1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Alice Cooper (Official Thread)

Discussion in '70's Music' started by rtbuck, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. rtbuck

    rtbuck Senior Member

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    2,387
    Likes Received:
    56
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    I live in Buffalo, NY
    [​IMG]

    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.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2013
  2. rtbuck

    rtbuck Senior Member

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    2,387
    Likes Received:
    56
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    I live in Buffalo, NY
    Re: Alice Cooper

    Over the next few years Alice released ‘Goes to Hell’ & ‘Lace & Whiskey’ & continued with his tours but by 1977 alcohol & had gotten the best of Alice & he was in dire need of help so he checked himself into a Sanitarium in NYC to dry out. Alice had cleaned up & decided to write an album with the help of Bernie Taupin of his rehab stint. On March 28, 1978 Alice made an appearance on the popular Muppet Show where he did “Welcome to my Nightmare”, “You & Me”, & “School’s Out”. Later that November ‘From the Inside’ was released & the single “How You Gonna See Me Now” peaked at #12. A tour followed which had the stage set up like a sanitarium & the band was dressed in scrubs. The tour was filmed but has not yet been officially released on DVD.



    As the 80’s began Alice went with a more new wave/ punk style & released a string of 4 albums ‘Flush the Fashion’, ‘Special Forces’, ‘Zipper Catches Skin’ & ‘DaDa’. Alice Cooper appeared in the movie Roadie & performed “Pain” from the ‘Flush the Fashion’ album. Alice had eventually relapsed & was now in worse shape than ever. I caught him on the ‘Special Forces Tour’ & although the show was great with Alice & band really rocking out, Alice looked awful. I could not believe how scrawny he was. He went back into rehab & has not slipped up since. Even though the music from this era received some bad criticism I actually enjoyed these albums



    In 1985 Cooper was ready for a comeback to the world of Metal/Hard Rock & did a rocking duet with Dee Snider on Twisted Sister’s “Be Chrool to Your Scuel”. A cool video of the song followed but was banned by MTV which I never understood why.
    Alice landed a contract with MCA & began writing with muscle bound lead guitarist Kane Roberts. ‘Constrictor’ was released in 1986 as was a video from the accompanying tour called ‘The Nightmare Returns’. The tour proved that the Coop was back in form. The following year Alice released the very metal ‘Raise Your Fist & Yell’ & another successful tour followed. I caught him on this tour & it was phenomenal as it was probably his bloodiest tour to date. The climax of the show had Alice slit the throat of a prostitute & he was brought to justice by a hanging at the gallows.





    1989 brought Alice the success he ha been waiting for as his new Album ‘Trash’ spawned a single “Poison” which reached #2 on the charts. Another live video called ‘Alice Cooper Trashes the World’ was released from the Trash Tour. 1991 Alice released ‘Hey Stoopid’ which had some commercial success but nowhere near as much as its predecessor. Alice Cooper & his band from ’92 were featured in the movie Wayne’s World where they played “Feed My Frankenstein”.




    Alice released ‘Last Temptation’ in 1994 which was a concept album dealing with good & evil. ‘Lost in America’ was released as a single & video but failed to really gain any exposure. 1997 saw the release of the live ‘Fistful of Alice’ which was a decent live album that featured guest appearances by Slash, Sammy Hagar, & Rob Zombie. Alice closed out the century with an awesome 4 disc box set which spanned his entire career called the Life & Crimes of Alice Cooper.



    The new millennium brought us Alice’s first studio album in 6 years. ‘Brutal Planet’ was Alice’s heaviest album ever & his return to horror rock. A wild tour followed which brought us the ‘Brutally Live’ DVD which is a great show & highly recommended. The last decade Alice has kept going without slowing down. Besides ‘Brutal Planet’, Alice continually put out some good heavy albums: ‘Dragon Town’(which was almost a continuation of ‘Brutal Planet), ‘The Eyes of Alice Cooper’, ‘Dirty Diamonds’(both albums are more of a garage/hard rock sound) & his most recent masterpiece 2008’s ‘Along Came a Spider’ which is a great dark concept album about a serial killer who collects limbs from his victims to create a human spider. A great 3 song concept video featuring “Vengeance is Mine”(featuring Slash), “In Touch with Your Feminine Side”, & “Killed by Love” was released to go with the album. Alice also had released another DVD ‘Live at Montreaux 2005’ which was a great show that also included a live CD from the show. Alice is still touring & still hosting his nightly radio show ‘Nights with Alice Cooper’. This past October Alice released a cool single called “Keeping Halloween Alive”

