Too Fast For Love introduced the world to bold, over-the-top chaos that is Mötley Crüe. The band’s sophomore effort, Shout At The Devil, continued where the band’s first album left off, but it a much heavier fashion.
Released in 1983, Shout At The Devil solidified Mötley Crüe’s place as one of the top heavy hair metal bands and brought them their first taste of international stardom.
Shout was the first of the band’s three collaborations with producer Tom Werman. The overall sound of the album is much grittier and heavier than Too Fast for Love, and each song fits with the overall direction and flow of the album.
The album opens with the narration of “In The Beginning,” which is accompanied by ominous musical tones. While it’s not necessarily a “song” per se, it sets a creepy tone for what’s to come.
“Looks That Kill” contains a driving rhythm section, powered by Tommy Lee’s signature thundering sound. Lee is sheer force behind the kit, and it’s hard to believe he doesn’t spontaneously combust like a member of Spinal Tap. The chorus of “Looks That Kill” is catchy, but it’s not necessarily one of the album’s best despite its popularity. Motley’s cover of the Beatle’s legendary “Helter Skelter,” is much harder than the original track and contains excellent metal guitar from Mick Mars. While many cover songs end up being disappointments, this one has a life of its own.
“Too Young To Fall In Love” is another track with an outstanding guitar riff, and builds excitement from beginning to end. The signature styling of Mick Mars make it possibly the album’s best song. The title track also has a bombastic style, with all members of the band on point. Lee, Mars and Nikki Sixx all work together to keep the start and stop motion of the verses tight, while Vince Neil screams the lyrics in the listener’s face. The chanting of the chorus is extremely catchy.
To some Christians and the highly conservative population, the album was an encouragement for listeners to worship Satan. The title track accompanied by the black pentagram album cover were enough to land the PMRC onto Mötley’s doorstep. Even though bassist Nikki Sixx was exploring Satanism during the production of the album, the devilish theme was simply the band’s attempt to get attention and, for lack of a better phrase, “stick it to the man.”
They accomplished this, with the track “Bastard” being named one of the PMRC’s “Filthy Fifteen” along with Prince’s “Darling Nikki” and Judas Priest’s “Eat Me Alive.” With this album and its devilish charm, the band continued developing their signature sound and grew into 80s glam metal Gods.
Shout At The Devil reached No. 17 on the Billboard 200 list in 1983. Critics didn’t think too highly of the album, but their opinions didn’t stop it from being awarded 4x Platinum recognition in May 1997.
“Shout at the Devil” was the highest charted single from the album, reaching No. 30 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
“Looks That Kill” and “Too Young To Fall In Love” reached No. 54 and No. 90 respectively on the Billboard 100 charts in 1984. The album, songs and cover continue to be a staple in any fan’s collection and an iconic piece of music history.
Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll may be the most cliché saying to use, but it’s what sums up the past, present, and future of Mötley Crüe at the time of Shout At The Devil’s release. Nikki Sixx had two infamous heroin overdoses, and Vince Neil was involved in a tragic car accident, which resulted in a DUI and vehicular manslaughter trial (he killed Hanoi Rock’s drummer Razzle).
With all this chaos, the band managed to persevere and create two of their best selling albums, Theatre of Pain and Girls, Girls, Girls. The band’s sobriety and first No. 1 album came with the release of Dr. Feelgood in 1989. It continues to be their most solid and successful album to date.
During the 90s, Neil and Lee stepped away from the band. Their replacements helped keep the Crüe alive and touring, but it proved that the original line-up will always be the only rightful sound of the band.
Mötley Crüe recently embarked on their “Final Tour,” which will extend into 2015. After their final concert, the band will continue their individual musical endeavors, such as Sixx’s Six A.M. and Vince Neil’s solo career.
The Crüe has not yet determined if they will record another album, but fans can look forward to a film adaptation of the band’s autobiography The Dirt which appropriately will be directed by Jackass’ Jeff Tremaine.
Review: Lindset Riley
IRC: Hilari Barton *
Powered by Facebook Comments