For the consideration of the Heavy Metal OverloRd.
Here’s a rare find: A CD/DVD combo pack where the CD is equally worth the price of purchase as the DVD. This package contains an 11 song live album as well as a great DVD concert/documentary. Twisted Sister certainly have risen in the esteem of rock fans since the 80’s. Sister’s resilience has won them over, not to mention their heaviness which was lost on the 80’s crowd.
I will say that I was disappointed when I first bought it in 2005. It was issued as a dual-disc. Remember those? I’ll get into the dual-disc crap at the end of this review. I later bought a far superior CD/DVD set, and that’s the version that I recommend over the dual-disc. Regardless of which version you have, at least both have nice big booklets with loads of pictures and some liner notes too.
The DVD is peppered with documentary footage and interviews with all five Twisted members. The documentary covers the entire history of the band, and sheds light on their acrimonious breakup and triumphant reunion. I found Mark Mendoza’s segments particularly interesting as he had the most problems with Dee, and in fact was not on board when TS first reunited in 1990’s. The live program is, of course, great. It’s well shot, and sounds good.
The CD is nice as it’s not just a soundtrack to the DVD, but a standalone live album on its own with 11 tracks total, spanning the early years plus six songs from Wacken. I enjoy this one quite a bit on its own as a live album. From 1980, “Bad Boys of Rock ‘n’ Roll” through to the rare “You Know I Cry” are all replete with loud n’ dodgy sound. Then from ’82, “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n; Roll”. The Marquee, London: Yes, that would be earlier than the Live at the Marquee album, recorded in ’83. The fidelity here is improved, although the band’s on-stage fury goes on unabated.
Finally, six 2003 recordings from Wacken. It’s not the entire show obviously, which seems a bit of a shame. Goodies here include personal favourites “I Am (I’m Me)”, “Like a Knife in the Back” and “The Fire Still Burns”. That last one’s interesting because it’s not really a great track on its album, Come Out and Play. It’s heavier and better live. Best of all, Dee’s voice is still in excellent shape. Everybody ages; that’s to be expected, but I don’t think Twisted Sister have lost a thing with age.
Now, let’s talk about this dual-disc.
This is by far the worst dual-disc I’ve ever tried to play. It certainly looks cool (see gallery below). The DVD side has the TS “bone” logo emblazoned directly on the playing surface. I’ve never seen graphics on the playing surface of a disc before, and it looks awesome. This side plays on all my DVD players, no problem. The CD side will not play correctly on any of my CD players, although it plays fine on my blu-ray player. The CD doesn’t conform to the Red Book standards, which is to say it’s slightly thicker than the CDs that many CD players are designed to accommodate. It all depends on the tolerances built into the players. Dual-discs are delicate in the first place, and they should never be played in a front-loading car deck or it could get destroyed along with your deck. In the long run, in order to enjoy the CD on a CD player, I had to buy the damn thing again, this time on the CD/DVD set.
So, great video side, great live album, cool looking disc and package. Dual-disc technology…not so great. Buy accordingly.
5/5 stars (for the CD/DVD combo set)
More TWISTED SISTER at mikeladano.com:
TWISTED SISTER – Live at the Marquee (2011 Rhino limited edition)
TWISTED SISTER – Love Is For Suckers (1987 Atlantic, Spitfire reissue)
TWISTED SISTER – Stay Hungry (25th Anniversary Edition)
TWISTED SISTER – Under The Blade (1985 remix)
TWISTED SISTER – “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (1984 Atlantic single)