Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Mötley Crüe

Sometimes when I am pondering various acts or when other people remind me of acts that have not been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I have to ask myself, are they really not in yet?  Such is the case with today’s group, Mötley Crüe.  When I think of all of the various items on a checklist to check off to myself as to whether an act is worthy of induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, this band has it.  Cultural significance?  Absolutely, if not necessarily in a way I would conduct myself personally.  Sustained success in albums/singles?  Yes, very much so.  A devoted fan base and music that has stood the test of time?  Oh yes, that too.  Influence on others?  Without a doubt.  Having sold 100 million albums over the course of their career and especially after having a recent movie (“The Dirt”) with a soundtrack hit that returned them to the top 10 on the mainstream rock charts, there is a lot that can be said about Mötley Crüe.  Even someone like me whose life and existence and favorite music is far from the hard-living and hard-rocking that the men in this group had has at least some positive associations with the band’s music, at least its more poppy and mainstream accessible tunes.  And all that is more than enough to make this particular act an obvious choice for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The Influence Of Mötley Crüe

How does one define the influence of a band like this one?  In the past (and in the present) they have sold a lot of albums.  A lot of bands have tried to sound like them, to take their hard-edged approach to life and to mimic it themselves in their own work and in their own behavior.  While their singles are not rich with featured credits, it is noteworthy that contemporary rapper Machine Gun Kelly appeared on their most recent rock hit “The Dirt (Est. 1981),” which happens to be the year I was born as well as the year their platinum-selling debut album hit the charts, “Too Fast For Love.”  And that fast living approach led the band to struggle with drug and alcohol abuse, struggle with the law, and have a great deal of relationship drama through the years.  If it seems that this is all somewhat stereotypical of the rock star lifestyle, than this band helped make it a stereotype, even making it the subject matter of their biggest mainstream hit, the stunning “Dr. Feelgood,” which takes direct aim at the world of excess in which they were a part and which they sang about with considerable authority.

Why Mötley Crüe Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Since 1981, Mötley Crüe has sold 100 million albums, about a quarter of them in the United States.  Band founders Nikki Sixx (bass guitar) and Tommy Lee (drums) have been cultural icons for most of that time, whether or not they have been putting out any music.  Whether one looks at the reality television shows or the recent movie about them, they have always remained culturally relevant.  And they have the songs and sales to back up their claims to cultural influence as well.  Their first seven studio albums went at least gold, with four of their albums having gone multiplatinum in the United States, with 1983’s Shout at the Devil having gone 4x platinum along with 1985’s Theatre Of Pain and 1987’s Girls, Girls, Girls and 1989’s Dr. Feelgood having gone 6x platinum.  They have a platinum live album as well, 2006’s Carnival of Sins Live, and four compilations that have gone gold or better, topped by the 1991’s double-platinum selling and aply named Decade of Decadence.  As far as the hit singles go, they have some songs that have remained vital for 80’s rock, including “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Dr. Feelgood,” “Kickstart My Heart,” “and “Without You.”  On top of two top 10 and five additional top 40 hits on the pop charts they have ten top tens on the mainstream rock charts and have top 40 hits in the UK, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand, suggesting considerable worldwide appeal [1].

Why Aren’t Mötley Crüe In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?

I don’t know.  Did Mötley Crüe rock hard enough to convince even the naysayers who struggle to understand that adult contemporary, jazz, rap, dance, and R&B artists deserve a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?  Yes.  Their life and their music were exactly what is expected of rock & roll musicians, and it seems like only the fact that they began and had their greatest success in the 1980’s has kept them from getting the respect from the RRHOF that they deserve.  It’s time that they were inducted.

Verdict:  Put them in.  Cases for RRHOF induction don’t get more obvious and straightforward than this.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6tley_Cr%C3%BCe_discography

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Music History, Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Mötley Crüe

  1. Catharine Martin says:

    I, too, am shocked that they aren’t already in. What is the RRHOF thinking? Oh yes, they aren’t.

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