From this week's Unauthorized 80's column:Twisted Sister was originally formed in 1972 by Jay Jay French. The band went through several line-up changes until it eventually settled on Dee Snider (vocals), Jay Jay French (guitar), Eddie Ojeda (guitar), Mark Mendoza (bass), and A.J. Pero (drums). In 1979 the band self released two singles and then was signed by Secret Records in the UK. In 1982, via Secret Records, they would release an EP titled Ruff Cuts and their first studio album, Under The Blade which quickly became an underground hit. The band would then sign with Atlantic Records and put out their second studio album, You Can't Stop Rock N' Roll, in 1983. In 1984 Twisted Sister shocked the heavy metal world, releasing Stay Hungry, their contribution to an era that continues to define a decade. The album caught on with fans as well as government officials -- organized as the P.M.R.C. (which stands for the Parents Music Resource Center and is the least intimidating name I've ever heard). Twisted Sister was called out for their rebellious lyrics in the song "We're Not Gonna Take It". It was a strange group that was being targeted by the P.M.R.C. and included Twisted Sister, W.A.S.P., and Motley Crue as well as Madonna, Sheena Easton, and Prince. These proceedings eventually led to the 'Explicit Material' or 'Tipper Sticker' found on the cover of albums, cassettes, and CDs that were deemed to have offensive content.
The Stay Hungry album is arguably one of the greatest hard rock/heavy metal albums from the decade. The first track, "Stay Hungry", is an energy filled first track filled with lyrics that are more uplifting than this band is often given credit for. This is directly related to Dee Snider's vocal delivery that easily turns a positive message into a horror movie -- this is considered a strength.
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