Top of the Heap-Motley Crue
If there is one album by Motley Crue that could best be called (or rather described) as traditional heavy metal it is Shout At The Devil. Released in 1983 the album showed a move away from the more punk rock leanings of Too Fast For Love towards the more popular style of eighties heavy metal. I'll argue the fact that Motley Crue were genre jumpers at another time. While there are moments on all of Motley Crue's album (up until Dr.Feelgood) that I really like I think Shout At The Devil is the strongest release by them. Get past the fact that the band were playing shock for shock values sake (it worked to their credit-negative press works wonders for albums sales) Shout offers some great metal moments. The almighty title track is a heavy metal classic. It starts the album off with a bang and goes off the richter scale of evil (or as evil as the early eighties metal scene would get). "Looks That Kill" might be one of the best songs that Motley Crue ever put down on vinyl. Mick Mars (who for whatever reason was always overshadowed by his three band mates) is just great on this track. His solo work is one of a kind and he is a criminally underrated guitarist. On "Bastard" his riffs are just a punch in the stomach. Sure Vince Neil has his own voice and made Motley Crue work it just amazes me that Mars never got the credit he deserves. Everyone knows "Helter Skelter" by now and the chance they took on covering a Beatles classic. How they got it too work so well I'll never know. It is a twisted take on the song, very distorted and ugly. Yet they pull it off. Their fastest song of all time, "Red Hot", showed a nod towards old school Judas Priest. Tommy Lee deserves a nod for his work on this killer track. I would have loved to have seen the band's sound go in that direction instead of the more glam and blues they opted for. "Too Young To Fall In Love" is another classic Motley Crue moment. It's touch of sleaze makes the song a real rocker. "Knock 'Em Dead, Kid" showcases Motley Crue at it's angriest. "Ten Seconds To Love" seems leftover from the group's debut. The chorus riff to "Danger" is timeless metal. The number shows off more of the anger and dark lifestyle Motley Crue was living in. The band sudden fame brought not only fast cars and women but drugs and alcohol. It was their lifestyle and all the debauchery that crafted these metal numbers. You can hear the nods to not only the punk movement and British glam movement but also heavy metal legends like AC/DC, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. While the group would carry on releasing solid heavy metal albums it does make me wonder where the band would be at now if they would have stuck with mainstream metal instead of leading the glam metal movement. Either way Shout At The Devil maintains it's cult status and is still my favorite Motley Crue album.
Metal Mark says-
Motley Crue knocked out two great albums and yes it's the first two. After "Too fast for love" and "Shout at the devil" they never quite came close to the level of those two albums. However that might be enough because both are fantastic, but I have always prefered the debut. "Live Wire" is a killer opener and sets the mood for a hard and raw ride. "Come on and Dance" has a fantastic groove and is just a fun song.
"Public Enemy #1" has Vince Neil doing some of his best work. Even though I have always felt that other than Tommy Lee the rest of the band are very average musicians, but on occasion they had some great ideas. Having "Merry-Go-Round" take a flow like being on a merry go round was a fine idea and it works. "Take Me to the Top" is simple, but a real bouncy almost upbeat track. "Piece of Your Action" has the Crue in fine form and sounding confeident. "Starry Eyes" is a haunting track and one of my favorites on the album. The title track sports a fantastic chorus and a gritty main riff. "On with the Show" again has the band showing some solid songwriting and controlling the pace. This album has a fantastic raw edge and shows where hard rock in America could have gone, but soon the Crue and others would choose slicker more radio friendly sounds to latch onto. "Too fast for love" stands as a magnificent effort that pulls upon 70's glam, hard rock, punk and other sounds. A wonderful album for sure.
***What is your favorite Motley Crue album?