TWISTED SISTER’s “Under The Blade” 40th-Anniversary Expanded edition will also feature an album of early cover tunes
Speaking with Pod Scum in a new interview, TWISTED SISTER guitarist Jay Jay French revealed that the band’s debut album, 1982’s “Under The Blade”, will receive an expanded 40th-anniversary reissue later this year. “That’s gonna be a double vinyl album,” he said. “And one of those albums is gonna have us playing cover material from back in the bar days, which we’ve never released before. So you’re gonna have us playing [LED] ZEPPELIN and AEROSMITH songs, which no one has ever heard. So I think people will appreciate [it]. That’s new.”
French also touched on the possibility of more live performances by TWISTED SISTER, who were inducted into the Metal Hall Of Fame earlier this year, saying: “TWISTED SISTER‘s 50th anniversary is this year. ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ [and] ‘Stay Hungry’‘s 40th anniversary is next year. What does that mean? We were inducted into the Heavy Metal Hall Of Fame in January. We played three songs. They are up on YouTube. It was fun to do it. Does it mean we’re gonna do more? Right now I don’t know. We may or may not. I don’t know… So I don’t know what’s gonna happen with TWISTED. That’s an open conversation. I just don’t know.”
Back in 2011, TWISTED SISTER received a glorious makeover. Eagle Rock Entertainment swooped in and reissued “Under The Blade” with a touch of magic. This expanded edition was like a treasure chest filled with musical goodies. It contained four tracks from TWISTED SISTER‘s elusive “Ruff Cuts” EP, which had been hard as Hell to find.
This reissue came in a lavish package which featured the original “Under The Blade” cover. Plus, it faithfully replicated the original Secret Records track list and had a remastered audio mix. It was like having a time machine that transported you straight to the ’80s, big hair and all.
Now, let’s take a trip down memory lane to the birth of TWISTED SISTER. Picture this: it’s December 1972, and a band named SILVER STAR is trying to sparkle like the NEW YORK DOLLS, but in the Garden State. They even changed their name to TWISTED SISTER on Valentine’s Day 1973, aiming for some extra love and attention.
However, life wasn’t a bed of roses for them. They had more lineup changes than a game of musical chairs, and their big break didn’t come until 1976 when the mighty Dee Snider joined them. It’s safe to say that Dee was the secret ingredient that turned them from a bunch of lost souls into a rocking force to be reckoned with. And the cherry on top was drummer A.J. Pero, who completed the band’s puzzle in 1982. Finally, the stars aligned, and TWISTED SISTER was born in all its headbanging glory.
But wait, there’s a plot twist! “Under The Blade” initially snuck into the world through an independent U.K.-based label called Secret Records. It was like a ninja album, stealthily making its way into the hearts of hardcore rock fans. However, its true power was unleashed when the almighty Atlantic Records swooped in and released a different mix of the album nationwide in 1985. They saw the band’s rising popularity and decided to ride that wave like a professional surfer on a neon-colored board. And you know what else was happening in the ’80s? The magical rise of MTV, where music videos reigned supreme. TWISTED SISTER’s ascension happened right alongside the birth of the music video era. Coincidence? I think not.
Fast forward to 2016, and TWISTED SISTER embarked on their ultimate quest, titled “Forty And Fuck It“. They didn’t give a shit anymore and decided to celebrate their 40th anniversary with a bang. It was like a rock ‘n’ roll midlife crisis, but in the most glorious way possible.
The band’s core lineup, featuring Dee Snider, the fabulous Jay Jay French, the riff-tastic Eddie Ojeda, the groovy Mark Mendoza, and the drumming extraordinaire Mike Portnoy, took the stage one last time. It was a bittersweet symphony, honoring their legacy while paying tribute to their fallen comrade A.J. Pero, who had left this mortal coil 20 months prior. And thus, TWISTED SISTER‘s final curtain call brought an end to an era, leaving fans with memories that will echo in their hearts like a deafening guitar solo.