KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

ALICE COOPER Part 3 – Nightmares, Hell And A Shot Of Whiskey

Alice Cooper Photo (circa 1975)When Alice Cooper (the band) split up after 1973’s Muscle Of Love and Alice Cooper (the singer) continued recording as a solo artist two years later, most people probably didn’t notice the difference. I wasn’t even 10 when his first solo album was released, and I was unaware of the back story. To me, Alice Cooper was the guy in the makeup cavorting with snakes, having his head sliced off by a guillotine in concert and influencing the biggest band of my formative years, Kiss. It wasn’t until years later that I understood the difference between the original band and everything that followed. Alice (the singer) may have been the front man but he wasn’t the sole creative force, and once he went out on his own he needed to find collaborators who could bring his artistic visions to life. Fortunately for him, he immediately began working with producer Bob Ezrin (who had produced the majority of the Alice Cooper band’s best records), and Ezrin brought along three key musicians from his recent work with Lou Reed: bassist Prakash John and guitarists Dick Wagner & Steve Hunter. They would form the core of Alice’s backing group for his first few solo albums, and even though the sound & approach was different from the original band, they brought stellar musicianship to everything they recorded.

The biggest difference between the old & the new is that Alice the solo artist was no longer confined to fronting a hard rock band. A lot of his songs still rocked pretty hard, but now Alice Cooper - Welcome To My Nightmarehe was more of an all-around entertainer/showman and new elements immediately began appearing on his first album, Welcome To My Nightmare (1975). This was the album I most closely identified with Alice Cooper throughout my adolescence since it was the only one I owned. When I played it again for the first time last week, after spending so much time with the first seven records by the original band, it seemed tame by comparison. Once I left behind those expectations, I was reminded of how great the majority of the songs are. “Welcome To My Nightmare” was one of a handful of songs that defined my childhood. It has a creepy vibe, as Alice plays a proto-Freddy Krueger (without the murderous intent), introducing a young boy named Steven (who would reappear on several future albums) to all manner of nightmarish suggestions: “a nocturnal vacation, unnecessary sedation…” The funky groove continues to impress all these years later, but the horn section turns it into a TV variety show theme…which was probably Alice’s intent. I was so enamored of this song that at 10 years old I recorded an a capella version on cassette, which I recently digitized. No one outside of my family has ever heard this performance…until now. Here it is, in two takes interrupted briefly by someone…most likely my brother…recreating some kind of sports broadcast. I’ve also included the original version for you to compare & contrast. Enjoy, and try not to laugh too hard. I was only 10.

[Rich(ie) Kamerman, Age 10 (1977) – “Welcome To My Nightmare (a capella)”]

[Alice Cooper – “Welcome To My Nightmare”]

The remainder of the album is filled with one gem after another. “Devil’s Food” and “Black Widow” are connected by a spoken-word section voiced by horror legend Vincent Price, who gleefully describes the deadly effects of a black widow spider bite. The former song has a great sleazy guitar riff and the latter is a driving rocker with Alice proclaiming “we’re all humanary stew if we don’t pledge allegiance to…the black widow.” Both could be mistaken for the original band. He shifts gears with “Some Folks,” a swinging, finger-snapping tune with an English music hall vibe before opening up for the bright chorus (“Baby, baby, come on and save me…”). I’m not sure if it continues the nightmare theme, even though he sings “it makes my skin crawl,” but who cares about the album concept when the music’s so good…especially the fantastic dueling guitar solo? “Only Women Bleed” is an unfortunately named but well-intentioned ballad that shines a light on domestic abuse. Melodically it’s a strong song, undone only by the title. I don’t think anyone expected this type of song from Alice Cooper, but it’s a pleasant surprise and I’m glad he recorded more ballads after this. “Department Of Youth” is a blast of exuberance; a Alice Cooper Photo (with Vincent Price)stomping glam-rock song with gang vocals in the chorus and excellent group harmonies that recall Queen and The Sweet. “Cold Ethyl” is a cowbell-infused pounding rocker with a swaggering groove & awesome guitar interplay that really drives at “Ethyl, Ethyl let me squeeze you in my arms.”

