“The Video Years” by Twisted Sister

Artist: Twisted Sister
Title: “The Video Years”
Label: Rhino Entertainment
Release Date: 6/26/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

I cannot tell you how happy I am about this release because during my own formative Metal years, Twisted Sister and their music were among the catalysts that propelled me deeper into the heavy music genre in terms of the appreciation and respect that I would give it for decades to come. With that being said I am sure that I am not alone in these thoughts as so many people who grew up around this time were also exposed to the unforgettable images of the band and the incredible early videos they had brought to the table of a video network that was itself just being born. When Twisted Sisters third album “Stay Hungry” first broke, it would break big and this was primarily because of the MTV videos that were kept in an almost constant rotation. The aspect of music video was still very new and TS welcomed the chance to use this format for their own growth while few others realized the potential it held for them. The albums lead single would also be hitting many Rock radio stations on an hourly basis it seemed and from this the rest would become Metal music history. Everywhere you turned you found the Metal heads screaming “what do you want to do with your life” and strumming their own air guitars to the sounds of “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take” it. I know this for certain as I myself was among those air guitar slingers even though at the time I was really a drummer. This was a great time for Heavy Metal music because the band was larger than life and in the faces of the parents and conventions we were often held at bay by. With Sister we had a defense against those who preached about how we “we should be living our lives” as opposed to giving our own adventures a try.

Rebellion based on musical influences was little more than loud music and long hair back then as I remember and the legions of Metal music raised their fists and horns in unison as the SMF’s brought our cause to the masses. The DVD brings all of these videos to life once again and they have been given a great clean production as far as visual and sound. Before this release none of them were available in one place so that is a reason to grab it all the more. The viewer not only gets the classic tunes from “Stay Hungry” but also a couple of their earlier films such as ‘It’s Only Rock & Roll”, from a never before seen BBC broadcast and a tune from “You Can’t Stop Rock & Roll”. The latter track was often caught on U68 for those who reach as far back as I do with the reference. Truly the main highlight is having these “Stay Hungry” tunes because those films were just do much fun as the band became the foil to family man Mark Metcalf of Animal House and while they might be viewed as violent they are more like Roadrunner cartoons in their overall antics and content. There are a couple of videos from “Come Out And Play” with “Be Chrool To Your Scuel”, a video that featured Alice Cooper and while a very expensive under-taking was banned by the very network that had once embraced them as an artist. It’s interesting to note that this has happened as the band explains that singer Michael Jackson was doing similar content with his own “Thriller” video. The band’s last video of “Hot Love” comes from the poorly received “Love Is For Suckers” and is definitely geared to those fans of muscle cars and hot women.

We also get a kick ass concert from the bands “Stay Hungry” tour and this was available for purchase back then but has been out of print for decades. The band is seen blasting through a set of their soon to be staple numbers and a couple of their then classics in full makeup and costumes. Dee’s legendary and unforgettable front man styling is totally enjoyable and uncensored so if you are PC then keep on going from those sections. This same concert also enjoyed a healthy run on MTV when the network featured concert performances and had a large Heavy Metal demographic tuning in. That’s been relegated to the “Headbanger’s Ball” that airs once a week now so this is also a bit of a history lesson about the network. There are interviews throughout with the entire band (Jay Jay French, AJ Pero, Dee Snider, Mark Mendoza and Eddie Ojeda) as well as people who were instrumental in the bands label signing and video production. We also hear from Lemmy and actor Mark Metcalf who offer some cool insight to the time that the videos were first delivered. This DVD is a must have for the legacy fans and a cool purchase for the newer ones who realize that Twisted Sister is a band that holds a worthy legacy that demands their allegiance and respect. What do you want to do with your life? Right now, I feel like listening to some Twisted Sister.

Track Listing: The Videos
1. It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)
2. You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N; Roll
3. We’re Not Gonna Take It
4. I Wanna Rock
5. The Price
6. Leader Of The Pack
7. Be Chrool To Your Scuel
8. Hot Love

Track Listing: Stay Hungry – Live Concert
1. The Kids Are Back
2. We’re Not Gonna Take It
3. I Wanna Rock
4. Under The Blade
5. The Beast
6. You Cant Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll
7. The Price
8. Stay Hungry
9. Burn In Hell
10. S.M.F.

Official Website: www.twistedsister.com

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