The Price

Album: Stay Hungry (1984)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about the sacrifices we make to achieve our goals. Twisted Sister was on the verge of a breakthrough when he wrote this song, but it was a long struggle to reach that point. Snider joined the band in 1976, and they gradually built a following in the New York City area with their live shows. Their first album, Under the Blade, was issued in 1982, followed by You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll in 1983. It was during the recording of You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll that Snider wrote the Stay Hungry album, including this track. The dream did indeed come true when the album became a hut hit, led by the singles "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock." But when it was written, this dream was anything but a sure thing.
  • For Snider, the price of pursuing his dream of rock stardom was steep, as it meant time away from his family. In our interview with Snider, he explained: "I had been away from home for four months from my wife and my son, and not even in a position to pay for a phone call. That's how hungry the band was. I wrote 'The Price,' inspired by those feelings at that time."
  • The spark for this song came when the sister-in-law of the band's guitarist Jay Jay French phoned the studio, and Dee Snider answered. Snider recounts in his Songfacts interview: "She said, 'How's it going, Dee?' I said, 'Well, I'm feeling pretty blue. I haven't seen Suzette and Jesse in months now.' And she goes, 'Well, I guess that's the price you have to pay.'

    I handed the phone to Jay Jay and I grabbed my handheld tape recorder. I went into the bathroom and sang 'The Price.' Just top-to-bottom, melodically - not every word. The whole song just poured out of me."
  • This was released as the third single from the Stay Hungry album, following "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock." It didn't chart, but the song became a fan favorite and the group's most popular ballad.
  • The video was a departure from the comedic clips for Twisted Sister's previous two singles. Comprised of performance footage, there is no dialogue or acting. MTV gave it little attention, which sank the song's chart potential.

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