Shout At The Devil

Motley Crue

Elektra, 1983

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


If you’ve been a reader of this site for any length of time, you’ll know I am not the world’s biggest Motley Crue fan. I’ve not been particularly kind to some of the albums of theirs I’ve listened to in the past.

So, I can understand there would be trepidation at the idea that I’d dust off my copy of Shout At The Devil, Vince Neil and crew’s sophomore release. But the fears that I’d piss all over this album like a drunk alley cat can be relieved; in fact, this could well be Motley Crue’s best release (even with a few minor missteps).

Following their debut release Too Fast For Love, the band—vocalist Neil, guitarist Mick Mars, bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee—definitely learned the lessons from their first go-around in the studio, and worked on not only their songwriting but their overall sound. And, it has to be said: the effort paid off.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

From the first snippet “In The Beginning” leading into the title track, Motley Crue definitely hit the ground running—and to follow it with the hit single from this disc “Looks That Kill” is an expert move. Even now, nearly 40 years after this disc was released, these songs sound fresh, which is no mean trick.

Even some of the obscure tracks on Shout At The Devil, such as “Bastard” and “Red Hot,” live up to the promise of the opening salvo. And even someone like myself who never got into the Crue like I did other bands has to admit, just possibly Motley Crue knew exactly what they were doing back in 1983, ’cause these tracks still rock today.

That’s not to say the road is completely smooth, though. I’ve never warmed up to their cover of the Beatles’s “Helter Skelter”—not a terrible effort, but one wonders why it needed to be done in the first place. (To be fair, even with Bono’s line of stealing the song away from Charles Manson, I’d question why U2 even covered it.) And it does feel like Motley Crue saved the two weakest tracks, “Ten Seconds To Love” (a song which I will admit I appreciated more today than I did back in the ’80s) and “Danger,” for the end.

That all said, there are tracks on Shout At The Devil that await rediscovery, even by long-time fans. “Too Young To Fall In Love” is a surprisingly solid and mature effort, and “Knock ’Em Dead, Kid” is one that, when you listen to it, you might remember hearing at some point, bringing back some pleasant memories.

Shout At The Devil is the kind of album that makes an old man like me think that maybe, just maybe, I missed out on something important back in the ’80s when this disc came out. I personally can’t say I’d be adding it to the list of albums that is in constant rotation in my house, but it’s definitely an album I would listen to again without any hesitation, and is a major improvement over their debut effort. If you had to own just one Motley Crue album, I’d argue that this is the one to get that honor.

Rating: B

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