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You Wanted the Best...Number One


Our top ten glam band countdown continues. Here’s what we’ve got so far:

10) Badlands
09) Winger
08) Twisted Sister
07) L.A. Guns
06) Bon Jovi
05) Poison
04) Guns n' Roses
03) Hanoi Rocks
02) Def Leppard

In the top spot...Motley Crue.

It should be noted I had Hanoi Rocks at number one until Sunday night when I had a last second change of heart.  Last night, I flipped a coin over Motley Crue and Def Leppard because both have enjoyed enormous success. Still, I think it’s fitting Motley Crue reign supreme at number one. After all, Nikki Sixx created the ultimate glam band.  In the 1980s, they were a hit – and terror – machine.

When Motley Crue started they were all Metal, but their sound evolved over time. In addition to being a phenomenal songwriter, Nikki Sixx is also a shrewd businessman and knows how to work image. For many years, Motley Crue stayed one step ahead of their peers, changing their logo – and look – with every album. There was Metal with Too Fast for Love, shock with Shout at the Devil, Sunset Strip Glam with Theatre of Pain…well, you get the idea.

When Sixx joined up with drummer Tommy Lee, singer Vince Neil and vastly underrated guitarist Mick Mars, the planets aligned to create something truly special. While people argue Motley’s importance to modern music, there’s simply no denying the quality – or impact – of early Crue. If this were a countdown of the ten best glam albums of all time, Shout at the Devil would be in the top spot. While Too Fast For Love is amazingly gritty, Motley’s sophomore release would become their calling card. Videos for “Too Young to Fall In Love” and “Looks That Kill” played in heavy rotation on MTV. Suddenly, everyone wanted to be Motley.

A lot of people say “Home Sweet Home” is the first power ballad. I don’t agree with this, but Motley probably made it fashionable for 80s bands to show a softer side of Metal. That’s both and good bad I suppose.

There’s no denying that today’s crop of modern sleaze bands channel their inner Motley. If you visit the Myspace pages of any Swedish glam band, I bet you’ll find “Motley Crue” listed as an influence. After all, young bands would be silly not to look up to Sixx and Company. Not only is Motley still really popular among various generations, they’ve made a lot of smart business decisions (drug abuse, jail time and divorces notwithstanding). Motley Crue are one of the very few major bands that own their master recordings. This means more money for band members because they are the label. In addition to making some of the most important music in my life, the band also produced the best rock biography of all time. I’ve read a lot of true rock history, and nothing comes close to The Dirt. If you don’t agree with me, then you’ve clearly never read the book.

While many slag Nikki Sixx for being a big talker or a crappy bass player, no one can deny his creative drive. Even in Motley’s downtime, Nikki has an urge to create new music and it’s not like he needs the cash. Both Brides of Destruction and 58 are underrated, but SIXX: AM might be Nikki’s best side project yet. While the Heroin Diaries is an interesting and entertaining read, the accompanying soundtrack is one of the best albums of 2007.

The current state of Motley Crue is unclear. No one seems to know if Tommy Lee is still in the band, or if there will be a new album or tour anytime soon. Nikki seems content with SIXX:AM and Vince does solo shows all year long. Whatever the case, no glam list is complete without Motley Crue and I hope you agree they deserve to be number one.

Here's Motley Crue performing "Home Sweet Home" live in 1985.

Tomorrow, I'll give you my list of honorable mentions.

Reader Comments (18)

I did note when there were two left, every one who guessed what they were, had Motley in the top 2. That says it all.

December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Graus
Motley Crue has been a favorite of mine since the very beginning. After I caught them live for the first time, I refuse to miss one of their shows again.

The top spot at BBG is well deserved. I can only hope that the band can keep it together to give us one more good solid rock record.

Good Job with the top 10 Allyson. This has been a fun read.

Rob Rockitt
Hard Rock Hideout
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRob Rockitt
An even BETTER thing about your list will be...the inevitable discussion of who got left off. Your list totally ROCKS! But one word, one band...........Cinder f@%kin' rella. Glam till the end.
At first I dug how record sales, ticket sales, overall popularity didn't come into the equation...UNTIL your top 2.
Lep to me will always be NWOBHM or the end of the 'arena rocker' era, not glam. Badlands I never considered "glam" either. They just happened to put out some great rock at a 'special' time.
I look forward to you honorable mentions to really stoke the fires!
Sweet Lou.
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Lou
Allyson were is Cinderella?
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVince
How about a list of the top ten worst glam bands? Or if not worst, how about least desirable?
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
Hi Allyson,

I found your page by googling rock star cock :) Just wanted to tell you what a killer site you have going on and I'm glad to see there are other chicks my age as in love with music and men as I.

Rock on gurl!

December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
I knew no. 1 would be Motley Crue, they are your all time fav band..
interesting list though, RATT, BRITNEY FOX and CINDERELLA should have made it to the list,
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRockfighter
My favorite band is Aerosmith. I've said this before.

December 19, 2007 | Registered CommenterAllyson B. Crawford
I very much agree with Motley being #1 :). Nikki is amazing, and extremely underrated.

[Aerosmith are my favourite band too, by the way. Motley (and Def Lep) only come second to them.]
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie
I know this probably won't be well received but how about a top 5 or 10 list of Glam wedding songs. Every good Glam band had their power/love ballad (i.e. "Without You" or "Heaven"). I would love to see what people chose or would have choosen since Glam is such an important part of our lives. Just a thought!
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Someone asked me recently for a heavy metal love song, I recommended Donation by Accept.
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Graus
My wife and I had Till Death Do Us Apart from White Lion as our main song for our wedding and Forever from KISS as the follow up song.

I met Mike Tramp when he played at the Bar Broadway in Sydney a while back and when I told him this he basically said that he was greatful that his music had played a special part in our special day.
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBillyKiss
Great choice. Motley rules. And the self titled album with John Corabi is unbelievably underrated. The book rules, and the newer song "if I die tommorow" was great too.
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
I agree - the self titled album was the first to match up to the first two, an awesome album.
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Graus
sweet motley crue is AMAZING nikkis been my role model since seventh grade lol
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdirty angel
I saw that one comin'! None the less...good pick Allyson. Motley Crue is the definative glam/hair band.
December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
in my opinion poison should be rated number one on the list and if bon jovi,def leppard and gunsnroses are glam bands than why ain't kiss mentioned.kiss are more glam than those 3 bands.bon jovi and the leps are good but they are hair metal not particularly glam to me.also we all know rattare a better band than badlands and winger.
just my opinion.
December 20, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterlaurie
Hey Mary,

These are the songs that I sing to my beautiful wife and they keep us alive and going strong! Ironically, they are all Bon Jovi:

Bed of Roses
This ain't a love song
Born to be my Baby (Hey buckle up baby...)
Thank you for loving me

Many more, too...Keep the Faith (pun intended!)

I love you Cathy! I know you check out this website every now and then!
December 20, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterfletch

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