438-7-6. Second Coming – Ballad of Dwight Fry- Sun Arise

Alice Cooper and puberty found me at roughly the same moment, which means 1971’s Love it to Death was around at least a year old before I even heard about the freak named Alice who was not a she, and all the other rumoured atrocities. But the bigger shock, I guess, was just how strong the actual music was, and the band playing it. Yeah, it was all sick and evil, no question, but it was also dramatic, melodic, and come the bulk of side two, epic. Three songs all spilling into each other. First a little ditty about Jesus apparently, stuck in hell, then family man Dwight Fry’s widescreen descent into insanity and finally, incongruously, a heartfelt and hopeful closer which I’d eventually discover was a Rolf Harris original.” (Philip Random)

AliceCooper-1971-live2

711. Panic in Detroit

“As I remember it, David Bowie hit the suburbs of the Americas in comparatively slow motion. First came Space Oddity (a big deal AM radio hit in early 1973, some three years after it had hit big in the UK), then Ziggy Stardust (various album tracks popping up on FM radio), by which point you were starting to see pictures of the guy. Beyond freakish. Which were backed up by the inevitable rumours (that he actually was an alien, that he and Elton John were secretly married). But by the end of the year, all that stuff was settling, and it was the music you couldn’t ignore. So Much Great And Strange Music. So much so that a track like Panic in Detroit didn’t get near the attention it deserved. If only for the riff. You could base a whole genre on that riff. Which, it’s arguable, the Rolling Stones already had. But that’s another story.” (Philip Random)

Bowie-1973

790. Willie the Pimp

Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart in full-on freak mode from 1969’s Hot Rats. Dare a freak ask for more?  Yeah, actually, or more to the point, less of the noodly jamming that eats up so much of the nine plus minutes running time, and more of the Captain being the Captain. But really, who’s complaining?

Beefheart+Zappa-1969

1106. dog breath, in the year of the plague

From the album Uncle Meat, wherein Mr. Frank Zappa and his Mothers of Invention mostly reject any notion of pursuing a consistent, definable direction, but settle instead for pretty much everything in all directions. And almost no one complained, except a few assholes in the back, but they all quit the freak scene soon anyway, and became Eagles fans.