I Wanna Rock

Album: Stay Hungry (1984)
Charted: 68
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Songfacts®:

  • The title explains the whole meaning of this song: Dee Snider wants to rock. The song tapped into the psyche of kids who felt besieged by pressure from parents and teachers to conform to societal norms and behave themselves.
  • Dee Snider joined Twisted Sister three years after the band formed, but he quickly took over the songwriting. He studied the craft, learning how metal masterpieces were made and applying that to the songs he wrote. In our interview with Snider, he explained his thought process behind this one. "'I Wanna Rock' was designed when I realized that Iron Maiden was having tremendous success with their sort of galloping metal rhythms, and then there was the anthemic thing that I like to do, which bands like AC/DC do, and one of my biggest influences, especially in that area, Slade," he said. "I thought that if I could combine the drive of a Maiden song with the anthemic quality of an AC/DC song, I'd have a f--king huge hit. And I was right."
  • This song was used at the end of The Spongebob Squarepants Movie. The "I Wanna Rock!" part was replaced with "I'm a Goofy Goober!," which was a club both Spongebob and Patrick belonged to. The background chants of "ROCK!" were left in tact. The Spongebob version was called "Goofy Goober Rock."
  • Twisted Sister is sometimes considered a one-hit wonder with We're Not Gonna Take It, but even though this song stalled at #68, it had a huge cultural impact and enjoyed lots of airplay for years to come. VH1 put it at #20 on their list of the 40 Greatest Metal Song of All Time. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bert - Pueblo, NM, for all above
  • The music video features Mark Metcalf, who starred in the first Twisted Sister video, "We're Not Gonna Take It." Once again, he is seen yelling at a kid in an extended scene before the song starts, with the kid giving the same retort - "I wanna rock!" (which Dee Snider came up with) - to Metcalf's question, "What do you want to do with your life."

    Metcalf played Neidermeyer in the movie Animal House, and he reprised his role here, basically recreating a famous scene where he yells at a hapless student named Flounder. The actor who played Flounder, Stephen Furst, also played his character, showing up at the end of the video to blast Neidermeyer with seltzer.
  • Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French recorded a new version of this song in 2008 titled "I Want Barack" in honor of the US presidential candidate Barack Obama. The song is credited to "Jay Jay French and Friends," and features Paulie Z. from the band Z02 on lead vocals. French said of Obama: "He has excited so many people. He has given sincere hope to people who have been out of the arena for years."
  • The pianist William Joseph composed a classical version of this song for the 2018 Mitsubishi commercial "Keys," promoting their Eclipse Cross. The spot garnered over 5 million views on YouTube.
  • This was used in a 2020 commercial for Facebook groups that aired during the Super Bowl in 2020. In the spot, various "rock" groups on the platform are featured, including rock climbers, stone skippers, rocking chair enthusiasts and model rocket launchers. At the end of the spot, Sylvester Stallone (who played Rocky) and Chris Rock appear.

Comments: 3

  • Dan Gillespy from Courtenay BcWhat do you want to do with your life I wanna rock. A very good unforgettable classic metal song and video.
  • Jorge from Bronx, NyI'am wondering if JJ French has changed his mind about Obama,lmao,This song is missing the part of the teacher/father the kid,What you wanna do with your life,,,,,lol
  • Paul from San Benito, Txi love the rebellious spirit of the song cuz although society want everybody to be NORMAL people should be themselves and if thats rebelling well arrest me people
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