So, I know I totally let Eugene down on the entry from last week. Just not my thing, but wasn’t not my thing. I am still confused on that one. Jon is still a few weeks behind. In one that Eugene surely thought I was going to take a leak on (he even preemptively called that I wouldn’t like it on our little private message group), I had already listened to it three times at that point and now have listened to it an additional two times. Well, let’s get to it.
#12 – Love is for Suckers by Twisted Sister.
I talked about the importance of Stay Hungry was to my emergence into hard rock (then known as heavy metal, even if we don’t like the term) that wasn’t KISS. I have to say that Come Out and Play, the follow-up to Stay Hungry, let me down enough I didn’t care enough to listen to much of anything after that. Well, mistake #1.
You know I do love me some poppy rock, especially when it’s of the heavy variety. This is more a heavy pop record than even Stay Hungry. But, what this has in its favor over it’s older brother is that there’s not many songs on this one that I’d skip over. There’s not many on the prior either, but those songs were worn out (especially by me). So this makes this album a breath of fresh air. There are some serious power ballads on here in addition to some serious rockin’.
Dee Snider’s vocals are amazing on this album. I don’t know how he managed to sound even halfway decent after the earlier TS stuff, there’s a lot of screeching (the good kind) going on here and then, too. His melodies are more poppy here and again, that’s not a bad thing, at all. Lyrically, and heck mostly musically, he’s spot on the whole time. He was the sole songwriter for all but two tunes. He brings back some of the “Burn in Hell” style along with his high rock-god power on this album.
It’s typical Twisted Sister and it was much better than I thought it was going to be. I saw it come across as the assignment for the week and, while I didn’t roll my eyes, I did raise an eyebrow. I wasn’t dreading it, just was skeptical of how good it was going to be. I’m glad I was surprised; pleasantly so.
I am skeptical about how much Jay Jay French, Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda and Mark “The Animal” Mendoza actually played on this album. It started out as a solo side project for Snider with Reb Beach and Kip Winger, prior to them forming Winger (which I think was underrated, truth be known) and Kix’s Steve Whiteman doing some vocals with him. Now, I know why Eugene likes it so much. I kid. Anywhat! Atlantic wasn’t having any Dee Snider solo action so he “redid” some of it with actual TS members.
I was surprised that A.J. Pero (RIP) wasn’t on this album. I hadn’t realized that he was long longer with the band at this time. I had moved away from most of the heavy music mags at the time and there was no internet for me to keep up with all that. He had left to play with a band called Cities. I wonder if he had just told Snider “no” and Snider kicked him from the band. Who knows. His replacement Joe Franco may be playing on it. I don’t think that drum machines were that sophisticated at the time and there was reports of Franco programming drum machines. So with that, I also “dunno.”
Songs. The first five songs: “Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant),” “Hot Love,” the title track, “I’m So Hot for You” and “Tonight” are fantastic. The latter, oddly enough, reminds me of Cheap Trick but jacked up. The melodies and harmonies throughout those first five were great, too. “Me and the Boys” I didn’t really care one way or another at first, but upon more listens, I liked it more and more. “One Bad Habit” is all boogie rock and we talked last week about me not liking that. It wasn’t awful here, just not my thing. I did like the use of the horns on that song, though. “You Are All That I Need” is a great power ballad and it was indicative of the times. 1987 was prime for power ballads; there were more than plenty. The final song on the album, “Yeah Right” is a cheerleading song. I’m pretty sure that’s a drum machine and not not real drums. It’s almost Afterburner-like from ZZTop at times. I’d say that’s my least favorite song on the album. That is until you get to the bonus tracks (if we’re counting those)…
But, if I’m picking my favorites it would be the first five songs, especially “Hot Love,” and “You Are All That I Need.” Least favorites, the aforementioned “Yeah Right” as well as “Feel Appeal” and “Statutory Date” from the four bonus tracks. Of those, I did like “If That’s What You Want,” which oddly sounds a little like “Rough Boys” from Pete Townshend. So, I did my extra homework with the bonus tracks, this week.
All I can say about this album is that if you haven’t heard it, you need to. The only real suckers are those who don’t like it. It’s a great album and I’ll say I like it better than Stay Hungry. That is until I hear that album again. Loved it, Eug. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and if Jon ever catches up, his, too.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Oh know, that girl, she’s lookin’ so fine. I know she knows ,what she’s doin’ to my mind. Ooh, does she know that I’m wanting her so. Well, there’s one thing I know, I can never let her go. Talkin’ ’bout hot love, you’re making me crazy.” – “Hot Love” (Snider)