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BMG Music presents
VH1 Behind the Music: Mötley Crüe (1999)

"The fan base in America was basically the American moron."
- Ross Halfin (photographer)

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: November 07, 2000

Stars: Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil
Other Stars: Pamela Anderson
Director: Michael McNamara

Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (drug use, depiction of a high-risk lifestyle, edited language and nudity)
Run Time: 01h:04m:22s
Release Date: December 14, 1999
UPC: 639857802996
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Mötley Crüe took their inspiration from bands like Kiss. They provided music that was big and loud, and live performances that equaled rock operas. The audience interaction played a large part in their success, and they became one of the most popular glam rock bands of the '80s. With that success came hardships, and, of course, a downward spiral into sex and drugs (before a triumphant rebirth). After all, this IS Behind the Music.

This episode of the popular VH1 series chronicles the rise and descent of the band, and focuses in detail on all the interesting stuff: the sex, the drugs, the accidents, and the ultimate sobriety. I admit, I wasn't the biggest Mötley Crüe fan, but there is a lot here of interest: Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's sex tape, Nikki Sixx's near-death experience, and the tragic car wreck that threatened to end the group.

This episode is above par for the series, probably because of the band's self-gratifying lifestyle. Director Michael McNamara nicely balances interview segments with the band, live footage, and photomontages to keep the pace up and the interest level high.

The episode runs 10 minutes longer than it did on TV, but none of it is racy stuff, just longer performance scenes. In fact, all the edits for TV (nudity blurring, beeping out language) are still in place. Not that I need that much extra swearing and nudity in my life, but this is DVD, and an unedited cut would've been nice. Still, an entertaining watch, but I suspect it is old news to the true fans.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The video transfer here is very good and betters what I see regularly on cable TV. Colors are well-saturated and I noted no bleeding. There is no grain in the interview portions, but there is some in the performance segments that were taped on video in the '80s. Black level is great (I wish I could say the same for TV, where black is really a series of grays).

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: This is a good sound mix, but the source was TV, so don't expect much. Everything takes place up front. The songs are nicely represented and dialogue is always clear with no audible hiss.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 43 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Discography
  2. Enslaved music video
Extras Review: For a TV show disc, there are some decent features provided. An in-depth bio gives a basic summary of the band's history, while the discography shows album covers and track listings. Also included is a low quality music video for the song Enslaved, which is really just a live performance.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

Ah, the hair-metal band. Guys defining their masculinity by wearing makeup and feminine, tight outfits, and yet they still got the girls (several thousand, if they can be believed). This disc provides a good presentation of an episode of a great series (this show could make anyone seem interesting - I should know, I saw the Shania Twain episode three times) and I recommend it to fans of either the band or the show.


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