TWISTED SISTER – Under The Blade [Japan SHM-CD original mix ’82 remastered +5]
After the recent TWISTER SISTER release of You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll 2-CD remaster featured here, one of you requested the band’s first album “Under The Blade” in its two versions, the original 1982 and the remixed 1985, both in its remastered reissue.
And both are an essential listen for ’80s hard rock / metal fans.
It’s hard to refer to the early metal classics that dominated the first couple years of the ’80s without also uttering that timeless cliché of “they don’t make them like they used to”.
In those good old days, bands earned their keep on the road for several years before hitting the studio and being morphed into a recording studio beast.
There is no more obvious epitome of a band paying their dues before getting established as a studio band than that of Twisted Sister, a band that existed in some incarnation or another a good 10 years before “Under The Blade” would mount an American challenge to the exploding NWOBHM scene.
Produced by UFO bassist Pete Way in England and featuring a guest appearance by Mötorhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke, “Under The Blade” set the band up perfectly to be embraced by an English audience living through what will come to be known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
Despite somewhat appearing as a low budget KISS lovechild visually, on their debut, Twisted Sister possess an edge far closer to previously mentioned bands Judas Priest and the Scorpions than their fellow New York acts.
The chief influence at play here is definitely of a Judas Priest persuasion, so much so that even Dee Snider’s normally gritty yell has more of a polished, British edge to it on here.
At times the party hearty character that would become this band’s staple shines through on such noteworthy anthems as “Bad Boys (Of Rock N’ Roll)” and “Day Of The Rocker”, exuding those repetitive yet highly infectious chorus lines that have been commanding the legions of 80s metallic faithful to sing along.
But in stark contrast to later efforts, “Under The Blade” is mostly metal, classic US 80s metal. The crushing opener “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)” punches through with a vengeance, delivering yet another unforgettable sing along chorus to boot.
“Sin After Sin”, which auspiciously carries the same title as the famed Judas Priest album, also listens a hell of a lot like a compositional homage to the same band. The title track also offers up a pretty impressive dose metallic guitars, though it takes the back seat to “Tear It Loose”, which packs all the same fury with a grittier voice and a heavier guitar tone.
Released via the small label Secret Records on September 18, 1982, this original version of “Under The Blade” was really hard to find for decades.
The most popular is the 1985 remix, done for the re-release of the LP by Atlantic Records with a lot of polish to emphasize on the commercial success of the band’s breakthrough record ‘Stay Hungry’ and, by then (and for years to come) the only official way to get the album as Secret Records was no more.
We had to wait until this current decade to hear “Under The Blade” in a digital remastered form with the original mix finally restored.
This is the Japanese mini-LP replica release on SHM-CD (sold-out now), including as bonus the complete ‘Ruff Cutts EP ’82’ (Twisted Sister first release ever) and an edited live version of ‘Shoot ‘Em Down’ taken from a UK sampler called “Reading Rock Volume One”.
Raw US metal with a British feel, “Under The Blade [Japan SHM-CD original mix ’82 remastered +5]” is an essential listen not only to appreciate how Twisted Sister musically evolved over the ’80s but also to check how a remix job can change a recording completely (as heard in the ’85 remix to be featured here soon).
A Mandatory listen for all hard rockers out there
Armoury Japan / Ward ～ VQCD-10250 【ＳＨＭ－ＣＤ】
「 ｍｉｎｉ－ＬＰ ＲＥＩＳＳＵＥ ＳＥＲＩＥＳ 」
01 – What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)
02 – Bad Boys (Of Rock ‘n’ Roll)
03 – Run For Your Life
04 – Sin After Sin
05 – Shoot ‘Em Down
06 – Destroyer
07 – Under The Blade
08 – Tear It Loose
09 – Day Of The Rocker
10 – What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You) (Ruff Cutts EP ’82)
11 – Shoot ‘Em Down (from Ruff Cutts EP ’82)
12 – Under The Blade (from Ruff Cutts EP ’82)
13 – Leader Of The Pack (from Ruff Cutts EP ’82)
14 – Shoot ‘Em Down (Reading Rock Volume One)
Dee Snider – lead vocals
Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda – guitar, backing vocals
Jay Jay French – guitar, backing vocals
Mark “The Animal” Mendoza – bass, backing vocals
A. J. Pero – drums, percussion
Joey Brighton – drums (tracks 10, 11)
Tony Petri – drums (tracks 12, 13)
“Fast” Eddie Clarke – second guitar solo on 8
Out Of Print