Archive for Under the Blade

Bloodstock 2016: Friday- Twisted Sister

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2016 by 80smetalman

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Having stood in virtually the same spot for nearly five hours and having to endure things like crowd surfers and mosh pits opening nearby, I was ready for the main event. It wasn’t all bad. I did get to rock out to Behemoth, Venom and Corrosion of Conformity and Venom did give me a present before they left the stage. Now, as I was waiting for the band I would have moved mountains to see, especially since it was the farewell to the UK gig, I couldn’t wait for Twisted Sister to get on that stage!

A nice gift from Venom, I managed to pick one up off the ground.

A nice gift from Venom, I managed to pick one up off the ground.

Let me cut straight to the chase, Twisted Sister were full of surprises this night. The last two times I saw them, they opened the show with “Come Out and Play” and the two other times before, it was “Stay Hungry.” I’m not sure which song it was the first time I saw them in 1983 but it might have been this one. They opened with the first track from their “Under the Blade” album, “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can’t Hurt You”) and both the crowd and I went nuts. Afterwards, they kept the momentum going with “The Kids are Back” rapidly followed by “Burn in Hell.” It was a great way to start the show.

Any speculation that Twisted Sister’s set was going to be dominated by their most successful album, “Stay Hungry,” evaporated very quickly. They played a good mix from their first four albums and I thought they sounded better than ever. If this was their farewell performance, they were certainly going out on a high, an astronomical high! A few songs in, Dee Snider, probably one of music’s best when talking to the audience, explained about this being Twisted Sister’s farewell show. He did point out the likes of The Scorpions, KISS and Ozzy, all of whom said they were retiring only to return two years later. Dee promised that this was definitely the band’s last tour, the skeptic in me says time will tell. Anyway, they followed his words up with my all time favourite TS song, “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll.”

Continuing on with their domination of Bloodstock with that great mix of songs, (I’ll provide the full playlist further on down the post,) Dee again addressed the crowd in his usual manner. This time he was more serious as he highlighted all the great losses heavy metal has had in the recent years. Starting with the legend, Ronnie James Dio, he then went to point out the band’s on personal loss with AJ Pero, who passed away last year. Here Dee introduced Mike Portnoy and thanked him for stepping into AJ’s place. After which, he told about the two most recent losses, Jimmy Bain and of course Lemmy, thanking Lemmy for his role in getting Twisted Sister noticed. Tributes were payed to all four with the most appropriate Twisted Sister song to do it with, “The Price.”

Metal Twisted Sister style rocked the arena for several more minutes with Eddie Ojeda and Jay Jay French hammering out solos, Mark Mendoza beating another bass to death, Mike Portnoy’s drumming and Dee Snider’s vocals and crowd chat. It all seemed to end too soon and Twisted Sister appeared to close out by playing a great Rolling Stones classic, “It’s Only Rock and Roll” and I loved it.

Of course, they came back for an encore, starting with the song I thought they might have opened with and then went into a great song from the first album, have a guess, the answer’s further down. It was after the second song that all four of the original members each spoke to the crowd thanking them for all their dedication over the years. Starting with Mark and then Eddie, but as usual, I thought it strange he hadn’t said much before, Jay Jay brought up a very good point. Using the example of X-Factor, he says how the winners thank everyone for their support for fifteen weeks. He was totally right when he said that fifteen weeks was nothing when compared to bands like Judas Priest and KISS as well as Twisted Sister who have been going strong for forty years or more! Stick that one Simon Cowell. Always to have the last word, Dee thanked everyone, especially Mike Portnoy and explained that Mike had been personally chosen by AJ to replace him if the need should ever arise. No one would have thought it would have been under the most tragic of circumstances. With that, Twisted Sister brought an end to a great night with the best song possible, “SMF.” When they left, I’m sure the 15,000 or so who saw them felt they got their money’s worth.

Playlist:

My memory sucks so the order may be slightly out

  1. What You Don’t Know (Sure Can’t Hurt You)
  2. The Kids are Back
  3. Burn In Hell
  4. Destroyer
  5. Knife in the Back
  6. You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll
  7. The Fire Still Burns
  8. I Wanna Rock
  9. Under the Blade
  10. The Price
  11. I Believe in Rock and Roll
  12. I Am I’m Me
  13. We’re Not Gonna Take It
  14. It’s Only Rock and Roll

Encore

  1. Come Out and Play
  2. Shoot’ em Down
  3. SMF

Photos from this historic night

Twisted Sister come out and play

Twisted Sister come out and play

Jay Jay and Mark in support while Eddie cranks out a solo

Jay Jay and Mark in support while Eddie cranks out a solo

Dee showing he still got the vocals while Mark beats his bass to death

Dee showing he still got the vocals while Mark beats his bass to death

Jay Jay's turn for a solo

Good lighting as well as music

Jay Jay's turn for a solo

Jay Jay’s turn for a solo

The fire still burns

The fire still burns

TS at the best ever

TS at the best ever

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And here

And here

The grand finale

The grand finale

I am making a promise here which all of you can hold me to. If Twisted Sister change their minds and do come back again, I will not go see them. Not because of any lies but because I believe they couldn’t do any better than what they did on this night. For me they went out on an ultimate high.

Note: My memory isn’t the greatest and though I took notes of the entire weekend, shit for brains here lost the notepad so my memories may be slightly off. If any of you reading this were there, I would love to read about your versions of this piece of history.

