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used records review:

HÜrtin' CrÜe

Chris Auman

Mötley Crüe Shout at the Devil

Mötley Crüe
Shout at the Devil
[Elektra] 1983

I used to hate the Crüe back in the day. Hated them. Hated their look, their attitude and especially the horrible, godawful music they made. I could not understand how anybody could like them. Unfortunately for me, the majority of my small group of high school friends (and rural Illinois in general) were into metal and really into the Crüe. But my friends weren’t cool metal dudes with long hair, jean jackets, muscle cars and the whiff moral turpitude (they wished!). Their hair was as long as they were allowed to grow it, one or two may have had a jacket made of some demin-like material and I guess a ‘69 Duster counts as a muscle car—but anyway, my point is this: I hated the Crüe. Hated them.

When Shout at the Devil came out, I remember seeing the promotional posters for the album on full display at Musicland. I was 13 and fortunately for my virgin ears it would be a year or two before I was subjected to the actual music contained on that album. They sure looked ridiculous though.

I had my own favorite double umlaut band, Hüsker Dü, who were much more abrasive, and real, intelligent and angry. They weren’t posers. None of them wore lipstick or hair-spray like the Crüe. Two members of the Hüskers were gay, but they didn't play dress up like the metal boys did. That irony was surely lost on the legions of homophobic hair metal bands and their fans of the time. While I can now listen to this record with a sense of humor and appreciate the over-the-top theatrics, at the end day, it’s just bad music.

Shout at the Devil was the follow up to the Crüe's debut, Too Fast for Love—a rough recording with even more annoying vocals, lower production values and lots of cowbell. Shout got as high as 17 on the Billboard 200 chart with “Looks That Kill.” “Too Young to Fall in Love” also broke the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984. This record was a shrewd move on the Crüe’s part because they didn’t sing about the devil much before, nor have they since. It paid dividends for them at the time, however, because anything with even a hint of devil worship sold like hot cakes fresh from Satan's oven. As for the actual music on the album... Well, the drumming is horrible, Mick Mars on guitar ain’t all that, you can’t really hear much of Nikki Sixx’s bass and Vince Neil's voice and the production on the record are both as thin as Tommy Lee’s Zildjian crash cymbals.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good metal, but the glam stuff just never washed with me. Give me some Maiden, Sabbath, Metallica, sure. Cinderella, Poison, Crüe, you can keeo it, düde.

BUY (NEW OR USED): Shout At the Devil

READ MORE: Used Record Reviews



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