We're Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister song)

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"We're Not Gonna Take It"
Were Not Gonna Take It.jpg
Single by Twisted Sister
from the album Stay Hungry
B-side"You Can't Stop Rock & Roll"
ReleasedApril 27, 1984
RecordedJanuary 1, 1984
Genre
Length3:38
LabelAtlantic
Songwriter(s)Dee Snider
Producer(s)Tom Werman
Twisted Sister singles chronology
"You Can't Stop Rock & Roll"
(1983)
"We're Not Gonna Take It"
(1984)
"I Wanna Rock"
(1984)

"We're Not Gonna Take It" is a song by the American band Twisted Sister from their album Stay Hungry. It was first released as a single (with "You Can't Stop Rock & Roll" as the B-side) on April 27, 1984. The Stay Hungry album was released two weeks later, on May 10, 1984. The single reached No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, making it Twisted Sister's only Top 40 single. In addition, it is also the band's highest-selling single in the United States, having been certified Gold on June 3, 2009 for sales of over 500,000 units. The song was ranked No. 47 on 100 Greatest 80's Songs and No. 21 on VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s. It also received criticism when the Parents Music Resource Center included the song on its "Filthy Fifteen" list for alleged violent lyrical content, allegations that were refuted by lead singer Dee Snider.

Background[edit]

"We're Not Gonna Take It" was written by vocalist Dee Snider. As influences for the song, he cites the glam rock band Slade and the Christmas carol "O Come, All Ye Faithful".[7][8] The end of the song uses lines from character Douglas C. Niedermeyer in the film Animal House (e.g., "You're all worthless and weak!"). Mark Metcalf, who played Niedermeyer, stars in the video.

Reception[edit]

Cash Box said the song has "glaring lead vocals, "sneering lyrics," "heavy metal skill and...a refreshing dose of humor."[9]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Marty Callner with an emphasis on slapstick comedy. The video begins with a disobedient son (played by Callner's son, Dax) playing Twisted Sister songs in his bedroom while the rest of the family is eating dinner. The father, "Douglas C." (played by Mark Metcalf as a character similar to his Douglas C. Niedermeyer from the 1978 film Animal House), goes to the boy's room and scolds him for being interested only in his guitar and Twisted Sister. At the end of the speech, he screams "What do you want to do with your life?", to which the son replies "I Wanna Rock!" He strums his guitar and the sound blasts the father out of a nearby window. The boy transforms into Dee Snider, and the music begins. Snider sings to the other children, who turn into the rest of the band, and they wreak havoc on the family. The father gets the worst of the band's mischief, as he repeatedly tries and fails to get back at the band members, getting knocked out of more windows and even a wall. Still, even after a series of the father’s failed retaliations, his wife happens by to awkwardly recover him, such as throwing a bucket of water onto him, dropping a first aid kit onto him, and even spraying his face with a hose.

Covers[edit]

The song has been covered by various artists including German pop punk band Donots in 2002 (which became a minor hit in Germany, reaching 33 in the Singles Chart). It was also covered by Bif Naked for the film Ready to Rumble which also became David Arquette's entrance theme while he appeared on WCW programing.

Ballad[edit]

In 2016, Dee Snider gave magician Criss Angel the rights to use the song as an "anthem" for his HELP (Heal Every Life Possible) charity. "Dee and I have known each other since the 1990s and he was a strong proponent of mine for years. We are both from Long Island, or as we like to think of it, 'Strong Island,' and his record publishing company gave me the rights to the song and it is our anthem for gratis."[10] Snider appeared in a video of a stripped down acoustic version for the charity, recorded in the desert outside Las Vegas and featuring children in hospital and a young woman shaving her head to symbolize fighting cancer.[11]

Legacy[edit]

VH-1's series True Spin explains the song as simply an anthem of teen rebellion, but Snider appeared saying that he was happy that long after he is gone, "any time that the team is down by two, or somebody had a bad day at the office, they're gonna stand up and sing We're Not Gonna Take It".

