Song of the Week: “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister

by Douglas Cowie on 15 July 2016

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister:

I first heard this song on Toronto’s CHUM-FM in 1984. My seven years-old ears had never heard anything like it, and the song excited me a whole lot.  When I listen to it now, I can hear how derivative it is, of Alice Cooper, of the New York Dolls, of the Sex Pistols (themselves derivative of the New York Dolls), among others. I can also see that Twister Sister don’t care about that: they’re having a good time, making pop music with a big guitar sound, and they’re not taking themselves all too seriously.  But being a cartoonish frontman of a cartoonish band doesn’t mean you’re not a thoughtful human being, and Dee Snider also wrote a self-help book for teenagers, which I’ve always admired him for.  The thing about Twisted Sister in my personal story of music is that they opened my ears, at a very (too?!) young age to a very different sound; they were basically my gateway band to the punk rock in all its various forms that I still love today.  And I also can’t listen to “We’re Not Gonna Take It” without remembering being in the basement at the Mooney’s house, playing with all the kids while our parents had a dinner party upstairs, listening to CHUM-FM and hearing this song, and having my mind blown open by something new.

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