Saturday, May 10, 2014

Twisted Sister - Stay Hungry

Today (May 10th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Stay Hungry, the third studio album from Twisted Sister. This multi-Platinum seller spent fifty-one weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 15. It also reached number 34 in the UK, number 11 in Norway, number 10 in New Zealand, and number 3 in Sweden.

Side one rumbles out of the gate with the title track "Stay Hungry", a rousing rocker about keeping yourself motivated.

"We're Not Gonna Take It" was released as the first single. It went to number 58 in the UK, number 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 20 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, number 10 in Sweden and number 2 in New Zealand. It was ranked at number 47 on VH-1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's and number 21 on its 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80's. Of course, everyone remembers the classic music video from heavy rotation on MTV (" that a Twisted Sister pin...on your uniform?!?"). This fight-the-power anthem remains a favorite of mine to this day. It begs to be turned up to the max and that you chant right along. That's what I do!

The band fires up "Burn in Hell" next. It was chosen for the B-side to the second single. I have always liked how it simmers at the start and then explodes with verse two.

The next track is a two part "Horror-Teria (The Beginning)". First up is "Captain Howdy", a warning to avoid a troublesome terror of the night. The second half of the suite is "Street Justice". The opening guitar riff sets up your anticipation as the song builds.

Side two begins with the pounding beats of "I Wanna Rock". As the second single, it went to number 93 in the UK, number 68 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 44 in Canada, number 35 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, number 10 in New Zealand, and number 5 in Norway. It also ranked number 17 on VH-1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. This is another track from the album that gets me fired up whenever I hear it.

The ballad "The Price" reached number 19 on the US Mainstream Rock chart.

"Don't Let Me Down" is a song about putting all your faith, trust and love into the hands of another.

"The Beast" is next; it is a song about facing your worst nightmares.

The original vinyl release closed with "S.M.F."; while the lyrics only spell it out, we all knew they meant sick mother... (you know the rest).

The 25th anniversary CD edition from 2009 added seventeen additional tracks, including demos, a radio spot, and additional material.

Stay Hungry is a record I was very familiar with during 1984. When I got home from college that May, my best friend John and I both got jobs working at the local ice cream plant where we stacked half gallons in the freezers every day for the summer. At night, I would go hang out at his house to play computer games on his Commodore 64. He owned a copy of this Twisted Sister album, so it often hit the turntable. Listening to it again for the review, I am instantly taken back three decades. Good times!

I like this record quite a lot. A number of years ago, I added half of the record to my music library; I think it is time to get the remaining cuts.

For my blog posts relating to Twisted Sister, click here

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