Mtley Cre epitomise everything about eighties glam rock and roll; the good the bad and quite often the downright ugly. Amazingly, despite indulging in more or less everything you shouldn’t for far longer than any normal person should be able to handle, they are all still alive and even managing to take on a world tour. Admittedly not exactly the original line up, (Vocalist Vince Neil was ‘recreated’ as part of an American reality T.V show) and showing the enhancing waistlines and haggard signs of twenty years of excess, their still here and this is their greatest hits.
Unbelievably, Mtley Cre have managed to sell 40 million albums. This is quite an achievement considering they really aren’t very good. For the American hair metal loving generation the band is on a par with the rock royalty like Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses, but while their appetite for destruction was as good as the next, they never made that classic album. ‘Too fast for love’ and ‘Girls Girls Girls’ came close, huge slabs of trashy grime ridden cock-rock, and their respective title tracks here are the highlights: before the high production values and showmanship took over.
Unfortunately ‘Red White and Crue’ is simply more filler than killer. Throughout the bands history, a habit of forming an album around a few good songs has meant that despite covering the majority of the back catalogue, they just don’t have enough greatest hits. The obligatory inclusion of two new songs, ‘If I die tomorrow’: the Cre’s take on a heartfelt love song is more like a slightly heavier Bon Jovi than the Black Sabbath-esque edginess they were going for, whilst ‘Sick Love Song’ sounds like Alice Cooper on a drip.
Whether or not you think Mtley Cre are any good is probably besides the point. It’s the rock and roll soap opera, celebrity girlfriends, drugs and rehab that keep us interested in them. If we want glammed up sleaze addled rock we can listen to Kiss or Marilyn Manson, Mtley Cre are spectacle, and a good one at that. But musically, they’re rubbish.