Archive for Alice Cooper

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Anthrax- Fistful of Metal

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2018 by 80smetalman

Normally, when I hear a band’s second album before their first one, I appreciate what a great album the debut was, even if I prefer the second one. That was the case with Twisted Sister, Van Halen and Molly Hatchet for sure. However, there’s always an exception and that comes in the form of Anthrax. My first experience with this band was the second album, “Spreading the Disease,” and you will hear me sing its praises to the heavens. Now, I in no way, shape or form, dislike Anthrax’s debut album, “Fistful of Metal,” it has some great songs which I will elaborate on in a minute. What I do think is that “Spreading the Disease” was a major improvement from this one.

The big improvement comes in the form of the lead singer. While I have nothing against the vocal ability of Neil Turbin, he does some great things on “Fistful of Metal,” it’s just I think Joey Belladonna is a far superior singer. That’s just my opinion. Therefore, I will cease the negative and go for the positive because I have always thought this was a brilliant, in your face, thrash album. In fact, I’ll change my personal history and pretend that I first heard “Fistful of Metal” when it first came out in 1984.

Power chords of Scott Ian and Dan Spitz, combined the shrieks of Neil begin the album in a totally mad metal mayhem. Even though I hadn’t yet heard the term ‘thrash,’ I would have thought that the opening song “Deathrider” comes out and grabs your attention. With the exception of Motorhead, I would have thought it was the most aggressive sound I ever heard back then. Following on immediately after is my favourite song on the album, “Metal Thrashing Mad.” It’s just as thrashy as its predecessor but there is a slight melody to the chorus and I do mean slight. Of all the tracks on the album, this one highlights Neil Turbin’s voice the best.

What I have always liked about the cover of the Alice Cooper classic, “I’m Eighteen,” is the fact that they don’t thrash it up and they pretty much stick to Alice’s formula. Hell, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The next three tracks go back to more mad thrash. It is on the tracks, “Panic” and especially “Subjugator” that I fully hear the brilliant guitar work from Dan Spitz. Also on “Subjugator,” rhythm guitarist Scott Ian has a cool guitar bit on it. It’s certainly the best song of the three and I’ve always questioned why “Soldiers of Metal” was released as a single as there are better tracks to choose from. It still gives you a good mosh. Oops, that word didn’t come out til 1985.

Scott Ian- Anthrax

“Death From Above” is my second favourite song on here. I can’t explain the semantics as to why but I really love this song. Maybe it’s how the song starts with a cool guitar solo from Dan but it just does it for me. The album concludes with “Anthrax,” followed by a very cool instrumental, “Across the River” and probably the best song for the closer, “Howling Furies.” Now there’s a song that lets you know you’ve just had year ears bashed by a cool album.

Track Listing:

  1. Deathrider
  2. Metal Thrashing Mad
  3. I’m Eighteen
  4. Panic
  5. Subjugator
  6. Soldiers of Metal
  7. Death From Above
  8. Anthrax
  9. Across the River
  10. Howling Furies

Anthrax

Neil Turbin- vocals

Scott Ian- rhythm guitar

Dan Spitz- lead guitar

Dan Lilker- bass

Charlie Benante- drums

Looking back at history, I now realize how important “Fistful of Metal” was in establishing Anthrax in the metal world and laying down a foundation for them to go onto to better things. The band is certainly hungry on this album, no doubt. The weird thing is that shortly after the album’s released, Dan Lilker would be forced out of the band by the same two band members whom he’d join up with a year later to make my all time favourite album. Still, that’s something to worry about in the future but if you want a thrashing good mosh, then “Fistful of Metal” is one to have.

Next post: Lee Aaron- Metal Queen

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1983: Alice Cooper- Da da

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2016 by 80smetalman

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“Da da” was the final album recorded by Alice Cooper during his too drunk to remember recording it period. There was no tour to promote the album and I don’t remember seeing or hearing any publicity for it back in 1983. Therefore, like so many people then, “Da da” completely passed me by. Having read some reviews on the album from some of my fellow bloggers, I thought I would give it a couple of listens and post about it.

