“Ladies and gentlemen…Twisted mother fuckin’ Sister!” – Lemmy Kilmister
TWISTED SISTER – Live at the Marquee (2011 Rhino Handmade)
First of all, this thing is huge. There’s a CD in there somewhere.
You already know some of these recordings from the Big Hits and Nasty Cuts CD. In 2011, finally, after numerous B-sides and compilations, the entire legendary Marquee club show was made available on CD from the fine folks at Rhino Handmade. Coming in this beautiful (but fragile) cardboard die-cut cover, this was so long overdue. For a long long time people sank many dollars into collecting as many of these live versions as possible. Few collected all the released tracks, but now the entire show is available. That means you get all those B-sides plus a bunch of unreleased songs from the gig, including all the talking.
From Lemmy’s now legendary introduction to the final notes of “Feel So Fine”, this is Twisted Sister at their absolute heaviest. When I first heard five of these recordings as the “Nasty Cuts” on the Big Hits (1992) CD, they turned me off a bit. They were too heavy. Too fast. Too ragged. Too punk rock. Not what I was expecting from what I considered to be a pop rock band, back then. However, Dee’s rants made this so difficult to turn off! You never know what was going to come out of Dee’s mouth next.
Eventually I realized, this stuff is actually Twisted Sister at their absolute best! They are in their element and in their glory, playing these songs for the fans and also the haters in the crowd that night, whom Dee addresses frequently.
I’m sure the band won the haters over that night.
The recording is crisp, clear, and powerful. It is in your face. It feels like you are right there on that stage with the band. The mix is perfect. The guitars have good separation and the drums are recorded perfectly. The vocals are also clear and only slightly overpowered by the stampeding band.
Personal fave: “You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll”. The crowd had never heard this one before, being brand new and unreleased. Finally I am hearing a version of “You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll” that lives up to the song’s potential. The album version, as great as it is, isn’t as heavy as it was live. This, my friends, is Sister at their absolute best. I’m saying that without a trace of hyperbole. For me, this is it. This is Twisted Sister at their tightest, fastest, heaviest and inspired. The crowd eats it up.
Honorable Mention: “I Am (I’m Me)”, which comes close to the end of the set. Dee’s voice is off on a few notes, but this is rock and roll baby! I’d pay my life savings to be able to sing as well as Dee did that night! (note: my life savings are not much, but I’d pay ’em anyway.)
Dud: “Leader Of The Pack”. It’s just weird to hear it at a show this insane. It kinda slows things down a bit much (even though it’s so much heavier than the Ruff Cuts version).
5/5 fuckin’ stars!