Motley Crue reform! Oh dear ...

Reforming in December 2004 and with live UK dates coming up in June, the time is right for a retrospective look at Motley Crue's musical output with the added bonus of two new tracks.

I couldn't be certain, but judging from the obvious changes in production it seems that this collection starts with early material and wends its way through their catalogue in chronological order. Starting at the beginning is usually a good idea, not in this case. 'Black Widow' is an awful song, it sounds out of tune and the vocals are weak. All coupled with poor production it's a god send when the first five or so tracks are over.

'Shout at the Devil' marks a step up in production levels with a crisper, slicker sound but unfortunately the song is just as poor as its predecessors. Well known for their excess lifestyle (more so than any song they ever wrote!) it seems that this took its toll on Motley Crue's ability to play, the musicianship is pretty poor, particularly on the earlier tracks. It's probably fair comment that Motley Crue got as far as they did on the back of their reputation combined with a high level of showmanship and image.

The majority of tracks are lyrically inept, feature unimaginative chugging riffs, very dodgy guitar solos and fairly basic drumming. 'Too Young to Fall in Love' is a case in point, a quite terrible chorus that is only outdone by the Spinal Tap guitar solo.

The later material is far superior to the early days offerings but it's all very much in the same style. There are a couple of more interesting moments such as 'Beauty' which moves away from the predictable chorus and hints that by 1997's 'Generation Swine' album Motley Crue had grown up a little, at least musically.

So what of the two new tracks? The first being 'If I Die Tomorrow' which benefits from good production and a heavier sound in places but it follows the same formula as much that has gone before. It sounds better but has the predictable ballad style verse with heavier chorus and is unremarkable. 'Sick Love Song' follows and has a riff rather similar to Guns and Roses 'Welcome to the Jungle' and is more of the same really, there's nothing new on offer (the guitar solos are still rubbish!) and little to get excited about for all but the diehard Crue fans.

If you like that whole cock rock thing then there's probably something in here for you. To the general listening population though this compilation just goes to show how bad Motley Crue really are. Fair play to them though, they made a living out of it and you can't blame them for that. In years to come though when the reputation fades and their only legacy is the music they won't stand up well.