A couple of songs (“Years Ago” and “The Awakening”) are more mood pieces than stand-alone songs, but they work within the context of the album. “Steven” begins with a tinkling piano melody that recalls the theme from The Exorcist, and Alice singing in the voice of a frightened child adds to that comparison. Things open up for the chorus, and there’s an instrumental section with sweeping strings. The album ends with “Escape,” which features a cool guitar riff and propulsive drumming. Its anthemic quality is similar to “Department Of Youth,” but this song has a more melodic pop edge. I imagine there are certain fans, especially the ones who were following Alice since the early days, who hated the direction he began with this album. Judged on its own merit, it’s every bit as strong as the best records he/they had released up to that point. While it’s lacking the immediacy of a tight-knit rock & roll band, Welcome To My Nightmare presents Alice Cooper as a completely different kind of musician & entertainer. It didn’t hurt that he surrounded himself with such extraordinary collaborators.

Alice Cooper - Goes To HellThe nightmare continued on Alice’s next album, Goes To Hell (1976), although this time it seems like Alice is the one being tormented instead of young Steven. On album opener “Go To Hell,” I love the sinister, insistent rhythm with hints of Spanish music in the instrumental intro. The chorused vocals through much of the song, and the accusatory lyrics, make it sound like a cross between “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” (especially at “you even make your grandma sick”) and Pink Floyd’s “The Trial.” I’m sure a lot of rock fans ran screaming when they heard “You Gotta Dance,” an upbeat disco song that tosses in elements of funk with rock guitars. It’s actually a great song and I really love the half-time section (“I’m so hot it makes me shiver, makes me wet, makes me slide”). “Didn’t We Meet” begins as a light piano-based tune with lilting percussion accents & tasteful guitar swells until shifting gears at “They say that you are the king of the whole damn thing.” Apparently he’s in Hell and speaking with the devil: “Didn’t we meet in the night in my sleep somewhere?” For such a sinister song the melody is lovely and it’s set to a super-tight arrangement. He returns to heartfelt ballad territory with “I Never Cry,” adding in some country elements on a song that could’ve been a hit by a less controversial artist. The melody at “take away, take away my eyes, sometimes I’d rather be blind” is simply gorgeous and has been stuck in my head for days.

Another song that must have caused confusion among his fans is “Wish You Were Here,” but it’s probably the highlight of the album for me. It’s another funky dance song with chicken-scratch guitar, a groovy bass line & stellar percussion, and I love the hook at “I’m having a hell of a time my dear, wish you were here.” The rest of the album may not reach Alice Cooper Photo (from Goes To Hell CD)the levels of the songs I’ve already mentioned, but some of them are still pretty good. “Give The Kid A Break” is a 6/8 bluesy, old-time rock & roll-type song. It’s fun & lighthearted, and I like the call & response between the female vocals & the deep devil voice as Alice questions why he’s in Hell. This song wouldn’t really work outside the context of the album, and at times it comes across as too gimmicky for my tastes. “Guilty” is a bright, pulsing rocker with a simple riff and a recurring hook that reminds me of the “sloppy Joe, slop, sloppy Joe” refrain from Adam Sandler’s “Lunch Lady Land,” and at times it could be mistaken for a Blue Öyster Cult album track. His cover of the 1918 Vaudeville standard, “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows,” was an interesting choice, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. It comes off a little too campy for this record. Perhaps only Queen could pull off something like this. Goes To Hell is not on the same level as its predecessor, but perhaps it’s an unfair comparison. He introduced some new flavors to his sound that he would continue to explore on future releases and at least half the songs are worthy of inclusion on a comprehensive career-spanning anthology. I don’t think that will be the case with many of the records I’ll be revisiting in the coming weeks.

