It’s fitting then, that the legendary band, singer Dee Snider, guitarists Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda, bassist Mark “The Animal” Mendoza and drummer A.J. Pero celebrate the 25th anniversary of their biggest album, Stay Hungry with a commemorative music offering for their fans.
Rhino Records is reissuing the triple-Platinum Stay Hungry, as a double-disc set that features the original remastered, unreleased demos and “30,” the group’s first new song in a more than a decade.
Formed in New York, Twisted Sister combined the theatricality of the glam rock movement with the sharp edge of groups like David Bowie and Alice Cooper to conjure its one-of-a-kind sound. The band made its bones on the Tri-State area’s club circuit before signing with Secret Records in 1982 for its debut, Under The Blade. Soon after the album’s release, the British label went bankrupt.
The group rebounded a year later, when Atlantic Records signed the band on the strength of a powerful performance on British television. Twisted Sister’s Atlantic debut, You Can’t Stop Rock ’N’ Roll, was certified Gold.
The band’s 1984 follow-up, Stay Hungry, was a Top 20 smash that stormed the charts with “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” a pair of fist-pumping anthems of youthful rebellion that went Top 40 and helped the album sell more than three million copies. Those two hit singles have become two of the most widely licensed songs from that decade.
Come Out and Play was released in 1985 and went Gold thanks to a tongue-in-cheek cover of the Shangri-Las’ “Leader of the Pack,” a longtime live staple dating back the band’s club days. Soon after 1987’s Love is For Suckers, Twisted Sister stopped performing live.
More than a decade after its last show, Twisted Sister reformed in 2001 for a benefit. The quintet quickly picked up were it left off, notching an astonishing run of more than 9,000 (and counting) performances, 75 headline festival dates performing in front of two million people in over 23 countries.
In 2006, the band returned to the charts with A Twisted Christmas, a best-selling, holiday smash album that buzzsaws through yuletide classics and was hailed by the Associated Press as the “second greatest Christmas album ever made” behind Elvis. That same year, the Long Island Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Twisted Sister. The band is currently at work on a new album and a Broadway musical based on A Twisted Christmas.
Rock of Ages, a current Broadway hit with five Tony® nominations, features Twisted Sister prominently in its storyline as well as the band’s iconic anthems, “I Wanna Rock and “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
Twisted Sister’s 35-year legacy includes sales of more than 10 million records worldwide, 35 Gold and Platinum awards from eight countries.
Rhino Records proudly wears a Twisted Sister pin on its uniform, celebrating the album’s multi-platinum success with a 25th Anniversary Edition that includes a bonus disc of unreleased outtakes and early demos from the original sessions, as well as a new track, "30", recorded especially for this collection by the 1984 Twisted Sister lineup: Dee Snider, Jay Jay French, Eddie Ojeda, Mark Mendoza, and A.J. Pero. A limited-edition pink vinyl package with the original “Stay Hungry” album art and bonus poster was also released this summer.
The first disc contains remastered versions of the nine tracks from the May 1984 original. The album was a smash thanks to a pair of fist-pumping anthems of youthful rebellion - “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” - that went Top 40. The band balanced those catchy songs with the harder edge of metal classics like “Burn In Hell” and “Horror-Teria,” a macabre song that would later serve as the inspiration for Strangeland, a sinister 1998 horror film written by Snider, who also starred in the film as the sadistic Captain Howdy.
The bonus disc uncovers 15 unreleased recordings that range from alternate versions of album tracks - including “We’re Not Gonna Take It” - to several non-album tracks such as “Death From Above,” “Prime Motivator,” and “Pay The Price,” a song from the band’s earlier club days. Along with the vintage tracks, the collection includes “30,” Twisted Sister’s first new song in more than 11 years, recorded by the band for the 25th Anniversary Edition.
“30” was originally written by Dee Snider with Marc Beeman and Sharon Lawson for the reality series Gone Country. Dee says, “While ‘30’ was my attempt at a country song for the show, the realization was that rock ’n’ roll is a direct outgrowth of country music. Since ‘30’ was written about my Twisted Sister experience, it seemed only natural for us to record it and rock it out.”