Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French on the Pointy/Strat-Style Guitars of the ’80s: “Gibson should be kissing Slash’s ass for saving the Les Paul!”
Jay Jay French:
When Love is for Suckers came out, I had Kramer do a Love is for Suckers cover guitar. The irony of it is, if you look at the amount of time I spent playing all these guitars, the Love is for Suckers guitar probably got the least amount of time because the tour was aborted after two weeks and then it went into storage.
I’m not a Strat guy, I’m a Gibson guy. But back in the late ’80s, everything was pointy guitars or Strat-style guitars. There was a point where Gibson was out of favor and people don’t remember this. Gibson should be kissing Slash’s ass for saving the Les Paul!
In 1987, while promoting the album ‘Love is for Suckers,’ Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider said the following about the band’s dwindling audience:
I gave up trying to figure out records a long time ago. If you go back to our early albums, our first one, ‘Under the Blade,’ was considered to be a classic record, yet it had no major sales anywhere. ‘You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was a smash in England, but nowhere else in the world. ‘Stay Hungry’ bombed in England, huge in the United States. ‘Come Out and Play,’ our biggest album in Italy and Norway but no good in the United States.
So, every country I go to, I’ve got different results. We just make the records we feel good about.
Upon its release, Billboard wrote: “Longtime New York-based rockers stumbled with last release but have managed to catch their balance on this one, with a new producer and new attitude. Album is chock-full of sturdy, straightforward cuts.”
Sharon Liveten of the Los Angeles Times wrote: “On its fifth album, Twisted Sister doesn’t tromp off into uncharted territory. It’s anthemic, occasionally repetitive and self-derivative. That said, Love Is for Suckers is a darned good album. The guitar work is flashy but doesn’t resort to clichéd posturing and Dee Snider’s vocals are in fine, sneering form.”
Pete Bishop of the Pittsburgh Press commented: “This is cliche-cluttered, “commercial” heavy metal designed for instant acceptance. Seven of the cuts are the same wham-bam-party-hearty stuff Twisted Sister and so many others have defrosted and reheated ad nauseam.” He selected “Hot Love”, “One Bad Habit” and “You Are All That I Need” as “the class of the disc because they dare to differ from the formula and because Twisted Sister performs them well.”
Michael Dowding of The Boston Globe wrote: “Unfortunately, this album sounds like a band in decline. There’s still enough thump and screech to keep the Saturday night party going, but don’t look for any development or innovation. For fans, the best cuts include “Wake Up” and “One Bad Habit”. For many other listeners, though, this is an album to avoid.”