Dee Snider - vocals; Jay Jay French - guitar, vocals; Eddie Ojeda - guitar, vocals; Mark Mendoza - bass, vocals; A.J. Pero - drums
Originally founded by guitarist Jay Jay French, Twisted Sister began in Long Island in 1972. The group initially featured Michael O'Neil as lead vocalist and over the course of the next several years established a reputation on the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut club circuit. A major change came about in 1976, when Dee Snider, an intimidating loud and outspoken New Yorker, replaced O'Neil as the band's new vocalist and primary songwriter. Together, French and Snider rebuilt and reshaped Twisted Sister into the version of the band that the world has come to know. The glam rock movement of David Bowie and T. Rex was already long out of fashion when Snider and company decided to re-launch Twisted Sister in the latter half of the 1970s, but several years of hard work would eventually pay off big in the 1980s.
A few independently released albums would pass before the band was spotted on a TV program called the Tube by Atlantic Records, who signed the band shortly thereafter. The group's hybrid cross between the mid-'70s glam punk of the New York Dolls and the theatrical hard rock of classic Alice Cooper and Kiss, would be pumped into millions of homes, thanks to the burgeoning music network, MTV. Twisted Sister, with the promotional muscle of Atlantic Records, was able to then capture the hearts and minds of the MTV audience, who quickly embraced the band's hysterical anti-parent/teacher videos and its anthemic theme songs, such as "You Can't Stop Rock & Roll," "Burn In Hell," "We're Not Gonna Take It," and "I Wanna Rock," all of which are featured here.
Recorded in upstate New York at Rochester's War Memorial, on a triple bill that featured Ratt and Mama's Boys as the opening acts, this King Biscuit Flower Hour recording captures Twisted Sister at the peak of their popularity in 1984, during the band's most memorable tour in support of their blockbuster Stay Hungry album. Subsequent albums sold less and less than the ones prior, and eventually Snider would leave the band, facilitating a breakup in 1987. Still, a decade later younger bands began acknowledging Twisted Sister as an influence, and in 2001, a tribute album was released featuring Overkill, Anthrax, Joan Jett, and Motorhead among the impressive list of contributors. The same year, Spitfire Records reissued the band's back catalog, which continued rejuvenating interest in the band.
This phenomenal quality 1984 recording was initially broadcast in highly edited form on the King Biscuit Flower Hour that same year, but here we present the complete performance. Although often remembered for the striking visual impact of their MTV videos, this recording proves that it was their own brand of lethal metal and the way that front man Dee Snider could whip a crowd into a frenzy that really mattered. Here is the live, unedited and unadulterated Twisted Sister experience that gained them a following with metalheads in the first place.