Mötley Crüe Engineer Talks ‘Too Fast for Love’ Recording Sessions: “They told me they would buy girls’ jeans” – Robert Battaglia – 2022
Metal Edge: What’s the big deal about the Leathür Records version of Mötley Crüe’s ‘Too Fast For Love’? We talked to original album engineer Robert Battaglia and superfan Tracii Guns to get the scoop. You can read the entire feature @ this location.
Too Fast For Love’s original sessions took place at Hit City West, located on West Pico Boulevard in L.A. Artists who’d previously worked at Hit City included r&b star Bobby Womack and Beach Boys singer Mike Love. For Too Fast, the primary recording engineer was Glenn Feit, his first-name misspelled “Gleen” in the liner notes. Additional engineers on those sessions include Avi Kipper and Robert Battaglia.
Battaglia, who goes by Bert and now resides in Nashville, recalls Mötley “seemed to be ready. They already had a following.” As far as the dynamic between the famously combustible band, Battaglia says, “they certainly were friends.” He recalls Sixx being, a “sweet, nice guy.” Lee’s drumming? “Interesting and really powerful. He had more energy than you could even imagine.” Mars, he continues, seemed more seasoned than the others, including in “the way he carried himself.”
Battaglia says Neil and the entire band always showed up at the studio like they were about to go onstage. “Their hair was done, and there were metal spikes, leather jackets and chains. They told me they would buy girls’ jeans. They were what they were. That aura, yeah.”
Hit City West was, as Battaglia remembers it, “a medium-sized studio, in price and gear.” He says Too Fast For Love was cut on a Soundcraft console, to an MCI 24-track analog tape machine, and that the best vocal mic they had back then was a humble AKG 414. There was a small lounge area equipped with a then-nouveau Pac-Man arcade game that the Mötley guys played between takes. As far as the band’s now infamous decadence, Battaglia says, “I never saw a drug or partying or even a beer” during the Hit City West sessions.
You can read the entire feature @ this location.
The first ‘Too Fast for Love’ recording session was in October 1981, six months after the band first played the Starwood nightclub. They recorded for a few days at Hit City West, a small studio in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.
The first edition of 900 copies was released on November 10, 1981, via the band’s original label Leathür Records. Elektra Records signed the band the following year, at which point the album was remixed and partially re-recorded. This re-release, with a different tracklisting and slightly different artwork (e.g., red lettering on the cover and a different interior photograph of the band), has become the standard version from which all later reissues derive.
The re-recorded album also removed the song “Stick to Your Guns”, though it is featured on a bonus track version of the album. The original mix of the album remained unreleased on CD until 2002, when it was included in the Music to Crash Your Car to: Vol. 1 box set compilation.
“Live Wire” Original Leathür Records
“Live Wire” Elektra Records Remix