488. Hard Hearted Alice

The last Alice Cooper album anybody needs to own is Muscle of Love, because it’s the last one featuring the Group: Mike Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and a guy named Alice (who sang lead, sometimes wore dresses, and was known to smash baby dolls to pieces). Past that, it would just be Alice (and whoever) going increasingly showbiz and irrelevant. But Muscle of Love – that’s an entirely okay collection. Less conceptual than previous offerings, and perhaps a little more civilized, it nevertheless shows an outfit that knows how to craft relevant rock music. With Hard Hearted Alice a comparatively ethereal offering (albeit sinister) about life on the road apparently.

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661. muscle of love

“No doubt about it. Alice Cooper, the band, was one of the greatest outfits to ever rock a concert stage, outrage a parent, drive a young boy (or girl) wild. But by late 1973, that was ending. Alice Cooper (the guy) was about to part ways with his band and become just not that interesting anymore (ie: the commoditized showbiz version of the genuine threat he’d once been). But the group still had one rude and strong and sometimes smart album left in them, and no, as was pointed out to me by an older guy at the time, your muscle of love is not your heart.” (Philip Random)

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1101. big apple dreamin’ (Hippo)

“Popular argument is that the Alice Cooper Band peaked with Killer in around 1971 and were pretty much finished after 1973’s Billion Dollar Babies.  But f*** the popular kids. Muscle Of Love had a bunch of cool and sleazy and deftly conceived highlights, including this little love letter to NYC, which was no playground in the 1970s, unless you were a rat. No idea who or what Hippo is.” (Philip Random)

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