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Live At Hammersmith (Remaster Series)
Released: 2012, Armoury Records
There has been a huge amount of activity from the Twisted Sister camp in these past 12 months. Seven reissues, half a dozen DVD’s, and a book! This month I’m going to look at a few more of the Armoury Records Twisted Sister ‘Remaster Series’ reissue campaign, including YOU CAN’T STOP ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, LIVE AT HAMMERSMITH and CLUB DAZE VOLUME II. To top it all off we look at Dee Snider’s autobiography SHUT UP AND GIVE ME THE MIC. Enjoy this twisted blast from the past!
LIVE AT HAMMERSMITH is likely my favourite of the five Twisted Sister live albums. Originally issued in 1994, this concert was recorded in London, England in June of 1984, just a month after the release of STAY HUNGRY. It’s odd. Hearing the big hits of ‘I Wanna Rock’ and ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ back when I bought the tape in 1994, meant I was already very familiar with those songs. However, try to put yourself in the place of the British fans hearing these new songs from STAY HUNGRY live for the first time in 1984! There is some amazing energy pouring off the stage. The band was touring in support of the new album and so the songs are not the ‘encore’ as one might predict today but scattered through the set-list. The band play generous number of songs from the new record, five in fact being over half of the nine-song record! The 14-song concert spans just over 70 minutes. There are a couple of bonus live tracks from back in 1979, both of them cover tunes playing in a bar in Detroit with the band getting a little jammy. ‘Train Kept A Rollin’ clocks in at 10 minutes! The booklet looks good with a collage of photos and a fold-out poster.
Back in England, Dee is on fire likely at the height of his powers and entices the crowd to get up with his now legendary and provocative stage raps. There is an extended version of ‘I Wanna Rock’ that stretches 10 minutes and another 4 minutes of just chatting to the crowd and introducing the band. Unfortunately Armoury didn’t fix the mastering/sequencing problems on this version. The introduction to a song is added to the back of the next song! It’s a pretty sloppy presentation. For example; The booklet says the song ‘I Wanna Rock’ is 7:57. The computer says the song is 13:05. However, the last minute of the 13:05 is the intro to the next song (SMF). To further complicate things the actual introduction to “I Wanna Rock’ is on the back-end of the previous song, ‘I Am, (I’m Me) meaning the actual song-length of ‘I Wanna Rock’ is 10:15. When an album is mastered you should not have to listen to the tail end of one song to hear the intro to the next song and then have to hear the intro to the next song. That’s a minor complaint that likely only a DJ like myself would notice. Most people (I would hope) is just play the whole concert straight through.
LIVE AT HAMMERSMITH is the only real, classic era Twisted Sister live album. All the other live albums are bits and pieces, or Christmas stuff or reunion shows. In 1984 the band is in top shape, heavy as hell (no ballads!), and the crowd is responsive and loud. To me this is the definitive TS live album and I’m glad it’s available again for everyone’s enjoyment.
1. What You Don't Know (Sure Can Hurt You)
2. The Kids Are Back
3. Stay Hungry
5. We're Not Gonna Take It
6. You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll
7. Like a Knife in the Back
8. Shoot 'Em Down
9. Under the Blade
1. Burn in Hell
2. I Am (I'm Me)
3. I Wanna Rock
5. We're Gonna Make It
6. Jailhouse Rock (Detroit 1979)
7. Train Kept a Rollin (Detroit 1979)
Dee Snider- Vocals
Jay Jay French - Guitar
Eddie Ojeda - Guitar
A.J. Pero - Drums
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