Warning: Mötley Crüe's Crücial Crüe collection is by no means crucial

Another opportunity has arrived to buy those first five Mötley Crüe albums, this time in a variety of exciting hues

Crücial Crüe - The Studio Albums 1981-1989 packshot
(Image: © BMG)

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Here's a question for ya. How can this limited-edition repackaging of Mötley Crüe's (and we quote) "first five platinum-selling landmark albums" be taken seriously when it omits their very best release? We're talking, of course, about the band's debut full-length, the glam-metal-defining Too Fast For Love. Admittedly, said lipstick thriller is present here – but not in its original guise, as issued via Leathür Records in 1981.

Working on Sounds music weekly at the time, this writer can vividly recall the unheralded but unmistakable arrival of TFFL, the postboy cradling a tin-foil-encased package seemingly beamed down from a mysterious spaceship. With Britain in the grimy grip of NWOBHM fever, and with glamour at a premium on these shores, opening this sacred parcel from LA was akin to prising apart a Pandora's Box of forbidden treasures.

The eye was immediately drawn to frontman Vince Neil: waistcoat unzipped to the navel, single fingerless glove, trouser fly secured by bondage twine, his giant haystack hairstyle a not unattractive amalgam of Brian Connolly and Diana Dors. And the music-holy fuck-was all-new, all-exciting, all-electrifying: a veritable nuclear powerhouse straddling peroxide and punk, and propelled by the pulsating guitar riffs of Sir Mick of Mars.

TFFL was picked up quickly by Elektra Records, but its indie-label sonics were deemed too primitive. Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker was brought in to perform deodorising and add Stylophone effects, and the track-listing was subtly altered. This version is included here, alongside the achingly familiar Shout At The Devil, Theatre Of Pain, Girls, Girls, Girls and Dr Feelgood. For compare-'n'-contrast purposes, it would've been excellent if both editions of TFFL had been provided.

Despite the Crüe's current touring resurgence alongside Def Leppard, it's difficult to imagine who will buy this collection, given that it's a straightforward repacking job with no bonus tracks. The high-end coloured-vinyl edition, featuring such möttled hues as Coke bottle green/ oxblood splatter, retails for as much as £150, enough to test the patience of the most fervent Crüe believer.

Like them or loathe them, more than any other band Mötley were the embodiment of rock and metal in the 80s. As the Editor of Kerrang! for the majority of that Decade, there was only one choice of act to adorn the cover of our 100th issue in 1985. But you know these records intimately. It's time to move on. Nothing to see here.

Geoff Barton

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.