Shout at the Devil

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Shout at the Devil
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 26, 1983
RecordedApril–July 1983
StudioCherokee Studios, Hollywood, California
ProducerTom Werman
Mötley Crüe chronology
Too Fast for Love
Shout at the Devil
Theatre of Pain
Alternative CD/Cassette edition cover
Singles from Shout at the Devil
  1. "Shout at the Devil"
    Released: 1983 (promo)
  2. "Helter Skelter"
    Released: 1983 (promo)
  3. "Looks That Kill" / "Piece of Your Action"
    Released: January 4, 1984
  4. "Too Young to Fall in Love" / "Take Me to the Top"
    Released: April 30, 1984

Shout at the Devil is the second studio album by American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, released on September 26, 1983. It was the band's breakthrough album, establishing Mötley Crüe as one of the top selling heavy metal acts of the 1980s. The singles "Looks That Kill" and "Too Young to Fall in Love" were moderate hits for the band.


Shout at the Devil was Mötley Crüe's breakthrough success, selling 200,000 copies in its first two weeks.[2] The album's title and the band's use of a Pentagram caused a great deal of controversy upon its 1983 release, as Christian and conservative groups claimed the band was encouraging their listeners to worship Satan.[3] The Pentagram was something Nikki Sixx brought with him from Sister, a very theatrical band he had been a member of (along with future W.A.S.P. vocalist Blackie Lawless) in the late 70s prior to the formation of Mötley Crüe. Sister were the first L.A. band to fuse occult symbolism such as the Pentagram into a theatrical heavy metal show incorporating blood and facial makeup. Sixx asked Lawless for permission to use some of Sister's occult-related imagery for Shout at the Devil, as at that point Lawless was intent on moving in a different direction. "I said 'take whatever you want' because at that point, I realised that with an image like that, you end up painting yourself in a corner and you can't get out," said Lawless.[4]

Just prior to returning home to Los Angeles to begin recording the album, Mötley Crüe was famously kicked off their support spot on Kiss' Creatures of the Night tour. The bands played only five shows together before Gene Simmons demanded they be replaced, citing their "bad behavior".[2]

During recording, bassist Sixx was involved in a serious car crash after drunkenly stealing a friend's Porsche in Los Angeles. At around the same time, actress and friend Demi Moore told Sixx he needed Alcoholics Anonymous, though Sixx dismissed her concerns.[2] Sixx badly injured his shoulder in the crash and was prescribed Percocet, a combination of acetaminophen and the powerful opioid oxycodone which was commonly prescribed to treat severe short-term pain. Sixx's use of Percocet transitioned directly to a crippling addiction to heroin which would cost him $3,500 a day and almost claim his life later in the decade.[2]

Another car crash the following year would nearly end Mötley Crüe. The band had just wrapped up several months of touring in support of Shout at the Devil when vocalist Vince Neil threw a massive party at his Redondo Beach home, attended by the band Hanoi Rocks. After days of drinking and drugs, Neil and Hanoi Rocks' drummer Razzle made a trip to a nearby liquor store in Neil's 1972 Ford Pantera to buy more beer. Though they made it to the liquor store without incident, on the return trip the car slipped on a wet spot on the road. Neil lost control of the sportscar and veered into oncoming traffic at 65MPH, colliding with another vehicle heading in the opposite direction. The impact left the driver of the other car in a month-long coma, and her passenger was also seriously injured. Though Neil escaped without injury, Razzle was pronounced dead at the scene at the age of 24. Neil was subsequently charged with drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter, and the band's future was very much in doubt as Neil faced possible prison time. In the end, Neil was sentenced to 200 hours of community service, paid $2.6 million in restitution to Razzle's family, and served only 30 days in jail.[2]

The song "Bastard" was targeted by Tipper Gore and the PMRC, who were behind the move to have warning labels placed on albums with lyrics or other content they found disturbing. According to guitarist Mick Mars, the song wasn't a call to violence but rather was about "a certain person that we used to work with that we felt we were stabbed in the back by."[5]

"Knock 'Em Dead, Kid" was inspired by a violent encounter between Sixx and a group of Hells Angels. Sixx somehow or another wound up in a fight with a group of bikers, even hitting one member in the face with a chain he had been wearing as a belt. The Hells Angels turned out to be undercover cops, and the bassist was subsequently badly beaten and jailed, resulting in a black eye and broken cheekbone. After being released from jail, he was inspired to write a song about the ordeal.[2]

The album also features a cover of The Beatles' 1968 song "Helter Skelter", a song that allegedly inspired mass murderer Charles Manson. Sixx was not a Beatles' fan, referring to the band as "fucking wimpy", but he lists "Helter Skelter" and The White Album among his favorites of all time.[6]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[7]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal8/10[8]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[10]
The Village VoiceD[11]

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau panned Shout at the Devil and felt the band's commercial appeal lay in false braggadocio on an album that is poor "even by heavy metal standards".[11] Rolling Stone's J. D. Considine found their style of rock formulaic, innocuous, and unoriginal: "The whole point of bands like Motley Crue is to provide cheap thrills to jaded teens, and that's where the album ultimately disappoints."[9] In The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), he dismissed the music as "a distressingly mild-mannered distillation of Kiss and Aerosmith clichés".[10] In 2017, the same magazine would later go on to rank the album at 44th, in the list of "The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time".[12]

