You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll

As is pretty obvious, music is one of the thickest threads that runs through the weave of the picnic blanket of my life. Somewhere near the frayed edge, 1983 hangs in my memory as a very special time, a year of teenage discovery with monthly visits to the Glasgow Apollo and days of High School where drawing on the covers of jotters kept me sane until home time.
Twisted Sister were in the middle of that, their big hit was I Am, I’m Me which saw their scary pantomime metal on Top of the Pops. As good as that tune was the B-side of the 7″ and 12″ had four tracks recorded at the Marquee Club in London, now closed but a legend of a venue in its day. These live tracks (others were on The Kids are Back single too) were mostly taken from their low-fi debut album Under the Blade and were delivered with a ferocity that casts a shadow over everything the band has ever done in the studio before or since. They were on every compilation tape I made and the vinyl was worn thin long ago, other than what I could find on YouTube I haven’t heard them in years.

I’ve been on Rhino Records mailing list for years, they dig up some cracking stuff and always do a lovely job with the packaging. When I saw “Twisted Sister Live at the Marquee Club” as the subject line of the email I got super excited and then instantly dismayed, if the Marquee show had been available it would have been released long before now as the band’s comeback was a few years back. But no, here it was, a whole show’s worth from two nights at the Marquee in ’83. It was pre-ordered before I remembered to breathe out again.

So, it arrived yesterday in it’s fold-out packaging and went straight onto my mother’s stereo, as that is where I was. Just like on Doctor Who a few hours later all of time happened at the same time, I was 43 year old long haired teenager in 1983 ready to take my 3 year old daughter up to Glasgow for a new pair of boots in 2011.
It’s glorious, just as powerful to my tinitus dulled ears as it was when they were just out the wrapper 28 years ago. I revelled in every single sound of the tracks I knew and grinned widely at the ones I’d never heard. “I recognise that” says mother, she’s still on the ball then.
I’m pretty sure Sin After Sin is a different version from the vinyl, probably the recording from the other night, but it’s still awesome. Tear it Loose was always my favourite, it just punky rock but it flattens all the thrash stuff that came out at the same time, put it against Metallica’s Kill ’em All and itjust looks feeble.

I like new, but new is just adding more stuff for more fun, I still love all the stuff I used to and this CD has brought much joy. Twisted Sister always were a fantastic live band, still are, and I’m glad this is as much an instant fixture on my iPod as it is a wee nostalgia trip.

9 thoughts on “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll”

  1. Mate – I still have the 7in piece of vinyl downstairs on the bookshelf! Never saw them live but do remember their debut on The Tube… Mr Jools of the Holland didn’t know what had hit hi, ACE stuff. Cained the B side more than anything else they did to be honest as I was proper into live albums at the time. I made my first and only trip to the Marquee back in 83 – to see a local to me band play there. The only band to ever debut there and pre-sell the whole event. Cracking venue and it introduced me to the delights of an evening out in London.

    Happy listening!

  2. Ahh yes. Wee club above The Playhouse (Edinburgh), only about a hundred of us and TS on a tiny wee stage within arms reach. Pure magic. Probably the best gig I was at in the 80’s and I was a few!! Still got the limited edition towelling wrist bands somewhere….and the vinyl of course!

  3. It’s been on in the motor the past fews days and it’s brilliant. Looks like it’s the whole of the second night.
    Shoot ‘Em Down might be my favourite track and It’s Only Rock and Roll isn’t the one from the 12″ single so all the banter is different. All good :o)

    Now to get a Twisted Sister t-shirt on ebay…

  4. Now, I do like that. I really should replace all my Rainbow vinyl at some point, only got Rising on CD.
    Ah just look at Blackmore these days…

  5. Been hammering out ‘On Stage’ in the van this year. My lad who’s into death metal actually enjoyed it on the way to Cornwall – espesh the drumming. “Cozy” said I, with a knowing look.
    Blackmore and Powell at that time are about the perfect band for me.
    He seems rather eccentric these days.

  6. Aye, his solo was something else. Whitesnake at Wembley Arena in about ’83 – all you could see was smoke and a huge revolving strobe. The beats got louder, the heart got faster and Cozy nailed 15 minutes, the last few with Jon Lord thumping the keys of the 1812 overture. Stuff of dreams for me!
    Sometimes it’s great to have been around back then – my kid don’t realise what he missed.

  7. Aye, firts time around is where it’s at, bands are never quite the same on their “comeback” tour.
    In saying that, the original Sabbath played Birmingham for two nights back in ’97 and when they came on on the first night half the crowd were watching through the gaps in their fingers, just waiting for them to screw it up and they were emotionally wonderful. The second night they were just great and were never as good after that.
    Last time I saw Whitesnake they were all Americans and big hair?!

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