My 8 year old and my 7 year old love Twisted Sister. It’s the video clips that hooked them, so they started to dig deep into my LP and CD collection. Actually, the first LP they ever saw, was Twisted Sister’s “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll.” So here it is, the Top 10 list of Twisted Sister songs, by an 8 year old and a 7 year old.
1. We’re Not Gonna Take It
When Quiet Riot topped the charts with “Metal Health” and it became the first heavy metal album to do so, it was a game changer for metal in general. For better or for worse a lot of bands got picked up by major labels in the U.S.
Twisted Sister on the other hand were still struggling to get ahead without any real support from their Atlantic U.S.
Not to be deterred Twisted Sister took this new fan interest in metal to a new level. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is all pop and a little glam infused with a lot of rock. It’s tongue in cheek video ensured that MTV played it non stop.
Dee Snider finally fine tuned that Chorus melody he had written back in 1979.
2. I Wanna Rock
Who would have thought that in 1987 when “Love Is for Suckers,” came out that it would be a long time before Dee Snider rocked out again.
Desperado proved unsuccessful due to record label politics taking up Dee’s time between 1988 and 1989. Widowmaker came out in the midst of the Seattle Revolution and an excellent band was ignored.
3. Shoot Em Down
This can be the new anthem for the fight against censorship by the Copyright Monopolies and the Corporations that issue DMCA takedowns.
In 1985, Dee Snider along with Frank Zappa and Bob Denver appeared before a Senate committee to testify against the Parents Music Resource Center’s demands for music censorship legislation.
All of this is happening while Twisted Sister was burning to the ground with low ticket sales and crowd animosity.
In 2013, this fight is still going on. This time it is the RIAA, the MPAA and the Copyright monopolies that are trying to silence free speech with bogus takedowns.
Shoot em down I say.
4. You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll
“You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll” laid the groundwork for the things to come. With the release of “Under The Blade” before it, the band was getting some serious respect with the metal crowd.
During the “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll” tour in Europe, especially England, Twisted Sister was the hottest “new” group.
They where selling out 3500 seaters all over the country, they had two hit singles, been on national TV in England and had been in all the papers.
Twisted Sister tour these days and they are more popular than they have ever been. It’s true, “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll”.
This is the ode to the original tri-state headbangers who would talk at length about the shows that Twisted Sister played in New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester before Twisted Sister became a huge act nationally via MTV. This is their song.
When the band broke through and toured extensively behind “Stay Hungry” the band and Dee Snider especially became overexposed. After being the underdog that gave a voice to every angry teenager in America, Twisted Sister would end up losing the respect of their loyal and possessive core metal fan base.
In other words the SMF’s abandoned them only to return in greater numbers years later.
6. The Kids Are Back
While the record industry proclaims that the industry is dead without any evidence, the kids are all plugging away and creating.
Maybe we will never see another superstar act like the Eighties however we are living in a golden time for creators.
7. Burn In Hell
From reading all the press, it always came across that ”Twisted Sister” was in control of their lives and future. I saw them as a new generation of rock bands due to their hard work ethic to make it.
8. Come Out And Play
When I hear this song, I immediately think of the bands history playing the bar scene, especially when Dee screams out “Join our cavalcade / Enter the world we made.” That cavalcade started when Dee Snider joined in early 1976. That cavalcade kept on growing along with a growing collection of record company rejection letters.
The critics called “Come Out and Play” an uneven album. The weakest tracks on the album like “Leader Of The Pack” and “Be Cruel To Your Skuel” got released as singles. The singles that should have been released are the title track, followed by “The Fire Still Burn” and then “I Believe In Rock N Roll.” Imagine the film clip of “Come Out And Play” if Twisted Sister paid homage to “The Warriors” movie.
In the end “Come Out And Play” didn’t fit the “Michael Jackson business model” of the labels. Twisted Sister went from being hot to being the whipping boys again.
9. The Price
People have a lot of trouble dealing with failure. Twisted Sister had been through so much rejection it made them even more determined to make it. Everything comes at a price.
10. Stay Hungry
It was difficult for Twisted Sister to land a record deal, and the band ended up struggling for nearly a decade before finally getting their big break in the early ’80s.
Unfortunately, when this break finally came, the band would end up being the poster child of record company overexposure.
Stay Hungry stands as a reminder. With each rejection, you need to stay hungry and find the fire again.