Official Website Discography Back in 1978 when I was 15 & really discovering Rock & Roll I only knew of going to the record store at the Mall to buy albums. A kid who was on my ice hockey team told myself & a couple of other kids about this huge record store downtown called ‘Record Theater’ & a bunch of us decided to take a bus downtown to go there. I was amazed at the thousands of 45’s they had there & even more amazed at the amount of albums. I had never heard Alice Cooper but there was a display of his new record ‘The Alice Cooper Show’. Right away the guillotine, the giant Cyclops, & the creepy eye make-up stood out. I looked at the song titles & seeing songs like “I Love the Dead”, “The Black Widow”, “Under My Wheels”, & “Go to Hell” I knew I had to buy this record. I got home & cranked up the stereo & was blown away by the opening chords & the ringing telephone on the first track “Under My Wheels”. I loved Alice’s gritty vocals & the short fiery guitar solo exchange. The next song was “Eighteen” & for me this was one of the best songs I had ever heard. The beginning guitar exchange assault featuring Dick Wagner & Steve Hunter was great & the lyrics & vocals had me looking forward to my 18th birthday in 3 years. My plan was to crank the hell out of the song & crack open a bottle beer to celebrate my becoming “Legal” & yes, I did do that 3 years later. Back to the tune…at about 1:40 into the song the 2nd guitar assault began & it was amazing. About one minute later the third & final guitar assault took place & that had to be one of the best guitar exchange I’d ever heard. The next tune “Only Women Bleed” came on & I realized I knew this song from one of those K-Tel albums I had. The rest of the record was everything I had hoped for & more. ”Devil’s Food/the Black Widow” blew me away with the Vincent Price narration which I thought was cool as Hell, hearing the snap of the guillotine near the end of “I Love the Dead” was almost chilling to a 15 year old kid, & of course the Anthem that had me wishing June was a little bit closer…”School’s Out”. I would spin the album & just stare at the front & back cover & try to piece together the stage show in my mind. I know this album didn’t set well with some long-time fans & critics but at the time I had no idea there was an original band. All I knew was that to a fan of Kiss, Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult, & Black Sabbath this was a great friggin’ record. Speaking of the original band…Alice Cooper(Vincent Furnier ) ran track along with Dennis Dunaway at Cortez High School in 1964. That year for a Letterman’s talent show Vince & Dennis had the idea of doing a Beatles parody so they got their friend from the School paper, Glen Buxton to play guitar and also added guitarist John Speer & drummer Phil Wheeler to complete the line-up(soon after John Speer replaced Wheeler on drums). They wore Beatles wigs & called themselves the Earwigs & ended up playing various talent shows & other events around Phoenix, AZ. By 1965 they were playing various clubs & changed their name to the Spiders after a club owner thought it would be a more commercial name. That club owner’s name was Jack Curtis & he financed the band to record a single “Hitch Hike” (a cover of a Marvin Gaye single which the Stones also covered) b/w “Why Don’t You Love Me”. By ’66 John Tatum quit the band & was replaced by a friend of Dunaway’s …Michael Bruce. The band recorded another single “Don’t Blow Your Mind” b/w “No Price Tag” which received a large amount of local airplay. In 1967 the band was receiving opening slots for bands such as Lovin’ Spoonful & the Hollies. They decided to change their name to the Nazz recorded another single & headed out to L.A. Once there Speer had left the group & his replacement was Neal Smith which rounded out the soon to be Alice Cooper Group. Although the rumor is that they got the name Alice Cooper from a Ouija Board they actually chose the name to confuse the “Love” generation into thinking it would be some blonde female folksinger. The Alice Cooper Group terrorized the L.A. club scene with their bizarre stage clothes & wild ultra violent stage shows(Alice Cooper was ‘A Clockwork Orange’ before the film was ever released). The band cleared out the Cheetah Club in less than 10 minutes. Shep Gordon was in the crowd that night & seen something in the band & became their manager. It became the “in” thing to go to an Alice Cooper gig, leave, & then tell everyone you walked out because it was so bad. Alice Cooper landed a contract with Frank Zappa & Straight Records where they released 3 albums ‘Pretties For You’ (1969), ‘Easy Action’(1970), & ‘Love it to Death’(1971). In 1969 the band was part of Toronto’s Rock & Roll Revival Show featuring John Lennon, Chuck Berry, the Doors, Bo Diddley among