Vincent Furnier made a good choice when he changed to a more rocking name. It was the end of the 60’s and the Detroit rock scene was revved up with punk forefathers, the Stooges and MC5. Cooper blended some of this punk angst with pop touches and became one of the biggest rock stars of the 70’s. His stage show inspired countless bands from Kiss to Marilyn Manson. Like many bands the stuff after the 70’s sucked, but enjoy his great 10 year run of hard rock/pop songs. NOTE: If you grew up thinking Alice Cooper is the guy who sings the song Poison, dig into this. That song was shit.
1. School’s Out
This was the first song I ever heard that made me think giving the finger to authority seemed liked a good idea. I was 6 and a little more of my innocence was shredded. All I knew about Alice Cooper besides this song was that he had snakes on stage. So some days, instead of playing cowboys and indians (it was a different time:), I would lead my friend into playing Alice Cooper. We would chase each other with rubber snakes. I can’t pick anything above this one.
2. I’m Eighteen
How close is this to an Iggy and Stooges song? Johnny Rotten (Lydon) even admitted how influenced he was by this song.
They come out of the gate like an American version of the Who. Cooper always had a funny undercurrent to his lyrics, exposing social norms. Kind of fit perfect as a mirror to the landslide of Richard Nixon which was happening right when it was released.
4. Only Women Bleed
Well who knew Alice could sing so well. A far superior ballad to Beth. It’s more Eric Carmen in it’s quality. The lyrics begin like a classic country western song and then get goth in their darkness during the chorus. Oh and it’s not about menstruation.
5. Billion Dollar Babies
Tell me that Kiss didn’t listen to this one and plot their futures. No accident that their producer Bob Ezrin, who did a lot of Kiss’ albums. It’s heavy metal with glammish overtones. The mid-part of the song had to influence Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well.
6. Is It My Body
Another Stooges-like song, as Alice screams out his desires like a musical Sam Kinison.
7. Welcome to My Nightmare
A change of sound for the band, as Cooper doesn’t scream his vocals at the start, as the Doors-like groove around requires a different sound.
8. Ballad of Martin Fry
Here is one I discovered that I didn’t have that is pretty cool. Alice’s voice is pretty groovy over a jangly guitar and then in the chorus it kicks ass. Bowie sounding.
9. No More Mister Nice Guy
A huge hit for the band, this one hasn’t held up as well for me, after a few too many repeated listens, but it’s still a well-crafted song.
10. (tie) Cold Ethyl
The most glam-sounding song he did. You can quickly tell from listening to this one why Vince Neil and Mick Mars did a cover of it.
10. (tie) You and Me
Ok, this one is weird, as Alice goes into the 70’s soft rock world, but it’s one of the best of that genre. Frank Sinatra covered it.