The first thing I noticed about “Da da” after the first two listens was that it really strays very little from the traditional Alice Cooper format, he was  known for before his drunken period. A shining example of this is heard with the opening title cut, which reminds me of the horror settings laid down in such Alice classics as “Welcome to My Nightmare” and “Goes to Hell.” The second track, “Enough’s Enough” is a fun sounding song with some good hard guitar. This could have been a single, it might not have dented the charts but it still could have been one.

With the third track, “Former Lee Warmer,” I think it too tries to recapture Alice’s glory days of the 1970s. Maybe it’s me but that song reminds me of “Steven” from the “Welcome to My Nightmare” album. The problem with it and the title track is that neither of them quite measure up to the classics. Neither song is bad, just not as good as the originals. On the other hand, he does have some fun with tracks four and five. They both sound that he might have actually enjoyed singing them but though he might have had fun with “Dyslexia,” I must give him full marks for not being afraid to bring this subject to light. Little was known with the dyslexia condition back in 1983, so well done Alice. It’s just a shame that the album didn’t make enough noise to enlighten others.

The hardest song on “Da da” to me is “Scarlet and Sheeba.” There is some good power chords here and Cooper’s voice makes the song a potential hard rock anthem. What lets the song down a little is the keyboard bit where I would be expecting a guitar solo but that’s a minor thing and the solo kicks in and makes it all better anyway.

Alice Cooper does not play any of the songs from the album when he goes live. If there is one song that may deserve to be heard, it’s “I Love America.” Not only does the song rock for me, I really love the satirical lyrics. I speculate that he’s taking the mickey out of rednecks here and the emerging blind patriotism that was beginning to hit Regan America back then. Then again, I did watch the “A- Team” on Tuesday nights. “I Love America” is the climax for “Da da” and sets things up for the other two songs to close the album. Note, the guitar solo on the closer, “Pass the Gun Around” is very well played.

Track Listing:

  1. Da da
  2. Enough’s Enough
  3. Former Lee Warmer
  4. No Man’s Land
  5. Dyslexia
  6. Scarlet and Sheeba
  7. I Love America
  8. Fresh Blood
  9. Pass the Gun Around
Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper- vocals

Dick Wagner- guitar, bass, vocals

Bob Ezrin- drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals

Graham Shaw- OBX-8, Roland Jupiter, vocals

Prakash John- bass

Richard Kolinka- drums

John Anderson- drums

Karen Hendricks- backing vocals

Lisa DalBello- backing vocals

I have now listened to “Da da” three times and I find nothing wrong with the album. There are some good songs on here and while none of them quite reach the plateau of some of the 70s greats, they were a hell of a lot better that some of the other stuff that was beginning to find its way onto commercial radio back then. But don’t take my word for it, have a listen yourself. The album is easily accessed on Youtube.

Next post: Blue Oyster Cult- The Revolution by Night

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

ALICE COOPER On This Day In METAL History – November 25th

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 26, 2014 by 80smetalman

This is why November 25 should always be Alice Cooper Day

Metal Odyssey > Heavy Metal Music Blog

Alice Cooper - The Nightmare Returns Tour - classic logos - #1987NRAC

On November 25th, 1986Alice Cooper brought The Nightmare Returns Tour to the UK at Edinburgh Playhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland. Alice Cooper was touring in support of his solo studio album, released in September of 1986: Constrictor.

Alice Cooper - Raise Your Fist And Yell - tour program - cover promo pic - #1987

On this day in 1987Alice Cooper brought his Raise Your Fist And Yell Tour to the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Alice Cooper - Poison - promo single cover sleeve - #1987AC

On November 25th, 1989Alice Cooper peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with his hit Poison. This song was Alice Cooper’s final top ten single in the United States. Poison is featured on Alice Cooper’s 18th studio album from 1989: Trash. This song was co-written by Desmond Child and John McCurry.

