35 Years Ago: Mötley Crüe Released The Deviant "Shout At The Devil"

September 26, 2018

If there was a band that epitomized the "sex, drugs and rock n' roll" lifestyle with all of the glam and hairspray of '80s metal, then look no further than Mötley Crüe. On September 26th, 1983, the band channelled all of their aggression and hunger into their second album Shout at the Devil.

Shout at the Devil had everything the deviant and unconforming youth of the '80s needed: the dark and heavy tones of metal with Mad Max-esque attitudes, complete with that badass red guy-liner.

When they self-released their debut album Too Fast For Love, they attracted the interest of Elektra records who later signed them in 1982. From there they received a real budget to record Shout at the Devil with the help of producer Tom Werman (Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult) who had a track record of making bands sound from big to massive.  

It was also around this time when all of the members of Mötley Crüe were entrenched in their vices: sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. So Elektra records used this to their advantage by portraying them as the ultimate poster children for "sex, drugs and rock n' roll." They proudly boasted about the band's arrest at Edmonton Internation Airport after entering customs with fully spiked stage gear. During a separate incident, vocalist Vince Neil attempted to board a plane with a suitcase of pornography.

When they first entered Cherokee Studios in Hollywood, CA in April 1983, the members of Mötley Crüe were unsure what their new recording process would be like since it was their first time in a professional studio. Werman was able to explain to them how they could record each of their parts individually, as well as re-record, make changes, fix mistakes, and so on. From there, the guys of Mötley Crüe took their musicianship as seriously as their partying... very seriously. They even recorded a debaucherous cover of the Beatles' song, "Helter Skelter."

The band wrapped up production for Shout at the Devil in July 1983, and a couple of months later, sold over 200,000 copies in the first two weeks and peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard album chart. By January 1984, the album had gone gold. One month later, they reached platinum status. A year later, Shout at the Devil had gone double-platinum. Then by May 1997, it had become quadruple-platinum.