After showing the world what they were capable of with “Shout At The Devil,” Mötley Crüe took a small creative dip with their third album “Theatre Of Pain,” an album that was the equivalent of a rain cloud on picnic day, an album that pretty much washed away all the good will brought forth by “Shout At The Devil” and despite it selling well, creatively it was not a high point for the band.
Anchored by the lead singles ‘Smokin’ In The Boys Room’ a song that was a cover version in itself and the balladry of ‘Home Sweet Home,’ this was not the gang minded Mötley Crüe that wanted to fuck your girlfriend and kick the shit out of you… This was a more melodrama filled band that was a bad boy with a heart that seemingly could love you, but would break your heart and you would love him for it.
The change in direction to more mid paced ballads and slower songs was met with confusion between fans who always saw The Crüe as an alternative to some of the lighter hair bands such as Bon Jovi and Whitesnake. But even more than that it’s a case that the songs on “Theatre Of Pain” just aren’t very good.
Other than ‘Home Sweet Home,’ no one really clamours for any of the songs on this album and it is largely looked over by the band’s fanbase, I just dont think people were ready for a sensitive Mötley Crüe this early into their career and especially after the explosive “Shout At The Devil,” it was also at this point that the bands drug taking started to really take off and this album was rushed into production to capitalize on the bands growing success.
Overall, “Theatre Of Pain” is a misfire in the band’s career and one that isn’t looked on fondly by many but still seemingly has a cult following, it also isn’t helped by the fact that its aged terribly as well in comparison to some of their other work. This is one of the albums I would say is for hardcore completists only and your collection wont really be lacking without it, in fact it might be better off for it.