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35 Years Ago Today: Twisted Sister releases Stay Hungry

Twisted Sister Stay HungryDee Snider and company were made for MTV, and thanks in large part to the music video channel Stay Hungry became a tremendous success. The multi-platinum album reached #15 on the Billboard 200 charts, featuring the band’s two greatest hits “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock.”

“We’re Not Gonna Take It” entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #80 on July 28, 1984, and peaked at #21 the week of September 22, 1984. The video featured numerous shout-outs to the 1978 John Landis comedy Animal House and starred Mark Metcalf, who played Doug Neidermeyer in the film. Metcalf also starred in the band’s video for “I Wanna Rock,” which included a cameo by Stephen Furst (Kent Dorfman/Flounder).

Twisted Sister re-recorded the entire album in 2004 and released the new production under the title Still Hungry. For my money, the original is better.

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JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Twisted Sister edition

It has been too long since I posted an Ultimate Mixtape tracklist. I intended to do these once a month, but it’s more work than you would imagine. I like to be thorough and accurate, so I will go back and actually listen to each album, at least the first few seconds of each song, to make sure that I picked the right song for that album. Of course, you can disagree with my picks, this is entirely subjective…but to be honest with myself, I have to revisit the material.

twisted sister mixtape

I have been working on Twisted Sister for a while now. The problem is not the studio albums; those were easy. But the Club Daze records and the live releases were not as familiar to me; it took some time to listen to them, and then listen again, and try to find good material for the Ultimate Mixtape. In the end, I skipped over a couple of the live albums. I’ve said in the past that I’m not a huge fan of concert recordings, so it wasn’t too painful to say no to Astoria and Wacken. Alright, let’s get down to it. But first, the rules:

  • Every studio album must be represented by one and only one song.
  • That song does not have to be an official “single” released by the band to promote said album.
  • Compilation albums can be included, but only songs that are new, previously unreleased, or remixed songs from prior albums are eligible for the list.
  • Live albums are a great way to sneak additional songs into the mix. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good live version of “I Wanna Rock.”

JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Twisted Sister edition

As with other Ultimate Mixtapes, I have to throw in some bonus tracks for the band members’ other projects…

Bonus Tracks:

There you have it. How does your Twisted Sister Ultimate Mixtape differ?

R.I.P. A.J. Pero

(October 14, 1959 – March 20, 2015)

Dee Snider announced on Twitter just moments ago that Twisted Sister drummer A.J. Pero has passed away. He was 55 years old.

New solo album from Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider set for 2015!

Dee Snider Twisted SisterThe iconic singer for shock rockers Twisted Sister is preparing a solo album for release in 2015. Dee Snider tweeted the news last Thursday, stating he was “smiling ear to ear” while listening to the demos.

Answering fans’ responses, Snider said the record will be new songs, not covers, and that touring will be limited to select shows. Despite Snider’s return to songwriting, there are no plans for new Twisted Sister material.

More information should be announced early next year.

In addition to his work with Twisted Sister, Snider fronted Widowmaker, Desperado, and Van Helsing’s Curse. He also wrote and starred in the 1998 horror film, Strangeland.

Be sure to follow @deesnider on Twitter to keep up with the latest from the rock legend.

Purchase Widowmaker – Blood & Bullets.

The greatest Super Bowl commercial

I didn’t watch much of the big game last night, and I haven’t YouTubed all of the commercials. But I’ve seen this one pop up on Facebook and several blogs, and I’m not afraid to say that it is hands-down the greatest Super Bowl commercial of all-time.

So much 80s awesomeness here…Hulk Hogan, Ponch, Cliff, Alf, Chucky, Jason, Teen Wolf, Sgt. Slaughter, Dee Snider…I could go on, but you get the point.

Thank you, Radio Shack, for bringing a little joy to my life.

Lita Ford Reunites With Cherie Currie For Christmas Duet

All I Want for Christmas is a Runaways Reunion

Inching closer and closer to a Runaways reunion, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie have recorded a new Christmas song for the 2013 season, “Rock This Christmas Down.” According to Currie, the song “has the flare of our Runaways legacy but its pure Lita. It rocks like only she can. We took a dim, negative and unfinished past and turned it into a positive future. It doesn’t get any better then that. I know this will be the best Christmas I have had in decades.”

Ford is excited about the new song as well. “I thought the world could use a new Christmas song. The song was Written by Mitch Perry, my guitarist and Michael Dan Ehmig, my lyricist, along with Marty O’Brien on bass, and Rodger Carter on drums. We so rocked it!

