Great Metal Albums of 1987: Alice Cooper- Raise Your Fist and Yell

You know what? The more I reflect back on the music of the 1980s, the more I am convinced of the similarities in the careers of Aerosmith and Alice Cooper. Both were 1970s icons with great albums. Then by the end of the decade and into the early 1980s, they were both nearly destroyed by the excesses enjoyed by many great rock and roll musicians. Aerosmith had become druggies dabbling in music Alice describes the early 1980s as his ‘drunk period.’ Then in the middle of the decade both dried up enough to cut albums which got them back on the rock map. Aerosmith released “Done With Mirrors” and Alice gave us “Constrictor.” But in 1987, both came out with defining albums which stamped their comeback as the real deal. I have already covered Aerosmith’s “Permanent Vacation” and Alice hit us all with this album, “Raise Your Fist and Yell.”

Alice tells us all to “raise our fists and yell” with the opening track and my favourite on the album, “Freedom.” The song is a totally undisguised dig at the PMRC when Alice says, “You want to rule us with an iron hand, change the lyrics and become big brother. This ain’t Russia! You’re not my dad or mother.” Whenever I hear the song, I want to raise my fist and yell. It also helps that with the exception of a new drummer, Alice keeps the same band he had from the last album.

New drummer Ken K. Mary introduces himself with a thundering drumroll on the second track, “Lock Me Up.” That’s followed by spoken word from Freddy Kruger actor Robert Englund accusing Alice of mass mental cruelty. As always with Alice, his sense of humour comes through here when he sings that he’s a criminal and if you don’t like it you can lock him up. Not me, Alice, not me. Guitarist Kane Roberts takes his turn to shine on “Give the Radio Back” as he solos his way all throughout the song. The lyrics have me thinking here. Did someone take Alice’s radio and he wants it back or is he singing out against how crap commercial radio had become by then? Yes, commercial radio did suck back then.

Was Alice at a thrash gig when he came up with “Step on You?” He does sing about sharpening his spikes and strapping up his boots. Anyway, on this track, it’s bassist Kip Winger’s turn to shine as the bass line here is just outstanding. The drumming and guitar get an assist though. More Alice humour closes out side one with “Not That Kind of Love.” He doesn’t favour romantic love on this one but wants to get down and dirty. If there is any song that would have riled the PMRC on this album, it would have definitely been this one. Once again, the band is really tight here.

Side two of the album has a death related theme starting out with my vote for hidden gem, “Prince of Darkness.” This is a song which takes me back to his shock, horror rock days of the 1970s. This is a great metal track with some great changes and no one can make this sound this good like Alice does. The eerie acoustic part at the tail end says it all.

Some great guitar work backs up Alice telling us that it’s time to kill. He’s going to take his fist and make them understand is augmented with some more magnificent guitar work from Kane, possibly his best solo on the album. Once he realizes he only has time to kill, Alice tells us how he’s going to do it with “Chop Chop Chop.” There is some great musicianship all around on this one. I love the intro. Afterwards, we get to know who his victim is, it’s “Gail.” The knife wound on her chest and her blood served time in its skeletal jail lets us know in this slow acoustic ballad. At the end of the album, we learn that Alice loves what he has done because he tells us that blood drops look like roses on white lace. It’s a great closer and with more great metal musicianship, (it’s almost a speed metal song), you definitely don’t forget this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Freedom
  2. Lock Me Up
  3. Give the Radio Back
  4. Step On You
  5. Not That Kind of Love
  6. Prince of Darkness
  7. Time to Kill
  8. Chop Chop Chop
  9. Gail
  10. Roses on White Lace
Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper- lead vocals

Kane Roberts- guitar, backing vocals

Kip Winger- bass, backing vocals, keyboards on “Gail”

Paul Taylor- keyboards

Ken K. Mary- drums

Robert Englund- Freddy Kruger on “Lock Me Up”

For all the similarities between Alice Cooper and Aerosmith, there will be one difference. Aerosmith will go onto make a greater album in 1989 with “Pump.” As for Alice and I have already put up the screen to defend against all the rotten vegetables about to be thrown at me, I prefer “Raise Your Fist and Yell” to his next album, “Trash.” Nothing wrong with “Trash,” I know I’ll sing its praises when I get to1989, but “Raise Your Fist and Yell” will be my favourite 80s Alice Cooper album. It could be down to the fact that I finally got to see him live on tour for the album but who’s to say? I just love this album.

Next post: Helix- Wild in the Streets

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

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6 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1987: Alice Cooper- Raise Your Fist and Yell”

  1. Just posted my own Alice Cooper review tonight and then read this. I also noted the similarities between the careers of Aerosmith and Alice Cooper, the exact same thought having occurred to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve read your review on Alice and it seems a case of great minds think alike. “Lace and Whiskey” passed me by back then but I am eager to read your review on “From the Inside” when it comes about.

      Like

  2. It’s a great album and it really put Alice back on the map. It was a bit of an odd case – he did “bend” his image to the times, but then again he didn’t have a lot of bending to do. I’d also put this ahead of Trash if I were ranking the albums.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t have the album but this brought back some memories, and I totally forgot about the Robert Englund contribution… makes sense looking back now with the Freddy Krueger-esque album cover art!

    Liked by 1 person

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