Released: 2003, Hip-O Records
Thanks to the people at Universal Music, this month I am reviewing two re-releases of classic Crüe albums – SHOUT AT THE DEVIL and DR. FEELGOOD. Hip-O Records (a Universal Music company) are the people behind this. From their website:
“Get ready to rock! The Hip-O Records reissue of the entire Mötley Crüe album catalog kicked off March 4th, 2003 with the re-release of the notorious band's 1998 GREATEST HITS album. The group's 10 other albums (four of them in both Explicit and Clean versions), plus two DVD homevideo collections hit store shelves on April 8th 2003. Eight of the 11 albums include bonus tracks making their U.S. debuts, having previously been heard only on their Japanese editions. For the band's first seven albums, those tracks join the bonuses previously added for their 1999 remasters. The most recent four albums are reissued here for the first time: GREATEST HITS, the rarities collection SUPERSONIC & DEMONIC RELICS, the band's sole live album LIVE: ENTERTAINMENT OR DEATH, and the studio album NEW TATTOO, which adds bonus tracks as well.”
By 1989 Mötley Crüe were still in my list of all time favorite bands as they are today. However, since 1983’s SHOUT AT THE DEVIL the band had changed by becoming more hard rock in style and less about being heavy metal. The songs and hooks were, and are, still there like they are on all Crüe albums. The main thing about DR. FEELGOOD that I liked when it came out was the huge and amazing sound thanks to producer Bob Rock. However, gone were the darkness, the band’s venom, anger and their hunger to prove themselves in the way they did on SHOUT AT THE DEVIL. Although I really like DR. FEELGOOD, and it was a step up from the bands predecessor (1987’s GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS), it was not a return to the days of heavy metal. This album has it’s share of hollow songs that are about nothing but a good time like “She Does Down”, “Sticky Sweet”, “Slice of Your Pie” etc. Kind of silly in my opinion when compared to Crüe classics like “On With The Show”, Knock ‘Em Dead Kid”, “Bastard”, “Live Wire”, “Red Hot”, etc. However the album has some great songs like the title track “Dr. Feelgood” which has a killer groove and great drum work by Tommy Lee. There is also the speedy (on Mötley terms) track “Kickstart My Heart” and I’ve always really liked “Rattlesnake Shake”. When this album came out I did like and listened to it a lot, but by 1989 I was worshipping at the altar of bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Kreator, etc. When comparing something like “Betrayer” by Kreator to “Slice of Your Pie” is just didn’t stand up according to my own personal tastes at the time. It’s not that I expected, or wanted, the Crüe to become an extreme metal band. It’s just that I was hoping they would have kept some of the darkness, hunger and anger that fueled them on the first two albums. But take DR. FEELGOOD for what it is, one of the best hard rock albums ever made and a must have for any hard rocker’s collection. This was the Crüe's best-selling album, and it went all the way to #1, sold six times platinum, and spun off four Top 30 hits, including two Top 10s. The title track hit #6, "Without You" reached #8, "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" was #19 and "Kickstart My Heart" charted at #27.
For this 2003 re-release the demo for "Time For Change" is included with the earlier bonus tracks – “Dr. Feelgood (demo)”, “Without You (demo)”, and “Kickstart My Heart (demo)”. The previously unreleased track “Get it for Free” is on this version as well. There is also a QuickTime video for Kickstart My Heart”.
As with my comments for the SHOUT AT THE DEVIL re-release I have similar opinions on what would make for a killer deluxe re-release package. Maybe in another couple years they will re-release a deluxe version of this album including ALL the demo tracks that were recorded and any other unreleased material along with a DVD with all the videos from the DR. FEELGOOD album plus loads of live footage from the DR. FEELGOOD tour, interviews from 1989/90, etc. Now that’s my idea of a fitting re-release for a Crüe freak like myself!!!!!