Twisted SisterTwisted Sister
"I don't think Twisted Sister is "Glam" because that implies glamour, and we're not glamorous. We should be called "Hid" because we're hideous." -Dee Snider

Hideous Dee!

Long before Twisted Sister was an MTV favorite in the mid 1980's I was already sitting behind bars listening to their music. I am originally from the East Coast USA (NJ to be exact), not far from where Twisted Sister are from. While most people were cutting their teeth on "Stay Hungry" this was about the time when I actually started losing interest. Their four song self release record "Rough Cutts" was the first album I owned by this band, as well as a few 45RPM records. (WOW and I dating myself.) Unfortunately at that time I was to young to get into the bars that the band was frequenting. Several time my friends and I sat behind the establishments so that we could at least hear the music, even if we were not old enough to see the show. Anyhow, I was a big fan through high school (1980-85) and owned all their albums and many import 12" singles. I was even lucky enough to catch the band in Philly with Dio in '83 and again with Dio in '84. Anyhow, I finally got around to starting a Twisted Sister cd collection in with "You Can't Stop R'n'R." Well, you gotta start somewhere. Anyhow, after Twisted Sister, the band's ring leader/vocalist Dee Snider went on to do several solo projects including Widowmaker with Al Piterli (Savatage/Asia), Deperado with Bernie Torme and a solo record (Dee Snider) with AJ Pero.

Under the Blade Twisted Sister-Under the Blade (East West/Japan) 1982

1. "What You Don't Know" (4:45)
2. "Bad Boys of Rock 'n' Roll" (3:19)
3. "Run For Your Life" (3:27)
4. "Sin After Sin" (3:22)
5. "Shoot 'em Down" (3:52)
6. "Destroyer" (4:15)
7. "Under the Blade" (4:39)
8. "Tear it Loose" (3:07)
9. "I'll Never Grow Up, Now!" (4:08)
10. "Day of the Rocker" (5:00)

No real metalhead should be without this disc. Despite the fact that this was the bands first full length disc, they already sounded like the biggest band in the world, and they had the stage show to prove it. "Under the Blade" sports tons of razor sharp heavy metal rockers. I really can't pick out a bad song. My favorites would probably be the charged up version of "What You Don't Know," "Shoot 'Em Down," "Tear It Loose" "Under the Blade" and the slow heavy rocker "Destroyer." There are two "party" rockers in "Bad Boys of Rock n' Roll" and "Shoot 'em Down." Both are still good songs and no where near the fluff of what was to come. The disc just has a killer vibe that is deserving of all the hype the band received at this time. "I'll Never Grow Up, Now!" was not on the original vinyl release and was taken from a self released single from a few years earlier. This disc was recorded in a barn in Europe with Pete Way (UFO) producing. The Japanese copy came with an extra insert that contains lyrics and a bio written in Japanese. Of course, I can't read it but from what I can make out of the bio, it seems to be talking about Twisted Sister's contribution to the NWOBHM. Of course the band was not British, but they were popular in Europe long before they became popular in the rest of the U.S. (besides the East Coast, where they already had a large following).

U Can't Stop R n R Twisted Sister-You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll (Spitfire) 1983

1. "The Kids Are Back" (3:16)
2. "Like a Knife in the Back" (3:03)
3. "Ride to Live, Live to Ride" (4:04)
4. "I Am [I'm Me]" (3:34)
5. "The Power and the Glory" (4:20)
6. "We're Gonna Make It" (3:44)
7. "I've Had Enough" (4:02)
8. "I'll Take You Alive" (3:08)
9. "You're Not Alone [Suzette's Song]" (4:02)
10. "You Can't Stop Rock & Roll" (4:40)
11. "One Man Woman" (3:09)
12. "Four Barrel Heart of Love" (3:04)
13. "Feel the Power" (3:12)

"You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll" is Twisted Sister's first major label release after several self released demos, EPs and one album "Under the Blade." This disc is actually quite good. It's just 100% raw heavy metal. Some of the band's best anthems are on this disc including "The Kids Are Back," "We're Gonna Make It," "I Am (I'm Me)" and, of course, the title track. I saw the band on this tour and they put on one heck of a show, dressed in drag with the outrageous makeup and pink fencing covering their Marshall amps. Will never forget it. This 2001 reissue contains three excellent bonus tracks.