For his next record, Lace And Whiskey (1977), he took on the character of fictional private detective Maurice Escargot. I’m not quite sure if there’s a story linking the songs to Alice Cooper - Lace And Whiskeythis portrayal, but I like the fact that he was adopting new personas to expand the scope of what Alice Cooper is about. It has a slightly better hit-to-miss ratio than Goes To Hell as it veers further from the hard rock sound that he was known for. Once again Ezrin was the producer, and he also co-wrote nearly every song with Alice & Dick Wagner. “Lace And Whiskey” is a syncopated rocker with Spanish flourishes and a phased vocal effect. I could easily hear Elton John doing this song at that time. It’s dramatic without being over the top, and the chorus is super catchy: “Give me…lace and whiskey, mama’s own remedy, double indemnity, fill me with ecstasy, la-a-ace and whiskey.” “Damned If You Do” is a loose, ramshackle country-tinged rocker that sounds like something Ringo Starr would’ve recorded with his drinking buddies in the ‘70s. It’s fun, groovy & lightweight in the best possible way. “You And Me” is an absolutely stunning ballad. As with Alice’s prior ballads, his name & reputation probably prevented this from being a huge hit, which could’ve been the case with any number of artists (in fact, Frank Sinatra performed this song in concert). It features another chorus that’s been burrowed in my head for days (“You and me ain’t no movie stars, what we are is what we are”), and his voice is strong & confident while displaying a softness & vulnerability most fans wouldn’t associate with him. The orchestral accompaniment could’ve been sappy but instead it perfectly complements the understated arrangement.

Alice Cooper Photo (from Lace And Whiskey CD)“King Of The Silver Screen” is a stabbing, midtempo riff rocker that finds him playing a regular guy who fantasizes about being any kind of movie character. Or at least that’s how it initially seems, until it’s later revealed that he’s actually a cross-dresser (or the “Queen of the silver screen”). He incorporates old-time horror movie music as well as “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic” for dramatic effect, but those added sounds & references detract from an otherwise strong song. “Ubangi Stomp” is a minor but fun cover of a ‘50s rockabilly song that sounds like it was a lot of fun to record. “(No More) Love At Your Convenience” begins with a horn fanfare over a steady beat before developing into a sweeping disco song. This is the strangest of his dance songs to date, if only because there’s no “rock” element at all…it’s pure disco…and you can barely distinguish Alice’s voice among the chorus of female vocals. This could’ve been any booty-shaking tune of the era. I would’ve detested this song had I heard this album in the late-‘70s but now I can appreciate it for what it is. I still question why he included it here, as it would clearly turn off a lot of his longtime fans, but I love that he was unafraid to show all sides of his musical personality. That’s the mark of a true artist.

Album closer “My God” is by far my favorite song on Lace And Whiskey, since it touches on symphonic progressive rock (which I love) without being too artsy or esoteric. It begins with a church organ that morphs into electric keyboard/synth (a nod to Yes’ Rick Wakeman, perhaps). The lyrics are overtly religious & reverential, but never come across as preachy. I know that Alice was suffering from alcoholism at the time, so perhaps this was his way of trying to find balance in his life. All I know is that the music is incredible…I felt an emotional connection to it…and I love the AOR guitar solo. It’s a stunning way to cap off a very good yet stylistically confused album.

His first live album, The Alice Cooper Show (1977), was recorded with several of the musicians from the three recent studio albums, including the trio I mentioned earlier Alice Cooper - The Alice Cooper Show(Prakash John, Steve Hunter & Dick Wagner) who played on Lou Reed’s brilliant live album, Rock N Roll Animal. While they bring top-notch musicianship to the 11 tracks included here (two of which are medleys, so a total of 13 songs were performed) and everything is delivered professionally, it’s lacking a certain punch…especially on the 7 songs first recorded by the original Alice Cooper Band. While there are no particular standout tracks, it was nice to hear earlier songs like “Under My Wheels,” “I’m Eighteen,” “Is It My Body” and “Billion Dollar Babies.” I know when it comes to an Alice Cooper concert the music is only part of the appeal, and although I missed out on the visual aspect of the show, I did enjoy every song. It’s a pleasant listen that just doesn’t seem like an essential release.

Next time I’ll be discussing the 4 or 5 albums he released during the height of his alcohol addiction, a period in his career that has a spotty reputation. It’s also an era of music that I really enjoy (1978-1982), so I look forward to seeing how Alice’s albums hold up against my favorites of that time.

