if you weren’t doing any research. 'Without You' is the first ballad, it's synonymous with all the other rock ballads from the same era which flooded MTV at the time. It goes without saying, this is a decent tune with Mick Mars very wet sounding guitar a feature.

'Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)' sees the Crue return to the party anthems of old, fusing the likes of Poison and Britny Fox to good effect. Think 'Nothin' But A Good Time' as a comparison. 'Sticky Sweet' features a trio of high profile backing singers (Steven Tyler, Jack Blades, Bryan Adams) and is big on the chant-a-long choruses firmly cementing this into the 80's hair metal filled decade.

'She Goes Down' keeps the party fuelled theme going strong, the Cheap Trick pairing of Zander and Nielsen putting in an appearance. 'Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)' is the second ballad with the acoustic/electric hybrid working a treat. Again, many similar acts were exploring this musical territory and Crue sound pretty convincing to these ears at least.

The album closer 'Time For Change' finishes things as a semi-ballad, the song complimented by strong use of melody and backing vocals sounding nothing like anything off 'Too Fast For Love' nor 'Shout At The Devil'.

In Summary

The album was the Crue's most successful, making it to no#1 on the Billboard album charts and going six times platinum in 1997. There were five singles released with 'Dr. Feelgood' and 'Kickstart My Heart' being the most notable.

Crue ended up on the road during 1989-1990, undertaking an extensive and exhaustive global tour. By 1992, Vince Neil left the band, depending on who you talk to, he either quit or he was fired. Go figure. The band soldiered on during the 90's but success eluded them.

For mine, the first two Crue albums, this one and 1994's self-titled are the pick of the bunch. Take a trip down memory lane with 'Dr. Feelgood' and remember how fantastic 1989 was as a year of great rock music.


Dr. Feelgood

Kickstart My Heart

Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)

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    DaveTDaveT Buenos Aires, Argentina
    This album proves how underrated Mick Mars is as a guitarist.

    There's hits and some Aerosmith-inspired moments as well plus a superb production by Rob Rock.
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    Always liked this album and still do.
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    It’s been a long time since I listened to this album. Then again classic rock radio has run most of the songs into the ground. These days I don’t care for it too much, way too slick and formularized. The 1994 album is where it’s at, the only really great thing they’ve done since 1983.
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    ‘Don’t go away mad’ is such a good track. Possibly my favorite thing they ever did.

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    For me, this is proof that Bob Rock was the best producer for Motley Crue. They either wore down or rolled over everyone else they worked with but Rock could get them to polish up their songs and tease out the hooks and arrangement frills in a way that no one else did.

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