Stay Hungry Twisted Sister-Stay Hungry (Atlantic) 1984

1. "Stay Hungry" (3:03)
2. "We're Not Gonna Take It" (3:38)
3. "Burn in Hell" (4:53)
4. "Horror-Teria (The Beginning)" (7:45)
...A) Captain Howdy
...B) Street Justice
5. "I Wanna Rock" (3:06)
6. "The Price" (3:48)
7. "Don't Let Me Down" (4:26)
8. "The Beast" (3:30)
9. "S.M.F." (3:00)

OK, I gotta admit, this album helped to alienate me from the band. I was a hardcore T.S. fan before this album came out, wearing my pink muscle shirt with the TS logo to school proudly, but the bubblegum overtones and especially the overexposure on radio and MTV, well, it just became a joke that was no longer funny. It's almost like the whole macho bad boy image backfired on the band and instead of being feared, they became the shortlived joke. Instead of instilling "fear" into the hearts of middle-aged America with their music, the name of Twisted Sister became a running, household joke compared to clowns people would laugh at instead of tough guys that would make you shudder. Dee Snider himself has said many times that it was the band's success that caused it's very demise. To bad because looking back this was actually an excellent album. OK, there are the "heard it a million times" cuts like "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock" but then there are incredible tracks like "The Beast," "S.M.F.," and the massive metal track "Burn in Hell" that make me wonder why everyone abandoned Dee and his band of cohorts. Well actually, I have to admit, that at the time I publicly slagged this disc, although I really did like it. Uh oh, do I hear shouts of "poser" coming from somewhere? Ah, who cares! I like what I like. By the way, I saw the band on this tour as well. They put on a spectacular show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia opening for everyone's favorite elf, DIO, on his "Last in Line" tour.

It is also noteworthy to mention that this album was produced by Tom Werman who has also produced for Ted Nugent, Stryper, Blue Oyster Cult, Molly Hatchet, Krokus, Cheap Trick, Kix and many other very well known heavy bands.

Come Out and Play Twisted Sister-Come Out and Play (Spitfire) 1985

1. "Come Out and Play" (4:55)
2. "Leader of the Pack" (3:44)
3. "You Want What We Got" (3:44)
4. "I Believe in Rock 'n' Roll" (4:03)
5. "The Fire Still Burns" (3:33)
6. "Be Chrool To Your Scuel" (3:54)
7. "I Believe In You" (5:23)
8. "Out On the Streets" (4:27)
9. "Lookin' Out For #1" (3:07)
10. "Kill or Be Killed" (2:46)
11. "King of the Fools" (6:26)

So what do you do after releasing a multi-platinum selling album? That must have been a tough question to answer for the Sisters at the time. Unfortunately their bad boy image quickly became a joke because of their success and their fan base was dwindling. Instead of appealing to teens and young adults, they were now appealing to grade school kids. "Come Out and Play" contains even more of a pop-edge than it predecessor. Songs like "Be Cruel To Your School" ultimately hurt the band's image, although it contained such musical guests as Alice Cooper, Billy Joel, Clarence Clemons, and Brian Setzer. Another cartoonish video was filmed for this song which was ultimately banned by MTV and helped to hurt the band's image even further. The album shipped gold but soon slid off the charts although the band successfully toured on this album for a year. I have read a bunch of Twisted Sister fan pages, all of them claiming that this disc is equal to or at least almost as good as the band's past albums. I consider myself a fan too, but there is no way I would say that. This album is no where near the excellence of "Under the Blade" or "You Can't Stop RnR." Sorry but no butt kissing here. Fact is that many bands that I respect have had their commercial failures, look at Savatage, "Fight for the Rock," Judas Priest's "Turbo," Raven's "The Pack is Back," Megadeth's "Risk," Ted Nugent's "Penetrator" or Kiss' "Unmasked." Funny thing is that many of these came out around the same time when heavy metal was no longer the bastard child of rock and roll, but a huge profit machine for big record companies. I think a lot of the fault on many of these albums, however, is not the bands, but the clueless, greedy record companies pushing for the next "big hit." (or at least that is my opinion.) Also have to add that the mix on this disc is a bit muddy, either that or the mastering on this re-issue is lame.

