TWISTED SISTER: 40th-Anniversary Expanded Edition Of 'Under The Blade' To Include Album Of Early Covers
July 3, 2023
In a new interview with Pod Scum, TWISTED SISTER guitarist Jay Jay French revealed that the band's classic debut album, 1982's "Under The Blade", will receive an expanded 40th-anniversary reissue this year. "That's gonna be a double vinyl album," he said. "And one of those albums is gonna have us playing cover material from back in the bar days, which we've never released before. So you're gonna have us playing [LED] ZEPPELIN and AEROSMITH songs, which no one has ever heard. So I think people will appreciate [it]. That's new."
As for the possibility of more live performances by TWISTED SISTER, which was inducted into the Metal Hall Of Fame earlier this year, Jay Jay said: "TWISTED SISTER's 50th anniversary is this year. 'We're Not Gonna Take It' [and] 'Stay Hungry''s 40th anniversary is next year. What does that mean? We were inducted into the Heavy Metal Hall Of Fame in January. We played three songs. They are up on YouTube. It was fun to do it. Does it mean we're gonna do more? Right now I don't know. We may or may not. I don't know… So I don't know what's gonna happen with TWISTED. That's an open conversation. I just don't know."
Back in 2011, Eagle Rock Entertainment reissued "Under The Blade". The expanded edition of the LP — originally produced by Pete Way of UFO — contained four tracks from TWISTED SISTER's 1982 "Ruff Cuts" EP (never before available on CD) as well as "Shoot 'Em Down", an '82 live track from England's prestigious Reading Festival. The lavish package featured the original "Under The Blade" cover, which had not appeared on any domestic versions of the album until then, and reflected the original Secret Records track list and remastered audio mix.
French joined the band SILVER STAR, a New Jersey-based "glitter band" in December 1972. The group, whose original purpose was to be the New Jersey version of the NEW YORK DOLLS, changed their name to TWISTED SISTER on Valentine's Day 1973. The band, however, continually changed lineups and didn't take off until singer Dee Snider joined in 1976. The lineup didn't fully coalesce until 1982 with the final addition of drummer A.J. Pero.
"Under The Blade" first came out on an independent U.K.-based label called Secret Records, but really gained momentum when Atlantic Records released a different mix of the album nationally in 1985 while taking advantage of the bands newly minted stardom. Their meteoric ascent came in tandem with the simultaneous rise of MTV.
In 2016, TWISTED SISTER embarked on one final trek, titled "Forty And Fuck It", in celebration of its 40th anniversary. These shows featured the band's "core lineup" of Snider, French, guitarist Eddie Ojeda and bassist Mark Mendoza, along with drummer Mike Portnoy. The band's last-ever concert took place in November of that year — 20 months after the passing of Pero.
TWISTED SISTER's original run ended in the late '80s. After more than a decade, the band publicly reunited in November 2001 to top the bill of New York Steel, a hard-rock benefit concert to raise money for the New York Police And Fire Widows' And Children's Benefit Fund.
The surviving members of the classic lineup of TWISTED SISTER previously reunited virtually in March 2021 for a special episode of Mendoza's Internet TV show "22 Now". The hour-and-a-half-long program was a tribute to Pero, who died exactly six years earlier at the age of 55 while on tour with the band ADRENALINE MOB.
Prior to the March 2021 virtual reunion, the four surviving members of TWISTED SISTER reunited for two days and nights in November 2019 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the band's classic album "Stay Hungry".
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