Motley Crue – The Dirt Soundtrack
2019, Eleven Seven Music/Motley Records
1. The Dirt (Est. 1981)
2. Red Hot
3. On with the Show
4. Live Wire
6. Take Me to the Top
7. Piece of Your Action
8. Shout at the Devil
9. Looks That Kill
10. Too Young to Fall in Love
11. Home Sweet Home
12. Girls, Girls, Girls
13. Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
14. Kickstart My Heart
15. Dr. Feelgood
16. Ride with the Devil
17. Crash and Burn
18. Like a Virgin
Serving as a companion to the Motley Crue Netflix biopic of the same name, The Dirt is less about being a “best of” career retrospective and more about representing the band’s hedonistic glory days. Of course, you could argue that the majority of Motley’s best work came from those days and they certainly sold the most records then, but the lack of “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” alone makes me believe they weren’t really thinking “greatest hits” or “best of” when choosing tracks for this compilation. I’ll assume most, if not all, of these tracks appear in the movie as I haven’t seen it yet.
It’s the four new tracks that I am interested in, otherwise this would be another compilation I’d ignore.
“The Dirt (Est. 1981)” is a fairly average and forgettable song that sounds like something that was left on the cutting room floor during the Saints of Los Angeles sessions. There’s even a misguided appearance from rapper Machine Gun Kelly that I guess was too good to pass up since Kelly was cast as Tommy Lee in the movie. Seriously wtf… your audience is middle-aged men who want to relive their youth, not twenty-somethings who listen to rap.
A slight improvement is “Ride With the Devil”. A bit of a Sixx:A.M. vibe here.
“Crash and Burn” is easily the best song of the new tracks, and has that modern Crue sound that fits in with “Sick Love Song”, Saints of Los Angeles, and 2012’s “Sex” & 2015’s “All Bad Things” singles. I actually like this song a lot. It’s interesting that for a movie based on a book that reveled so much in the band’s 80s heyday that the band didn’t even try to recapture that sound on the new releases.
Well, here we are. The fourth new track. “Like a Virgin” is indeed a cover of the Madonna song. Fairly pointless. These new songs may be the last we ever hear from Motley Crue so I would’ve preferred another original track rather than a cover of an ’80s pop song. And I’m not one of those Vince Neil haters (I recognize he’s always had limitations as a singer and I think he’s always sounded fine at the concerts I’ve been to), but this song is a not a good fit for him. He seems to be struggling here.
Given that this soundtrack is meant to represent the band’s life from 1981’s Too Fast for Love to 1989’s Dr. Feelgood only, I think album does a fine job showing that. The new tracks “Ride With the Devil” and “Crash and Burn” are good listens, but anyone who hasn’t enjoyed Motley post-Dr. Feelgood probably won’t enjoy them because they aren’t trying to fit in stylistically with the band’s ’80s material.