“What I didn’t know is that I’d be singing it as a duet with my long lost sister, Cherie Currie. I am blessed to have her back in my life, and what an appropriate time and song to rehash an old friendship. CHRISTMAS!!!

“Cherie hopped a plane from Chicago to L.A., and drove straight to the studio and threw down her vocal track on this rocking song! Needless to say, it was magic and history in the making.”

You can hear “Rock This Christmas Down” and read an interview with the rockers at USA Today, and purchase the song at iTunes.

Of course, this isn’t Lita’s first Christmas song…she also appeared on Twisted Sister’s Twisted Christmas. What’s more Christmas than Dee Snider?

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #2 – Twisted Sister “We’re Not Gonna Take It”

One of the biggest anthems of rebellion in rock history, the video for “We’re Not Gonna Take It” took the medium to a new level. Twisted Sister fought hard for a record deal for years, and still had trouble getting label support after the Stay Hungry album started selling well. Through all the adversity, the band was only able to claim two hits, but their catalog is full of great songs.

Other songs considered: “I Wanna Rock,” “The Price,” “You Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll,” “I’ll Never Grow Up, Now”

Purchase Twisted Sister music.

The #1 hair metal song of all-time will be revealed tomorrow…any guesses?

Shut Up And Give Me The Mic by Dee Snider (2012)

Shut Up And Give Me The Mic
by Dee Snider
Gallery Books, 2012
432 pages

Dee Snider, lead singer for Twisted Sister, is a true renaissance man. He is a vocalist, a songwriter, a screenwriter, a radio host, and an actor of both screen and stage. Oh, and an author. Shut Up And Give Me The Mic is not Snider’s first foray into the literary world, but it is his most recent. A collection of memoirs that focuses on his youth and his time in Twisted Sister, this book is a wonderful insight into what makes Snider tick, what drives him to succeed, what motivates him to never give up.

Snider takes the reader up on the stage with him, behind the scenes of the record industry, and through the highs and lows of being one of the biggest stars in the world, even if it was only for a short time. A good portion of the book focuses on 1984, the year Twisted Sister took MTV and radio by storm, but he also discusses the band’s fall from grace following the massive success of Stay Hungry, and particularly “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Snider takes a few jabs at his bandmates and other musicians, but places most of the blame of Twisted Sister’s failures on himself and his egomaniacal attitude in the 1980s. After the recording of Love Is For Suckers—which was initially intended to be a solo album—and the failed tour for that record in 1987, Snider quit the band.

The years following Snider’s departure from Twisted Sister are of great interest to his fans, but this is where Shut Up And Give Me The Mic falls short. Snider is very brief about his time with Desperado and Widowmaker, and does not talk about his radio or film career at all. Will there be a sequel to the book? He teases one, so there is hope that more will be revealed about his other projects and his reunion with Jay Jay French and the band.

Shut up And Give Me The Mic is a very good read, conversational in style, highly recommended for fans of the genre.

Learn more about Dee Snider.

Learn more about Gallery Books.

Purchase Shut Up and Give Me the Mic by Dee Snider.

I have a new favorite mashup DJ

Fissunix. Remember that name.

Check out this mashup of Twisted Sister and the Clash:

Legendary.

Do you like to discover new music?

DISCLAIMER: This is a shameless plug for my weekly radio show.

Every Saturday night, I host a radio program on non-profit WMWX in Cincinnati called “Hard Rock Nights.” This program can be heard on 88.9 FM in the local market, but we also stream online so anyone with an internet connection can listen in. The station’s website can be found at classxradio.com.

As you can probably figure out from the name of my show, I play a lot of hard rock music. Stuff by bands you’ve heard of, like Metallica, Deep Purple, Dio, Twisted Sister, etc. But I also play a lot of stuff that you have probably never heard, but would probably enjoy if you like the aforementioned bands. Bands like Coldspell, Jorn, Freakshow, and Joetown.

This coming Saturday, I just happen to have a couple of very cool artists appearing on the show with me. The first is Helena, the lead singer for Spider Rockets, a band from New Jersey. The second is Nigel Dupree, who fronts the Nigel Dupree Band and just happens to be the son of Jesse James Dupree, the frontman of a little band you may have heard of called Jackyl.

I will be talking with both of these fantastic people and playing some of their music, as well as the music of bands such as Sleeze Beez, Warrant, Alice Cooper, Ace Frehley, and much, much more. If you are so inclined, I would love to have you tune in to the broadcast this Saturday evening, beginning at 9 pm EDT on classxradio.com.

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