To Hell with the Devil

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To Hell With the Devil
Studio album by Stryper
Released October 24, 1986
Genre Christian metal, glam metal, heavy metal
Length 41:10
Label Enigma Records
Producer Stephan Galfas and Stryper
Stryper chronology
Soldiers Under Command
(1985)
To Hell with the Devil
(1986)
In God We Trust
(1988)
Alternative Cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Jesus Freak Hideout 5/5 stars[2]

To Hell with the Devil is the Grammy Award nominated third release, and second full-length album, by the Christian metal and glam metal band Stryper, released in 1986.[3] It was the first Christian metal album to achieve platinum status, selling over one million copies. It remained the best-selling Christian metal album until P.O.D.'s Satellite in 2001.[4][5][6]

The album was listed at No. 88 in the 2001 book, CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music. The album was the only heavy metal album on the list. Ian Christe, author of the heavy metal history book Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal (2003), mentions To Hell with the Devil in his book as one of the landmarks of the glam metal movement.[7] Throughout 1987, both music videos for "Free" and "Honestly" ranked No. 1 on Dial MTV, the daily MTV list of most requested videos. The first single/video video for "Calling on You" also reached No. 2 on the show. "Honestly" was the biggest single from the record peaking at #23 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart.

The original cover of To Hell with the Devil caused a torrent of controversy, and was soon changed to an all-black design. The original artwork depicted four long haired angels throwing the devil into a fiery pit. The cover was then changed on later pressings to a basic black cover with the Stryper logo and the album title in the center.[8]

According to Michael Sweet's autobiography, as the band started to record the album, Michael felt Tim Gaines wasn't the right bassist for the record. He was replaced by bassist Matt Hurich, who eventually ended up not working out. So session bassist Brad Cobb took Gaines' place while recording the album. However, before the tour began, Sweet asked Gaines to rejoin as he felt it wasn't right performing as "Stryper" without him.

In 2010, HM Magazine listed To Hell with the Devil No. 3 on its Top 100 Christian Rock Albums of All Time list stating that "when this album broke, it went multi-platinum, forever raising the ceiling of what heavy Christian music could do."[9] Heaven's Metal fanzine ranked it No. 6 on its Top 100 Christian metal albums of all time list.[10]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Michael Sweet except as noted

  1. "Abyss (To Hell with the Devil)" – 1:21
  2. "To Hell with the Devil" (M. Sweet, Robert Sweet) – 4:08
  3. "Calling on You" – 3:59
  4. "Free" (M. Sweet, R. Sweet) – 3:44
  5. "Honestly" – 4:10
  6. "The Way" (Oz Fox) – 3:37
  7. "Sing-Along Song" – 4:21
  8. "Holding On" – 4:16
  9. "Rockin' the World" – 3:30
  10. "All of Me" – 3:11
  11. "More Than a Man" – 4:35

Personnel[edit]

Stryper[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Free"/"Calling on You" - released February 10, 1987 (Enigma Records 75001)
  • "Honestly"/"Sing-Along Song" - released August 10, 1987 (Enigma 75009)

Production[edit]

  • Stephan Galfas and Stryper - Producers
  • Stephan Galfas and Dan Nebanzal - Engineers
  • Stephan and Michael Sweet - Arrangers
  • Eddy Schreyer - Mastering
  • Robert Sweet - Cover design
  • Brian Ayuso - Art direction
  • Ray Brown - Costume design

References[edit]

  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Keel, Fred (March 1, 2009). "Stryper, "To Hell with the Devil" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. John DiBiase. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ Thompson, John J. (2000), Raised by Wolves: The Story of Christian Rock & Roll (First printing ed.), Ottawa, Ontario Canada: ECW Press, ISBN 1-55022-421-2 Pages 152-155.
  4. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - P.O.D. Rejoined By Guitarist MARCOS CURIEL; First Photo Available". Legacy.roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Eminem, Nelly, Lavigne Notch New Platinum Marks". Billboard.com. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Jesus Climbs the Charts: The business of Contemporary Christian Music". Religion-online.org. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ Christe, Ian (2003), Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal (First printing ed.), "10: Glambangers of Hollywood", p. 154. HarperCollins., ISBN 0-380-81127-8
  8. ^ Brett Christensen. "Enigma Vinyl Pressing". stryper.com. Archived from the original on January 7, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2008. 
  9. ^ HM Staff. "Top 100 Christian rock albums". HM Magazine. Open Publishing. Retrieved July 17, 2010. 
  10. ^ Heaven's Metal Staff. "Top 100 Christian metal albums of all time". HM Magazine. Noise Creep. Retrieved July 17, 2010.