Mötley Crüe, those depraved kings of '80s sleaze, took a major step toward strip-club immortality 25 years ago this week when the band released its fourth album, Girls, Girls, Girls.
Glossy, debauched heavy metal ruled the charts in the summer of 1987 -- Whitesnake, Ozzy, Bon Jovi and Poison all had hit records that year -- but Girls put Mötley at the top of the heap. The album rose to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, their best showing to date. Two years later, they'd hit No. 1 with Dr. Feelgood.
After the silky, spandex-wrapped glam eruption of 1985's Theatre of Pain, Girls, Girls, Girls represented a shift to a grittier, street-level sound and style for the group. Gone were the eyeliner and pink bandannas; in their place were leather pants, motorcycles and obscene drug abuse.
Despite the record's quadruple-platinum success, it's not quite honest to call this period the band's creative peak: They were just too fucked up and distracted by their vices to come up with a top-to-bottom killer.
Bassist Nikki Sixx, who was deep in the throes of a fairly outrageous heroin addiction during its recording, summed up the album's failings pretty succinctly in the band's 2001 autobiography, The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band:
Girls, Girls, Girls could have been a phenomenal record, but we were too caught up in our personal bullshit to put any effort into it. You can actually hear the distance that had grown between us in our performance. If we hadn't managed to force two songs out of ourselves (the title track and "Wild Side"), the album would have been the end of our careers.
To be fair, those two tracks that the band forced out were pretty great. "Wild Side" remains a staple of Mötley's live show to this day, and somewhere in the world (hell, somewhere inside the Loop), "Girls, Girls, Girls" is blaring in a strip club right this very second.
And why not? The song was written about strip clubs for strip clubs by a gang of certified strip-club aficionados. It captures the dirty, intoxicating and slightly sad experience of stuffing singles into G-strings rather perfectly, and you can shake your ass to it, to boot.
In the 25 years since its release, "Girls, Girls, Girls" has survived the DJ-booth transition from vinyl to CDs to MP3s, more than earning its status as perhaps the No. 1 strip-club song of all time. That's not to say it's got no competition for the title, however. Any stripper who's serious about her college fund has a go-to track to help her rake in the private dance requests.
Because we know our readers are a touch too classy to ever darken the door of one of Houston's 18 trillion top-notch strip joints, Rocks Off has taken the liberty of assembling a playlist of the Top 10 skeeziest strip-club anthems released in the past 25 years. You know, for purely educational purposes. Don't forget to tip your waitresses.