Throughout his career, Nikki Sixx, the famous bassist for Mötley Crüe, has significantly influenced the music industry. Famous for his live persona and compositional skills, Sixx has delighted music enthusiasts worldwide with his passion for heavy metal. He is an avid music enthusiast, and many songs have impacted and inspired him throughout his life and work. We’re excited to present the top 7 songs that Nikki Sixx listed as his favorites.
This list explores Nikki Sixx‘s favorite songs that have significantly influenced his songwriting and musical journey. The list looks at his mixed taste and appreciation for various styles and genres, from his early years in the music business to his most recent ventures.
To better understand the influences behind Nikki Sixx‘s work as an artist and a person, we aim to delve into the songs that have molded his artistic style. By exploring his favorite songs, we can gain insight into the factors contributing to his unique style in songwriting and stage performance. Such interpretation allows us to appreciate his work on a deeper level.
Nikki Sixx, the bassist and main songwriter for the legendary rock band Mötley Crüe, has been deeply influenced by a mixed bag of rock ‘n’ roll artists. Artists from Jimmy Dean to Mott the Hoople have had a profound impact on Sixx‘s musical journey.
But Nikki Sixx‘s early influences reach back to his love for classic rock. One of Nikki’s favorite songs is “Your Song” by Elton John, released in 1970. Elton John’s unique ability to blend piano and rock’n’roll resonated strongly with him. For Nikki, this song represents a perfect harmony of lyrical beauty and powerful piano melodies.
Moving into the 1970s, Sixx was also deeply influenced by David Bowie. This comes as no surprise considering Sixx‘s flamboyant stage persona. Bowie‘s iconic presence and unique artistry became a guiding force for Nikki Sixx as he began to explore music further.
As Nikki Sixx embarked on a heavy metal journey, his influences expanded to include legends like Alice Cooper. Again, this is not surprising, as Alice is known as much for his stage artistry as his music. As he became attracted to the heavier riffs Sixx found himself drawn to bands that merged driving riffs layered with vocal melodies from bands like Van Halen.
During the formative years of Sixx‘s career, it became clear that his song selection was based not only on heavy riffs and powerful vocals but also on strong melodies and high-energy performances. His passion for the genre led to the founding of Mötley Crüe, one of the most prominent and highest-selling glam, and hard rock bands in the ’80s. Their songwriting and stage style combination with Mötley Crüe to the top of the 80s and early 90s metal scene.
As previously mentioned, one of his favorite musicians and biggest songwriting inspirations is David Bowie. But Sixx also considers the band, Cheap Trick, as a main influence and foundation for his unique songwriting style.
Sixx relayed on his Twitter feed on March 11, 2021, “As a long time fan, I can say Cheap Trick never released a bad album. Probably my number one songwriting influence….”
It’s easy to see a recurrent theme in Sixx‘s influences. Heavy, catchy riffs combined laced with vocal melodies and a splash of showmanship dominate his favorites. That’s why it’s no surprise to hear him also name bands like Queen, David Bowie and Elton John as heroes.
Aside from his musical influences, Nikki Sixx has also been inspired by his own experiences, childhood, and personal struggles. These life events have been instrumental in shaping his lyrical content and songwriting process. At times, his creations would even act as a form of therapy during difficult times.
The genesis of the Mötley Crüe song, Kickstart My Heart, stems from an overdose Sixx suffered on December 23rd, 1987. Sixx wrote in an editorial regarding the opioid crisis for the Los Angeles Times, “Heroin nearly killed me. As a matter of fact, it did.” Sixx continued, “From the outside looking in, I was living the dream. But in reality, I was in the throes of a disease I couldn’t control, addicted to heroin.”
His journey through fame, addiction, and redemption played a major role in the themes he explores in music. Nikki Sixx‘s work can be seen as a reflection of his journey and the wisdom he has gained along the way. Overall, the combination of musical heroes and life experiences has significantly influenced Nikki Sixx‘s songwriting, creating the distinct sound for which Mötley Crüe has been known.
Nikki Sixx, the co-founder and bassist of the iconic rock band Mötley Crüe, has experienced significant success in his musical career. Manning the songwriter role for the Mötley Crüe, he helped create numerous hits that have stood the test of time.
Since their formation in 1981, Mötley Crüe has released many chart-topping albums and singles. In total, the band has has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. They burst onto the scene with their 1982 album, Too Fast for Love, and followed up with their breakout album, Shout at the Devil in 1983.
In 1985, Mötley Crüe released Theatre of Pain which featured the hit singles, Smoking in the Boys Room, and one of the bands greatest songs, Home Sweet Home. Both Shout at the Devil and Theatre of Pain went quadruple platinum according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Check out the Home Sweet Home video below.
Mötley Crüe rounded out the late 80s with the albums, Girls, Girls, Girls and Dr. Feelgood. “Girls” sold more than four million copies, and Dr. Feelgood was the band highest highest-grossing album ever, selling more than six million copies.
Unfortunately, the band failed to have much success after Dr. Feelgood but they still were able to score a financial windfall. In November of 2021, Nikki Sixx and Mötley Crüe sold their entire music catalog to BMG for $150 million. Can you say, “Cha ching?”
Over the years, Nikki Sixx‘s artistic ability and commitment to his work have been integral to Mötley Crüe‘s success. The band’s impressive history proves his talent, and their music still captivates audiences worldwide.
In addition to being the driving force of Mötley Crüe‘s popularity, Sixx has shown off his amazing songwriting ability by writing songs for other musicians. His collaborations on various projects with artists such as Lita Ford, Alice Cooper, and Meat Loaf demonstrate the diversity and flexibility that are hallmarks of his songwriting.
