The “Soft and filler” album

Music reviews

ts

Twisted Sister, Love Is For Suckers, Atlantic Records,1987.

Twisted Sister’s fifth and final studio album Love Is For Suckers (unless you count the band’s 2004 Still Hungry, a collection that sees TS re-recordings the Stay Hungry album) is one that tends to be heavily criticized, one that is sometimes divisive among fans.

Some SMF’s dismiss it as too pop citing lacking substance, while others have a soft spot for it and thought it was an enjoyable release at the time. There’s some claims to be made about both opinions. The main problem with with Love ls For Suckers is that it really isn’t a Twisted Sister album.

“Wake Up The Sleeping Giant” is deceiving in that it almost sounds like classic TS. Yet only Dee Snider as an original member remains and then there’s Joey “Seven” Franco who was in the current lineup on drums. It really should have been a Dee Snider solo album which is what it was intended to be and truly was, but instead the record company pressured for it to be released as a Twisted Sister album.

Love Is For Suckers is plagued by a few big issues besides the absence of the classic lineup. Ever seen Reb Beach and Kip Winger receiving credits on a Twisted Sister album?  Get ready. Probably not a happy thought for most TS fans as the album ended up taking an ultimately softer and pop direction. You have to consider that it was competitive with the musical climate in 1987, but ultimately it has not held up well with time.

Also for an album title that claims love “sucks”, it’s ironic that most of these songs are well… Love songs. What’s with the drum sound?! The songs are wimpy but with a thunderous, big drum sound which leads to question that maybe he was a good drummer who ended up playing on the wrong album. The production by Beau Hill is about what you’d expect, very “1987” and time has not been too kind to it’s sound.

Opener “Wake Up The Sleeping Giant” is misleading. 1) it sounds like Twisted Sister and 2) it’s the best song on the album and it leads you to think (and hope) the rest may be up yo hear.

“Hot Love” was and it’s a great candy rock piece tailored for 1987; cheesy but fun and a good overall song and choice of single. It’s one of the most memorable songs (remember the video that went along?).

The title track, “Love Is For Suckers” is actually not a bad rocker at all, it’s consistent as Snider does a good vocal performance and it’s somewhat catchy.

Now, This is where the album takes a slide in the quality department with “l’m So Hot For You” and “Me And The Boys” (this one especially is embarrassing) being generic filler tracks that halt any momentum the album had going for it.

Sandwiched in between those songs is the slightly better rocker “Tonight” which showcases some aggression, not a bad tune at all.

“One Bad Habit” is more filler material. “I Want This Night To Last Forever” has a Van Hagar feel to it, especially during the chorus but is nothing to write home about either.

“You’re All That I Need” tried to be a big power ballad but it fails during the chorus even though it had a nice build up. The keyboards prevent it from being a strong ballad like “The Price” and as a result if sounds a little too soft and thin.

The closing “Yeah Right” ends thing on a more positive note. It’s a solid upbeat rocker and one of the heaviest songs on an album that could’ve used more songs of this caliber.

I own the remastered version with four extra songs. “Statuary Date” is the worst of the bunch. “Feel Appeal” is better than some of the songs that made it onto the actual album, it’s more straight up rock and a little catchier. “I Will Win” is rocking but the chorus doesn’t get it right, close but no cigar. “If That’s What You Want” became “Me And The Boys” although it’s earlier incarnation was stronger and had better lyrics. If you ask me this version should’ve made the album instead!

There you have it. Any way you slice it, Love Is For Suckers is definitely without a doubt the worst Twisted Sister album. It suffers from poor production, is full of fillers and it doesn’t feature Jay Jay French, Eddie Ojeda, Mark Mendoza, A.J Perro (who left before this was released) even though the liner notes say there were a part of it. The first two songs and the album cover are the only things that are truly memorable about LIFS. The rest is really unfocused and sub-par songs.

Twisted Sister’s decline had already begun with their previous effort, 1985’s Come Out And Play which show cracks of the band’s imminent implosion. Love Is For Suckers was a commercial disappointment failing to reach gold status or chart successfully. Simply put, Twisted Sister was no longer a band at this point and the album did nothing to stop them from breaking up and was quite frankly just not very good. 2 stars.

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