Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Twisted Sister - Stay Hungry (1984)

Twisted Sister - an American hair metal band from New York City. Their work fuses the shock tactics of Alice Cooper, the rebellious mood of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and the extravagant image of glam rock bands such as New York Dolls notably for the makeup. Musically, the band implements elements of traditional heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, along with a style that is similar to early glam metal bands.

Twisted Sister's most well-known hits include "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock", both popularized in the USA by regular airplay on MTV in the 1980s. Many of the band's songs explore themes of parent vs. child conflicts and criticisms of the educational system.
In early 1976, Snider joined the band as lead vocalist and principal songwriter. After replacing drummer Grace with Tony Petri, the group took a heavier musical direction, influenced by Motörhead, Black Sabbath, and Alice Cooper, but without abandoning its glam image.

Although glam was out of fashion in those days, Snider's phenomenal abilities as frontman propelled the band to considerable local success. It broke attendance records at large halls in the Tri-State Region and its growing fan base began to take the name "S.M.F.F.O.T.S.", for Sick Motherfucking Friends Of Twisted Sister, later shortened to "S.M.F." for "Sick Mother Fuckers." In March 1979, the British music magazine, NME reported that Twisted Sister had sold out the 3,000 capacity New York Palladium for a March 16 show without a recording contract or radio airplay. The Palladium concert program included this sticker which was stapled to the inside cover, and the band ran this ad in Billboard following the show. Tickets to the concert were $3.50. No record label was interested in signing the band, so in 1979 it released the single "I'll Never Grow Up Now" / "Under the Blade" on their own label, Twisted Sister Records, followed in 1980 by "Bad Boys (Of Rock & Roll)" / "Lady's Boy". Eddie Kramer produced both singles. The singles were distributed through independent record stores such as the old Zig Zag Records in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, NY.

In this period, the group's membership changed. On October 31, 1978, Neill left the band, the band's roadie and friend, Mark "The Animal" Mendoza, formerly bassist for The Dictators, replaced him. In December 1980, Petri also left for the Plasmatics and was replaced briefly by Ritchie Teeter. Teeter, also formerly of The Dictators, was replaced in that band by Mel Anderson. In April 1981, Teeter was replaced by "Fast" Joey Brighton, who was in turn replaced by A.J. Pero from Cities, another unsigned band with local fame.

This lineup (Dee Snider, Jay Jay French, Eddie Ojeda, Mark Mendoza and A.J. Pero) recorded four studio albums and performed numerous live shows around the world.

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Twisted Sister - Stay Hungry (1984)
International fame came for Twisted Sister when the band's third LP, Stay Hungry, hit the stores on May 10, 1984. The album was a little more commercial-sounding than the first two, owing to Tom Werman's production, but it still included heavy songs such as the title track and "Burn in Hell". During a successful tour, a young Metallica supported the band. Stay Hungry sold more than two million copies by the summer of 1985, and went on to sell more than three million in subsequent years. It remains the band's biggest success.


Tracks: (Download each song for study)
01. Stay Hungry - 3:03
02. We're Not Gonna Take It - 3:38
03. Burn in Hell - 4:53
04. Horror-Teria: The Beginning - 7:45
a) Captain Howdy - 3:44
b) Street Justice - 3:58

07. I Wanna Rock - 3:06
08. The Price - 3:48
09. Don't Let Me Down - 4:26
10. The Beast - 3:30
11. S.M.F. - 3:00

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Videos of hit singles "We're Not Gonna Take It" (a #21 hit in the US) and "I Wanna Rock" (US #68) ran almost constantly on MTV. Their pervasive slapstick comedy proved a change of pace for the genre and gave the band a distinctive appeal. The acclaimed surreal comedy film Pee-wee's Big Adventure took this further with the band having an appearance making a fictional video for "Burn In Hell" on the Warner Bros. backlot only to be interrupted by Pee-wee Herman passing through. Despite being comedic in nature, the videos featured violence against parents and teachers, which placed the band under heavy criticism by conservative organizations. They were singled out by the PMRC in 1985. Twisted Sister songs "Under the Blade" and "We're Not Gonna Take It" were specifically mentioned in the associated Senate hearings. Snider was one of the few musicians to testify before a Senate committee in these hearings on September 19, 1985. (He was addressed formally by the committee counsel as "Mr. Sister".)

In May that year Ojeda took part, on behalf of the band, in the recordings for the Hear 'n Aid project, "Stars", although the single was not released until the following year.

NOTE:
At the PMRC hearings, Dee Snider stated: "I was born and raised a Christian and I still adhere to those principles."