Alice Cooper - classic bloody logo - #6671966

On this day in 2000 – A burglar broke into the home of Alice Cooper, in Paradise Valley, CA and stole $6,400 worth of clothes, shoes and video cameras belonging to his daughter. The…

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Tribute to Frank Formica- A True Metal Fan

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2014 by 80smetalman

Hi everyone, it’s been awhile and let me just say that I am having a great time here in New Jersey. In the past ten days, I’ve eaten Cap’n Crunch for breakfast nearly every day and I think I’ve consumed enough Yuengling to make up for the eight years I’ve gone without it. Of course there’s the local cusine, I couldn’t go without at least eating one Philly cheese steak. When I return to the UK on Friday, I will be introducing the country, well Gloucestershire anyway, to the game of beer pong. But the best thing about my time in NJ is the chance to meet up with long time no see good friends.

Frank and Me

Frank and Me

The great thing about friends, as far as music goes, is that they are always introducing one another to new music and the latest offerings from artists they have in common. Back in the golden days of heavy metal, the 1980s, my metal friend Frank Formica was always discovering new metal and playing it for the rest of us. Frank  almost singlehandedly introduced me the thrash and enlightened me to the musical offerings of Metallica and Anthrax. On the flip side I introduced him to Kreator and The Killer Dwarfs and together we experienced the Stormtroopers of Death when we saw them live in New York. That concert will live in both our memories as the insaneist one we’ve ever been to and there were many others. Frank was clearly an inspriation behind my love for heavy metal back then.

Frank as Alice Cooper

Frank as Alice Cooper

Nowadays Frank runs a karaoke show called Veteran Cosmic Rocker named after a song from a Moody Blues album I visited earlier this year. In order to get gigs, it’s not total heavy metal although, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if it was. I went to his show last night at a bar called The Riverside, near Mays Landing, NJ. First, I never knew he could sing that well as he belted out a few classic Alice Cooper ditties in line with the Halloween theme. He also sang several Rolling Stones classics like “Sympathy for the Devil” and his girl friend helped get the party started by singing a few more mainstream tunes like the song by Pink which creates a pun here. The biggest surprise, however, was when Frank introduced his friend who had come all the way from England and that he was going to sing some heavy metal. He proceded to sing some Judas Priest, although I can’t for the life of me remember which one, “Detroit Rock City ” by KISS and to end the night on a good note, he sang “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica. I felt very honoured that he sang those songs for me.

Frank in action

Frank in action

After a slow start, the night took off and overall things went pretty well. Since half of the clientelle was made up with members of the Tough Guys MC, there wasn’t going to be a mad rush to the microphone but several ladies made more than one trip up and entertained the crowd. Did I go up to the mike? You must be kidding, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket which is why I have always been more of an appreciator of music rather than a purvyeor.

The Riverside or for non- Americans, a typical American bar

The Riverside or for non- Americans, a typical American bar

Many factors have contributed to making me the metalhead I am today. One of the more major ones was my friend Frank Formica who opened my eyes to all sorts of heavy metal. If it hadn’t been for Frank, I would not have been able to write “Rock and Roll Children” and I suspect those who have read it have already figured out that I based the Frankie character in the story on Frank. I’m sure we all have friends who influenced us musically and for me, there was no one better than Frank.

Next post: Black Sabbath- The Mob Rules

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

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

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2014 by 80smetalman

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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

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1980: Alice Cooper- Flush the Fashion

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by 80smetalman

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Back in 1980, this was the one album I was always intending to buy but never got around to actually doing so. It was there on the music counter of my PX for a number of months so I ask myself now, “Why did I never buy it?” The funny thing is that I have no answer to that question especially as “Flush the Fashion” was the follow up to my all time favourite Alice Cooper album “From the Inside.” Maybe the reason is that except for it being at the PX, I don’t remember anyone outside mentioning the album at all and therefore didn’t take the chance. Having now finally listened to it, I can say that I regret that decision somewhat.

