Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil
Album Comparisons: Shout At The Devil
Ah, Mötley Crüe in the early 80s, the very embodiment of period heavy metal excess. This was the era of lipstick, spandex, makeup, and big hair that defined a good chunk of the 1980s metal scene. And of course it was the era of innumerable hair metal bands - lots of them. Few are revered today outside of a comparatively small subset of acts held in respect by older metal fans, but in the early 80s Motely Crüe were hitting their stride and reaching upwards toward the height of their fame, and this sophomore release is the one that did much of the heavy lifting that ultimately got them there. Released in 1983, Shout at the Devil's original artwork featured a pentagram embossed on a black background, and this in fact is the cover image that was on my vinyl copy of this album. This artwork was unfortunately changed on the compact disc releases to the artwork seen above and has not been seen since. Shout at the Devil is Crüe at their best and most musically ferocious, the quintessential L.A. glam metal release, replete with memorable Crüe classics such as "Shout at the Devil," "Looks That Kill," and "Too Young to Fall in Love." Not coincidentally, it's also my favorite of the three Crüe albums in my collection - after Theater of Pain, their sound became just too slickly produced and glammy for my taste. So how does the original 1985 CD release compare to the later 2003 remaster?

In the Beginning

1985 original CD release

In the Beginning

2003 remaster

In the Beginning

Shout At the Devil

1985 original CD release

Shout at the Devil

2003 remaster

Shout at the Devil

Looks That Kill

1985 original CD release

Looks That Kill

2003 remaster

Looks That Kill

Bastard

1985 original CD release

Bastard

2003 remaster

Bastard

God Bless the Children of the Beast

1985 original CD release

God Bless the Children of the Beast

2003 remaster

God Bless the Children of the Beast

Helter Skelter

1985 original CD release

Helter Skelter

2003 remaster

Helter Skelter

Red Hot

1985 original CD release

Red Hot

2003 remaster

Red Hot

Too Young to Fall in Love

1985 original CD release

Too Young to Fall in Love

2003 remaster

Too Young to Fall in Love

Knock 'Em Dead, Kid

1985 original CD release

Knock 'Em Dead, Kid

2003 remaster

Knock 'Em Dead, Kid

Ten Seconds to Love

1985 original CD release

Ten Seconds to Love

2003 remaster

Ten Seconds to Love

Danger

1985 original CD release

Danger

2003 remaster

Danger
And the winner is: Original 1985 release. The waveforms say it all here. The original release still sounds good today, a textbook example of a music release you want to turn up as opposed to one you want to turn down. The remaster does include some bonus demo tracks, a previously unreleased song entitled "I Will Survive," and a muddy sounding Quicktime format video for "Looks That Kill" that is worth checking out for the 80s hair metal styles and audaciously excessive early MTV-era theatricality. "I Will Survive" contains some silly backwards messages at the end. Sadly, the bonus tracks have been given the same "brickwall of sound" treatment as the rest of the album. Unless you find the bonus tracks essential - and a listen makes clear why they were left off the album in 1983 - stick with the original release.