For anyone seeking additional information on anything related to Alice Cooper, I highly recommend a visit to SickThingsUK, “The Largest Unofficial Alice Cooper News And Information Source.” They’ve done a wonderful job, and the info they provide has been a great addition to my education about the Alice Cooper discography.

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44 comments on “ALICE COOPER Part 3 – Nightmares, Hell And A Shot Of Whiskey

  1. Heavy Metal Overload
    May 9, 2013

    Love Welcome to my Nightmare and totally agree with your take on it. I was never a big fan of Department of Youth but the album is great. Definitely one of his classics. The run of Years Ago, Steven and The Awakening is just top-notch. Very atmospheric and very creepy.

    Of the rest, I’m mostly familiar with Lace and Whiskey which I always thought was a great, underrated album. His ballads are just superb. I adore You and Me (and I Never Cry). It’s Hot Tonight is one my favourites too.

    I’ve only heard the odd track from the rest but always look for good vinyl copies of AC’s stuff so I’m sure I’ll get them at some point. Though I love Go To Hell I always imagine it being sung by Muppets. Which, at this point in Alice’s career, it may well have been!

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    • I’m happy to hear that you also like his ballads. I’ve been curious to find out how other fans feel about them, since they’re so different than what most people expect from Alice. What do you think of his disco songs? I was part of the anti-disco movement in the late-70s (I was in my early teens, so I had no other choice), but I really enjoy that era of music now and Alice’s take on the genre was as good as any rock artist who attempted it (like Kiss and The Stones).

      Great point about “Go To Hell” sounding like a Muppets song. I know that Alice appeared on The Muppet Show (in ’78, I believe), and I wonder which song(s) he performed for/with them. I’m guessing a song called “Go To Hell” wouldn’t have been approved for a kids’ show.

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        May 9, 2013

        I think those 2 ballads (You and Me/I Never Cry) are especially good. Really well written, sensitively performed. Great sentiment and lyrics on those. Those are 2 of my favourite Alice songs for sure. From what I remember I’m not too fussed about his disco stylings! I think KISS and The Stones did a better job in that regard. It’s been a while since I’ve heard Lace and Whiskey now though, I tend to stick with the box set for that period.

        Pretty sure the Muppets don’t appear on Go To Hell but those gang vocals on it sure are Muppety! I’ve not seen the whole episode Alice appeared on but I think he did “Welcome to My Nightmare” and “You And Me”?

        Meant to say, kudos on your bravery for broadcasting your early vocal attempt! A charming inclusion!

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      • I think “You And Me” is the ballad that stuck with me the most this past week, so if I had to pick a favorite that would be it…but they’re all good. I think a lot of people dismiss Alice and don’t realize how diverse his catalog is. Not everything he tried has been successful, but at least he’s no one trick pony. I wonder if anyone else feels as strongly as I do about “My God.” I think my love of symphonic prog helps me to love that song.

        Thanks for giving a listen to the performance by my 10-year-old self. I hadn’t heard that cassette for over 30 years when my sister uncovered it a few years ago. I couldn’t stop laughing the first several times I played it, but I was also proud to have documentation of how closely I was listening to music even at such an early age. I think my vocal inflections were pretty accurate. The tape also includes a performance of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish,” but that won’t see the light of day until I cover his catalog…sometime in the future.

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        May 9, 2013

        Well played. If there was a cassette of me singing aged 10 I would certainly not be posting it on the Internet! But, strangely, as a grown man I’m quite happy singing Karaoke Def Leppard and Bon Jovi in the Horseshoe Bar!

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      • Thanks. I figure that 10-year-old kid from 1976 would love the exposure. As an adult I’m much more content playing drums and being in the background. I need a lot of drinks before attempting karaoke.

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        May 9, 2013

        Drinks do help!

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      • “Drinks do help!” True regarding karaoke and ironic due to Alice’s alcohol addiction during the period I’m currently revisiting.

        I’m proud to say that my recording as a 10-year-old was alcohol-free. I was probably hopped up on sugar, however.

