Mötley Crüe

Theatre of Pain

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Backing away from the mild pseudo-Satanic posturing on parts of Shout at the Devil in favor of a more glammed-up image, Mötley Crüe really began to hit their commercial stride with Theatre of Pain, which broke them on MTV with the power ballad "Home Sweet Home" and a remake of Brownsville Station's "Smokin' in the Boys' Room"; the latter also landed them on the Top 40 singles chart for the first time. Overall, the guitar riffing sounds less heavy metal and more pop-metal; similarly, the sound of the record is slicker and more arranged, polished for mainstream acceptance and airplay. A higher percentage of dull filler has crept into the songwriting, but there are still enough high points to rescue the album's momentum. [In 1999, the Crüe remastered and reissued Theatre of Pain on their own Motley/Beyond label with five bonus tracks: demos of "Home Sweet Home," "Keep Your Eye on the Money," and "City Boy Blues," plus rough mixes of "Smokin' in the Boys' Room" and "Home Sweet Home" (the latter an instrumental).]

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