Love is for Suckers Twisted Sister-Love is For Suckers (Spitfire) 1987

1. "Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant)" (4:20)
2. "Hot Love" (3:33)
3. "Love is for Suckers" (3:25)
4. "I'm So Hot for You" (4:05)
5. "Tonight" (3:52)
6. "Me and the Boys" (3:52)
7. "One Bad Habit" (3:17)
8. "I Want This Night To Last Forever" (4:19)
9. "You Are All That I Need" (3:13)
10. "Yeah Right!" (4:17)
11. "Feel Appeal" (3:19)
12. "Statutory Date" (3:11)
13. "If That's What You Want" (4:25)
14. "I Will Win" (3:29)

Leaps and bounds better than "Come Out and Play" in my opinion. Still this disc doesn't sound like "The Bad Boys of Rock n Roll." Rather what we have here is an attempt at more straight-ahead, hard rock/pop metal songwriting. The raw edge and heavy approach of old was now completely lost. Probably adding to this was producer Beau Hill who had also worked with Ratt and Winger. Despite this, I still like this cd quite a bit. I bought the record as a new release to the ridicule of many of my metalhead friends at the time. I didn't care then and I don't care now. Good music is good music, even if it's not what we all hoped for. Apparently many did not agree with me and the album did not sell well. Twisted Sister decided to call it a day after the this album. This 1999 re-issue contains four excellent bonus tracks.

Big Hits & Nasty Cuts Twisted Sister-Big Hits and Nasty Cuts (Atlantic) 1992

1. "We're Not Gonna take It" (3:39)
2. "I Wanna Rock" (3:04)
3. "I Am (I'm Me)" (3:36)
4. "The Price" (3:49)
5. "You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll" (4:42)
6. "The Kids Are Back" (3:17)
7. "Shoot Em' Down" (3:55)
8. "Under The Blade" (4:40)
9. "I'll Never Grow Up Now" (4:09)
10. "Bad Boys (Of Rock 'N' Roll)" (3:20)
11. "What You Don't Know Sure Can Hurt You" -live (5:09)
12. "Destroyer" -live (4:38)
13. "Tear It Loose" -live (3:05)
14. "Run For Your Life" -live (3:39)
15. "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll" -live (10:13)
16. "Let The Good Times Roll/Feel So Fine" -live (4:15)

Picked up this one for the six live tracks, all of which were taken from 12" singles that were released in Europe for the "You Can't Stop Rock n Roll" album, except for "Let The Good Times Roll/Feel So Fine" which was released on the 45 RPM single of "You Can't Stop Rock n Roll." I have read several Twisted Sister pages that complained about the production quality of these live tracks, and while they are not crystal clear, I like the raw, club sound. These songs are all taken from when Twisted Sister were at their very best, hungry and still climbing the ladder of success. The cover art freatures photos of Twisted Sister going all the way back to 1973 up and through 1987. Also includes a bio titled "A Twisted Saga." Not a bad bio, but it conveniently leaves out even the mention of the band's last two albums.

Live at Hammersmith Twisted Sister-Live at Hammersmith (CMC International) 1994

1. "What You Don't Know (Sure Can Hurt You)" (4:27)
2. "The Kids Are Back" (2:41)
3. "Stay Hungry" (2:45)
4. "Destroyer" (4:01)
5. "We're Not Gonna Take It" (3:15)
6. "You Can't Stop Rock & Roll" (4:00)
7. "Knife in the Back" (2:41)
8. "Shoot 'Em Down" (3:15)
9. "Under the Blade" (4:18)
10. "Burn in Hell" (5:30)
11. "I Am (I'm Me)" (3:08)
12. "I Wanna Rock" (7:57)
13. "S.M.F." (4:00)
14. "We're Gonna Make It" (3:44)
15. "Jailhouse Rock" (3:15)
16. "Train Kept A Rollin'" (10:04)

A live recording mostly taken from England's Hammersmith Odeon show from the "Stay Hungry" tour. Tracks 1-14 were recorded during this show when Twisted Sister were at the top of their game. Dee was certainly a smack talker, talking loud and proud about the band's quick rise to superstardom. The last two tracks were recorded in Detroit in 1979, well before the band even had a professional release out. The production on this album is far superior to the live tracks on the "Big Hits and Nasty Cuts" cd. Personally I love live albums and this Twisted album is at the top of the stack. Twisted Sister were a band with a lot of charisma on stage, and this album preserves that charisma. "Jailhouse Rock" is an Elvis cover, "Train Kept A Rollin'" is a Yardbirds cover that has also been covered by Motorhead and Aerosmith, among others.

Twisted Sister united in 1998 to record a song ("Heroes Are Hard to Find") for Dee Snider's 'Strangeland' soundtrack.

