Top positive review
20 people found this helpful
A must own for every SMF!
on June 3, 2011
Let's clear a couple of things up first. For starters, the artwork associated with this release shows the 1985 US remix version artwork. The artwork that is actually on the package is, in fact, the original artwork used (blue Twisted Sister logo) for the original UK Secret Records release from 1981. This is also the re-mastered version of that same original Secret Records mix so for those of you that never cared for the US remix (like me), then you're in luck!
OK. Now down to business. "Under the Blade" has never been known for its great production values. It's more about the energy and the rawness of the music. This album always has had and still does have a very New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound and feel to it. If you love the first Iron Maiden album or that first Def Leppard record or some of those Saxon albums, then this one will fit right in with your collection. The re-mastering brings out more low-end than the original version and it sounds a bit more full. The drums really benefit as they sound more powerful and the sound overall has a little more "beef" to it. Short of the band going back in and re-recording this album, this is probably about as good as it's going to get. And even if they did re-record it, I highly doubt that they would be able to re-capture the energy that they had during the original recording. And I can't see how Dee would ever re-create those screams he lets out during the title track. The second one has to be one of the greatest screams in rock and roll history! I'm not going to go thru a track by track review because if you've gotten to this point, you're already familiar with them. But if you've got a nice sounding system and a subwoofer, "Destroyer" will rattle your windows and piss off the neighbors!
The re-mastering alone is worth picking this one up for true SMF's but let's be honest. If you're a true SMF, you're here for the extras and they are definitely worth the price of admission! Having the original "Ruff Cutts" recordings included as bonus cuts is a great addition! The "Ruff Cutts" versions of "What You Don't Know" and "Under the Blade" might even be better than the album versions depending on your point of view. Then for good measure, they throw in a live version of "Shoot `Em Down" from Reading. Now this is not the same version that was originally included on a 2 album collection of songs by all of the bands from Reading 1982 but it's still great just the same and a nice bonus.
But if you're a lifelong SMF, let's face it. You've already got "Ruff Cutts" as well, right? Well, you're in luck!! The 2nd disc is a DVD of the entire Reading performance from 1982. If the re-mastering and bonus tracks weren't enough, this disc is definitely the deal breaker! Nobody had this prior to this release! To watch professionally recorded footage of Twisted Sister prior to the release of their first album is more than worth the price of admission! To top it off, this is the show that Lemmy, Fast Eddie Clarke, and Pete Way join Twisted on stage for their version of "It's Only Rock `n Roll (But I Like It)". There have been bootlegged audio recordings of this show around for years but to finally see the video is pure magic! And to watch Twisted Sister take on a hostile crowd that did not know them and still win them over is great to watch! The band was full of energy and aggression on this performance and showed that "take on the world" attitude that they had before breaking it big with "Stay Hungry". To top it off, there are some great current interviews at the end of the DVD with all band members about their memories from this Reading show and the recording of the "Under the Blade" album.
Bottom line, if you're a fan of early `80's NWOBHM or a true SMF that actually likes more than "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock", then buy this CD/DVD!!!