Parodies[edit]

  • American singer "Weird Al" Yankovic included a version of the song in his "Hooked on Polkas" medley from Dare to Be Stupid.
  • American ska punk band Reel Big Fish used the melody to the song as part of their song "Everybody's Drunk" with lyrics altered to be: "We're all gonna get drunk! We're all gonna get drunk! Oh wait we're already drunk!"
  • In 1999, the US rock band Lit parodied the opening scene in their video for "Zip-Lock".
  • The song is popularly known as "Huevos con aceite" ("Eggs with oil") in Spanish-speaking countries. Twisted Sister has sung it as "Huevos con Aceite" when giving concerts in Spanish-speaking regions.[12] In a Primavera commercial in Mexico, there was a parody named "Huevos con Aceite" with the lyrics: Huevos como siempre, oh no, ya no queremos, ahora con Primavera, desayunarán (Eggs as always, no. We don't want them. Now with Primavera butter, you'll take your breakfast).
  • ApologetiX, an American Christian parody band, released the song "We're Not Going To Canaan" on their 2014 release Loaded 45's.
  • Spanish heavy metal band Gigatrón released a version of this song with different Spanish lyrics titled "Heavy hasta la muerte",[13] as a parody of being a true metal fan.

In politics[edit]

In 2012, Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan's campaign used the song in Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, until Snider asked Ryan not to play it anymore. Snider stated that he does not support Ryan and he planned on voting for Obama.[14][15]

In the summer of 2015, the song was adopted as the theme song for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. The song was played after all his campaign appearances where it was known unofficially as the Trump fight song.[16] Newsweek reported Snider gave Trump permission to use the song.[17] Snider later changed his mind, saying that he had only allowed Trump to use the song because the two were friends, but then respectfully asked Trump to stop using it as he did not agree with many of Trump's stances. Snider did not want people to get the impression that he was endorsing Trump or his campaign.[18]

During the 2018 teachers' strikes in the United States, the song was used as a rallying cry by teachers striking in Oklahoma[19] and Arizona.[20]

In Australia, Clive Palmer altered the lyrics to "Australia ain't gonna cop it" in a national TV campaign for United Australia Party ahead of the 2019 election. Twisted Sister condemned the unauthorized use of the song.[21] Palmer disputed Twisted Sister's claim that they have any copyright over the portion of the song used in the advertisements, as he composed the lyrics and the melody was derived from "O Come, All Ye Faithful".[22] In April 2021, Palmer was ordered by the Federal Court of Australia to pay $1.5 million in damages for copyright infringement. Palmer was also ordered to pay legal costs and to remove all copies of the song and accompanying videos off the internet.[23]

Use in advertising[edit]

  • In 1985, non-profit United Way used snippets of the song and its music video to promote a program entitled "Changing the American Family". This was used as evidence during Snider's Senate hearing to indicate that the song was not violent or obscene, since United Way used "the video's introduction with the demanding father" as a "light-hearted way of talking about communication with teenagers".[24]
  • A commercial for hotel chain Extended Stay America[when?]
  • Commercials for the 2006 movie Charlotte's Web
  • In 2009, Bridezillas used this song for their "family fights back" commercials.
  • TV spots for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water in 2015.
  • 2016 commercials for Veritas Technologies
  • In a commercial for Comcast's Xfinity service[when?], the song is parodied as "You're Not Gonna Watch It". At the end of the commercial, Snider is shown joking, "I used to like that song."
  • 2015 commercials for Ed Morse, a Florida automobile dealership[25]
  • A 2022 commercial of Discover Card.

Other uses[edit]

Supporters of J.League club Vegalta Sendai used the song melody for a chant to support the team, in which a video from November 2008 of fans at an away game against Yokohama FC cheering, was highlighted on Twisted Sister's website in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.[26][27][28]

With Snider's approval, the song was used by Ukrainians in protest of the 2022 invasion by Russia.[29]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
Australian Singles (Kent Music Report)[30] 6
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[31] 6
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[32] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[33] 10
UK Singles (OCC)[34] 58
US Billboard Hot 100[35] 21
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[36] 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[37] 49
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[38] 43