others. Alice Cooper’s set was complete chaos as always & in the midst of all the chaos onstage Alice picked up a chicken that had been sitting on the stage & launched it into the audience where the crowd ripped it apart. Next day it was all over the news & the beginning of bad publicity is good publicity began for the band. The first 2 albums were bizarre & sold poorly. Zappa wanted them as more freaks to his label along with the GTO’s & Wildman Fisher but by ‘Love it to Death’ the band hired Bob Ezrin to produce their final album for Straight Records. The band was desperately in need of a hit & Ezrin had seen promise in a song he had heard the band play live. He thought the tune was called “I’m Edgy” & when he found out the song was actually titled “I’m Eighteen” he knew he had a potential big hit on his hands. Ezrin had Cooper lie on the floor in the Studio & surrounded him with chairs during his singing & screaming of “I’ve got to get out of here!!” during the Ballad of Dwight Fry. While the first 2 albums were as chaotic as the stage shows ‘Love it to Death’ was a bunch of well written songs that could be incorporated into a stage show. “I’m Eighteen” took off & ended up reaching #35 on the Billboard Charts. Dennis Dunaway’s sister & Neal Smith’s wife Cindy designed all the stage clothes for the band & the band began using Alice as a villain who would be put in a straight jacket & executed by the Electric Chair. The Band was now riding high & they released their 2nd album of 1971 ‘Killer’ which led to an even wilder stage performance with Alice being brought up to the gallows where he would be hanged after chopping up baby dolls onstage. The ‘Killer’ era also brought the use of a boa constrictor onstage wrapped around Alice. The album proved Alice to be a rock star with the success of “Under My Wheels” & “Be My Lover”. Still hungry for success the Alice Cooper Group released ‘School’s Out’ in 1972 which reached #2 on the US charts & the title track cracked America’s Top 10 & reached # 1 in the UK. The original release of the album had the vinyl record wrapped up in a pair of girl’s panties but was recalled because the panties were made of flammable material. In February 1973 the band released their most commercially successful album ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ & also their biggest stage production which featured Alice being tormented by a drilling dentist(magician Amazing Randi) & a giant dancing tooth (Cindy Smith) which he brushed away with a giant toothbrush. The Amazing Randi also introduced Alice Cooper to the guillotine which was the latest in his way of being executed. The tour was being filmed for an upcoming movie titled ‘Good to See You Again Alice Cooper’ which is now available on DVD & worth checking out so you can see the bandd at the height of their popularity. ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ had 4 hit singles “Hello Hurray”, “Elected”, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, & “Billion Dollar Babies”. Although the band was at it’s peak problems were starting to arise with egos within the band & the decline of Glen Buxton’s health due to alcoholism. Rumors began to surface whether or not Buxton even played on the record Mick Mashbir, Dick Wagner, & Steve Hunter were all brought in on guitar (Rumor has it that Rick Derringer even played on the album. The final album of the original Alice Cooper Group ‘Muscle of Love’ was released in November of ’73 & featured Mashbir, Hunter, & Wagner once again. The album had one single which was “Teenage Lament ‘74” which featured Liza Minelli on backing vocals. I’m a fan of this album & I think it’s worth checking out for the title track, “Never Been Sold Before”, “Working Up a Sweat”, & “Hard Hearted Alice”. “Man With the Golden Gun” was to be featured in the upcoming James Bond movie but the producers decided to go with Lulu’s different song of the same name. According to Alice he never wanted the band to end but the other members felt that they should be concentrating more on the music rather than the theatrics. Alice became a fixture on the Hollywood Squares TV show & Michael Bruce & Neal Smith each decided to record their own solo records. Alice decided to record his own solo project & by February 1975 ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ was released & Alice embarked on his biggest stage production featuring a new band featuring Dick Wagner, Steve Hunter, Prakish John, & Whitey Glan (all who toured as Lou Reed’s band which brought him success with the live ‘Rock & Roll Animal’ record). The album & tour was a huge success & Alice had his own TV special based on the album titled Alice Cooper: the Nightmare. He also released his Welcome to My Nightmare Concert film the following year which mostly played midnight showings.