8 Songs You Didn’t Know Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx Wrote for Other Artists

The chief songwriter for Mötley Crüe since its inception, bassist Nikki Sixx has written the majority of the band’s catalog from their 1981 debut single, “Live Wire,” through the titillating “Girls, Girls, Girls” and the drug-blown “Dr. Feelgood,” and dozens of other tracks throughout the band’s nine albums.

Videos by American Songwriter

Along with his work with Brides of Destruction and Sixx A.M., Sixx has compiled a lengthy book of songs over the past four decades. Also an author, Sixx co-penning the Crüe’s 2001 memoir, The Dirt, along with bandmates Vince Neil, Mick Mars, and Tommy Lee, in addition to his own books — his 2007 New York Times best-seller, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star and follow up This Is Gonna Hurt in 2011 and the 2021 release, The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx.

[RELATED: 10 Infamous Moments From Mötley Crüe’s Career]

Often co-writing with former Sixx: A.M. vocalist James Michael, Sixx has also written a number of songs for other artists over years, including Alice Cooper, Meat Loaf, and former Sex Pistol Steve Jones, among others over the decades.

Here’s a look at eight songs Sixx wrote for other artists since 1988.

1. “Falling In and Out of Love,” Lita Ford (1988)
Written by Nikki Sixx, Lita Ford, David Ezrin

Lita Ford’s third album, Lita, featured tracks written by Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister (“Can’t Catch Me”) and her top 10 duet with Ozzy Osbourne, “Close My Eyes Forever.” Ford’s former boyfriend, Nikki Sixx, also co-wrote the ballad “Falling In and Out of Love” with her, along with David Ezrin.

We’ve changed, a new change of season
Autumn came, we went, I went insane
Never was winter so cold, no
Look away from the homeward road
I’m feeling love in a daydream
Making love first morning light
Walking slowly in the summer rain
Alone I lie, fantasize
I’m falling in and out of love
I’m falling in and out of love
Slip inside my dream
Dream away with me
‘Cause I’m falling in and out of love

2. “Heads Will Roll,” Marion Raven (2005)
Written by Nikki Sixx, James Michael, Marion Raven

Norwegian singer Marion Raven’s 2006 debut EP, Heads Will Roll, features a collection of collaborations, including Buckcherry’s Xavier Muriel and Keith Nelson, Rane Maida of Our Lady Peace, and The Exies’ Scott Stevens and Freddy Herrera. Along with James Michael, who also produced the EP and Raven, Sixx wrote the title track, which was later released on her debut full-length, Here I Am, in 2005.

There’s a look in your eyes, am I the one you dread?
You make me wonder what’s going on inside your head (inside your head)
You lie and you slither like a cold-blooded snake
I’ll make you pay for your big mistake

3. “We’re Not Saints,” Steve Jones (1989)
Written by Nikki Sixx, Steve Jones, Terry Nails

For his second solo album, Fire and Gasoline, former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones enlisted Axl Rose and The Cult’s Ian Astbury, who also co-produced the album and wrote two tracks. Sixx was also on board to write the explosive “We’re Not Saints.” The Cult’s guitarist Billy Duffy also appears on the album.

If we only go at it once
We might as well live it up for everyone
I’ll tell you you’re my only love
But tomorrow I’ll be on the run

4. “Die For You,” Alice Cooper (1991)
Written by Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Alice Cooper, Jim Vallance

Following up Alice Cooper‘s 1989 hit Trash, on Hey Stoopid, a collection of guests, including guitarists Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, along with Mötley Crüe’s Mick Mars and Sixx, offered more contributions. Sixx and Mars also co-wrote the wistful ballad “Die For You,” along with Cooper and Canadian songwriter Jim Vallance (Tina Turner, Bonnie Raitt, KISS).

A hundred numbers on my wall
Some with names I sometimes call
I drop the coin and watch it fall
Tryin’ to get connected to you

A thousand hours all alone
My softest pillow turns as hard as stone
This is the longest night on my own
Lyin’ here thinkin’ of you

5. “Rest In Pieces,” Saliva (2008)
Written by Nikki Sixx and James Michael

Saliva’s third album, Back into Your System, reached the No. 19 on the Billboard 200 and featured one track penned by Sixx and Michael. Facing the death of a relationship, “Rest in Pieces” is a slower-paced ballad for the heavier Memphis rockers.

Look at me, my depth perception must be off again
‘Cause this hurts deeper than I thought it did
It has not healed with time
It just shot down my spine
You look so beautiful tonight
Remind me how you laid us down
And gently smiled before you destroyed my life

6. “Couldn’t Have Said It Better,” Meat Loaf (2003)
Written by Nikki Sixx and James Michael

On Meat Loaf‘s eighth album, Couldn’t Have Said It Better, Sixx and Michael wrote three songs, including the epic title track. Several years later, Sixx collaborated with Meat Loaf again, co-writing the opening track, “The Monster is Loose,” for his 2006 album, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose.

And you said nothing at all
Well I couldn’t have said it better myself
Tonight the conversation takes the fall
Just love me like you love nobody else

Little lady, I think there’s something on your mind
I’ve known you long enough to know
The words are not that hard to find

7. “Reason I’m Alive,” Drowning Pool (2007)
Written and produced by Nikki Sixx

Full Circle was the first of two albums by Drowning Pool with then-new vocalist Ryan McCombs, who remained with the band through 2011. Co-produced by Sixx, Full Circle closes on a cover of Billy Idol‘s 1983 hit “Rebel Yell.” Earlier up on the track list, Sixx also wrote the more intense “Reason I’m Alive.”

You’re the reason that I’m alive
Twist that knife but I just won’t die
You’re the reason that I’m alive (reason that I’m alive)
Leave you here as you watch me fly away
Woah-oh, woah-oh, as you watch me fly away
Watch me fly away

8. “Ain’t Gonna Stop,” James Otto (2008)
Written by Nikki Sixx, James Otto, Big Kenny, John Rich

Country singer James Otto connected with Sixx while he was working on his second album, Sunset Man, co-produced with Big & Rich and Rascal Flatt‘s Jay DeMarcus. Co-written along with Otto and Big & Rich’s Big Kenny and John Rich, Sixx wrote the country rocker, and opening track, “Ain’t Gonna Stop.” Sunset Man‘s lead single, “Just Got Started Lovin’ You,” also reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

[RELATED: Mick Mars, Mötley Crüe Guitarist, Retires from Touring]

I got a blonde bombshell in my black Corvette
Burnin’ down the rubber like a hot cigarette
Ain’t found nothin’ that will hold me yet
Feels a little better when I’m out on the edge
Like a Tarantino movie runnin’ through my head
Ain’t gonna sleep again until I’m dead

Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images

Leave a Reply

5 Deep Cuts from Carrie Underwood That You Should Be Listening To