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[39] 8× Platinum 800,000^
Sweden (GLF)[40] Gold 25,000^
United States (RIAA)[41] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. October 13, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2019. ...and genuinely ebullient pop-metal MTV anthems like 'We're Not Gonna Take It' and 'I Wanna Rock,'
  2. ^ "Dee Snider Joins Broadway's 'Rock of Ages'". Billboard. October 1, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  3. ^ Sleazegrinder (December 4, 2015). "The 20 Best Hair Metal Anthems Of All Time Ever". loudersound. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  4. ^ "The Ultimate Hair Metal Party Playlist". Kerrang!. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  5. ^ "Twisted Sister: Biography". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 28, 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  6. ^ Popoff, Martin (2014). The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade. Voyageur Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-76034-546-7.
  7. ^ Snider, Dee (2013). Shut Up and Give Me the Mic. Simon & Schuster. pp. 236–237. ISBN 978-1451637403.
  8. ^ Kris Vire (November 2, 2014). "Dee Snider on his Rock & Roll Christmas Tale". Timeout. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. July 21, 1984. p. 8. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  10. ^ "See Dee Snider Turn 'We're Not Gonna Take It' Into Piano Ballad". rollingstone.com. August 22, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Legends Playing League (August 23, 2016). "Dee Snider's Emotional Stripped Down Version of 'We're Not Gonna Take It'". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved February 7, 2018 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ José M PM (June 19, 2006). "Huevos con Aceite! - Twisted Sister". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved February 7, 2018 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Heavy hasta la muerte". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  14. ^ "DEE SNIDER TO PAUL RYAN: STOP PLAYING MY SONG". AP. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  15. ^ Dee Snider äußert seinen Unmut gegenüber Paul Ryan.
  16. ^ "Trump Fight Song". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ Schonfeld, Zach (September 8, 2015). "Dee Snider on Why Donald Trump Can Use 'We're Not Gonna Take It'". Newsweek.
  18. ^ "TWISTED SISTER's DEE SNIDER: Why I Asked DONALD TRUMP To Stop Using 'We're Not Gonna Take It'". blabbermouth.net. June 1, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  19. ^ "Video of Oklahoma band teachers performing "We're Not Gonna Take It" at Capitol is going viral". KFOR.com. April 3, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  20. ^ Egeland, Alexis (April 29, 2018). "'We're Not Gonna Take It': Arizona teachers band together for #RedForEd". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  21. ^ Koslowski, Max (January 2, 2019). "'We're not gonna take it': Twisted Sister accuses Clive Palmer of using famed anthem in political ads". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  22. ^ "Clive Palmer Calls For Twisted Sister Singer Dee Snider's Australian Tour To Be Cancelled". Music Feeds. January 8, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  23. ^ "Clive Palmer ordered to pay $1.5m after losing Twisted Sister copyright case". www.abc.net.au. April 30, 2021. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  24. ^ "Page 88". www.joesapt.net. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  25. ^ "Vimeo recording of commercial". January 27, 2015.
  26. ^ "話題になったベガルタ仙台の応援動画、応援歌の原曲バンドが公式サイトにメッセージつきで掲載 :". ドメサカブログ (in Japanese). Retrieved August 26, 2022.
  27. ^ "ベガルタ仙台サポーターのYouTube動画に世界のサッカーファンから応援コメント :". ドメサカブログ (in Japanese). Retrieved August 26, 2022.
  28. ^ ベガルタ仙台応援風景2(VEGALTA SENDAI Supporters in Away game,JAPAN), retrieved August 26, 2022
  29. ^ Paul, Larisha (February 28, 2022). "Dee Snider Endorses Ukrainians' Use of 'We're Not Gonna Take It'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  30. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 19. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  31. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 8968." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  32. ^ "Twisted Sister – We're Not Gonna Take It". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  33. ^ "Twisted Sister – We're Not Gonna Take It". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  35. ^ "Twisted Sister Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  36. ^ "Twisted Sister Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  37. ^ "Kent Music Report No 548 – 31 December 1984 > National Top 100 Singles for 1984". Kent Music Report. Retrieved January 8, 2022 – via Imgur.com.
  38. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1984". RPM. January 5, 1985. Archived from the original on May 9, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  39. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Twisted Sister – We're Not Gonna Take It". Music Canada.
  40. ^ "Twisted Sister". Facebook. Archived from the original on February 26, 2022. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  41. ^ "American single certifications – Twisted Sister – We're Not Gonna Take It". Recording Industry Association of America.