Motley Crue Dr Feelgood Review

Released 1989.  

BBC Review

Bigger and even more bombastic!

Tim Nelson 2007

Motley Crue’s 1989 offering Doctor Feelgood was a thoughtful and subtly crafted album that surprised fans by revealing a tender, empathic and feeling side to the band. With a set of lyrics that included a call to political activism (“Time for a Change”) and a sensitive exploration of lesbianism (“Same Old Scene”), the Crue proved to the world once for all that they weren’t just a bunch of overblown glam-metal poseurs with a penchant for decadent trash.

NOT! Of course they didn’t, and of course it wasn’t! Doctor Feelgood was very much the Crue as we know them, but with this album’s bigger, more bombastic approach, we would come to love them all over again. This was in part due to the expertise of Bob Rock (former Cult and Bon Jovi producer), who produced a heavier sound that would provide the band with their first US top 10 singles and prove this to be their biggest selling album ever. But it was also due to drummer Tommy Lee’s propulsive beat on “Kickstart My Heart”, the addictive hook of “Same Old Scene,” the monster riffing on the title track and a hundred other sonic explosions that seemed to prove the Crue were having the biggest fun around, and everybody wanted to join in.

To criticise the album for being more about style than substance, a glitzy flashy experience that was ultimately shallow and narcissistic, less about jaded decadence than irritated adolescence may well be true, but is also a bit like lambasting sweets for being unhealthy; if you are going to criticize the un-PC lyrics on tracks like “She Goes Down” you have probably come to the wrong place. Better to shake your big hair one more time to this 1980s blockbuster album, the Crue’s biggest blast before singer Vince Neil left the band and grunge-rock flushed trash-metal down the toilet.

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