After the demise of Twisted Sister, Dee Snider went on to start the Desperado project. In 1989, Snider, teaming up with guitarist Bernie Torme, bassist Marc Russell and ex-Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr to create an album for Elektra Records. Ready for release in '89, Elektra decided to shelve the album about two weeks before the initial unveiling. The album wouldn't see the light of day for over 5 years. A few of the tracks on this disc would later turn up as Widowmaker songs. ("Gone Bad", "Calling On You", and "Emaheevul") A year later, Dee Snider and Marc Russell (bass) went on to form Widowmaker with guitar wizard Al Pitrelli (who is now with Savatage) and ex-Twisted drummer Joe Franco. In 2001 Dee Snider also released a solo disc with AJ Pero that was made up of songs that he had written during the Desperado and Widowmaker days.
Widowmaker-Blood & Bullets (Esquire) 1992
1. "Emaheevul" (3:20)
2. "The Widowmaker" (5:08)
3. "Evil" (3:06)
4. "The Lonely Ones" (4:59)
5. "Reason To Kill" (5:34)
6. "Snot Nose Kid" (4:01)
7. "Blood and Bullets (Pissin' Against the Wind)" (3:16)
8. "Gone Bad" (3:19)
9. "Blue For You" (6:18)
10. "You're a Heartbreaker" (3:21)
11. "Calling For You" (4:46)
12. "We Are The Dead" (3:47)
Snider's first solo/band project to see release after the ill-fated Desperado album is heavier than his former band, yet still retains a certain commercial appeal. This is because Snider is a master of writing simple catchy anthemic songs and he obviously knows what he does best. Several of the songs on this disc were suppose to be on the Desperado album. The music is not quite as manic as the follow-up disc, yet I would say it's a bit heavier than the last few Twisted platters. Actually, this cd could have been released under the Twisted Sister name without ruffling too many feathers. Of course this just could not be without Jay Jay French. This disc is out of print, but I got lucky and found a sealed copy for $5, although it does have a cut out.
Widowmaker-Stand By For Pain (Music For Nations) 1994
|1 "Killing Time"
2. "Long Gone" (4:08)
3. "Protect and Serve" (3:58)
4. "Ready to Fall" (3:49)
5. "Circles" (4:15)
6. "Standby for Pain" (5:52)
7. "Just Business" (4:03)
8. "The Iron Road" (4:24)
9. "Bad Rain" (4:43)
10. "Your Sorrow" (4:09)
10. "Cry a Dying Man's Tears" (4:39)
11. "All Things Must Change" (5:00)
Widowmaker sound nothing like Twisted Sister. Widowmaker is 1990's heavy metal with balls to the walls guitars, drums and bass. Of course Dee Snider is Dee Snider and his voice is unmistakable, but even Dee is more aggressive than anything he had done with Twisted. Of course the guitarwork, being done by guitar shredder Al Pitrelli is outstanding. Even Al is more aggressive than any other project I have heard him play on, and that includes Savatage. There are some slower, bluesy moments as well on this disc. Overall, this album just smokes!
1. "Hard Core" (4:06)
Dee Snider continues to impress with music that comes straight out of the 80's but with a 2000 production and attitude. OK, maybe the attitude is still the same old song and dance too, but I still like it. "Never Let the Bastards Wear You Down", is Dee Snider's first solo album (by name), however all the material on this disc is apparently stuff that was written throughout the course of Dee's career with Twisted Sister up through Desperado. These are all tunes that didn't make they cut or were shelved for one reason of another. "Hardcore" is an excellent fast and furious song that pays musical and lyrical homage to Lemmy and Motorhead. Apparently this song was written by Dee and recorded by Motorhead several years ago for some movie soundtrack. Now there is a rarity to keep an ear out for. A few of the songs on this disc are actually from the "Stay Hungry" era of Twisted Sister. One was written for the "Love is for Suckers" album. The rest was written with Bernie Torme for the ill-fated Desperado project. There are lots of high intensity rockers as well as a couple of quality power ballads ("Cry You A Rainbow"). "The Wanderer" is a cover song that sounds like something Twisted may have played during their early, fromative years. All the material is a worthwhile listen. Even AMG gives this disc a four star rating. According to Dee's web site this is the last album he will record. He claims that his current passion is film making and his radio show-the House of Hair, a show dedicated to heavy metal. Here is a quote from Dee himself,
"Rock'n'roll is for the truly committed. It's a f***in' lifestyle, it's full-time. When I was in Twisted, that was all I did; all I lived morning, noon and night. It was my entire existence...we didn't overanalyze the business side of it or anything, we just went out there and played and played and played until the stores were FORCED to stock our records. After a Twisted show I couldn't f***ing walk. That was the end of my night. Maybe I'd be able to drag myself to the tour bus. That was the commitment level. And the songs on "Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down" were written during that time of relentless passion."
Too bad Dee is throwing in the towel because has always been a master at writing simple, anthemic '80s heavy metal, a style that has been depressed ever since the introduction of grunge in the mid-1990's. The liner notes on this disc are extensive and feature a comment by Dee on each and every tune, including who or what inspired the song. The disc also features Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pero. Absolutely a disc for anyone who is or was a fan of Twisted Sister.
Dee also recorded a song ("Inconclusion") for his "Strangeland" soundtrack.
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