Twisted Sister toiled away for years, paid their dues a thousand times over and made more money than signed artists, but they still didn’t have a record deal.
Finally, in April 1982 and after ten years of gigging, they got that deal with a UK punk rock label called Secret Records. The EP “Ruff Cuts” comes out and in September, 1982, “Under the Blade” hits the streets, produced by Pete Way of UFO and featuring a guest appearance of “Fast” Eddie Clarke on the song “Tear It Loose” which did sound very much like a Motorhead song.
With all things musical and music is a business, Secret Records goes bankrupt, however it gave the Twisted Sister machine enough momentum to appear on a British TV program called “The Tube”, an appearance which cost the band $22K, which in turn led to Atlantic Records Europe approaching the band and signing them.
When you hear “Under The Blade”, you get the feeling that you are listening to a classic album from a well-rehearsed and seasoned live unit. Basically, every single song on the album is written to be played on stage.
The opening track “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)” is a perfect example of a song designed for the live arena. It’s that screechy, whiny, palm muted guitar intro that sets the tone and as soon as Dee Snider sings “Good Evening” with all the bravado of a circus Master of Ceremonies, you know you are in for a show.
Good evening! Ha ha ha, welcome to our show
Come inside the Twisted Sister world, the place where fallacy becomes reality, which is a line from the excellent “Come Out And Play”.
Hit it! We’re no overnight sensation, no Cinderella fantasy
“It’s A Long Way To The Top, If You Want To Rock And Roll”. It’s truth. There are no overnight sensations in the music business. Even the YouTube stars or viral sensations had many years of practice in the dark.
Make sure you listen to the 5.32 version from the original Secret release. It’s better, the solo is longer and it’s raw and gritty, just like Rock and Roll should be
“Bad Boys Of Rock N Roll” has a cool lyric about how if the band looks kind of weird to people, then how do those people look to the band.
Twisted Sister didn’t really follow any norms. If there was a band that went against the grain, it was them. And they even kept their glam look going when the late seventies diverged to punk and disco and when they went to England, with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in full swing, they still didn’t look the part.
So you say we’re offending you, what’s wrong, is it something we said?
Dee Snider doesn’t get enough respect. He spoke for a generation and even stood up for a generation.
“Run For Your Life” is my favourite cut. The verse riff has the feel and power of AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock”and it’s the older sibling to “Burn In Hell”.
I had to re-hear “Sin After Sin” to remember it and is a metal classic in style of Judas Priest.
Sin after sin
When you start with one lie, you are bound to tell another lie. When you cheat once, you will cheat again. Eventually all those lies and cheating removes you from the truth and your echo chamber surrounds you with a new fake truth, so far removed from the real truth. Didn’t Seinfeld come up with the phrase it’s not lying if the person believes it.
“Shoot Em Down” to me is a classic AC/DC song that Angus and Malcolm and Bon/Brian didn’t write.
“Destroyer” is heavy as cast iron. Make sure to check out the down tuned cover by Anthrax with Jon Bush on vocals released on the “Twisted Forever” tribute album.
“Under The Blade” has a metal intro that reminds me of “Friday on Your Mind” vibe in the intro. And when the verse riff kicks, it’s time to start banging that head.
“Tear It Loose” has lyrics about “working all day and slaving away” which I can relate to and music to me is a release from that grind, about breaking away from something like a job, a relationship, an ideal in your mind, a bad situation, and so forth. We are alive for just a short time and a long time dead, so don’t waste a precious minute.
“Day Of The Rocker” has a vocal delivery which sounds like it came from Bon Scott (RIP). The song is call to arms for the rockers of the world to unite.
To me “Under The Blade” is an inspiring metal album, and any song on this album could be covered by a range of artists, from pop artists to black metal artists.