Motley Crue Greatest Hits Albums Ranked Worst to Best
In 1991, Motley Crue took stock of their first 10 years with Decade of Decadence 81-91. And what an opening blast of a career that was.
During that decade, the Crue released five albums, four of which went multiplatinum and one of which - 1989's Dr. Feelgood - reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. There were rock radio hits, surprising covers (the Beatles' "Helter Skelter," Brownsville Station's "Smokin' in the Boys Room") and plenty of misadventures and controversy that made the Crue truly seem like "the world's most notorious rock band," as the group memoir The Dirt claimed.
With its mix of favorites, remixes and rerecordings, Decade of Decadence was well-timed. It made it to No. 2 and went double platinum, though a year later singer Vince Neil was out of the band, replaced for one album by John Corabi. Decade … was also the first of what proved to be a cottage industry of compilation albums for Motley Crue. But which is the best of the best? Find out in our below list of Motley Crue Greatest Hits Albums Ranked Worst to Best.
8. The Millennium Collection: The Best of Motley Crue (2003)
The slightest of the Crue's compilations was part of a budget-priced CD series. Its 11 tracks were the right ones, even including the Corabi-sung "Hooligan's Holiday," but it's a little more than an appetizer from a more substantial catalog.
7. The Dirt Soundtrack (2019)
This 18-track set does double duty as a companion to the film version of the memoir and as a compilation. The deep cuts - "Red Hot," "On With the Show," "Take Me to the Top," "Piece of Your Action" - are welcome, but the new songs, including the title track with Machine Gun Kelly, who played Tommy Lee in the movie, don't have the same impact as the hits they sit alongside. More of a souvenir than an essential title.
6. Supersonic and Demonic Relics (1999)
Speaking of digging deep, this rarities collection is mostly for the true Crue-heads. And if you're one of those, there are plenty of treasures, including three tracks from the 1994 Quaternary EP, a batch of previously unreleased songs (including "Sinners & Saints" and Lee's "Planet Boom") and a cover of Tommy Bolin's "Teaser" from the Stairway To Heaven/Highway To Hell set benefitting the Make a Difference Foundation. Not advised for a first Motley meeting but recommended once you're hooked.
5. Decade of Decadence 81-91 (1991)
A must-have when it came out, the Crue's first compilation was subsequently eclipsed by the more comprehensive collections that came in its wake. Back then it did add to the canon with "Teaser," the new "Primal Scream" and "Angela," remixed versions of "Home Sweet Home," "Piece of Your Action" and "Live Wire," plus a fresh cover of Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the U.K." Even now it stands as a solid overview of the Crue's first five albums.
4. Greatest Hits (1998)
A slightly more comprehensive and straightforward retrospective than Decade ... , this 17-song set, weighing in at nearly 74 minutes, covers all the bases (unless you're a fan of the John Corabi era) and makes a strong introduction for the uninitiated. Interestingly, Tommy Lee recorded his parts for the two new tracks, "Bitter Pill" and "Enslaved," just before heading off to prison to serve a six-month sentence for spousal abuse.
3. Red, White & Crue (2005)
A fairly definitive two-disc collection, celebrating the return of Lee to the lineup after a six-year absence and released in advance of a reunion tour. As new songs go, "If I Die Tomorrow" and "Sick Love Song" are certainly of a piece with the surrounding material, and it's nice to have the previously unreleased "Black Widow" and the Japan-only "I'm a Liar (That's the Truth)" out of the vaults. The new cover of the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" jumps the shark a bit, though.
2. Greatest Hits (2009)
The Crue's second album with this title is also the group's most up-to date compilation thanks to the inclusion of the title track from 2008's Saints of Los Angeles. The single-disc set hits the high points for a solid primer on the band, though the Red, White & Crue newbies "Sick Love Song" and "If I Die Tomorrow" are curious inclusions that could have been swapped out for more essential selections.
1. Loud As F@*k (2004)
The first two-disc Crue compilation, out just 10 months before Red, White & Crue, is the band's best - perhaps because Nikki Sixx was so personally involved in curating the track listing as well as a bonus disc that with 10 videos. It foregoes the "sexy" new and previously unreleased material in favor of digging deep into the Crue's existing catalog, fortifying the story with songs such as "A Rat Like Me," "Let Us Prey," "Poison Apples" and more. Even without anything from Saints of Los Angeles, it holds up as the most definitive representation of the "Wild Side" ride that the Crue have been on since 1981.