Twisted Sister has made a lot of outstanding music over the years. However, being among the best often means you get singled out like this band was in 1985 by a volunteer censorship group called the Parents Music Resource Center. The complaint was that Twisted Sister was ‘obscene,’ and that case took frontman Dee Snyder all the way to the Senate to fight censorship. That wasn’t the only incredible accomplishment for this wild band, and to honor their music, here are the ten best Twisted Sister songs of all time.
10. Burn In Hell
When covering the best music Twisted Sister ever made, we have to start with the infamous Burn In Hell. This song was so controversial that the video was banned from MTV. Although it’s relatively mild compared to some of the music Kidz Bop covers these days, at the time, Burn In Hell was a total scandal. Better still, they performed while making a cameo on the Movie Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. For those too young to remember the show Pee Wee’s Playhouse, it was the kids’ show to watch on Saturday mornings in the 80s. Even without the video and unique history, Burn In Hell is a fantastic rock song and deserves a place on this list.
9. Be Chrool to Your Scuel
If you saw the Burn In Hell Video, then you won’t be particularly surprised by Twisted Sister’s humorous take on Be Cool To Your School. There’s no doubt about the humor intended here. The music video of the song starts with a bit by famous 1980s comedian Bobcat Goldthwait. Between the zombie students and Alice Cooper in full pre-ICP clown-inspired makeup, this song is nothing but pure fun.
8. The Price
The Price starts with a superb riff and goes on to be one of Twisted Sister’s more heartfelt and serious songs. Despite hilariously oversized drumsticks in the video, the song itself is about what we pay for our choices in life. You might expect that such a song comes from a band where drugs and alcohol run rampant. After all, that’s incredibly common for rockstars. However, the price band members paid to be in Twisted Sister included forgoing the mind-altered party lifestyle, according to Blabbermouth.
7. It’s Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)
It’s Only Rock And Roll (But I Like It) has hard-hitting guitar and loud lyrics befitting the title. More importantly, this song spoke to the genre’s music lovers on a deep and persona level. Originally, this song was released in Britain by Secret Records. The LP was only available in the US as an import. Remember that this was long before the internet. You would only have heard it on the radio when this song came out if you were lucky or found it in a music shop on tape.
6. I Am (I’m Me)
At the height of the metal era, I Am was more than ‘some song.’ People were starting to break away musically and branch out into the many subgenres we have today. This song was all about doing you, whether other people liked it or not. Doubtless, songs like this were part of how Twisted Sister got labeled as ‘filth’ by conservatives at the time. While wearing (a lot of) makeup and tight pants on stage certainly aren’t for everyone, there’s nothing wrong with expressing yourself. I am is a song for everyone who tried to fit in but didn’t.
5. The Kids Are Back
It’s difficult to play rock or heavy metal without cultivating a tough image. Although Twisted Sister was infamous for its clean living policy and sense of fun, it was also extremely hard music for the time. The Kids Are Back is about TS’s journey. They weren’t looking to start problems, but as long-haired guys in lots of makeup, they had to be ready to finish a fight someone else insisted on.
4. You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll
You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll is the most self-explanatory title ever. In a time when overzealous censors were trying to prevent hard-working musicians from expressing themselves, the censors were never going to win. Rock and roll is a force of nature.
3. Leader of the Pack
Originally sung by The Shangri La’s and later remade by the Beatles, Leader of the Pack was already a well-known song before Twisted Sister made their own version. However, this song was originally banned in Britain because the gun was supposedly a phallic symbol. That is exactly the sort of music you can expect a band like TS to cover with their characteristic good humor.
2. I Wanna Rock
Dee Snyder’s simple, almost elegant lyrical style was ideal for communicating a clear message. Rock and roll is a lifestyle, not just a music preference for many. I Wanna Rock was, and still is, a clear way to express yourself for everyone who wants to let their hair down and play or listen to rock music.
1. We’re Not Gonna Take It
We’re Not Gonna Take It is easily the most recognized and still the most replayed Twisted Sister song. Dee Snyder set out to create a rock anthem, and he succeeded wildly. We’re Not Gonna Take It is all about the rebellious nature of rock and youth. Additionally, thanks to its evergreen popularity, this song has been featured in numerous movies including, but not limited to Gung Ho and Iron Eagle in 1986, Max Keeble’s Big Move in 2001, and Ready Player One in 2018.
Twisted Sister is the absolute overlord of goofy, fun, silly music that still feels like hard-hitting rock and heavy metal. The band’s hair-glam image and long history of fighting for the right to be exactly who they are unapologetically is part of what makes them great. Of course, the music is also truly outstanding and worthy of inclusion on any rock and metal top ten lists.