425. Desperado

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.

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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)

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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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