Monday, January 11, 2010

Stryper - "To Hell With the Devil"

Stryper - To Hell With the Devil
1986, Enigma

1. Abyss (To Hell With the Devil)
2. To Hell With the Devil
3. Calling On You
4. Free
5. Honestly
6. The Way
7. Sing-Along Song
8. Holding On
9. Rockin' the World
10. All of Me
11. More Than a Man

I was a HUGE fan of Stryper back in the day. HUGE. These days I don't really listen to them that much for whatever reason. Sometimes I wish I was born just a few years earlier so I could have really experienced these guys in their prime. As it is To Hell With the Devil is a bit more commercial than their previous efforts but that doesn't bother me any. In fact, I would say all their stuff was pretty commercial. However, this was the first disc to have a single and video blow up on MTV - that being "Honestly." As far as the whole album goes I think I like the first half a lot better than the second half with the exception of "More Than a Man." That song is awesome... and very close to my heart. It's one of my top ten metal worship songs.

Useless Fact: Only true fans know that the cover above was supposed to be the original cover for the album, but some idiot in his infinite wisdom decided on the black cover. Why? Who the heck knows. I just know that the one pictured above is cooler than the one I have.


  1. Apparently, some people (probably blue-haired little old ladies) were "offended" by the original artwork, so the label panicked and changed it. Go figure.

    On the other hand, some people were also "offended" by the cover for the first Vengeance album, Human Sacrifice, leading sme bookstores to pull it off their shelves. And Scaterd Few's Sin Disease cover also stirred up some controversy, leading the label to have a t-shirt painted onto the previously shirtless image of Romald Domkus (aka, Alan Aguirre).

    However, such silliness isn't limited to Christian artists -- ever hear of the infamous Beatles' "Butcher Cover"?

    I wonder how many of those people -- who were "offended" by the To Hell With The Devil album cover -- didn't bat at eye, when parents took their 4-year-olds to see The Passion of the Christ?

    It's a crazy world.

  2. People at the Benson Company (shocking right?) who had Christian distribution rights were concerned about the pentagram on the cover. This was at the same time all the stupid backward masking crap was getting exposure and the idiot son of Paul Crouch was on TBN every night talking Satanic music.

    Anyway, the Benson Co needed to get the album pressed and out to Christian Bookstores on the same date as the secular release version which has the artistic cover. They only had a few weeks and just went with the black cover art for Christian Bookstores.

    I managed the largest Christian Bookstore at that time and had the Stryper release party at the store. I got 5,000 copies from Benson shipped overnight (at their expense), opened up the first box, saw the crappy cover and told them to have them all picked up immediately. I than called Stryper's mainstream record company and asked if they could deliver 5,000 copies to my store in two hours. They were in LA and did so with no trouble. I sold all of them that night as we have thousands and thousands in line.

    I was afraid of running out so I put both versions next to the register and we sold all 5,000 of the cool cover and about 100 of the safe cover before the good cover sold out. After it sold out I had a toin of pissed off customers who wanted the cool cover. I sold them the the boring cover at half off and gave them $2 off the cool cover if they ever wanted to buy it...which most did.

    It was afun night!