The 12 best Twisted Sister songs according to Mike Portnoy
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As a teenager growing up on Long Island in the late 70s and early 80s, Twister Sister were local legends to me – this was years before the rest of the world discovered them via MTV. Along with Kiss and the Ramones, they were the quintessential New York band, true Empire State rock 'n' roll royalty!
Almost 40 years and 10,000 gigs later, they are still one of the greatest live bands on earth and Dee Snider is one of the greatest frontmen in the history of rock.
When A.J. Pero tragically passed away last March, I didn't hesitate a single moment when asked if I could help out with the remaining confirmed shows on their calendar. Not only because I love the band and will always be an S.M.F. at heart... but most importantly, because A.J. was my friend and I want to honour his memory and the band's legacy.
It has been my absolute honour to help out my fellow Long Island rock 'n' roll saviours on the final chapter of their incredible 40 year journey.
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW (SURE CAN HURT YOU) (Under The Blade, 1982)
This is the perfect Twisted Sister show opener ("Good evening, welcome to our show..."), made even more dramatic with the light show setting the stage perfectly; everybody except Dee in the dark until the first chorus kicks in.
UNDER THE BLADE (Ruff Cuts, 1982)
This was always my favourite Twisted song back in the early '80s. I even remember all the drum fills from the original version on the Ruff Cuts EP (with Tony Petri on drums), and the later version that became the title track on their debut album.
TEAR IT LOOSE (Under The Blade, 1982)
Really, this is where speed metal began! When this came out, only bands like Accept and Motörhead were doing songs this fast ('Fast' Eddie Clark even plays on the album track). And this, remember was all still before Metallica! At my second show with the band this summer, the encore song was supposed to be Come Out and Play, but while we were off stage with the intro tape running, the guys changed the song at the last minute to Tear It Loose instead. I was like: YES!
YOU CAN'T STOP ROCK 'N' ROLL (You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll, 1983)
One of the all time great Twisted classics, a true rock 'n' roll anthem! And also one of the earliest heavy metal music videos I remember ever seeing.
LIKE A KNIFE IN THE BACK (You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll, 1983)
This one's a bit more of a sleeper track. I love the bass fills at the end of each chorus! Mark 'The Animal' Mendoza is really an incredibly underrated bass player.
I AM (I'M ME) (You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll, 1983)
This was their first hit single in the UK. This song just has to make the list!