Twisted Sister: ‘A Twisted Christmas’

twisted-sister-albumTWISTED SISTER
Released on October 17, 2006 (Razor & Tie)

Twisted Sister keep forging their own path filled with horrible bumps and major triumphs along the way. After years and years of toiling the admittedly pretty lucrative bar scene of the New York tri-state area, Twisted Sister finally recorded their debut full-length album Under The Blade in 1982 and by 1984, were the video darlings of the heavy metal world with their absolutely brilliant and very funny videos for their hit songs “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock” from their breakthrough album Stay Hungry. The shock rockers would eventually crash and burn with a disastrous headlining tour in support of the commercial sounding follow up Come Out And Play and the band disbanding in 1987 soon after releasing Love Is For Suckers, which should have really been a Dee Snider solo album.

The 9/11 tragedies brought Twisted Sister back from the dead and the group started a remarkable run headlining festivals all over the world. One of the issues that had plagued Twisted Sister was the group’s inability or unwillingness — or more like Snider‘s inability or unwillingness — to come up with worthwhile new material. So what does a band do when that is the case? How about re-recording an entire album to make it sound heavier? In 2004, Twisted Sister released Still Hungry which saw them re-record their entire classic album Stay Hungry. With only a few albums left to possibly re-record which likely would not have garnered much interest in any case, Twisted Sister had the brilliant idea of releasing a metal Christmas album titled A Twisted Christmas in 2006.

Granted, as a huge Twisted Sister fan, I was initially disappointed with the group’s decision to release their own spin of various Christmas classics rather than a new studio album full of original material. However, I grudgingly purchased A Twisted Christmas and was pleasantly surprised by how good the songs sounded. The tracks definitely had that classic Twisted Sister feel and the videos for “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” and “Silver Bells” in support of the album were hilarious and brought back memories of Twisted Sister‘s classic and most famous videos from back in 1984. What really sold me on the album was seeing Twisted Sister tour in support of the album. I still count that concert as one of the best that I have ever seen. The songs on A Twisted Christmas really came to life for me after seeing Twisted Sister play some of those tracks live. And now every year in the month leading to Christmas, one of my most played albums is none other than A Twisted Christmas. In fact, because I pull out A Twisted Christmas to listen to it in the lead up to each Christmas season, it is likely the Twisted Sister album that I have listened to the most in the last ten years! Who would have known?

What makes A Twisted Christmas such a great album? Twisted Sister were smart and did not re-invent the wheel. They knew that they wanted to create a metal Christmas album. The best way to possibly get people on board quickly was to provide familiar sounding guitar riffs with these Christmas classics. The obvious one is the first single “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” which melody was eerily similar to “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” But it did not end there with reportedly parts of the guitar riff to “White Christmas” being based on “I Wanna Rock”; parts of the guitar riff on “Silver Bells” emanating from AC/DC‘s “Problem Child”; some of the guitar riffs on “Let It Snow” originating from Black Sabbath‘s “Children Of The Grave”; some of the guitar riffs from “Deck The Halls” being based on Thin Lizzy‘s “The Boys Are Back in Town”; and, the guitar riffs on “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” emanating from Judas Priest‘s “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.”

From start to finish, Twisted Sister‘s A Twisted Christmas is a brilliant album and still my “go to” metal Christmas album every year. While there is no question that I prefer listening to Twisted Sister albums such as You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll and Stay Hungry over A Twisted Christmas, my most played Twisted Sister record each year always seems to turn out to be A Twisted Christmas.

Track List:
01. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
02. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
03. White Christmas
04. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
05. Silver Bells
06. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
07. Let It Snow
08. Deck The Halls
09. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
10. Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas)
11. We Wish You A Twisted Christmas (Bonus)

Band Members:
Dee Snider – lead vocals
Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda – lead and rhythm guitar, vocals
Jay Jay French – rhythm & lead guitar, vocals
Mark “The Animal” Mendoza – bass, vocals
A. J. Pero – drums, percussion, vocals

Additional Musicians:
Lita Ford – co-lead vocals (4)

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, October 2016

Twisted Sister‘s “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” video:

Twisted Sister – Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Music video by Twisted Sister performing Oh Come All Ye Faithful. (C) 2006 Razor & Tie

Twisted Sister‘s “Silver Bells” video:

Twisted Sister – Silver Bells

Music video by Twisted Sister performing Silver Bells. (C) 2006 Razor & Tie

Twisted Sister playing “Heavy Metal Christmas” song:

Twisted Sister – Heavy Metal Christmas

Lyrics:On my heavy metal Christmas my true love gave to me, a tattoo of Ozzy! On my heavy metal Christmas my true love gave to me, 2 pairs of spandex pants a…