Under the Blade

Under the Blade
TS UnderBlade1.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 18, 1982
RecordedJuly–August 1982
StudioThe Barn at Kitchenham Farm, Ashburnham with the RAK Mobile,
I.C.C. Studios, Eastbourne,
Maison Rouge, London, England
GenreHeavy metal
ProducerPete Way, Mark Mendoza, Dee Snider
Twisted Sister chronology
Ruff Cutts (EP)
Under the Blade
You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll
Atlantic Records reissue cover

Under the Blade is the debut studio album by American heavy metal band Twisted Sister, released on Secret Records on September 18, 1982. It was produced by UFO and Waysted bassist Pete Way and featured a very brutal and rough sound, which was eventually totally ignored on a remixed re-release by Atlantic Records on July 14, 1985.[1] The re-release also added a remixed version of the song "I'll Never Grow Up, Now", the band's long forgotten 1979 single. The Atlantic Records release was both a try to emphasize on the commercial success of Stay Hungry and, by then (and for years to come) the only official way to get the album as Secret Records was no more. However, bootlegs with the original mix were still in circulation. On May 31, 2011, Eagle Records re-released Under the Blade in a digital remastered form with the original mix finally restored. Under the Blade has sold over two million copies worldwide.[citation needed]

The track "Bad Boys Of Rock 'N Roll" is a new recording of a track that appeared earlier on the 1981 compilation "Homegrown Album"

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal9/10[3]
PopMatters9/10 stars[1]

In a long article about 80s metal, Tim Holmes of Rolling Stone wrote a contemporary review about Twisted Sister describing them as "the clown heir apparent to the gaping vacancy left by Alice Cooper" and a band who "write(s) songs that have a giddy, street-smart narrative approach and a gritty coherence that metal usually lacks." He also wrote that Under the Blade "is not technically a new album but rather a remix for modern ears" of older music.[4]

Modern reviews are very positive. Greg Prato of AllMusic reminds how the band moved to the UK, which was having a "heavy metal resurgence (dubbed the New Wave of British Heavy Metal)", to record with UFO bassist Pete Way "many of the band's best compositions from their club days" and finds Under the Blade "one of Twisted Sister's hardest rocking albums... highly recommended to lovers of early-'80s British heavy metal."[2] Also Exclaim! reviewer Ian Gormely considers the album "a must for anyone with an interest in the history of American hard rock". Despite "the raw production... and lack of an obvious hit... it laid the groundwork for their future success", thanks also to Twisted Sister's "tongue-in-cheek presentation that latter-day hair metal bands clearly lacked."[5] Adrian Begrand of PopMatters reviews the album as a "near-classic" and "the most ferocious of the band’s career." He writes that the musicians may have "bar band roots", but on the album "the fun side of Twisted Sister is set aside in favor of something a lot darker", which brought to "a hell of a debut that not only connected with British heavy metal fans, but would eventually lead to a contract with Atlantic Records, paving the way to stardom a couple years later."[1] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff considers Under the Blade "dead serious despite the garish imagery, a good four-fifths of it rocking with hellacious clout, attitude and clever economy" and remarks how the influence of Judas Priest is evident in Dee Snider's compositions.[3]

In 2005, Under the Blade was ranked number 387 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[6]

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