Twisted Sister Biography
When they were first formed in Manhattan, New York USA, in 1973 by guitarist Jay Jay French, Twisted Sister were unabashed Glam-rockers, filtering the sound of New York Dolls through Alice Cooper's theatrical shock-Rock; the band, which also included lead singer Michael Valentine, guitarist Billy Diamond, bassist Kenneth Harrison and drummer Mell Starr worked the New York-area club scene for more than a decade developing a large following in the process. The band's line-up continued to fluctuate throughout the early years, Eddie Ojeda replaced Diamond in 1974, but it was only with the arrival of Dee Snider, in early 1976 that the band found its true leader, that year also Tony Petri stepped in behind the drum kit and two years later bass player Mark Mendoza joined Twisted Sister replacing Harrison.
In 1979 the quintet released its first single, "I'll Never Grow Up, Now!" on the band's own TSR label. By the early '80s, no major record label would sign the band in the States; with new drummer A.J. Pero, Twisted Sister then moved over to the U.K. where they recorded their debut album, "Under The Blade", issued in 1982 on the independent Secret Records, it became an underground sensation attracting the attention of Atlantic.
Twisted Sister were finally rewarded with a major record label contract and in 1983 "You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll" was released, the album followed the same raw Heavy-Metal direction of their debut hitting #130 on The Billboard 200 chart and producing a U.K. top 20 hit in "I Am (I'm Me)".
In 1984, with their follow-up, "Stay Hungry", the band exploded onto the Billboard charts with three Mainstream Rock top 40 smashes: "The Price", "I Wanna Rock" and "We're Not Gonna Take It", the latter of which also peaked at #21 on the Hot 100 and helped push the album to #15 on The Billboard Top 200 chart with more than 2 million copies sold.
Although the band's fourth album, "Come Out And Play", was certified gold shortly after its release, it only reached #53 in U.S. producing a minor Mainstream Rock hit single in "Leader Of The Pack".
For their next LP, "Love Is For Suckers", issued in 1987, the band attempted returning to more straight-ahead, Hard-Rock-based songwriting; Pero left the band prior to the album, he was replaced by session drummer Joey Franco and "Love Is For Suckers" reached a modest #73 on The Billboard 200 chart, it soon slid from sight generating another minor Mainstream Rock hit, "Hot Love"; Twisted Sister decided to call it a day shortly after the album's release.
The band's classic line-up reformed in November 2001 to perform in New York at a September 11 benefit; but Twisted Sister has no plans to tour extensively.
October 2006 saw the release of "Twisted Christmas", a 10-track holiday album which included the single "Oh Come All Ye Faithful", it sounds so much like a reimagining of "We're Not Gonna Take It".
In June 2009, Rhino Records released the 25th Anniversary Edition of "Stay Hungry" the album that put the New York veterans on the map; the set included a re-mastered version of the original album, as well as a bonus disc with 16 previously unissued songs, one newly recorded cut: "30", the band's first new song in 11 years and a hidden track entitled "Lollipop Guild".