The Alice Cooper Band came to success in the early Seventies, riding on the waves of theatrical entertainment. Mixing Glam Rock, Schlock Rock, Proto- Punk and Cheap Hollywood Horror Movies, the lineup from this period was Glen Buxton lead guitar, Dennis Dunaway bass guitar, Michael Bruce guitar, Neal Smith drums and Vincent Furnier on vocals. Originally it was the band that was called Alice Cooper, not an individual.
They started off on Frank Zappa’s Straight Label, which was anything but straight, and moving to Warner Brothers for their third album, Love It To Death. From this point onwards, for three years, it was all hit singles and albums (the single Schools Out and the album Billion Dollar Babies were international number ones). They sold out concerts wherever they went. But with Spinal Tap drama, the band split into two factions. Vince Furnier became Alice Cooper and went onto solo success without missing a beat; the others became the band Billion Dollar Babies and met with less good fortune.
Of course, it wasn’t all roses for Alice Cooper as he hit the mid-eighties. Life became too much for our Alice as he was submerged in divorce proceedings, writer’s block, and substance abuse, causing Alice to spend two years in and out of rehab. During this time, he released some simply awful albums. Zipper Catches Skin was the absolute nadir with guitarist Dick Wagner who bailed out halfway through recordings describing it as “A drug induced nightmare.”
But Alice rallied. After a three-year absence, he came back sober and fit, which he has remained ever since.
Alice Cooper also finally became a multimedia personality. He now plays golf off a four handicap and sights golf as one of the main reasons for him being able to maintain his sanity, swapping some nasty additions for a very good one. There is hope for us all at Pattaya Sports Club! Alice is now a star of the Golf Pro-Am Circuit, and his adverts for Sky TV with Ronnie Corbett were hilarious.
So in 2021, we get a new studio album, and it rocks!
Full of Alice trademark horror, hard rock guitar riffs, humour, and catchy rhythms that work their way into your brain, it’s a storyteller’s delight.
Smacking into the Billboard Charts at Number One upon release, it became Alice’s first number one since Billion Dollar Babies in 1973.
Full of solid gold easy action, the album just reeks of class. Bob Ezrin is in the producer’s seat and does his usual top-notch job, also helping out playing keyboards, co-writing songs, and providing backing vocals. Wayne Kramer of MC5 fame rocks the guitar adding another Detroit connection. Tommy Henriksen remains as musical director and multi-instrumentalist. Bassist and drummer Paul Randolph and Johnny ‘Bee’ Bedanjek click perfectly. Guitar parts are added by Joe Bonamassa, Mark Farner and Steve Hunter.
There are two cover songs: Lou Reed’s Rock’n’Roll is a perfect fit for Alice, also providing a launchpad for the album.
MC5’s Sister Anne is taken at breakneck speed with a fantastic guitar duel between Kramer and Farner.
But the talking point is the two tracks recorded by the ex-members of the Alice Cooper Band (sadly without Glen Buxton, the band’s Keith Richards who went his own way without Keff’s longevity). Social Debris is a statement of how they felt like outsiders at the outset of their career, calling it a disease.
But the firecracker song is, I Hate You, a Rockin’ little anthem with each member of the band singing about each other. It’s a song of love and understanding. Please listen to the lyrics. Our Love Will Change The World is light of texture but dark of subject. Not a bad track on the album.
The album comes with a bonus live album full of Alice Cooper classics, making this very good value.
Now we want a full album reuniting the old band.
This album should take Alice Cooper out on the road as a solo artist again with a new set list and spectacular stage show.
Putting an end to the Hollywood Vampires, the cover band featuring Alice, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp fulfilling the actors’ dream of being a Rock’n’Roll Star but ultimately pretty pointless.
Written by Mott The Dog straight from Pattaya’s Darkside.