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To Hell with the Devil

To Hell with the Devil is the Grammy Award nominated fourth release, and third full-length album, by the Christian metal and Glam metal band Stryper, released in 1986 (see 1986 in music). It was both the first Contemporary Christian and Christian metal album to achieve Platinum status, selling over one million copies. It remains the best-selling Christian metal album of all time.

The album was listed at #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.

As the band started to record the album, Tim Gaines left the band. He was replaced by bassist Matt Hurich. That failed, so "session" bassist Brad Cobb took Tim's place while recording this album.

However, before the tour for it began, Tim Gaines "rejoined" the band.

Track listing

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

Stryper

Additional musicians

Singles

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

Production

  • 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

Miscellanea

  • The original cover of To Hell with the Devil caused a torrent of controversy, and was soon changed to an all-black design that was sold in the United States market. The original artwork (see left) consists of four angels--who resembled the band members--ripping a pentagram necklace from Satan's neck. The album was released in Europe with the original cover. The cover was available in limited quantities in the United States, also.
  • Throughout 1987, both music videos for Free and Honestly ranked #1 on Dial MTV, the nightly MTV list of most requested videos. The video for "Calling on You" also reached #5 on the show.
  • The tour for To Hell with the Devil was arguably Stryper's most popular with the band playing in bigger venues (arenas as opposed to theatres for Soldiers Under Command).

References

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