Summertime Spin- Motley Crue: Theatre of Pain (1985)

Hey Folk’s! Welcome back to another round of “Summertime Spin” where I transport you all back to those good old days of the 80’s, where certain albums had those kind of impact moments on me as a listener upon there release when I was young, much younger!

Summer of 85 and I was starting my second summer working for a living as I was going on 18 my job washing dishes was basically funnelling my addiction to all things hard rock. Magazines, the odd purchase on cassette and mostly on vinyl ruled my world when payday would roll around.

One such album that came out right when I was finishing up Grade 12 was the very eagerly awaited new album from Motley Crue!

Now Playing- Theatre of Pain.

Crue was huge in 85 for some of the wrong reasons as we all know about the car accident in which Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle was killed as Crue singer Vince Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter. A few people in the other car that Neil plowed into also were hurt.

I’m not going to go down that whole road as there has been enough written about it but come that summer, how would the Crue respond.

Before I get to far into this you have to transport yourself back to that summer of 85 with me.

Sure over time “Theatre of Pain” has been trashed by many a fan and fair enough as if you bought this at the time I bet ya liked some if not all of it.

I’m calling you out!

My point being there wasn’t much Crue to compare it to as this record was the third major release by them. (“Too Fast For Love” and “Shout At The Devil” came out in 1981 and 1983 respectively)

See thats the thing with 20/20 hindsight. What is maybe considered meh in 2021 was awesome in 1985!

So anyways with Vince Neil freshly out of the clink and back with Motley out comes “Theatre of Pain” in which I was fully invested what the band was selling upon its release.

At the time I dug that look the Crue was going for. Back in 85 I was an imperishable teen who lapped up what Nikki Sixx was pouring my way.

Let’s go Glam says Sixx and the masses bought into it. Crue must have been the first act or close to it as come a year later in 86 Poison releases on the world their debut(” Look What The Cat Dragged In”) and that Poison front cover had many fooled. You know what I’m talking about.

Actually looking back some good stuff oozed itself off this album like the Aerosmith driven “City Blues Boy”. I thought this style of sleaze rock was good.

I was burnt out at the time and still am ironically enough in regards to cover tunes as “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” I found somewhat boring on the album but I thought the video was funny enough and I could handle watching it in 1985 times so to speak.

Speaking of video. “Home Sweet Home” is a good one as this song I believe saved the album from going to the cheapie bins rather quickly. Once again I liked the video over the album version. As I loved that live and backstage footage of the band.

Sixx was smart or someone at the management was as they knew how to sell the show to a yahoo like me at the time and this video went bonkers and I bet ya sold a million copies of this record alone on that track.

The rest of the record was good not great with “Keep Your Eye On The Money” being perhaps my favourite off this album back in 85 and even now in 2021.

Sixx hit one out of the park on that one…

Comedy and tragedy
Entertainment or death
Like Sister Morphine
Hooked on her game
Time to place your bets

Considering the Crue was kinda in a mess at this time personally its amazing that they could pull it together and put out a record at all.

I guess back in 1985 that was saying something as Sixx, Lee, Mick and Vince were partying and pulling all nighters, a young deKe’s was getting up at 5 am to go to my summertime job at the hospital to fuel my addiction to rock and in doing so in buying albums like “Theatre of Pain”.

Your Welcome Sixx!


38 thoughts on “Summertime Spin- Motley Crue: Theatre of Pain (1985)”

  1. Yeah I was one of those that liked a few more songs on it than the singles. Like most of em.

    “Louder Than Hell” has got some good riffage from Mars. The same for “Tonight (We Need a Lover)”.

    “Use It Or Lose It” has an Intro riff that feels like “Burn” from deep purple.

    And the last three “Save Our Souls”, “Raise Your Hands To Rock” and “Fight For Your Rights” have good riffs but the songs don’t feel fully finished.