AllMusic's Barry Weber was more positive in a retrospective review; citing Shout… as their best album, which "displays Mötley Crüe's sleazy and notorious (yet quite entertaining) metal at its best."[7] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff considered Shout at the Devil inferior to Mötley's debut album, but found its music extremely addictive if unoriginal and called it "punk rocking lobotomy metal".[8] Adrian Begrand of PopMatters called the album a "timeless L.A. metal classic", which "people often forget how dark, how sleazy, how menacing ... really is". In his opinion, it contains the band's best singles and "remains to this day Mötley Crüe's finest hour".[13]

Ultimate Classic Rock's Eduardo Rivadavia gave much praise to the album calling it the, "ultimate L.A. glam metal album", and called the band, "the first heavy metal band to truly cross over from the male to female audience, which automatically doubled the band’s fan-base-building prospects".[14]

"Without this album, a lot of the great hair metal bands wouldn't have come about," observed Satchel of Steel Panther. "Theatre of Pain was more of their glam look, but Shout at the Devil was such a great record. It was fuckin' sick. They set the bar. People looked at that and said, 'Fuck, we gotta dress up cool, man.'[15]

Shout at the Devil peaked at No.17 on the Billboard 200.[16] The singles "Looks That Kill" and "Too Young to Fall in Love", peaked at No.54 and No.90 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984, while "Shout at the Devil" peaked at No. 30 on the Mainstream Rock chart.[17] The album was awarded 4x Platinum (reaching the four million mark in shipments) on May 15, 1997.[18]

"When a band like us put out Shout at the Devil," Sixx observed in 2000, "and the label does zero marketing, zero publicity and takes zero trade adverts, and you sell five million records, then everybody starts patting themselves on the back. But it's Mötley Crüe that did that, not Elektra Records."[19]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics and music written by Nikki Sixx, except where noted.

Side one
1."In the Beginning" Geoff Workman1:13
2."Shout at the Devil"  3:16
3."Looks That Kill"  4:07
4."Bastard"  2:54
5."God Bless the Children of the Beast"(Instrumental)Mick Mars1:33
6."Helter Skelter" (The Beatles cover)John Lennon, Paul McCartneyLennon–McCartney3:09
Side two
7."Red Hot" Sixx, Mars, Vince Neil3:20
8."Too Young to Fall in Love"  3:34
9."Knock 'Em Dead, Kid" Neil, Sixx3:43
10."Ten Seconds 'till Love"Sixx, Neil 4:17
11."Danger" Mars, Sixx, Neil3:51
Total length:34:57

2003 remastered edition[edit]

In 2003, the band re-issued their albums on their own label Mötley Records, including added bonus tracks from each album's specific era. The bonus tracks of the remastered edition of Shout at the Devil are mainly composed of demos, but include also the previously unreleased song "I Will Survive", which was recorded in the same sessions. The song "Black Widow", included in the Red, White & Crüe compilation, was also recorded and left off this album. The track "Hotter than Hell" was later renamed and re-recorded into "Louder Than Hell" on the Theatre of Pain album. This edition also sports a warning that the album may contain masked backwards messages. This is in reference to Sixx and Lee chanting "Jesus is Satan" as an underdub on the title track.[20]

2003 Remastered edition bonus tracks
12."Shout at the Devil" (demo) 3:18
13."Looks That Kill" (demo) 5:06
14."Hotter Than Hell" (demo version of Louder Than Hell) 2:49
15."I Will Survive"Sixx, Mars3:19
16."Too Young to Fall in Love" (demo) 3:03
Total length:51:32

A limited edition "Mini-LP" Compact Disc version of the album was released in the Japanese market, featuring the original cover that was previously available only on the vinyl LP release.


Mötley Crüe[edit]




Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[25] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[26] 3× Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[18] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (2007). Fargo Rock City : a Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota. 3M Company. Scribner. p. 161. ISBN 978-1-4165-8952-5. OCLC 869442403.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Levy, Piet. "37 outrageous stories about Mötley Crüe". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  3. ^ Jarriel, Tom (May 16, 1985). "The Devil Worshippers". 20/20.
  4. ^ "Facts & Rumours". Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  5. ^ Newton, Steve. "Motley Crue's Mick Mars: "Without groupies, I probably wouldn't have been a musician."". People. The Georgia Straight. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  6. ^ Kordosh, J. "Psychic Gruel and Mötley Crüe - a classic interview from the vaults". The Guardian. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Weber, Barry. "Mötley Crüe - Shout at the Devil review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
  9. ^ a b Considine, J. D. (February 16, 1984). "Shout At The Devil". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Considine, J. D. (2004). "Mötley Crüe". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City: Simon & Schuster. pp. 562–63. ISBN 978-0743201698. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (June 12, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  12. ^ Grow, Kory (June 21, 2017). "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  13. ^ Begrand, Adrien (December 14, 2003). "Mötley Crüe: Shout at the Devil". PopMatters. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  14. ^ September 26, Eduardo RivadaviaPublished; 2015. "How Motley Crue Staked Their Claim With 'Shout at the Devil'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved October 9, 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Satchel: "Hair Metal"; Classic Rock #138, November 2009, p59
  16. ^ "Shout at the Devil Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  17. ^ "Shout at the Devil Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on November 25, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  18. ^ a b "American album certifications – Motley Crue – Shout at the Devil". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  19. ^ Ling, Dave (March 2000). "We are lüdicröus!". Classic Rock #12. p. 48.
  20. ^ Lee, Tommy, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx and Neil Strauss. The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band, Regan Books, 2002. ISBN 0-06-039288-6
  21. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4456". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  22. ^ "Motley Crue Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  23. ^ "Motley Crue Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Motley Crue Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  25. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on August 22, 2020.
  26. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Motley Crue – Shout at the Devil". Music Canada.