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        May 10, 2013

        Hahah I hadn’t even though of that! Can I also add how excellent Alice looked as a Private Investigator?

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      • Agreed about the photo of Alice as “Maurice Escargot.” What a great name for a hard-boiled private investigator. A lot of people only think of Alice as the long-haired ghoul, but there’s so much more to the Alice character.

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        May 10, 2013

        He seems to be able to turn his hands to most things. I was reading a lot of Chandler in my teens so this concept really appealed to me then.

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      • It’s ironic that a lot of his hard rock fans are probably turned off by all the genres he dives into and his various guises, yet casual fans & detractors think of him as a one-dimensional “shock rocker.” In some ways he’s as much of a chameleon as David Bowie but doesn’t get nearly enough credit…and this is coming from someone who covered Bowie’s back catalog a year or so ago and it remains the most impressive work I’ve discussed here.

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        May 10, 2013

        I didn’t know you’d done Bowie! I’ll have to read through those too (although I’ve not heard many albums). I guess for large portions of his career, the “shock rock” tag fits well enough (and he seems to embrace it) but even when he is in “shock” mode there’s a lot of satire and social commentary going on. He never seemed to me to be trying to shock just for shock’s sake.

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      • Exactly. Even though he mostly dresses like the leather-clad ghoul, there’s so much more subtlety & humor that you would miss if you don’t pay close enough attention. I can say that because that’s how I felt for a long time. Not that I ever disliked him (or the original band), but for many years I underestimated how strong of a songwriter & performer he is.

        As I said, the couple of months I spent with the Bowie catalog was the most enjoyable & educational of all the artists I’ve revisited & covered here. If you have a chance to check out any of those posts, I’d love to know what you think. Thanks. Enjoy the weekend.

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  2. mikeladano
    May 9, 2013

    Very nice selection of albums Rich. I was wondering how far you were going to go with this section. It make sense to end it at the natural spot, the live album, before going on.

    I have reviewed Lace & Whiskey, which I only finally got last year (!) but not the other two. Nightmare is intimidating to describe but you nailed it. “Tame by comparison”…the first time I heard it, I noticed that. But the songs were so off the wall and fun, I literally could NOT stop listening to it. The first time I played I it was like, “Wow, that was weird and a bit softer than the others…I wanna hear it again.”

    I think Goes to Hell is very good, but it lacks the focus that I think the other two albums have. To me it’s not as cohesive. You mention the “new flavours” and maybe that’s what I’m thinking of. It almost seemed too much too fast, as far as new flavours, for me personally.

    I hold this era of Cooper quite highly. I think he and Ezrin put together some of the most creative, yet accessible, rock music ever during this period.

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    • I love when a batch of albums reaches a logical conclusion for a particular post, and “The Alice Cooper Show” was a perfect end point for this one. Are you a fan of that live album? I’m glad I heard it but it’s not something I’ll revisit too often in the future.

      I will look for your review of “Lace And Whiskey.” I’m curious to see how much we agree or disagree.

      I completely agree with your last line about Alice’s output with Ezrin. Well-stated, my friend.

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      • mikeladano
        May 9, 2013

        Hah, Rich, I checked, and I already published Lace and Whiskey, AND we’ve already discussed it in depth. There ya go!

        http://mikeladano.com/2012/12/02/review-alice-cooper-lace-and-whiskey-1977/

        I am not a huge fan of The Alice Cooper Show. I very rarely play it. I disliked the truncated versions of songs.

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      • I just went back to that post and was reminded that I had, in fact, already commented there…although that was before I got “Lace And Whiskey” on CD and spent time with it this past week. We both love it for slightly different reasons, but I’m happy that we both appreciate his disco songs. I think “You And Me” might be my favorite Alice ballad so far. I still hate the title of “Only Women Bleed,” even though the message is powerful and the tune is strong.

