22. Mötley Crüe, 'Too Fast for Love' (1981)
In 1981, the rock world was dominated by Foreigner, Styx and REO Speedwagon, reliable FM hitmakers without even a hint of danger or sex appeal. The four L.A. gutter punks that stormed the Sunset Strip as Mötley Crüe that year wanted to change all that. Bassist and primary songwriter Nikki Sixx was infatuated with Seventies glam rock acts like Sweet and David Bowie, but he took their formula and added in punk energy and gallons of testosterone, yielding songs like "Live Wire," "Too Fast for Love" and "Piece of Your Action." "Too Fast for Love is my favorite album of ours because it is really raw," guitarist Mick Mars once said. "For all intents and purposes, it was just a demo for us to try and get a record deal." The LP originally came out on Lethür, the group's own label, but it attracted so much attention that Elektra picked it up and released it all over the country, inspiring an entirely new generation of sleaze rockers to flock to the Sunset Strip. The imitators would sell millions of records and wind up all over MTV, but none of them came close to capturing the startling originality and energy of Too Fast for Love. A.G.