A Twisted Christmas

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A Twisted Christmas
TwistedChristmas.png
Studio album by Twisted Sister
ReleasedOctober 17, 2006[1]
RecordedJune 2006 - August 2006[1]
StudioAudio Magick, West Babylon, New York
GenreChristmas music, hard rock, heavy metal[1]
Length41:50
LabelRazor & Tie
ProducerMark Mendoza, Jay Jay French
Twisted Sister chronology
Live at Wacken: The Reunion
(2005)
A Twisted Christmas
(2006)
Live at The Astoria
(2008)

A Twisted Christmas is the seventh and final studio album by the American heavy metal group Twisted Sister, with the band releasing it on October 17, 2006. The album features classic Christmas songs performed in metal versions, often featuring lyrical changes.[1]

Holiday carol "Oh Come All Ye Faithful", which heavily inspired the band's popular song "We're Not Gonna Take It",[2] is recorded in a style exactly like the Twisted Sister hit.[1] The group's take on the carol has become one of their most well-known songs since their 1980s heyday, with Twisted Sister creating a comedic music video involving the band members crashing a holiday celebration in a bickering couple's home.

Premise and inspiration[edit]

Although not properly a concept album, the album begins with a version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" done in the style of traditional pop music that's interrupted by a bit of banter by the group's members. Things then segue into the band's standard heavy metal style, though incorporating festive elements such as the tolling sounds of bells. Track "Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas)", including a section known as "We Wish You a Twisted Christmas", closes out the album in a burst of clapping and cheers.

"Oh Come All Ye Faithful" closely follows what the band did with their hit "We're Not Gonna Take It". Significant elements of their popular song had taken inspiration from the carol.[1][2]

The song was performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on December 13, 2006. Parts of the guitar riff to "White Christmas" seem to be based on "I Wanna Rock", another Twisted Sister song. Parts of the guitar riff on "Silver Bells" is based on "Problem Child" by AC/DC.[citation needed] Some of the guitar riffs on "Let It Snow" are based on Twisted Sister's classic "Rock 'n' Roll Saviors" from their days in the clubs.[citation needed] Some of the guitar riffs from "Deck the Halls" are based on "The Boys Are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy.[citation needed] Also, the guitar riffs on the song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" are based on "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" by Judas Priest.[citation needed]

Metal star Ozzy Osbourne's influence on the group and its music is name-checked in closing number "Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas)": with the promised gifts being "twelve silver crosses, eleven black mascaras, ten pairs of platforms, nine tattered t-shirts, eight pentagrams, seven leather jackets, six cans of hairspray, five skull-head rings, four quarts of Jack, three studded belts, two pairs of spandex pants, and a tattoo of Ozzy".[1]

Recording and release[edit]

The album was recorded from June to August 2006. The band produced the release themselves.[1]

Two music videos were made for "Oh Come All Ye Faithful". The first one follows the same style of the band's landmark videos "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock", as a married couple celebrate Christmas when the wife discovers that her husband's gift to her is a CD copy of A Twisted Christmas. She then starts to rant about the present until Dee and the band appear behind her.[3]

The second video version used the radio edit of the track. It is a short animated feature with the band taking over Santa's workshop and using his sleigh to drop off Twisted Sister merchandise and cans of hairspray to children.[4]

The music video for "Silver Bells" is the sequel to the first "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" video, as the couple are paid a visit by numerous guests while the band performs live on television.The couple's new baby's head is replaced by the face of various band members singing.[5]

Twisted Sister also filmed a studio performance of "Heavy Metal Christmas" for GameTap. Unusually, this video featured frontman Snider without his makeup.[6]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyD+[7]
Metal Hammer (GER)2/7[8]

Music critic James C. Monger praised the release for the publication AllMusic. Monger remarked that the band's members "filter the beloved Christmas carol" tradition "through the same makeup-smeared sieve" that brought them earlier success. Arguing that Christmas albums "need to either be pretty good, horrifically terrible, or completely original to cause even the jolliest head to turn", he wrote that Twisted Christmas "manages to achieve all three" and constitutes a "collection of yuletide classics".[1]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane4:48
2."Oh Come All Ye Faithful"Traditional4:40
3."White Christmas"Irving Berlin3:56
4."I'll Be Home for Christmas"Walter Kent, Buck Ram, Kim Gannon4:08
5."Silver Bells"Jay Livingston, Ray Evans5:05
6."I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"Tommie Connor3:39
7." Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow"Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn3:09
8."Deck the Halls"Traditional2:52
9."The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)"Robert Wells, Mel Tormé3:40
10."Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas)"Traditional, lyrics by Twisted Sister5:14
11.""We Wish You a Twisted Christmas" (hidden track)Traditional0:36

Personnel[edit]

Twisted Sister[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Lita Ford – co-lead vocals on "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
  • Doro Pesch – backing vocals on "White Christmas"

Production[edit]

  • Denny McNerney – engineer, mixing, mastering
  • George Marshall – assistant engineer

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Monger, James C.. Twisted Sister - A Twisted Christmas at AllMusic. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Vire, Kris (November 2, 2014). "Dee Snider on his Rock & Roll Christmas Tale". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  3. ^ YouTube – Twisted Sister – Oh Come All Ye Faithful
  4. ^ YouTube – Twisted Sister Animated Video
  5. ^ YouTube – Twisted Sister – Silver Bells – Episode 2
  6. ^ YouTube – Twisted Sister – Heavy Metal Christmas
  7. ^ Willman, Chris (30 November 2006). "Chris Willman rates new holiday music". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  8. ^ Mineur, Matthias (January 2007). "Twisted Sister - A Twisted Christmas". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 2017-07-09.