REVIEW: Twisted Sister – Under The Blade (1985 remix)

First of my reviews from Record Store Excursion 2012!  Check out the video below if you missed it. This one bought at Sonic Boom Kensington.

MIKE AND AARON GO TO TORONTO

TWISTED SISTER – Under The Blade (1985 remix)

The original 1982 Secret Records mix of this album was raw and heavy, like a bulldozer with a singer and sense of rhythm.  Secret folded and Atlantic re-released the album in ’85 with a remix helmed by Mark Mendoza.  For added measure they added Twisted’s first single, “I’ll Never Grow Up, Now!” as a bonus track.

Although less so in its remixed for, Under the Blade served as a brutal reminder that Twisted Sister were and are a heavy metal band, before the MTV hits happened. No ballads, the only slow moment is the intro to “Run For Your Life” which soon hits the gas and takes off at breakneck speed. Like a cross between early Kiss, Cooper, Sabbath and Priest, Under the Blade was an aural assault. The assault was assisted by a brutally ragtag heavy production and mix, frayed at the edges and certainly way too heavy for kiddies weaned on autotune today.  Elsewhere, more melodic fare like “Bad Boys (of Rock and Roll)” and “Shoot ‘Em Down” plot the way for the more commercial years about to unfold.

But then they did that remix, and toned everything down.  The drums aren’t as loud, the guitars less cutting.  In short, it sounds like they were trying to make Under the Blade fit in more with the Stay Hungry sound.  I did like that they included “I’ll Never Grow Up, Now!”, one of my favourite TS tracks of all time.

Production is by Pete Way (UFO), and Fast Eddie Clarke (Motorhead) takes a guest guitar solo.

For the remix:

3/5 stars

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8 comments

  1. I like that I’m coming at this one from the opposite direction. I’ve only heard the remix. The songs are pretty good, a lot of their stage favourites on this. It sounds so sparse though… it’s so “meat and potatoes” that I was wondering how big a difference the remixing could have made. So it’s encouraging to hear that the original is better. Can’t wait to listen to it, it’s been sitting on my shelves long enough! Nice buy for $8!

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  2. I’ve finally listened to both. Massive difference actually. 80s remix just sounded really odd to me and when I put on the original the record finally made sense. Much gnarlier guitar sound and a more edgy, underground Metal vibe! Really enjoyed it. I can see what they were trying to do with the remix, making the guitars fatter and everything’s separated out a bit more. It just sounds a bit empty to me though. Much prefer the original! Glad I’ve got both though…

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      1. Maybe hearing them both on CD would be better. I’ve got them both in comparable quality on my iPod and it’s quite a difference. Mainly the guitars. On the original they are more mid-range crunchy and they’re more up-front and fatter for the re-mix. It’s like they’ve tried to move it from a more Metal sound to a more polished Slade sort of sound. My re-mix is mp3 from the 2006 re-issue so I don’t know if they did anything else to that other than remastering…

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