It’s pretty surreal to hear that Mötley Crüe is making music again. It’s been 15 years since the Los Angeles heavy metal glam band released an album, and now with John 5 at their side, Crüe is planning to drop new tunes at some point in the future.
While the band still has an immense following to this day, there was a time when Mötley Crüe was one of the biggest names in heavy metal. In the ’80s, few rivaled the infamous sonic adrenaline that the band brought to the stage (that is until thrash metal came into the picture).
But even up to their latest studio album, 2008’s Saints of Los Angeles, the band has already stayed driven and focused on delivering exhilarating music; they’ve also been open to various forms of experimentation, stepping outside their glam wheelhouse to incorporate other styles of music (to varying degrees of success).
With the band back in the studio and working on new music, we thought now would be the perfect time to revisit and rank Mötley Crüe’s discography. Below is our ranking of every Mötley Crüe album from worst to best.
9. New Tattoo
Although 2000’s New Tattoo marks the band’s return to their original glam/heavy metal roots, the record is a shell of Mötley Crüe’s exhilarating presentation. It’s simply just a return to style here, nothing that pushes the band’s artistry. And listen, that’s fine if folks are just looking for heavy music, but among their discography, New Tatoo is one of Mötley Crüe’s weakest links.
8. Too Fast for Love
The main reason we have Too Fast for Love this low on the list is because it doesn’t feature the technical and creative flair the band would go on to release with future albums. Moving forward from this record, the band has expanded upon their craft, bringing in greater sonic variety, tighter performances, and even introducing some unique moments of experimentation.
7. Generation Swine
Along with the record marking the return of original Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil, the album also sees the band continuing forth with their more alternative and grunge sound, following their 1994 self-titled LP. Hell, there’s even some nu-metal moments on the record. Although it’s cool to see the band take a step outside their sonic wheelhouse, Generation Swine proves to be a rough and messy release – just not hitting the landing like the band’s previous record.
6. Saints of Los Angeles
2008’s Saints of Los Angeles currently stands as Mötley Crüe’s latest release; it’s also the last record to feature original band guitarist Mick Mars because it doesn’t seem like he’s included at all in the new material the band has been working on. Whereas New Tattoo felt like a mostly derivative take of Mötley Crüe’s older material, Saints of Los Angles comes across as a little more refreshing, offering stronger performances and a solid production.
5. Theatre of Pain
As studio album number three, Theatre of Pain displays the band maintaining their electric sense of performance while also opening themselves to more style. Among the thrilling and fast songs that are present on the album, it’s also great to hear Mötley Crüe lean more into ballad territory.
4. Girls, Girls, Girls
Following Theatre of Pain, Mötley Crüe released Girls, Girls, Girls, which at that point in their career came across as a compelling fusion of what the band had done prior. There’s a relatively solid amount of variety present that can be somewhat overwhelming at times, but overall, Girls, Girls, Girls shows off Mötley Crüe’s incredible range of creative flair and means to get listeners pumped.
3. Dr. Feelgood
That level of technical and creative brilliance becomes even more prominent on the band’s follow-up record, Dr. Feelgood. Still embracing their glam and heavy metal ferocity, Mötley Crüe delivers a tight sonic experience that is brimming with mood and flavor. The flow to and from songs makes for a stellar experience, with Mötley Crüe never letting up on their full-throttle metal rush.
2. Mötley Crüe
Along with being the only Mötley Crüe album to feature former singer John Corabi, the self-titled LP also marks one of the most interesting and divisive shifts in the band’s career. While still holding onto their glam flair, Mötley Crüe takes an adventurous dive into hard rock and grunge, and honestly, it works relatively well for them. Not only does the creative shift bring a welcoming air to their presentation, but they infuse this new sonic spin with the mood and tension that had been with them from the start. The album sounds totally different than what Mötley Crüe sounded like prior, but it also captures their original sound. While 1997’s Generation Swine ends up being a more lackluster release, Mötley Crüe is much more of a fascinating and ultimately successful album.
1. Shout at the Devil
But if you want the true Mötley Crüe experience, you have to go with Shout at the Devil. While the band had caught people’s attention with their debut LP, Shout at the Devil is the album that catapulted them into the rock and metal limelight. At this point in the band’s career, no other album best captures the Los Angeles act’s sense of “fuck you” and “party hard” mentality like their 1982 sophomore release. Shout at the Devil is an exhilarating work of pure classic heavy metal, the band unleashing speedy and playfully heavy performances that, to this day, have the power to get folks jumping out of their seat and dancing/moshing. Mötley Crüe’s Shout at the Devil is an iconic work of ’80s heavy metal and a generally great album in the genre’s history.