    Welcome back Summertime Spin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pete. Good call some songs do sound unfinished but can u blame Sixx as he probably thought Neil was going to the slammer for a long time and when it was only 30 days he was probably saying “shit I was hoping to have 10 years to write this record” lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can honestly say, I didn’t like this album at all back in the day. I thought Home Sweet Home was amazing, but Smoking in the Boys Room didn’t do it for me and then I heard the album was like…ehh. It feel short of Shout at the Devil by a long shot. And my thoughts on it today are pretty much the same except I think I like it less.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you Deke – so much of the high school summer job earnings went directly to the music collection!
    And I thought of you the other day, I saw a Hanoi record in a local shop the other day (Back to Mystery City) for $20. I didn’t end up investing, I remember you praising Two Steps From The Move, I might have had to make the purchase if it had been that one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Back To Mystery City is a good one as well and for 20 bucks thats a great price but your right its about TSFTM for me. If you ever see it grab I will e-transfer you half for it as you need a copy. lol
      This offer only applies to you as well lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we all had this problem. Such a different time where there was none of this try before you buy stuff…
      I gambled a few times and got burned back than as well. lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A lot of what I bought back then is long gone from the collection. But much of it has stayed. All of my Ozzy, Van Halen, Motorhead, and COC. All bought 25-30 years ago!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I played the shit out of this tape in the summer of 85. Correction….played the shit out of the first four songs…..was never a big home sweet home fan, although the video was cool as hell.
    Listened to it today and it sure does remind me of the summer of 85. Louder than Hell and Keep your Eye on the Money are classic Crüe songs, imo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thanks for chiming in Bro. Agree with your two picks of classic Crue tracks from this album. It’s always good to time travel back to a simpler time. Stay Frosty Darr!


  5. I didn’t get Theater of Pain until 1989. I do think it’s the weakest of the original 5, but at the time, Motley put out some of the best videos I’ve ever seen! You are right about that. Both videos had the big long comedic intros. “I’m on my way…”

    Motley were huge and there’s some decent stuff on this record.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amazing they got so much milage out of this album at the time but it goes to show you the power of video back then.
      I drank Sixx’s Kool Aide!


  6. 12th grade talent show on a Friday night…I was there ready to play in our band and the heavy metal band guys came up to me who went on before us…Max…our bass player is going to be late…can you play bass on Home Sweet Home? Uh…whats the chords?…so there was yours truly on stage with a black shirt and blue jeans and hippy glasses while 3 spandex guys played around me.

    I had a great time…funny and sad Deke…there were at least 6 bands in our high school around 85…My son graduated in 19 and there were none…none.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Come to think of it Max I don’t think there were any when my daughters went to high school. The one time though when they were in the We Will Rock You play the kids that played and sang the Queen tunes were phenomenal. It was played live and too be honest I watched the band as much as I watched the performance as we had third row. It was so good we went twice in actuality we should have went to all 7 nights.
      That gave me hope for the future as there was two kids jamming Brian May licks that week.
      When I went to school I know of two bands. Vital Signs and Ruckus! lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I went to a play in Bailey’s senior year and there was a guy singing and playing guitar with Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis songs in a 50s play…so like you…I was happy one of them knew that.

        That is cool about them playing Queen! We never dared play them…we did play Journey because our singer was the only one who could do that voice…that and Bon Scott. He still can.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He is man…he is sitting beside me right now. He cannot do Brian Johnson too well….I do Mick Jagger better! lol
        Have a great day dude.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Despite, “Home Sweet Home” being the first Mötley Crüe song I ever heard, I got sick of it pretty quickly. But dang, Vince Neil looked like a goddess with makeup back then lol!


  8. I got this when it came out, and [like most Crue albums] was good for a few songs, 1 being the cover of the Brownsville Station classic, the ballad [aided by a great video], and City Boy Blues. The rest was pretty forgettable, IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 2 of your 3 songs you like I’m sick of lol. Pete mentioned earlier in the comments that the songs didn’t sound finished and he’s got a point.


  9. One of my most disappointing LP purchases ever Deke. I saved up to get it when I was 16 too. I sold it to my mate for 2 pints a month later; I suspect he still feels ripped off!

    If only I’d got Shout At The Devil instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I need another shower! LOL. Man, in 1985 I was listening to Gowan, mostly, with other 80s CanCon culprits too (I was 11). And ZZ Top’s Eliminator, which I’d bought in Florida at Christmas/New Year ’84. These guys passed me right by, wasn’t until much later I knew guys in high school into them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bahaha… I was going to say something about u needing a shower lol
      Damn it I should have plugged it in there. Next time!
      Gowan and ZZ are two great starting points regardless.


      1. Motley does that to me every time, man, skeezy LOL!

        Yeah I wasn’t a rocker, so much, as a kid. Pop and jazz. It’s why I’m so well-adjusted now, right? Right? Bahahaha! Good thing I married a therapist…

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree that in 1985 i had to have this. Hell i even like Smokin in the Boys Room at the time, their look… everything. But this jus didnt have the legs for the long haul. But it did serve it’s purpose that summer thats for sure. Another beauty Deke, love that you called us on out on this one. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

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