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Twisted Sister - 'Under The Blade' (Special Edition) http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/14/f4/c3/1559_TwisterSisterUnderTheBlade_1315423096.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 07, 2011    
 
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By far the best and most essential Twisted Sister release.

I am always cynical with the batches of poor reissues offering little extras for your money, with nothing more than a poorly produced demo or booklet, the Ozzy era Sabbath and Rainbow releases being a good example. So well done Twisted Sister for giving us the full monty for this release!! Not only do we get a remixed 'Under The Blade' and the original 'Ruff Cutts' ep, but a dvd of the band's legendary performance at the 1982 Reading Festival and extensive interviews, but more about that later.

These days Twisted Sister must seem pretty tame, but in 1982 the band was like a hurricane hitting the metal community. Looking and sounding like a hybrid of Kiss, Judas Priest and the New York Dolls, the band did not so much play, but kill live on stage.

So how does Under the Blade stand up today I hear you ask? The new mix gives a lot more punch to the music and the staccato intro to 'What You Don't know' benefits from this, the band are giving you the perfect introduction to the world of Twisted Sister and shoving it right in your face! The song still has all its charms some 30 years on, as does the likes the Judas Priest styled 'Sin After Sin'. Though 'Bad Boys Of Rock n Roll' and 'Destoyer' lack musical finesse, they more than make up for it in attitude.

'Tear It Loose', 'Under The Blade' and the classic 'Shoot Em Down' are as potent as ever, but it was the live environment where the band came into there own.

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The 'Ruff Cutts' ep is nice to have for your collection and I have fond memories of heading of to Shades record shop in London to get my copy.

So on to the DVD, which is where this release really comes into it own. I can still remember the amount of gob smacked faces as the band hit the stage at the Reading festival and won the crowd over, through sheer stage craft and ability to dodge the bottles! Having never known this performance was filmed this really is a wonderful bonus for anyone who remembers being there. The highlights are Dee Snider, a true rock n roll ape of a man, offering the audience a fight if they kept throwing bottles, and Lemmy, Fast Eddie and Pete Way jamming on the Stones 'It's Only Rock n Roll'.

It's nice to capture an important moment in rock n roll history and see the band firing on all cylinders. You have to remember that the days of embracing the whole glam metal scene were in its infancy and i can remember a lot of die hard rockers being very sceptical regarding this band. So it really was a pivotal moment in Twisted Sister's history and the band elaborate in amusing detail their thoughts on the show and what it meant to them then and now. We also have a detailed warts and all interview regarding the making of the 'Under The Blade' record, which believe it or not was recorded in a barn of all places!

In all this is by far the best and most essential Twisted Sister release, period, a wonderful introduction to the band for the novice or a trip down memory lane for anyone old enough to remember.

Ray Paul

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