Several bands could probably lay claim to be the inventors of glam metal, but if you were to put a pin in one of the early corner stones of the genre it would have to be the Motley Crue’s 1981 debut, Too Fast for Love. It was raw, unabashed heavy rock that drew from the Crue’s early influence of The Sweet, Sex Pistols and Alice Cooper. It was rough around the edges, but it spawned the beloved anthems Live Wire, Take Me to the Top and the title track, sowing the seeds for what would become a huge career for the ‘worlds most dangerous band’.
The very first pressing was released on the short lived Leathür records, founded by Motley Crue and their manager, Alan Coffman. It is believed that only 900 copies were originally pressed before the band were almost immediately signed to Elektra and album was subsequently reissued. The first pressing has a black and white sleeve, with the now iconic shot of Vince Neil’s leather-clad crotch paying homage to the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album. The text is also in black and white as opposed to the red lettering that would feature on the Elektra pressings going forward.
A couple of other key differences to look for when spotting the first press are on the rear of the sleeve, the centre of the image is left blank whereas on the second and third issue a pair of sunglasses have been added in. Also, the original image on the insert features Nikki Sixx with his arm’s cross, whereas he is in a slightly different pose on the later pressings.
True first pressings rarely surface, but this is the holy grail for Motley Crue collectors and glam metal historians, with mint condition copies changing hands around the £2000 mark.
This article appeared in issue 35 of Long Live Vinyl magazine, available now.
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