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  3. Hank
    May 10, 2013

    While I do like a lot of sixties music, I’m not a big fan of the sixties ethos which basically holds that the only decent bands that made it into the seventies were those consisting of self-proclaimed hippies intent on keeping the ideals of the Woodstock counterculture alive, and not the sell-out, corporate rock types churning out commercial pablum for the post-Baby Boomers. The original Alice Cooper band may have been one of the earliest acts that openly tried to counteract the counterculture, making music not in attempt carry on the peace-and-love political/intellectual agenda, but because they wanted to be ROCK STARS. They didn’t want to meet the Maharishi; they wanted to hear girls scream.

    Ironically, then, one of the reasons that “Welcome To My Nightmare” holds up so well is probably the same reason it was dismissed by the critics back in 1975–the very qualities that caused hipper critics to dismiss it as hokey and lightweight are what makes it sound so fresh today–Donny Osmond does get a shout-out, but other than that, the album seems completely undated. It is difficult to call WTMN ahead of its time, but as the context of WTMN fades–“serious” rock stars don’t go on “Hollywood Squares”!–the music and the album itself endures.

    One song that was definitely ahead of its time was “Only Women Bleed”. I don’t quite get the objection to the title (for the record, the clunkiest, most cringe-worthy, proto-feminist song title of the 1970’s was, hands down, John Lennon’s “Woman Is The N—-r Of The World”) although the single was released as “Only Women”. The power ballad was still a relatively nascent musical subgenre when Alice subverted the traditional romantic notions of pop music to expose an aspect side of society that transcended the every American subculture, even the counterculture. The title was meant to be provocative and it is incredibly so–one amazing fact about Alice is the vast number of people he has managed to offend over the course of something like two dozen albums, yet you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of even moderately vulgar words he’s ever actually sung. In addition, I believe that OWB has been Alice’s single most-covered song in his entire career. A word that keeps popping into my mind to describe Alice Cooper is “fearless”.

    Alice’s remaining 70’s albums have all grown on me over time. “Goes To Hell” and “Lace And Whiskey” were relatively late pickups for me–I finally bought them and heard them in their entirety about a year-and-a-half ago–and while part of me might have thought not long ago that the highlights of both titles would have been better served by being combined into a terrific single album, these albums are growing on me the way they are–not perfect, but absolutely fearless. (There’s that word again.) I’m not sure, but he may have been the first rock star (or one of the first) to release a disco single in “Love At Your Convenience”, although he says that he did not intend for it to be taken seriously as an actual disco song. Perhaps so. Cooper seems to have gained relative carte blanche in the studio after WTMN, and while the results are uneven, they’re always, at minimum, interesting.

    As for “Goes To Hell”–“I Never Cry” is a brilliant song (“You And Me” is good, but I prefer INC) and the title track is another underrated Cooper classic–I used to love to play this in a car I once drove that had one of those mega-bass speaker systems. Both “Hell” and “Cry” would remain in Cooper’s live set list over the years.

    Two footnotes to “Lace And Whiskey”–Alice would rerecord “Road Rats” a couple of years later for the “Roadie” soundtrack. Also–“I Never Wrote Those Songs” was released on a 45 as the B-side to “Love At Your Convenience”, and the single contains an odd, spoken introduction from Alice that is not on the album version: “I pull the tapes out and I listen back to the original tapes of `Only Women Bleed`, `I Never Cry` and `You and Me` and it didn`t seem like those three songs didn`t come out of the same person that wrote `School’s Out’, ‘Eighteen’ and those things. It was kinda a shock to the system to listen back to ’em. I don`t know where they come from.” For some reason, this audio of Cooper sounds as though it was recorded from a phone call.

    Finally, “The Alice Cooper Show”–my biggest memory of this is that it was one of the first Alice albums I bought ,and I was kind of disappointed to learn it was a live album–I bought it on a pre-recorded cassette, in the pre-internet days when buying older music often meant buying music based entirely on an album cover shrunk down to a couple of square inches on the front of a cassette box along with a printed list of song titles. None of this “listening stations” crap. All these years later, it’s not a bad album at all, not particularly long, but not particularly transformative. Alice tends to dismiss many of these performances has having occurred while he was an active alcoholic, but while he was less polished as a performer at these earlier shows (going back to the Alice Cooper Band), these performances were hardly the sort of embarrassing, drunken onstage meltdowns so common in this cell-phone video era.

