Classic Album Review

Classic Album of the Week: Mötley Crüe: Shout at the Devil

“When this record broke, we were in complete shock and awe over the band’s appearance and sound,” the OG says about Motley Crue’s 1983 sophomore release, Shout at the Devil. “We were listening to AC/DC, Van Halen, Boston, Scorpions, Black Sabbath, and the like; even KISS, with its use of make-up and shock appeal didn’t prepare us for Crüe!”

Mötley Crüe are from Los Angeles, CA, and formed in 1981. The band was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars, and vocalist Vince Neil. Shout at the Devil (Elektra Records) dropped on September 26, 1983, and sold 200,000 copies in the first two weeks. Many attributes the high sales volume to the record’s (and the band’s) built-in controversy. ’83 was the time just before the PMRC required warning labels on all explicit albums, and Shout at the Devil’s original record cover featured a huge pentagram and photos of the four members in complete costume.

“Every week we were in the record store, looking for the newest record by our favorites, or we’d find new bands to listen to based on record covers. When we picked up Shout, it was the coolest thing we’d ever seen! The cover just drew us in, and we hadn’t even heard any of it! When I got home and played it, and the title track blasted through my speakers, I was hooked! The sound oozed from the record. It was gritty, dirty, and just incredible! It was in your face violent, sexual (straight up, not in innuendos), and overall unlike anything I’d ever heard.”

This was an important time in Metal history, Glam Rock began here, with the edgy sounds and lyrical content of Crue and Twisted Sister. In fact, Nikki Sixx, before forming Crüe, was in a band (“Sister”) with legendary vocalist Blackie Lawless, who would go on to form the infamous band, WASP. Before Glam turned into Big Hair Rock (Cinderella, Britney Fox, etc.) and Pop Rock (Poison, Ratt, etc), it was raw, dark, and (ironically) real. Hey, if it weren’t for Glam Metal (in all its forms), there would have been no rebellion against it, by bands (starting with the letter “M") like Metallica, Metal Church, and Megadeth, etc.

Shout opened the door, for me, to extreme music. It was less mainstream, radio rock and more  underground, less publically acceptable Metal. Crüe changed the game through sound, appearance, and content. Twisted Sister was the first time I had ever heard cussing in a song (F-bombs). Blackie Lawless and WASP pushed all of that to the extremes with song titles, live performance props, and lifestyles! Crüe was kicked off their first KISS tour by Gene Simmons, and Twisted Sister and WASP were continually band all over the world. It was glorious!!”

Favorite Songs: Shout at the Devil ; Looks that Kill ; Ten Seconds to Love

Rating: a perfect 10/10!

What are some of your favorite songs off of Shout at the Devil?

Stay Metal,