Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, January 17th

On this day in 1981: The band Motley Crue formed when bass guitarist Nikki Sixx left a band called ‘London’ and began rehearsing with drummer Tommy Lee and vocalist/guitarist Greg Leon, (who later left). Sixx and Lee then added guitarist Bob “Mick Mars” Deal. Vince Neil accepted an offer to join the band (after turning them down) in April of 1981.

The newly formed band did not yet have a name. Sixx has said that he told his bandmates that he was “thinking about calling the band “Christmas”. The other members were not very receptive to that idea. Then, while trying to find a suitable name, Mars remembered an incident that occurred when he was playing with a band called White Horse, when one of the other band members called the group “a motley looking crew”. He had remembered the phrase and later copied it down as ‘Mottley Cru’. After modifying the spelling slightly, “Mötley Crüe” was eventually selected as the band’s name

Mötley Crüe has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. They have also achieved seven platinum or multi-platinum album certifications, nine Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart (including 1989’s ‘Dr. Feelgood’, which is Mötley Crüe’s only album to reach #1), twenty-eight Top 40 mainstream rock chart hits, and seven Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Here’s what was happening on the U.S. singles chart on this day back in 1981, the day Motley Crue formed:

1 1 (Just Like) STARTING OVER –John Lennon (Geffen)-12 (4 weeks at #1) (1)
2 2 LOVE ON THE ROCKS –•– Neil Diamond (Capitol)-12 (2)
3 3 GUILTY –•– Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb (Columbia)-12 (3)
4 4 THE TIDE IS HIGH –•– Blondie (Chrysalis)-10 (4)
5 5 HUNGRY HEART –•– Bruce Springsteen (Columbia)-11 (5)
6 6 EVERY WOMAN IN THE WORLD –•– Air Supply (Arista)-13 (6)
7 7 PASSION –•– Rod Stewart (Warner Brothers)-9 (7)
8 8 TELL IT LIKE IT IS –•– Heart (Epic)-9 (8)
9 9 LADY –•– Kenny Rogers (Liberty)-16 (1)
10 11 DE DO DO DO, DE DA DA DA –•– The Police (A&M)-13 (10)

11 13 IT’S MY TURN –•– Diana Ross (Motown)-13 (11)
12 15 I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT –•– Eddie Rabbitt (Elektra)-11 (12)
13 14 I MADE IT THROUGH THE RAIN –•– Barry Manilow (Arista)-9 (13)
14 16 CELEBRATION –•– Kool and the Gang (De-Lite)-13 (14)
15 17 HEY NINETEEN –•– Steely Dan (MCA)-8 (15)
16 12 HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT –•– Pat Benatar (Chrysalis)-16 (9)
17 10 MORE THAN I CAN SAY –•– Leo Sayer (Warner Brothers)-17 (2)
18 19 TIME IS TIME –•– Andy Gibb (RSO)-9 (18)
19 22 GIVING IT UP FOR YOUR LOVE Delbert McClinton (Capitol/MSS)-7 (19)
20 21 SUDDENLY –•– Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard (MCA)-13 (20)


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