The early 1980s were dark days for Alice. He was heavily into drink and drugs and this was one of the albums he doesn’t even remember recording. His career had been on the wane before that as many of his albums, except for “From the Inside,” lacked that punch that was so in your face with his earlier albums. Saying that, he did have some Top 40 success during the late 70s.

“Flush the Fashion” was Alice Cooper’s attempt to go more new wave. Like The Ramones, all of the songs, with exception of “Pain,” are all well under the four minute mark and quite a few of those are less than three. But I must say, when I listened to the album, I do say that I liked it. “Clones” is a fantastic song and some others like “Model Citizen,” “Talk Talk” and “Aspirin Damage” are all very good songs. Unlike the more progressive sound from his previous album, this one has a more straight forward hard rock feel to it and it works on many levels. Still it’s not quite as good as that previous album or any of his more classic material.

Track Listing:

1. Talk Talk

2. Clones

3. Pain

4. Leather Boots

5. Aspirin Damage

6. Nuclear Infected

7. Grim Facts

8. Model Citizen

9. Dance Yourself to Death

10. Headlines

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper- lead vocals

Davey Johnstone- guitar

Fred Mandel- keyboards, guitar

Dennis Conway- drums

John Cooker Lopresti- bass

Howard Kaylan- backing vocals

Mark Volman- backing vocals

Keith Allison- backing vocals

Joe Pizzulo- backing vocals

Ricky Tierney- backing vocals

For Alice, “Flush the Fashion” was the beginning of a steep descent into near oblivion, which would only end a few more years down the line. I agree that he wasn’t at the top of his game when he recorded it but when you listen to it, you can definitely imagine how good his albums were when he was at the top of his game.

Next post: Queen- The Game

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1978: Alice Cooper- From the Inside

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2012 by 80smetalman

If I could call any album from 1978, my favourite for that year, it would have to be this one. “From the Inside” by the legendary Alice Cooper was one of the first albums that I can say that had me rocking to the rafters. Me and this album went through a lot of things together and I can identify with many of the songs on it personally. It got me through my military days, although I was more fortunate than the topic in the song “Jackknife Johnny.” Living among the gambling scene of Atlantic City, I could definitely identify with “Wish I Was Born in Beverly Hills” and for the three years between my discharge from the military and going to England, I really did feel I was on the inside looking out.  “From the Inside” and I rode many miles together and no one could have done it better than Alice Cooper.

It’s not uncommon knowledge that Alice Cooper got the inspiration for the album when he was admitted to a sanitarium for his alcoholism. Every song is based on people he knew there, so insanity is the running theme of the entire album. However, Alice being the genius that he is, was able to put those feelings down to some good music and make it all come alive. I know he had great help from Elton John’s song writer Bernie Taupin and I give him the credit he deserves here, but it was Alice who performed and lived these songs.

Track Listing:

1. From the Inside

2. Wish I was Born in Beverly Hills

3. The Quiet Room

4. Nurse Rosetta

5. Millie and Billie

6. Serious

7. How You Gonna See Me Now

8. For Veronica’s Sake

9. Jackknife Johnny

10. Inmates (We’re All Crazy)

 

When I first introduced 1978, I said that in that year, the gods of rock were busy at their anvils forging a genre called heavy metal. I still believe this to be the case and I further believe that when they were doing this, they had a copy of this album on their home entertainment centres to give them their inspiration. One song they would have definitely taken note of from this album was the single “How You Gonna See Me Now.” This was the first true power ballad in the very sense of the word. The other tracks make this a true rocking bang your head album, great with a few beers.

Next post: REO Speedwagon- You Can Tune a Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle