LA’s most drug-hoovering, stripper-pleasuring band were never taken seriously before the release of this album, their fifth, in 1989 – and not that seriously afterwards, either. That said, Dr Feelgood – recorded after Crüe had cleaned up their junkie ways and got all muscly – was, and remains, a tight, entertaining bag of tricks, featuring at least three career-best songs. Strip away the fluff from this 2-CD reissue (which means most of the bonus disc, unfortunately; Vince Neil’s live vocals were always substandard) and the core songs are still a laugh a minute.
Kickstart My Heart, written after bassist Nikki Sixx overdosed on smack and was brought back via a cardiac adrenaline shot (before going out and scoring some more heroin), is still the best tune here, but Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) and the title track remind you why bands such as Steel Panther can make a living two decades after grunge killed hair-metal. The demos on the bonus disc are interesting rather than essential, though, so don’t buy this if you’ve got the album already. By the way, the band are playing the album live in its entirety this summer – what a coincidence.