(click images to enlarge & READ)
I got all the original Crue records on vinyl but mostly for the artwork because cassettes were my main mode of listening to Motley music.[Click HERE to see my Motley vinyl collection]. One of my ‘80s Crue fan memories was finally seeing the LP of Shout At the Devil again after years of only having the cassette: it had a lyric sheet! Finding out what Vince was actually saying is maybe fodder for another post. And, oh yeah, this is sposeta be about the old ‘80s cassette liner notes & artwork!
Too Fast For Love. I didn’t actually own this album ‘till about 1987-88. But I had an uncle who had the early Canadian release of the Leathur version which is a different mix than the one Elektra put out after Crue signed with them. After years of asking for it & waiting, he finally gave me the cassette. That Canadian version of Too Fast has the Elektra track list on the cover but the Leathur mix on the cassette with ‘Stick To Your Guns’ & etc. I can’t remember where that red Too Fast with the ‘pentagram’ inside photo (above) came from but I would have shat my pants when I saw it. Crue stuff was rare in my neck of the woods & anything from this era to 1984 was like the Holy Grail.
Shout At the Devil was really butchered, art-wise, as a cassette. The sleek black-on-black pentagram cover replaced with 4 tiny cropped portraits from the LP’s amazing gatefold. The lyrics & the big red pentagram didn’t make it either. The liner notes were kept & were a source of wonder as a kid.
I found a serious Motley collector’s page that shows the different international versions of Crue cassettes & it looks like us Canadians fared well with our artwork extending across the full back of the panel. So our Shout has that extra photo on the back from the publicity shots for the album BUT the front photo was minimized by a stupid black border on the bottom with the title & the Elektra logo.
Theatre Of Pain had a lyric sheet which was cool because, believe it or not, some of us really dug Nikki’s lyrics.
It’s been the hard road, the edge of an overdose
Well no matter how high, well, you’re still too low
I’ve been the dancer, the wicked romancer
A never-ending nightmare, edge of disaster
Girls, Girls, Girls was a dark album for me as an 11-12 year old. It had the outer appearance of being a pop record that a lot of people bought & listened to but it had these sinister elements to it that made it different than other hard rock music of the day. I got in trouble when my aunt read the lyrics to ‘Wild Side’ & said I was perverting her kids. I’ve always liked the Girls album because it is so sleazy & heavy & bluesy. Nowadays I find tunes like ‘Dancin’ On Glass,’ ‘Five Years Dead’ & ‘Bad Boy Boogie’ to be examples of Crue at their best. Heavy, dirty, groovy & with a touch of Motley class.
Somewhere down the line I seem to have lost my Dr. Feelgood cassette but I still have a couple of cassette singles from the album. I really don’t know how many of these things would have sold or remember how much they cost. They may even be rare.
We’ll be dipping into the 1990s with my collection. If ‘Primal Scream’ wasn’t such a good song I might’ve disregarded the Decade of Decadence album of 1991 . . . actually, ‘Angela’ is a pretty great tune too. If the boys had made another record with songs as strong as these two, it would’ve been a monster. Alas, it was never to happen & DOD & ‘Primal Scream’ would be the last great gasp of the original incarnation of the Crue.
Checking out that crazy Motley collector’s cassette page again I see he does not have the Canadian version of the DOD cassette up there. It’s a nice 8-panel booklet that, upon purchase, I immediately separated from the cassette & threw in a plastic sleeve with my collectibles. She’s in great condition to this day.
Check out these kids on Youtube giving reviews on Crue cassettes. Motley gets four stars for ‘not making that many mistakes’ on Shout, ha. Wait til you hear Vince live kid.