Saturday, June 27, 2009

Favorite Albums: "Shout at the Devil" (1983, Elektra)

One of hair metal's oft forgotten albums, 1983's "Shout at the Devil" by Motley Crue draws a line between bands like W.A.S.P. and Poison, then pisses on it.

To the Whiteplume sensibilities, this is a fantastically packaged album. It is an American break with punk straight into dark metal. It is not as dark as some, but has all the great little elements you need; a pentagram on the cover, some Judas Priest leather, warpaint; and the songs—Shout at the Devil is obvious, then there is Helter Skelter and its Charles Manson baggage, there are songs about murder, sex, and an intro calling listeners "children of the beast." I don't think we remember how big a stink this album created in Reagan's first term. We were just getting used to mainstream heavy metal, and that was Quiet Riot and Def Leppard. Not everyone was ready for Motley Crue.

Musically they are not the best band, but solid. Tommy Lee comes off as a very workmanlike drummer, there are some little interesting bits but for the most part it is him providing a solid bottom. Nikki Sixx's bass lines are fairly rote. Vince Neill has the perfect voice for the band. To me the big standout is Mick Mars whose guitar is brutal. He plays his own rhythm guitar on the album and it really adds to the overall sound.

Give this one a listen sometime. This is not the punk/glam band of "Too Fast For Love" nor the return to glam-ish/mainstream metal of later efforts. This is a powerful record with strong production. The remastered disc has some demos, and they suck. They need to thank Tom Werman (producer). Here are a few songs from


Atom Kid said...

One of my favorite concept albums! Although I love Too Fast For Love (especially with the rip off Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album cover).

Darius Whiteplume said...

TFfL is a good one too. I like some of their later stuff, but they are mostly albums of stripper songs :-)

Rev. Phantom said...

Killer album and the very first cassette that I ever purchased...bought it on vinyl years later though.

I'll be stealing this blog idea BTW. I've been looking for a way to express my musical side at my blog, so...thanx!

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Rev - I had the vinyl. I always bought vinyl until my Panasonic all-in-one stereo crapped out, or when I got a car... One of the two :-)

As for these entries, no telling how many I'll do. All depends on how many really great (to me) albums I think of.

Keith said...

I love this album. This is what really got me into the Crue.

Jay Amabile said...

I'm a fierce Motley fan, and I couldn't have said it any better. You're right about the re-releases with the demos and unreleased tracks not being very good.Personally I love the "Too Fast For Love" stuff but this was a great transition for them.

Darius Whiteplume said...

It makes you realize how important producers really are. I guess George Martin wasn't the 5th Beatle for nothing.

This was their only album I really got into. I bought "Theater of Pain" and saw them on tour that year, but "Shout at the Devil" is Motley Crue to me. I like stuff on "Too Fast for Love" but never really listened to all of it. I'll have to hit some on Blip soon.

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