Great Metal Albums of 1985: Twisted Sister- Come Out And Play


Nobody in the entire world was more excited than me about the release of Twisted Sister’s follow up album to the famous “Stay Hungry” album, “Come Out and Play.” Thing was that the album was slammed mercilessly by critics and fans. Hardcore metalheads accused Twisted Sister of going too pop while pop fans continued to claim that they were too metal. An argument, I wouldn’t disagree with. In any case, was “Come Out and Play” as bad as what it has been made out to be?

My answer to the above was no. At my first listen to it, I was in no way, shape or form disappointed with the album. I never disliked the album and still don’t. However, I do have to concede that it wasn’t as good as their first three albums. I mean there is a noticeable difference in the drop in quality with “Come Out and Play” but that only shows how magnificent those other three albums are.

Let’s start with the not so positive. It wasn’t rocket science to deduce that the cover of the Shangri-La’s hit, “Leader of the Pack” was always meant to be a commercial single. Like with the videos from the two “Stay Hungry” singles, there was a bit of humour in the video. Unfortunately, “Leader of the Pack” only made it to about #75 in the charts and I can’t help thinking that it wouldn’t have been detrimental to the album if it had been left off.

One paradox with “Come Out and Play” is the track “Be Crool to Your Scuel.” Dee Snider explained in an interview that he believed that heavy metal wasn’t a separate entity from rock and roll and that was the logic behind the song. After all, they got the likes of Brian Setzer from the Stray Cats, Alice Cooper, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen’s saxophonist, Clarence Clemons to play on the song. I think all do a good job and it would have been a more effective single than “Leader of the Pack” had not MTV banned the video for being offensive. That’s why I’ve included it below.

In the case of this album, it’s the lesser known tracks that make the album, especially the two hidden gems, which I will get to in a second. Now before people start shouting, I know how well known “The Fire Still Burns” is. It and the title track are the only songs from this album they played the last two times I saw them live at Bloodstock. That song does prove that Twisted Sister hadn’t fully abandoned their metal roots. The power ballad “I Believe in You” is done well and includes harmonizing vocals from Don Dokken. “I Believe in Rock and Roll” is also a great metal tune and with “The Warriors” being my all time favorite film, I love how a great scene from the movie is paraphrased on the opening title cut.

As for the hidden gems, “Looking Out for #’1” was my own personal anthem. The lyrics weren’t about being selfish, they were about being an individual, something I was still trying to establish for myself after four years of conformity while serving my country. It was my security blanket in an 80s Reagan America which was becoming more intolerant towards heavy metal and metalheads. The best track however, only appears on the cassette and CD release. For me, “King of the Fools” is the best track on the whole damn album. Done in a very bluesy fashion, the song really kicks ass and like the other gem, the lyrics speak to me on a personal level.

Who are these people who cast stones, better a fool than just a clone.

Track Listing:

  1. Come Out and Play
  2. Leader of the Pack
  3. You Want What We Got
  4. I Believe in Rock and Roll
  5. The Fire Still Burns
  6. Be Crool to Your Scuel
  7. I Believe in You
  8. Out in the Streets
  9. Looking Out for #1
  10. Kill or be Killed
  11. King of the Fools

Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- lead vocals

Jay Jay French- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie Ojeda- guitar, backing vocals

Mark Mendoza- bass, backing vocals

A.J. Pero- drums, percussion

Additional Musicians

Gary St John- keyboards

Don Dokken, Gary Holland- high harmony vocals on “I Believe in You”

Additional Musicians on “Be Crool to Your Scuel”

Alice Cooper- accompanying vocals

Brian Setzer- guitar solo

Billy Joel- piano

Clarence Clemons- saxophone solo

Julia and Maxine Waters- backing vocals

The Uptown Horns

Crispin Cioe- baritone sax

Arno ‘Cool Ray’ Hecht- tenor sax

Bad Bob Funk- trombone

‘Hollywood’ Paul Litteral- trumpet

I’m not going to ask if “Come Out and Play” was as bad an album as it was made out to be. It wasn’t, not in the slightest. While not as good as the first three, it’s still a very good listen.

Next post: Dokken- Under Lock and Key





13 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Twisted Sister- Come Out And Play”

  1. Same as you, I thought this was a pretty decent album all in all, and I loved the pop up sewer cover on the sleeve too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was awesome and I should have bought it on vinyl as well as cassette.


  3. Yeah, its too bad they led off with a cover tune as a first single. Kinda tanked the album from the start. They never recovered after that. Too bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] Source: Great Metal Albums of 1985: Twisted Sister- Come Out And Play | 80smetalman’s Blog […]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I got this in 87 and was disappointed. Too slow! Now in 2019 it’s a favorite. Isn’t that funny?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That is my theme song today. LOL


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