Monday, August 4, 2008

Mascara & Monsters: A Case For The Alice Cooper Group

I humbly submit that the original Alice Cooper group were one of the tightest, raunchiest and brilliantly inventive garage bands of the early seventies. Well, for 4 albums anyway, and even his first solo album (Welcome To My Nightmare) and his foray into the ‘new wave’ (Flush The Fashion) are deserving of a critical re-evaluation. Lumped in (and rightfully so, in most respects) with other Detroit acts of the time such as the Stooges and MC5, The Alice Cooper Band were more tuneful than Iggy and his ilk, always a little more aware of the pop side of scary rock and roll. But when you hear people talk about Alice Cooper it's never in the same hushed and reverent tones they use to discuss those other two bands and their discography; with Alice, any discussion regarding his place in the R&R hierarchy is usually accompanied by snickers of disdain. And that's a shame, because if you re-listen to the following four albums I think you may agree that this band was a fine one indeed.

Love It To Death --1971(read album review HERE)

Killer--1971 (read album review HERE)

School’s Out--1972 (read album review HERE)

Billion Dollar Babies--1973 (read album review HERE)

…and, according to the liner notes from the excellent Cooper compilation Mascara and Monsters, the author rightfully states that “Any act worth it’s weight in rock and roll theatrics, and in-your-face punk attitude owes more than just a passing nod of respect in the direction of this malignantly macabre culprit. Need proof? Just ask KISS, David Bowie, The New York Dolls, Nine Inch Nails, Iggy and the Stooges, Lou Reed, Parliament-Funkadelic, The Tubes, T-Rex, Elton John, Guns and Roses, Adam Ant, Prince, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Cheap Trick, Devo, The Rolling Stones (!), The Cramps, Rob Zombie” and many more.
AND, this last line’s for “Philbert the Cooper Skeptic“, even Bob Dylan who’s been known to dip into the eyeliner from time to time, said in a Rolling Stone cover story: “I think Alice Cooper is an overlooked songwriter.”


Anonymous said...

The guy plays golf and votes Republican. F#$% him.

Uncle E said...

Hey, Philibert! Welcome back to the comments section. Place hasn't been the same without ya!

Anonymous said...

E....did you see Alice Cooper with me? Great show!


Hal Johnson said...

Hey Phil, how 'bout if he was Democrat, but still played golf?

Uncle E said...

YES, Tam, I did. With Motorhead opening I believe. Thought Motorhead was the better act that night, but Cooper was prety good, too. I remember the muscle bound guitarist with the 12' machine gun guitar.
Good to hear from you as well, Tam.
Hal, thanks for the laugh this morning.

Londinium said...

Hum.... I think Alice should be paying The Tubes royalties for his whole schtick.

Uncle E said...

Londonium, hate to argue here but didn't the Tubes first album appear in 1975? The four Cooper albums I list came out pre-'75, so...I don't see how he could have copped anything from them.
BTW, the Tubes are a great band. Thanks for commenting.