Motley Crue released their third studio album, Theatre of Pain on June 21, 1985. The album was a commercial success, but reportedly, the band hated the album and considered it to be a creative failure except for one song. The first single released was a cover of Brownsville Station’s 1973 top five single Smokin’ in the Boys Room. Motley Crue’s version was a hit on the charts and became the band’s first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 16. The music video for Smokin’ in the Boys Room also received heavy rotation on MTV.
The boys from the Crue wanted to release Home Sweet Home as their second single, but their label, Elektra wanted no part of the song. The Crue were adamant that Home Sweet Home be released as it was the only song on the album they actually liked. Home Sweet Home was released as the second single, but it failed miserably on the charts, peaking at number 89 on the Hot 100, and number 39 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
Because the label hated the song so much, they refused to promote, and Motley Crue took matters into their own hands with the music video. They funded the music video themselves and produced the video we all know today as one of the most iconic music videos of all time. The video was so popular on MTV’s request line, that it topped the daily request chart for over three months, which prompted MTV to invoke the unwritten “Crue Rule”, which dropped music videos from their request line 30 days after the videos MTV debut.
Home Sweet Home also impacted the way rock bands recorded albums. Largely due to the popularity of Home Sweet Home’s music video, Theatre of Pain sold over 4 million copies, and other bands and labels took notice. What we know as a rock ballad single now wasn’t the norm in the early 80s. However, after the success of Home Sweet Home, releasing a rock ballad as the 2nd or 3rd single became the standard for hard rock bands in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
The Professor of Rock put together the awesome episode below about Home Sweet Home and it’s impact on the band and rock music in general. This is a great episode that you’re gonna love, and of course, we have to feature the video as well. Enjoy a look back at Home Sweet Home from Motley Crue!