Below are some examples of songs Sixx wrote for or with other artists:
- “Falling In and Out of Love,” Lita Ford (1988)
- “We’re Not Saints,” Steve Jones (1989)
- “We’re Not Saints,” Steve Jones (1989)
- “Die For You,” Alice Cooper (1991)
- “Couldn’t Have Said It Better,” Meat Loaf (2003)
- “Heads Will Roll,” Marion Raven (2005)
Nikki Sixx‘s side project, Sixx.A.M., released several popular songs, but none compare to his success with Mötley Crüe.
Some of the most popular Sixx.M. songs include:
- “Life is Beautiful”
- “Prayers for the Damned”
- “Lies of the Beautiful People”
Nikki Sixx has also teamed with numerous other artists on their tracks. One of his memorable guest appearances was for the charity single, ‘Maybe It’s Time’, which served to create awareness for the opioid crisis in the United States. The union featured artists such as Corey Taylor, Joe Elliott, Brantley Gilbert, Ivan Moody, Slash, AWOLNATION, and Tommy Vext.
Nikki‘s remarkable work in collaborations and side projects exhibits his devotion to music and skills to create lasting work outside his original band, Mötley Crüe.
Nikki Sixx’s Favorite Songs
Which are Nikki Sixx’s favorite songs to listen to?
- “Band on the Run” – Wings
- “Ogre Battle” – Queen
- “Rip Off” – T-Rex
- “Snowblind” – Black Sabbath
- “Cracked Actor” – David Bowie
- “Your Song” – Elton John
- “Jim Dandy” – Black Oak Arkansas
1. Wings – Band On The Run (Band On The Run, 1973)
Nikki Sixx has voiced his respect for Wings and their hit song Band On The Run from their 1973 album of the same name. The song illustrates how Paul McCartney‘s band was able to create contagious melodies and unforgettable lyrics during their post-Beatles career.
In June of 2021 Sixx told Loudsound, “My friends and I have had many conversations asking, The Beatles or Wings? And when my friends say, ‘Wings’, I’m like, I know, right? Sacrilege to some, I know, but I’m sorry, Band On The Run has it all.”
2. Queen – Ogre Battle (Queen II, 1974)
Another of Nikki Sixx‘s favorite songs is “Ogre Battle” by the iconic rock band, Queen. From their 1974 album, Queen II, Ogre Battle emphasizes the versatility and the distinctive vocal stylings of Freddie Mercury. The song’s powerful energy and compelling storytelling are just a few of the reasons why this is one of Nikki‘s favorites.
Sixx expressed that the mix of heavy guitar riffs infused with fluid melodies powered by Freddie Mercury is what makes this track so compelling.
3. T. Rex – Rip Off (Electric Warrior, 1971)
Being partial to glam rock, it’s no surprise that T. Rex also made it to Nikki‘s list with their track Rip Off from their groundbreaking 1971 album, Electric Warrior. The crunchy guitars and pop-like lyrics really illustrate Marc Bolan‘s artistic muscle. It’s no wonder. David Bowie heavily influenced both Bolan and Nikki Sixx.
4. Black Sabbath – Snowblind (Vol. 4, 1972)
You can’t have a favorites list about heavy metal without including the fathers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath. Released in 1972, their fourth album, Vol.4, included one of Nikki‘s favorite tracks – Snowblind. The monumental riffs and ominous vocals encapsulate the signature sound that was Black Sabbath. Sixx recalls that as a teenager this a song he would play – over and over – until people begged him to stop.
5. David Bowie – Cracked Actor (Aladdin Sane, 1973)
Described by Nikki as, “The perfect song from Bowie,” Cracked Actor from the 1973 album Aladdin Sane had a big influence. Nikki borrowed heavily from Bowie‘s mix of rock and theatre and no song’s chameleonic nature emphasizes this more than Cracked Actor.
6. Elton John – Your Song (Elton John, 1970)
Considered by Nikki to be, “The best song Elton John has ever written,” Sixx described the song as “making his hairs stand up on his arm.” A classic that transcends time, Your Song, released in 1970, showcases Elton John‘s ability to blend soulful piano melodies with poignant lyrics.
7. Black Oak Arkansas – Jim Dandy (High On The Hog, 1973)
Lastly, Nikki Sixx loves Jim Dandy, a song by the southern rock band Black Oak Arkansas from their 1973 album High On The Hog. Sixx was heavily into British heavy metal when he was introduced to this little-known band. Their unique blend of classic rock, blues, and country captured Sixx‘s attention, demonstrating his eclectic taste in music. Sixx and Mötley Crüe even invited Jim Dandy up on stage to play Jailhouse Rock with them.
Nikki Sixx‘s past and pure emotions are often found within his music and lyrics. As an artist who has overcome addiction, his experiences have helped him create songs that connect with fans on a deeper level. His lyrics often touch on themes of heartache, anger, and perseverance.
Sixx describes Wild Side, from the Girls, Girls, Girls album, as one of his favorite songs he’s written. He also names Kickstart My Heart as having a special place since it is about the time he overdosed and died for two minutes before paramedics revived him.
Nikki Sixx is currently married to his wife, Courtney Sixx. They married in 2014 and have a daughter together. This is his third marriage, having previously been married to Brandi Brandt and Donna D’Errico.
What are your thoughts on Nikki Sixx‘s favorite songs of all time? Let us know in the comment section!