“I guess I was twelve when I first started hearing about this guy named Alice Cooper who was some kind of reincarnated witch that murdered chickens on stage and hacked baby dolls to pieces, and his shows always ended with him getting hung from the neck until he was dead, but being a demon, he could never really be killed. But what was truly shocking was the music when I finally heard it. How good it was. Not just ugly noise like you’d expect from a baby murdering demon from hell, but actually kind of nice in places, beautiful even, which made the evil stuff all the more frightening, twisted, and yeah, hilarious, because anything that could piss off adults that much had to be hilarious. The album in question was Killer and now some decades later, it’s still song-for-song one of the best I’ve ever heard, from any band, from any era, with Dead Babies the epic track toward the end about, you guessed it, dead babies and how they just can’t take care of themselves. Sad but true.” (Philip Random)
The Final Countdown* is Randophonic’s longest and, if we’re doing it right, most relevant countdown yet – the end of result of a rather convoluted process that’s still evolving such is the existential nature of the project question: the 1297 Greatest Records of All Time right now right here. Whatever that means. What it means is dozens of radio programs if all goes to plan, and when has that ever happened?
988. Psychic TV – IC water
987. Alice Cooper – The Man With The Golden Gun
986. Stan Ridgway – the big heat
985. Negativland – vacuum cleaner + guitar
984. Matthew Dear – get the rhyme right
983. Basement Jaxx – Distractionz
982. Human Drama – The Carpet Crawlers
981. Dukes of Stratosphere – the mole from the Ministry
980. John Lee Hooker – pots on, gas on high
979. Stooges – no fun
978. The 3 Heads – Warning
977. Prince Buster – One Step Beyond
976. Flowchart – lovefingers
975. Clash – the equaliser
974. African Head Charge – African hedge hog
973. Sleigh Bells – Ring Ring
972. Guru Guru – oxymoron [immer middle]
Randophonic airs pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and/or download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
One of those comparatively early Alice Cooper cuts that puts the lie to it all being just kids’ comic book horror stuff, particularly the bit about being a killer, a clown, a priest who’s gone to town. That’s poetry. And all the more exquisite given the song that’s built around it, dark and moody, and more than just a little evil. From 1971’s Killer, the one that (back in the day) all the older kids said was Alice’s best album, way better than School’s Out. They were right.
“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)
“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)
“The 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)