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Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider names his five favourite albums of all time

Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider is a titan of metal. He is one of the most instantly recognisable vocalists in music, and his powerful vocal delivery and iconic curly hair combine to really make him stand out from the rest. He’s one of those rare artists that is equally as lauded for his musical and extra-musical efforts and is to be treasured accordingly. 

As well as being one of the most influential metal singers of all time, Snider is also a pop culture icon, something that was cemented after his efforts in the war against censorship in the ’80s. This protracted battle saw him gain legions of non-metalhead fans, who respected his impassioned and well-informed defence of artistic integrity. 

Teaming up with John Denver and Frank Zappa, Snider unrelentingly battled against Tipper Gore’s infamous Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), the conservative American body that wanted to prevent children from hearing music that they deemed to have violent, drug-related or sexual themes by labelling albums with parental advisory stickers. Snider, Denver and Zappa were incensed by the proposal and ultimately showed the PMRC to be a tool of oppression. He quickly took aim at the leader of the PMRC, informing the panel: “Ms Gore was looking for sadomasochism and bondage and she found it,” implying that her reaching this conclusion on his music was down to her own personality rather than the lyrical content. 

Snider later wrote for the Huffington Post that he was pleased with the “raw hatred I saw in Al Gore’s eyes when I said Tipper Gore had a dirty mind,” — the former Vice President was sitting on the sub-committee, outraged that one of America’s foremost musicians could so easily take a potshot at his private life.

A real legend, with an unapologetic character to boot, there are many reasons to love Dee Snider. Luckily for us, he once listed his five favourite albums of all time in an interview with The Metal Circus TVand they offer up a varied and intriguing insight into the complex mind of one of music’s most respected voices. 

Without further ado, join us as we discover Dee Snider’s five favourite albums of all time.

Dee Snider’s favourite albums of all time:

Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks (1977)

You’d be hard-pressed to find any music lover from Snider’s generation who doesn’t love the one and only album by English punk legends Sex Pistols. One of the most influential records ever released, it had as much of an impact on the proliferation of punk as it did heavy metal, and given that Twisted Sister’s music was always noted for its punk edge, it makes a lot of sense that Snider cites it as one of his all-time favourites.

Speaking about the album, Snider said: “I have a punk influence in me and that influence shows in some songs, especially like We’re not going to take it and the Sex Pistols, if they weren’t called the punk band, they just would have been a weird metal band. To me they were heavy, it was metal, it became punk but it’s one of my favourites.”

Thin Lizzy – Live and Dangerous (1978)

Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous is one of the most lauded live double albums of all time and is perhaps the best reflection of the raucous racket that the Irish heroes were so celebrated for. Fusing punk and hard rock, the Phil Lynott fronted outfit have inspired everybody from Robert Smith of The Cure to Snider, showing just how far-reaching their dextrous style of music goes.

Snider explained: “One of the greatest live albums of all time. That’s what I have to have with me, we’ve got the best of all of Lizzy’s records, incredible performances, incredible playing, and it’s just a treat, just so many flavours on that record too.”

Slade – Sladest (1973)

West Midlands heroes Slade are relatively forgotten in the pantheon of rock in the contemporary era because their Christmas song has long been their cultural signifier. However, Noddy Holder, Dave Hill and Co. were so much more than that and were even managed by ex-Jimi Hendrix mastermind, Chas Chandler. A hard-rocking, glam outfit, in the early ’70s they were untouchable and were often criticised for being too rough and rowdy, which of course, people of Snider’s generation loved. 

Discussing the importance of Slade to Twisted Sister, Snider said: “Without Slade, there is no Twisted Sister, certainly no Dee Snider, and Sladest, which was the greatest hits album, I know it’s a bit of a cheat – greatest hits records, but this way I get some of the best stuff off of their early albums, a huge Slade fan.”

AC/DC – If You Want Blood, You Got It (1978)

It’s unsurprising to see AC/DC on Snider’s list, as they’re another group that you can hear colouring Twister Sister and Snider’s music. No nonsense rock and roll fun, AC/DC always had a punk edge, even if they were filling stadiums across the globe by the time punk broke. Snider is clearly a stickler for live albums and the energy that they deliver. If You Want Blood, You Got It, is one of the best examples of this and is the only AC/DC record to feature their original frontman Bon Scott before his death in 1980.

Snider said: “A game-changing record for me! Discovering AC/DC, I was getting much more into the busier type of metal, the way you hear on songs like ‘Under the Blade,’ or ‘Burn in Hell,’ things that were very naughty and busy and fast. But when I discovered AC/DC, they brought me back to the beauty of straight-ahead rock and roll. This is all you need for greatness, and AC/DC has been doing it for decades now, just straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll. So, that album.”

Queen – Queen II (1974)

By this point, Snider’s list can almost be regarded as a who’s who of influential ’70s outfits, and it would not be complete without England’s most dynamic outfit of the era: Queen. Fronted by the iconic Freddie Mercury, and bolstered by the unique licks of guitarist Brian May, it’s a testament to Queen that they managed to have an equally as significant impact on the world of rock as they did pop, something that only The Beatles can claim to have done. 

Featuring ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’, Queen II is an underrated record for diehard fans of the band and only got the plaudits it deserved years after it was released. 

Discussing the record, Snider said: “Now, for my fifth one, there’s going to be a lot of issues with that one because I want to tell you I want to get a Zeppelin, I want to get a Sabbath album, I want to get important records, but I’m going to go with Alice Cooper, Killer. Another huge influence on me vocal-styling-wise, Alice and Bon Scott were two big influences there for me.

He recalled: “Oh, I’m just throwing that one out – sorry, sorry, I forgot one of my favourite albums of all time – Queen II, the second Queen album. I’m a day-one first album Queen fan. When I went to see Queen open for Mott The Hoople in 1974 in New York City, I was the only one screaming for Queen. No one else, no one! And I was screaming so loud, in my platform shoes, and my big brown afro, I’m not famous, I’m just a crazy guy. My friends are begging, ‘Please, Dee, stop screaming like a girl! You’re so excited.’

Explaining his love for the band, Snider remembered the fateful show: “And I was screaming so loud that Brian May even looked up to see what was going on because only one person was screaming – me! And he looks up, I see him squinting like, ‘Who is screaming?’ Because when you’re not having a good show and people aren’t liking you, it’s worse to have just one person like you. But the second Queen album is the only album they don’t play anything from, they do not, it was a failure, they were really brokenhearted about it, they changed a lot when they went to ‘Sheer heart attack’. Queen II absolutely got to come with me.”