Release date: June 22, 2010
Mötley Crüe members had some down time this winter, and each member took that time to work on their various side projects. Tommy Lee will release his newest Methods of Mayhem album, A Public Disservice Announcement later this year. Nikki Sixx has been working with James Michael on the next Sixx:A.M. record. Mick Mars has been doubly busy working on a solo record and doing some work on the Murderdolls forthcoming album Women and Children Last. Frontman and vocalist Vince Neil finally took time to do his third studio album, Tattoos & Tequila.
Tattoos & Tequila will hit market on June 22nd, and represents Neil’s first solo studio work in 15 years, since 1995’s Carved In Stone. T&T represents an interesting mix of cover songs primarily from the 70’s. There are only two original songs on the album including the title track which was also the advance first single.
The new record will serve as something of a soundtrack to his autobiography of the same name which will be released on September 23rd. No one can argue that the ever-grinning singer hasn’t had an intriguing life of ups and downs, all drenched, as the title proclaims, inTattoos and Tequila. The record’s dozen tracks serves up some of rock’s genre defining moments, and sign posts for Neil’s wayward life travels.
Production of the album was handled by Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Buckcherry), who also wrote the title song. Neil and Jack Blades also helped co-produce the record, which kicks off with the title song, a raunchy modern rock ode to trash and troll, which perfectly suits his unique vocal signature.
The album’s only other original is the quasi-ballad, “Another Bad Day,” which was originally penned by fellow Cruester, Nikki Sixx.
Mötley Crüe recorded “Another Bad Day” many years ago and I thought it was one of the best ballads we’d ever done. When it got voted off of New Tattoo by the rest of Mötley, I held onto it, waiting for the right time to dust it off.
The remaining 10 tracks span an unusual range of covers from Elvis to the Scorpions, to theSex Pistols. Every track brings an air of fun to it thanks to Neil’s, Dr. Feelgood vocal style. While no one, including Neil will ever proclaim him to be monumental vocalist, there is something extremely engaging and comforting in his trademark style which fits like a comfortable pair of old jeans. What better way to hear classic rock tunes then with a familiar old friend?
This is not Neil’s first foray in to reinterpreting some of rock music’s finer moments. On his 95’s Carved in Stone, Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4? appears as a bonus track, and he gave it an infusion of edginess without forsaking the brilliance of the original piece. It is still perhaps my favorite version of the song.
Backing Neil on Tattoos & Tequila are Slaughter members Dana Strum (bass) and Jeff Blando (guitars), along with drummer Zoltan Chaney. The guys start off with finely punk’d up version of Cheap Trick’s “He’ A Whore,” that all but the most diehard Trick fans can sink their ears into.
Next up Neil brings the signature Crüe punch to The Sweet’s ode to bisexuality, “AC/DC,” followed by Aerosmith’s “Nobody’s Fault,” off 1976’s seminal Rocks record. While Neil says this album has nothing to do with Crüe, you can take Vince out of Crüe, but you can’t take the Crüe out of Vince.
Neil lays down a tasty version of the Sex Pistols “No Feelings,” before heading all the way back to 1971 for a gritty, bluesy take on The Hollies“Long Cool Woman.”
One of the album’s less stellar tributes comes up on a remake of the Scorpions “Another Piece of Meat.” The band does an outstanding job musically, but Neil’s voice just doesn’t bring the same raw power that Klaus Meine’s does. While he didn’t hurt the song, it was probably not the best choice for his vocal palette.
While Neil’s voice may not have been a great fit for the Scorps, he brought it all home in a tender and melodic package for Creedance Clearwater’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain.”
The band then takes it balls to the wall for an Ozzy Osbourne inspired throw down of the Elvis classic, “Viva Las Vegas.” Blando does an excellent job of channeling moments of Zakk Wylde and Jake E. Lee on this one.
The guys go for a nice romp through the Elton John’s 1974 classic, “The Bitch is Back,” before closing it out with a raunchy BBQ basted spin on ZZ Top’s “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers.” Tesla recently covered this as well on their Real to Reel album. Both bands did an excellent job of punching fresh energy into the classic, but in a pinch I’d have to roll with Tesla’s version.
Get more details at VinceNeil.net