Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: Alice Cooper- Special Forces


Like the Thin Lizzy album in my previous post, this was another album by an established superstar of 70’s rock that passed me by back in 1981. I vaguely remember that Alice Cooper had an album out at the time and I even more vaguely remember that it was called “Special Forces” but that’s all I can remember. I never listened to it until now and if wasn’t for my fellow blogger mikledano, I wouldn’t have even done that. So, thank you Mike for enlightening me about this album.

Perhaps I can use a similar excuse to Alice for not experiencing this album back in 1981. He doesn’t remember writing or recording “Special Forces” or his next two albums due to being drunk all the time. Okay, I wasn’t drunk all the time even though the military bullshit was taking its toll on me at the time and I briefly became what is known in the military as a shitbird. But now that I have listened to it, (I got to thank youtube for that) I realise that I missed a rather good album. If Alice Cooper was drunk at the time, it might have been a good thing because “Special Forces” has some amusing songs played in well established hard rock fashion. “Vicious Rumours,” “The Prettiest Cop on the Block” and “Don’t Talk Old to Me” are all catchy, enjoyable songs. “You’re a Movie” and “Skeletons in the Closet” are just as amusing but more new wave in their sound. Still, they’re both decent songs and the one that stands out for me is “Seven and Seven Is.” For me, that song reminds me of the Alice Cooper that I came to love in the 70’s.

Track Listing:

1. Who Do You Think We Are

2. Seven and Seven Is

3. Prettiest Cop on the Block

4. Don’t Talk Old to Me

5. Generation Landslide 81(Live)

6. Skeletons in the Closet

7. You Want It, You Got It

8. You Look Good in Rags

9. You’re a Movie

10. Vicious Rumours

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper- lead vocals

Duane Hitchings- guitar, keyboards

Mike Pinera- guitar

Erik Scott- bass

Danny Johnson- guitar

Craig Krampf- drums

“Special Forces” proves that you can put out a decent album while you’re drunk and have no recollection that you did. Now, I  could write the cliched “Imagine what he could have done if he was sober” line but I don’t think it really applies here. “Special Forces” was one of those surprise albums that make me ask myself, “Why didn’t I listen to this sooner?”

Next post: Blue Oyster Cult- Fire of Unknown Origin

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12 Responses to “Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: Alice Cooper- Special Forces”

  1. I am sorry to say that this is one of only 3 Cooper studio albums that I still don’t have. All I have is the For Britain Only EP which was around this time.

    I do intend to get it, and your writeup makes me wanna do it soon.


  2. This album was a hit-and-miss affair for me, I prefer the more new wave-y songs like “Skeletons In The Closet” and “You Look Good In Rags.” His version of Love’s “Seven And Seven Is” didn’t do much for me, probably because I love the original and I don’t think he did anything interesting with it. Although I’m not sure I would classify this as one of the “great” albums of ’81 it’s still worth checking out for any open-minded Alice fans who haven’t heard it.


    • I’ll be the first to admit that there are many better Alice Cooper albums but it’s a lot better than I thought it was going to be. As you say, it’s definitely worth checking out for any open minded fan.


  3. I’ve not got or heard this one. I do intend to add to my Coop collection though so I definitely want to buy this at some point.


  4. I recall seeing this as a add back in Circus Magazine and that was I think the only promo I had seen on it…..good read!


  5. Your spot on with your comment about being drunk and putting out a good,album.
    Case in point….Aerosmith Done With Mirrors!
    They were bombed and barely made it thru the 9 songs but what a great bare bones album.
    Check it out…


  6. I loved this album as a kid, found it in the bargain bin at Kmart and listened to it all the time, not only did I but so did everyone in my neighborhood thanks to my cassette copies I made out. We all loved the classic Coop material, but we thought this album was cool, funny as hell and most importantly fun


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