Club Daze Vol 1 Twisted Sister-Club Daze Vol .1: The Studio Sessions (Spitfire) 1999

1. "Come Back" (6:30)
2. "Pay the Price" (4:28)
3. "Rock 'n' Roll Saviors" (4:37)
4. "High Steppin'" (2:45)
5. "Big Gun" (4:02)
6. "T.V. Wife" (4:01)
7. "Can't Stand Still" (3:56)
8. "Follow Me" (3:52)
9. "I'll Never Grow Up, Now" (4:20)
10. "Lady's Boy" (4:11)
11. "Leader of the Back" (3:54)
12. "Under the Blade" (4:29)
13. "Shoot 'em Down" (3:43)

This compilation of demo material from Twisted Sister's early years came out in 1999. The last three cuts on this compilation are from the "Ruff Cuts" EP that was released in 1981 by the band. One slight annoyance is that "What You Don't Know" from "Ruff Cuts" EP is left off this compilation. What makes it even more annoying is that they included a commentary on the song as if it were to be included. Argh! All four of the tracks from that album, however, were eventually re-recorded for "Under the Blade." All but "Leader of the Pack" made it onto the band's debut. "Leader of the Pack" was eventually re-recorded for "Come Out and Play" in 1985, and actually helped cause the demise of this band. The recording quality as a whole is pretty raw, as most of this material was recorded for demos and never intended for mass release. Still, it's cool to finally have some of these old glam rock songs that most hardcore Twisted fans already had in the form of bootleg tapes. It is also cool to hear the progression in the band from a New York Dolls glam band to the heavy metal machine that they became. I love the lyrics to "Rock 'n' Roll Saviors"--"DISCO IS DEAD!" (Ha! I'll bet that was a slap in the face in 1978.) Also included is a very concise history of the band by guitarist Jay Jay French and a song by song commentary by Dee Snider. Should also mention that tracks 9-12 were recorded by Eddie Kramer who has also worked with Kiss. Tracks 1-8 (1978), Tracks 10-12 (1979), Track 13 (1981).

Club Daze II Twisted Sister-Never Say Never: Club Daze II (Spitfire) 2001

1. "Never Say Never" -studio recording (2:20)
2. "Blastin' Fast & Loud" -studio secording (3:01)
3. "Follow Me" (3:30)
4. "Under The Blade" (5:02)
5. "Lady's Boy" (5:09)
6. "Come Back" (6:55)
7. "Can't Stand Still" (4:49)
8. "Honey, Look Three Times" (4:12)
9. "You Know I Cry" (5:52)
10. "Without You" (2:28)
11. "Plastic Money" (4:10)
12. "Long Tall Sally" (2:25)
13. "Johnny B. Goode" (4:20)

Disc number two in the Club Daze series. This disc features two newly recorded songs that apparently started back during the "Stay Hungry" sessions. According to the liner notes, these songs were discovered and only the drum tracks had been recorded, so the band got back together in 2001 and recorded the rest of the tracks. The production on these two tracks are outstanding and would have smoked anything on 'Stay Hungry'. If Twisted ever does decide to get back together and record something new, I hope this is the direction they take because great anthemic metal is hard to find these days. These two tracks alone are worth the price of admission, but fortunately the rest of the material is a good listen as well. Dee is quite the personality on stage. Tracks 3-9 were recorded on Halloween 1979 for a radio broadcast that apparently was never broadcast. The tracks were all newly mixed by Mark Mendoza in 2001, so the production is far superior to the live tracks from "Big Hits & Nasty Cuts." Favorite tracks from this selection of songs are "Lady's Boy" and, of course "Under the Blade." Track 10-13 were also recorded for a radio broadcast. Unfortunately these songs are taken from a first generation cassette so they could not be properly remixed. Still the production on these tracks isn't terrible, although not of the quality of tracks 3 through 9. Overall, another essential disc for Twisted Sister fans. Also should mention that the name of this disc could be either 'Club Daze Vol. II: Live in the Bars', as is printed on the cover and disc or 'Never Say Never...Club Daze Vol. II' as the spine of the disc says.

Also check out:
Twisted Forever Twisted Forever-Twisted Sister Tribute (Koch) in the tribute section. Twisted Sister performs a cover of AC/DC's "Sin City" and performs "You Can't Stop Rock n Roll" with ex-Skid Row vocalist Sebatian Bach on vocals.

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