    “From the Inside” was another classic–but that album will, I presume, be discussed in the next post.

    OK, I’m done pontificating. I’m in a library–I need to go home so I can listen to Rich sing “Welcome To My Nightmare.”

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    • So many excellent points and pieces of information, Hank. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Just to clarify, I really like “Only Women Bleed,” but I think the title has probably kept a lot of people from giving it a fair shot. All of the ballads mentioned in this post are excellent, and it’s a close call between “I Never Cry” and “You And Me” as to which is my favorite. I certainly had both of them swirling around my head for days, which is a good thing.

      I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Alice as a “fearless” artist. He follows his muse and never seems to look back with regret. In addition to all the great music he’s recorded, I find him to be a fascinating interview subject. He’s a smart, soft-spoken & open-minded human being, and a lot of that comes through in his lyrics (especially on many of his recent albums, which I’m looking forward to getting to sometime next month).

      I re-watched “Roadie” a few years ago for the first time since I saw it in the theater all those years ago. Didn’t realize he had re-recorded “Road Rats” for that movie. Is it a drastically different version?

      The strange thing about “(No More) Love At Your Convenience,” as I pointed out, is that it’s pure disco unlike his other dance songs which had rock & funk elements. Considering the backlash against disco by rock fans (I was one of them, but I was also young & impressionable), I’m surprised that there wasn’t an outcry with Alice Cooper album burning ceremonies.

      “From The Inside” will be part of my next post, along with the four albums that followed. I’ve already listened to each of them twice, but I’m still just getting to know them. I need to play them at least another couple of times.

      Thanks again for all your input. I look forward to hearing what you think of my 10-year-old self singing “Welcome To My Nightmare.” I was known as Richie back then. One thing’s for sure: I won’t be getting any offers of a record deal with that recording.

      Have a great weekend.

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  4. BeeDeeWarner
    May 28, 2013

    Love your version of “nightmare” at age 10. You perfectly captured the spirit of the song!

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    • Thanks so much for giving it a listen. I remember being obsessed with the album when I was a kid, and it was so much fun hearing that recording again all these years later. I’m glad others are able to appreciate it now. Thanks again for stopping by.

      Cheers!
      Rich

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  5. mikeladano
    June 21, 2013

    As I rip my CD collection, I go back to stuff I haven’t played in years. Listening to Poison’s cover album, Poison’d!, for the first time in years. Track 3 is “I Never Cry”. And I gotta be truthful, it’s really good! Very authentic to the original version. It’s strange how Poison didn’t have to veer from the arrangement at all, and to those who weren’t aware it’s a cover would just think it’s a really good Poison song! The solo in the Poison version does suck, though. CC is perpetually flat…sharp…take your pick…

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    • I hear you regarding playing stuff you haven’t heard in years. My blog is pretty much based on that concept…taken to the extreme, of course. Much as I love “I Never Cry,” that’s how much I don’t like Poison. Sorry, but I can’t muster any interest in hearing their cover version although it’s good to hear they did a nice job with it…solo notwithstanding.

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      • mikeladano
        June 21, 2013

        Yeah be assured without having to hear it, they didn’t butcher it.

        Alice is such a great artist to plunder for covers. There’s so much great material that has not been covered by anybody notable.

        Like

      • As I’ve gotten to REALLY know his catalog the past couple of months, I’ve come to the same conclusion. He’s written (or co-written) so many great songs in a variety of styles. His publishing catalog is ripe for the picking, but I think his image probably scares away a lot of performers & producers who should have more of an open mind. As someone who’s worked in the music industry for more than 25 years, I can tell you that most people making those decisions don’t know nearly as much about music as they should. It’s a sad fact.

        Like

      • mikeladano
        June 21, 2013

        Very sad, and I don’t doubt it at all. I think that much is obvious as we hear more and more cookie-cutter artists on the radio.

        Perhaps as time goes on, and another generation comes along, Alice’s back catalogue will experience some kind of renaissance. It wouldn’t really be the first time! The first time I ever heard an Alice Cooper song, it was via Krokus. I thought it was their song.