Next post: Saturday

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategcipublishingroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Twisted Sister- You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2016 by 80smetalman

tsyou

What better way to build up the excitement on the eve of Bloodstock than to post my favourite album from one of my all time favourite bands who will be headlining on the Friday night? Words can’t express how pumped I am to see Twisted Sister’s farewell UK gig. Yes, I’m aware that this might be a hype, after all, Ozzy has had three farewell tours but that doesn’t lessen my excitement.

“You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll” is the second album from Twisted Sister, though it was the first one I heard. I probably said this when I posted about “Under the Blade,” but that album was only available as an import until 1985. Having seen them at Donington that summer, getting this album was a no brainer. Cliches aside, when I got it home and listened to it, I was even more blown away.

I think what I like most about Twisted Sister was many of their lyrics seemed to speak to me personally back then. Starting with the opener, “The Kids Are Back,” okay, I’m only one person but I had only been out of the service a few months and I did walk the streets as a one man tattered army. I too asked myself about others who didn’t appear to be having fun, how could I stop it. Most people back then couldn’t understand that I was able to work hard and play hard. That made the fourth track my response to people. “I am, I’m Me!” and I didn’t take seriously those who looked down on what I believed. Then comes “We’re Gonna Make It.” That song was my driving force come exam time when I was in college. Especially as I found in the service and out that life was mostly a case of “It’s not what you know but who you knowin.” To cap it off, my favourite Twisted Sister track of all time closes the album out and it’s what I say to all those who have a problem with metal, “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll.”

Maybe the other tracks weren’t quite so personal to me but they are all great metal tunes. From the power riffs of “Knife in the Back” to the more ballad like “You’re Not Alone (Suzette’s Song) this album just rocks, plain and simple! I think that Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda play some of their finest guitar solos on this album. Now some have said that “You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll” was the beginning of Twisted Sister’s decent into more commercial sounding metal. Maybe be it’s me but I never had that impression then nor do I have it now. This album for me is just amazing.

Track Listing:

  1. The Kids Are Back
  2. Knife in the Back
  3. Ride to Live Live to Ride
  4. I Am I’m Me
  5. The Power and the Glory
  6. We’re Gonna Make It
  7. I’ve Had Enough
  8. I’ll Take You Alive
  9. You’re Not Alone (Suzette’s Song)
  10. You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll
Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- lead vocals

Jay Jay French- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie ‘Fingers’ Ojeda- guitar, backing vocals

Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza- bass ,backing growls

A. J. Pero- drums, percussion

When I saw Twisted Sister at Bloodstock, they played three songs from this album, “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll,” “The Kids are Back” and “I Am, I’m Me.” These are all great songs but since this is their farewell tour I would love for them to play more from it. Definitely, I would love for them to play “Knife in the Back,” “Ride to Live Live to Ride” and “We’re Gonna Make It.” Then again, anything they play from this album will have me screaming loudly as it is my fave. Being the Twisted Sister fanatic that I am, an entire post will be dedicated to their time on stage. We’ll I’ll be off in the morning.

Next post: Bloodstock, the Thursday

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2015 by 80smetalman

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From great EP’s often come great albums. Three of the four songs featured on Twisted Sister’s EP, “Rough Cutts” would go on to be recorded on their debut album, “Under the Blade.” Many people have said that the earlier the Twisted Sister material, the better and you can’t get much earlier than this album. Although for me personally, their best album was yet to come but that takes nothing away from just how great “Under the Blade” is.

Having seen Twisted Sister live five times, two of those as headliners, one thing I founnd disappointing both times was that they don’t play enough songs from their first two albums. Obviously, they will play more songs from their most successful album but I would have loved to have heard them play more from this album. The songs that were played were the title cut and “Shoot’em Down.” Both are fantastic songs, but I would have loved to hear “Run For Your Life” as well as my favourite track on the album “Bad Boys of Rock and Roll.” That’s one I like singing to myself whilst moving around the house. Furthermore, the closer “Day of the Rocker” would have been a mindblowing song to close the show. I don’t know if it’s Eddie or Jay Jay who play the guitar solo on this one but it’s a killer. Whenever, someone casts doubts upon the guitar playing of French and Ojeda, I immediately think of “Day of the Rocker” as a counter. Any other song would have been great to hear live and at the moment, both “Run For Your Life” and “Tear It Loose” come to mind especially.

Before 1985, this album was only available in the US as an import. I did see it in a music store once but had no money on me at the time. When I went back a few days later, it was gone. I had to wait until 1985 when it was re released on Atlantic Records to get it. That version has the very amusing single “I’ll Never Grow Up Now” on it. Back in the day, that was something I was feeling quite a bit  but it’s another song I like to keep singing after it has long since ended.

Track Listing:

  1. What You Don’t Know (Sure Can’t Hurt You)
  2. Bad Boys of Rock and Roll
  3. Run For Your Life
  4. Sin After Sin
  5. Shoot’em Down
  6. Destroyer
  7. Under the Blade
  8. Tear It Loose
  9.                                                                   I ll Never Grow Up Now
    10.                                                                    Day of the Rocker
Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- vocals

Jay Jay French- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie ‘Fingers’ Ojeda- guitar, backing vocals

Mark ‘the Animal’ Mendoza- bass, backing vocals

AJ Pero- drums

“Under the Blade” is such a great album. It’s raw and shows a band that were lean, mean and hungry. Every track is an absolute winner for me and it just so happens that Twisted Sister have one more chance to show off this album. They will be playing their farewell concert at Bloodstock next summer and I have every intention of making it there to witness this important piece of history. Let’s hope that they will play a few more songs from this iconic album.

On the same day at Bloodstock, two slots before the great Twisted Sister, Venom will be invading the stage. Therefore, in respect to that, their 1982 album will be my next post.

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London