Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry

Yes, this is getting away from the gratitude series I’ve been building, but after hearing You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll this week, I had to rock this one too…

I bought this absolute classic album on CD (c’mon, admit it, it is a classic) in Toronto last fall, on my most recent (annual) record shopping excursion with Mike. Wow, that was a busy sentence… Anyway, I know that I have my old cassette of it somewhere here in the house, too…

Summing up this record is going to be difficult. It’s one of THOSE albums, such a part of your childhood and formative years, encoded right into your DNA and inseparable from countless memories of that time. While it is true that Dee hasn’t always been the world’s greatest lyricist (though he’s not the worst either), the in-your-face personal manifesto style of his writing still has great appeal to me. 

In the comments for my recent review of You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll, which is an absolute monster of a record that blew me backwards, Deke mentioned he thought that Stay Hungry sounded like it was recorded in his bathroom. I don’t know how big Deke’s bathroom is, but I didn’t suffer any noticeable sound issues when I went through this album. Then again, maybe I was just too busy rocking out…

The title track brings the rock, right out of the gate. This is a very motivational track, along the lines of Dio’s Stand Up And Shout. Cool! More on Dio in a minute.

We’re Not Gonna Take It. That is all.

Burn In Hell… man, here’s a funny story about this track. On my way home from that trip to Toronto with Mike, I was rocking this album in the car stereo. I was blasting through Mennonite country when this song came on, which seemed very appropriate… Man, I was laughing so hard that I had to pull over and text Mike about it. I know, I’m a geek! Still, this track is a great one, a real fist-pumper with a yummy riff and excellent solos. I especially noticed the drum work on this one, a superb job.

Horror-teria is an odd track title, but fair play to him… A) Captain Howdy is a cool rock chugger of a tune, but I have to admit that that name is not very menacing, is it… ‘Oh no, look out for CAPTAIN HOWDY!! He’s gonna try to… give us flowers (or make us play with cute puppies) again!’ Umm… And then, at 3:45 we have B) Street Justice, which is a solid power chord rawk track. I’m not certain how these two tracks are supposed to go together, but I may just be obtuse and/or not paying very close attention to the lyrics.

I Wanna Rock. That is all.

The Price is pure power ballad. Generally speaking, I dislike these sorts of things for the obvious give-the-band-a-chance-to-rest fripperies that they are, but this one is different. Actually, I would call this one yet another album highlight track, on an album chock full of them. I don’t know if anyone else hears it, but I really think he is channelling his inner Dio on this one. The vocal approach, the lyrics… I’d say so.

Don’t Let Me Down ramps the pace right back up again, as always happens on rock albums. Right after the slower song, you’ve gotta remind the fans we’re here to rock… And here we’re truly back at full throttle, woohoo! This totally sounds like it should be on an 80s movie soundtrack… from a film that has something to do with fighter jets flying fast and solving problems… probably starring Louis Gossett, Jr… Am I dreaming of Iron Eagle? Haha I think so. 

The Beast chugs along nicely, and is another total Dio track. I’m definitely picking up that vibe from some of these songs, and it’s a fine thing indeed. Cool tune. And finally, S.M.F. is a solid rocker, holy man. Maybe not on par with the monster hits here, but a worthy inclusion.

In sum, this record defines a big part of my life. I heard songs from it everywhere I went and, while I was the jazz kid, this record somehow snuck under the defenses and adhered itsef to my brain. There are a few absolutely huge tracks here, hits so big that you can’t even see the top of them. And the other tracks hold their own, for the most part. If you read Dee’s book, Shut Up And Give Me The Mic, you learn that these songs are basically his life put into song form, in one way or another. He’s like the Alanis Morissette of 80s rawk, or something haha… It’s a relatively short album, at 9 songs, but those 9 are fairly densely-packed with riffs and hard work and sweat and pure rawk goodness.

Two metal horns all the way up, for this classic platter. \m/  \m/

And if you Wanna Rock to an actually-intelligent take on this album, go read Mike’s review of it right here.

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Posted on March 22, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Your right …..Snider is the 80s version of Alanis….love it.
    Totally agree with your review on the songs but man the sonics of this album are brutal.
    I just remember at the time the big selling albums of the day well in my mind anyways like Powerslave,Defenders Of The Faith,1984,Tooth and Nail,Animalize they all sounded sonically awesome for some reason Stay Hungry didn’t and even with Werman producing u knew the cash was there and I know Snider explained it in his excellent book…Shut Up and give me the Mike …but man I just have a hard time now with it…..
    That’s just me man……

    Like

    • So it’d be:

      80s – Dee Snider
      90s – Alanis Morissette
      00s – Taylor Swift

      Damn, that went waaaaay downhill. Haha.

      I wonder if the sound is improved on the remaster that Mike reviewed? Mike? Your thoughts? I did notice, to compare YCSRnR and this one, the sound was bigger on YCSRnR. Bass was waaay up front. But I didn’t have so much trouble with Stay Hungry.

      Here’s another thought, maybe the sound was better on the SH vinyl, and the transfer to CD wrecked it? I don’t know, I haven’t got the vinyl here…

      Like

  2. Captain Howdy and Street Justice are two parts of what Dee Snider envisioned to be a rock opera but ended up being a movie, called Strangeland. Captain Howdy is the child molester who gets off on a technicality, and then the street mobs come for him. It’s that portion of the story.

    I love this album. A lot 🙂

    Like

    • Absolutely. And if I had actually READ your fine review again, instead of just linking to it, I’d have been reminded of all of this. Clearly, I am a superstar, albeit with a terrible memory and no patience for reading what’s behind links. Sigh. This is journalism at its finest, folks! In my defense, I suppose, I was sitting in the car, listening and writing, and had no access to the web for such researchings. Shooting that weak defense in the nuts is the fact that I sat right here at the computer to type up what I’d written, and had plenty of time to research it before hitting Post. Like I said, SUPERSTAR. Could we call this an Oversiiiiiiiiight, folks?

      I remember Strangeland. I think I had the soundtrack CD years ago, but I don’t think I ever saw the movie.

      Like

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