        Like

      • The sad fact is that his songwriting won’t get the recognition it deserves until after he’s gone…which hopefully won’t be until you & I are old men. Sure, hard rockers & metal artists know that he’s more than the makeup & stage act, but so many of his songs could be mainstream hits for artists in other genres.

        Like

      • mikeladano
        June 21, 2013

        Certainly a fair statement that has been proved to be true for others in the past.

        On the other hand, Roy Orbison’s death made me really pay attention to him a lot more (even though I was hooked on the Wilburys).

        Like

      • There are so many unsung artists & songwriters. It’s an unfortunate part of the business that a lot of really talented people struggle in obscurity. And sometimes those talented people find success but get pigeonholed for one thing (sort of like Alice). I stopped worrying about it a while ago, since I have no control. As long as I’m finding these artists I’m satisfied.

        Okay, I’ve been online longer than I wanted to this evening. Time for some sleep. Once again, have a great weekend.

        Like

      • mikeladano
        June 21, 2013

        Wow! This just hit the wire now.

        http://www.bravewords.com/news/206138

        Tour bus accident! Minor cuts and bruises, Bret Michaels is OK…but several deer are dead!

        Like

      • Sorry to hear about the deer…you never want innocent animals to die unnecessarily…but this sounds like it could’ve been a whole lot worse.

        Like

      • mikeladano
        June 21, 2013

        Sometimes I’ll be driving up to the cottage late at night. After dark, in mid October, after work on a Friday night, it can get very very dark. There are always signs to be aware of deer. My dad always says, “Watch for the deer, son.” I’ve never run across one on the road at night.

        However one Sunday morning, Mrs. LeBrain and I were out looking for garage sales. I saw two deer out of the corner of my eye in a wooded area. This wasn’t at the cottage, this was in the city. It was a really cool sight. We got to watch them a little while.

        Like

      • It’s always a pleasure to encounter deer up close. My wife & I were on a hike a couple of years ago & saw a beautiful deer scamper by & then just stand around about 20 feet from us. We just enjoyed the view until he/she decided to move on.

        Like

  6. Mark
    June 26, 2013

    Is there a great song than “Cold Ethyl” or “Steven” lol. WTMN is an essential album. I may be the only person on the planet who prefers Lace and Whiskey to Goes to Hell. I think the GTH album was a relatively weak followup to WTMN.

    Like

    • BeeDeeWarner
      June 26, 2013

      Ha! Those are my favorite songs on WTMN, too! No, you’re not the only one who prefers Lace and Whiskey to Goes to Hell. While I love Goes to Hell, and think it’s pretty funny, Lace and Whiskey is based on real people and experience, a much better source for lyrical content. I know it had to be very emotional for Alice to write.

      Like

      • Those are among my favorites as well, especially “Cold Ethyl.” I was really enjoying some of the recent live versions. I had forgotten how much that songs rocks. As for Lace And Whiskey and Goes To Hell, I like them equally for different reasons. “My God” is my favorite of all the songs on those two albums, I think. Such a powerful tune.

        Like

  7. Pingback: KamerTunesBlog Year In Review 2013 | KamerTunesBlog

  8. uvulapie
    May 14, 2014

    I’ve been enjoying reading your take on these albums, especially as I just started in on Alice’s solo career in my own album-by-album review of his work. Thanks for a great read!

    Like

    • Thanks for checking in. Glad you’re enjoying this series. I had a blast getting acquainted (and reacquainted) with all of their/his albums. Feel free to share a link to your Alice album-by-album reviews.

      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

  9. Pingback: STEVIE WONDER IN CONCERT – Songs In The Key Of (My) Life | KamerTunesBlog

  10. deKE
    July 1, 2015

    Great read Rich! Cool way to spend Canada’s Day reading a great American Bloggers writings on the Coop!

    Well done…. Thanks for linking this thru MIKEYS site!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for checking it out, Derek, and happy Canada Day. Anything I can do to help expose the hidden corners of the Coop’s discography makes me very proud.

      Like

  11. Pingback: Forty Year Friday – ALICE COOPER “LACE AND WHISKEY” | KamerTunesBlog

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