1984 Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
While music videos existed before MTV arrived on the scene, the network made it possible for anybody with a record to publicize. Many videos were little more than bands lip-synching to their records, but the nature of videos quickly expanded to allow mini-dramas to take place on the screen.
And that made it easy for bands to stand out from the crowd. Like Twisted Sister. The band began life as Silver Star in 1972. The group’s lineup changed dramatically over the next four years, after which frontman Danny Snider joined the group. Danny then changed his name to Dee Snider.
They initially patterned themselves on the New York Dolls and their music varied from glam rock to punk. Their performances were as much spectacle as music, similar to attending an Alice Cooper concert.
By 1978, the band had moved into heavy metal and went through several more lineups before settling into the lineup that recorded most of their records. Twisted Sister played in a variety of clubs in the New Jersey and Long Island areas before abandoning the US and moving to London.
They began recording demos and signed with Secret Records, a punk label. Their record label went out of business, but an appearance on the UK music television show The Tube led to a contract with Atlantic Records in 1983 and their second album.
It was their third album, Stay Hungry, that came out in 1984 and finally brought them a measure of success. Dee wrote the single We’re Not Gonna Take It. The video revolved around teenage angst and featured enough slapstick-style humor to play almost every hour on MTV.
The single peaked at #21 on the Hot 100 and the video became controversial thanks to the way it depicted parents and teachers.
Actor Mark Metcalf played Niedermeyer in the film Animal House. The song ended with two of Niedermeyer’s lines from the film so it was fitting that Mark played the lead role of the suffering high school student in the video.
MTV refused to air Twisted Sister’s next video and the band’s fortunes failed quickly. Dee recorded an album with studio musicians without any help from other members of the band, but Atlantic insisted on treating it as a Twisted Sister album. Nobody cared, Dee left the band, and the band disintegrated by 1987.
Twisted Sister became a one-hit-wonder.
The band has reformed from time to time and still sometimes appears in concert.
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