The bands hard-living lifestyles have been well documented over the years. Their ninth studio album entitled Saints of Los Angeles was released on June 24, 2008, while a film adaptation of their best-selling band autobiography The Dirt, is due to be released sometime in 2009.
The band's first release was the single "Stick to Your Guns/Toast of the Town," which was released on their own label, Leathur Records, which had a pressing & distribution deal with Greenworld Distribution in Torrance. In November 1981, their debut album Too Fast for Love was self-produced and released on Leathur, selling 20,000 copies. It was then the band embarked on their first tour. While the band's played on their management used their local success in the club scene to negotiate with several record labels, eventually signing a recording contract with Elektra Records in late spring 1982. Fans with Motley Crue tickets were treated to their first world tour.
After playing the US Festival, and with the aid of the new medium of MTV, the band found rapid success in the United States. They were also known as much for their backstage groupie antics, outrageous clothing, extreme high-heeled boots, heavy make-up, and seemingly endless abuse of alcohol and drugs as for their recordings. Their mixture of heavy metal and glam rock stylings produced several best-selling albums during the 1980s, including Shout at the Devil (September 1983), Theatre of Pain (June 1985), and Girls, Girls, Girls (May 1987), which showcased their love of motorcycles, whiskey and strip clubs, as well as telling tales of substance abuse, sexual escapades, and general decadence.
Motley Crue tickets have long been sought after and after finding trying their hand at sobriety in 1989, the band reached its zenith with the release of their fifth album; Dr. Feelgood, in late 1989. Soon after its release it became their only No. 1 album and stayed on the charts for 109 weeks. The band members each stated in interviews that, due in no small part to their collective push for sobriety; Dr. Feelgood was their most complete album musically to that point, and indeed, one of their best albums to date.
In the fall of 1991, the band's sixth album, Decade of Decadence, a compilation, was released. It peaked at #2 on the Billboard album chart. It was supposed to be just something for the fans while they worked on the next "all new" album.
After "Decade" was released, Vince Neil left the band. To this day his departure is a bit cloudy. Neil contends he was fired, but Nikki Sixx insists he quit. When the nineties rolled around The Crue's popularity began to wane, although their self-titled March 1994 release made the Billboard top ten. After taking a hiatus the band reunited in 1997, after their current manager, Allen Kovac, and Neil's manager, Bert Stein, set up a meeting between Neil, Lee, and Sixx. Agreeing to "leave their egos at the door," the band released Generation Swine. Although it debuted at #4, and despite the band performing at the American Music Awards, the album was a commercial failure, due in part to their label Elektra Records' lack of support. The band soon left Elektra and created there own label Motley records.
In 1999, Lee put his role in the band on hold to pursue a solo career due to increasing bad tension with front man Neil. He was replaced by Randy Castillo, who drummed on several Ozzy Osbourne albums. Randy died of cancer in March 2002. Although no permanent Motley Crue tickets had been selling out in record numbers, it sent the band into another hiatus.
A 2001 autobiography entitled The Dirt carefully packaged the band as "the world's most notorious rock band". The book made the top ten on the New York Times best-seller list and spent ten weeks there.
A promoter in England, Mags Revell, started the ball rolling for Motley Crue's reunion when he started a promotion that basically revealed how fans wanted the band to reunite. After meeting with management several times, in September 2004, Sixx announced that he and Neil had returned to the studio and had begun recording new material. In December 2004, the four original members announced a reunion tour that would begin in February 2005, in Puerto Rico. Motley Crue tickets would sell out in minutes. The band's latest compilation album, Red, White & Crue, was released in February 2005. It features the band members' favorite original songs plus three new tracks. A small controversy was caused when it was suggested that neither Tommy nor Mick played on the new tracks (duties were supposedly handled by Vandals drummer Josh Freese and ex-Beautiful Creatures guitarist DJ Ashba). However, a VH1 documentary of the band reuniting would later show that Lee did indeed play on some of the tracks.
Motley Crue's ninth studio album, titled Saints of Los Angeles was released in Japan on June 17 and in America on June 24. The album was originally titled "The Dirt", but was changed. The album features the band's original lineup.
Motley Crue has announced that sometime in 2009 is the possible release date for the movie, The Dirt, based on the book written by Motley Crue and Neil Strauss. Rumors about the cast of characters in this movie include Christopher Walken as the famous rock and roll star Ozzy Osbourne and Val Kilmer as David Lee Roth.
Motley Crue has announced their 2009 "Saints of Los Angeles" Tour will run the better part of 2009. Motley Crue tickets have been selling out in record numbers for this latest go around.