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2013
  3. Flower

    Flower retired

    Posts:
    7,687
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    In a maze, under a rainbow
    Re: Alice Cooper

    [​IMG]
     
  4. eberg15101

    eberg15101 Senior Member

    Posts:
    5,317
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Re: Alice Cooper

    RT.... this thread was incredible! so long but worth the read, I read every word of it and well, was a bit relieved to be done as interesting as it was, but with Alice Cooper there really is no way to make it shorter....
    I liked the story at the beginning too and my have to buy that album, I never realized "Go To Hell" and "Under My Wheels" were on the same record, I've just heard a bunch of songs from friends ipods and stuff, He is another one like Kiss that I'm not a huge fan of the music, but might kill to see live, it is really surprising to see that there is not a single old performance of his on TV, I love reading and hearing his interviews and respect him a lot becacuse he seems so down to earth

    This may be on my record list for the next buy, thankfully I got a gift certificate to the store for Christmas

    Incredible thread RT
     
  5. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    12,942
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Re: Alice Cooper

    Love Alice. He is and has always been a top 3 artist for me. While there wasn't a whole lot of new things for me to learn from what you said bucky it was still a good read.
     
  6. Dave78

    Dave78 Dave's not here, man

    Posts:
    2,034
    Likes Received:
    250
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Re: Alice Cooper

    Excellent write-up, RTB. :cheers:

    Discovering music was such a big part of my own upbringing that I'm always fascinated to read other people's stories as well.

    And the first time I heard the live version of "I'm Eighteen" I couldn't help think to myself... "hey... that sounds exactly like the guitar in Aerosmith's Train Kept A Rollin!" And sure enough, I would find out years later it was the same guitarist!

    One note about "I'm Eighteen"... the story I heard was that the producer in the studio thought Alice was singing "I'm Aching" because Alice was moaning so much. Sure wish I could remember the show I was watching. :D
     
  7. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

    Posts:
    33,630
    Likes Received:
    34
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Re: Alice Cooper

    WOW IS RIGHT!!!

    I think you all time topped yourself bucky!!! I was just thinkig about Alice Cooper the other day and wishing there was a fresh Coop thread... so this put a spark into the weekend.

    As a fan who met the guy, I will say he is one of the nicer guys in the business in Metal/Hard Rock.

    There are no complaints from me either in the release department and YES, that includes DADA, ZIPPER CATCHES SKIN and SPECIAL FORCES :grinthumb

    Here is a deleted scene from one of my favorite COOP flicks called SO GOOD TO SEE YOU!!!



    HELLO HOORAY!!!!

    :yay:



    [​IMG]
     
  8. Gabble Ratchet

    Gabble Ratchet Senior Member

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    6,102
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    Re: Alice Cooper

    I like Alice, he's got a lot of good songs. Some of my favourites would be Cold Ethyl, The Awakening, Some Folks and my all time favourite, Steven.
     
  9. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    22,579
    Likes Received:
    1,502
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Re: Alice Cooper

    This thread reads like an encyclopedia! Very well done RtB.


    Alice Cooper has a pretty impressive TV, documentary, and film resume, too. Which also began in 1970 with the film "Diary of a Mad Housewife" where Cooper plays himself. Most of his roles are scary roles, of course. His last role was a 2009 film called "Suck" a vampire comedy, in which he shares the screen with Malcolm McDowell and Iggy Pop. Great film :)
     
  10. rollingstoned

    rollingstoned Queens of the Stone Age

    Age:
    27
    Posts:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Re: Alice Cooper

    I'm going to have to check out "Suck", I haven't seen it.
     

Share This Page

defer="defer" charset="utf-8">