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Twisted Sister: Club Daze V1 (remaster)

If you are one of the new guard of Heavy Metal's support structure then you most likely refer the name of the band Twisted Sister as "the band that does "We're Not Gonna Take It" or "the guys with the crazy Heavy Metal Christmas album" that came out a couple of years ago. These days the band is only active a few times a year based on their individual members schedules and that makes listening to something historically relevant to their beginnings such as this re-release a very entertaining time. The bands early days and material were presented on the album Club Daze" Volume 1 The Studio Sessions and this release originally hit the shelves in 1999 on the now defunct Spitfire Records. Fortunately the folks at Armoury Records have been re-releasing some of these vintage out of print items which is great since many were awesome to have in your Metal library. I reviewed the initial release and find my words still ring the same. I've edited that original narrative ever so slightly below.

It's a sad fact that a majority of the world did not realize that Twisted Sister was a band long before the hit song "We're Not Gonna Take It" was released in 1990 on the Stay Hungry album because this was in truth the bands third LP and while amazing, had featured all new stuff and not any of the bands original mystery tracks. I say "mystery tracks" because there were tunes that their long supporting fans had known that for some reason or another had still never been put to vinyl that they could snatch up copies of. In dollars it did not matter for this album and its songs made them millionaires but in the music sense it was a shame that this material that pre-dated "Stay Hungry" was unavailable. I enjoyed Twisted Sister back in the day and remember searching Greenwich Village the day their very first album Under The Blade was released. Until that particular day, all I owned recording wise was a 4 song EP entitled Ruff Cuts and this is still a part of my collection to this very day. This release gives us these impossible to find songs in one place on a collection that is an amazing part of Hard Rock history when it comes to knowing a lot more about Twisted Sister as a band. Many of these songs were recorded before they were even a signed band and these were released independently to the public on vinyl and distributed using the bands own dollar. This was tougher back then as there was no Facebook, Myspace or Twitter to rely on. Your Social Network was your group of like minded friends who all shared the goods when it came to music and the proliferation of the bands you all had common interest in. That makes this CD such a great issue because from their formative years there was a lot of excellent stuff that still manages to sound fresh to the new listener. This is a perfect CD for fans of true Hard Rock and Roll done in its purest manner aggressive and with intent to get your moving. Long-time fans of the group that might own some of this on now very old vinyl or cassette tapes will love the chance to hear "Come Back", "Rock N Roll Saviors" and "Lady's Boy" once again and to be able to do it on a cleaner and better produced release than ever before. Three of these tracks were from that classic vinyl EP Ruff Cuts that I referenced owning and to this day I love the version of "Shoot 'Em Down" from this album and can't believe this was never a Rock Radio hit like its eventual sire "We're Not Gonna Take It". I even played this song with friends in basement rehearsal studios as it was so much fun. Wondering about a song's lack of broader reaching success can also be said about their first anthem "I'll Never Grow Up Now" which spoke to the defiance of ones often always right elders long before the preaching's on "Stay Hungry" would come out.

The musicians on this piece are mostly the names that you know with Dee Snider, J.J. French, Eddie Ojeda and Mark Mendoza. The only main difference is that drums are done by Tony Petri and not A.J. Pero who would join the group at around the recordings of "Under The Blade". The CD comes with a highly detailed liner notes section and some comments on the various tracks by French and veteran music writer Martin Popoff. There are a ton of photos from this period in the bands life and many of the clubs that they used to perform at are listed for reference. It doesn't only discuss the material of the time but also pays mind to the bands origins and earliest history. That alone will take you back should you have been a fan from way back during this time and if you are someone still on the new side to them this will be a great education about them. You might find it amusing to hear French sing as he doesn't do a lot of that in the bands activities today and just offers up some backups to Dee. If I can draw some criticism about the CD it would have to be based on the omission of tracks like "Plastic Money" and "You Know I Cry" which I have long been a fan of. These are awesome tunes that fans should look for if time and resources allow. The booklet is also one super long foldout as opposed to a real booklet. That makes it a little unwieldy and you might want to make sure the table is clean before you lay it on there to review it. There are no differences between this and its original issue outside of the font in the new version being a little more stand out and clear. In comparing this to the older one I had to say that I prefer the more prominent font. With those slight nuances off my chest I can still say that this is a must have for any fans of Twisted Sister, whether they be new or old. I highly recommend this as you will not find these tracks anywhere else otherwise.

Track Listing:
1. Come Back
2. Pay The Price
3. Rock N Roll Saviors
4. High Steppin'
5. Big Gun
6. T.V. Wife
7. Can't Stand Still
8. Follow Me
9. I'll Never Grow Up Now
10. Lady's Boy
11. Leader Of The Pack
12. Under The Blade
13. Shoot 'Em Down

Added: February 4th 2011
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1850
Language: english

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Twisted Sister: Club Daze V1 (remaster)
Posted by Scott Ward, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-02-04 14:12:36
My Score:

The origins of Twisted Sister date back to 1972 and this release chronicles some of their rare and unreleased tracks from as far back as 1974 up to the early 80's. You can hear the beginnings of the band that will help to define glam metal in later years and the kind of music that fueled their rise. It is actually a very interesting peek into their birth and just like an infant you get to hear them grow up. I would say that you get the band from newborn to early adolescence with this disc and is probably why it is volume I. These early songs show a band finding its way and are a marvelous view at where they started from. It might not be just what you expect either.

Believe it or not, there was a Twisted Sister before Dee Snider. Guitarist Jay Jay French was the lead singer and you get a few chances to hear his crooning on the bluesy "TV Wife" the slow grinding "Can't Stand Still" and the very mainstream metal of "Follow Me". Jay Jay comes off very well on this disc, not only singing but you get a chance to hear him let loose with the guitar a bit more than they would do in later days.

When Snider joined the band he became the main songwriter and you get the first two songs he ever wrote for the band on here. "Come Back" which starts off the album shows the direction that he takes them and the sound that you will easily recognize as Twisted Sister. "Pay The Price" is a classic piece of rock and roll which is hard to believe it did not draw them more attention. The guitar work is screaming and it almost makes me think of Bad Company. Yes, these guys were not quite the same band the world become aware of with the song "We're Not Gonna Take It".

This disc is even more fun to me than some of their newer material. It seems to have more of an edge and allows the abilities of the band to shine through. Both guitarists, Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda show just what they are made of and it is some really good stuff! This disc is not a Snider showcase like some of their more recent output and this more group effort is very appealing to me. Dee has a good band behind him and this disc proves it.

If you are a Twisted Sister fan, this is a must have. If you are not, this is still a great dose of heavy metal. Their roots are totally exposed and some of them are more brilliant than what blossomed later.

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