Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by warewolf95, May 14, 2019.
I'm in total agreement with you.
When Special Forces was released I was an Alice Cooper fan. He put a new album out, and so I bought it.
Under these circumstances I didn't do a career spanning analysis, or feel a need to place it in his discography. Instead it was simply new music from an artist I'd enjoyed since Love It to Death. It was obvious it was different, but they were different times - there was a radical difference between the 70's and the 80's.
As such, I just listened and enjoyed. I took it for what it was, without comparing it to past greats, or digging into the nuances of a Cooper performance. It's a fun record, very tongue in cheek, stripped of the darker elements and replaced with a camp, light-hearted, and more casual Alice.
If you do go ahead and analyze the album you find some strangeness. The production may be casual, off-hand in one sense, but in another one might say it's lazy and not much thought has been given to it. It's not got the type of sound that make it stand out (which based on the earlier post may be down to the drug issues at the time). The cover is bizarre, with Alice ditching his traditional make up for.... well I'm not quite sure what that is, but it's not Alice.
Also, there were no inserts in the original Vinyl, and given how lazy the whole cover looks, you could be excused for thinking this thing had just been thrown together for laughs. They double-down on this by including the title of a track that isn't actually on the album. That doesn't happen often. The whole think smacks of being "drug cool", where you're high and it seems great, but then you come back two days later, straight and sober, and wonder what the hell you were thinking.
The band are generic, the subject matter of some of the songs is weird, and not in a good way, imo. As someone else said, this is an Alice who's out of it, and has lost his identity - which is reflected in that cover picture.
All that said - you don't have to approach it that way. Going back to my initial impressions, alternatively you can simply put it on and let the thing play out. It's not profound, it's not dangerous or nasty. It's Alice doing a sitcom. Despite all his problems at the time, he could still write a good hook, and his voice was holding up well. The band isn't great on the record, but at the same time there's a sheen to the performances that at the time felt modern.
It's a fun album.
I like it and it was my first Alice tour so it holds a Special place.
Agree. DaDa was a total letdown to me. He does sound like an artist trying to get back on top. From the footage I’ve seen of him during this period he looks like he was using heavy.
You took all the words right out of my head!
Thanks for the awesome write up. Glad to have an ally
What was I there for, you ask. Well let's see.
I knew the Podolor family, & went to school & was friends with the nephew of Richie's. I had a roommate that was the gopher there, & I had been briefly years earlier when Three Dog was there, along with the nephew...
Our drummer Don O. From a band we had, had. Set up some early drum machine stuff for Special Forces.. all the young people knew the studio back then, in the neighborhood, all of us aspiring musicians..Richie's nephew, me, Leif Garrett, Don O, guy called Matt Blocker, we all lived around there & the school was nearby. Alice was a curiosity thing for me, who's in the studio ? Oh really Alice Cooper ? Yeah we might come by, type thing. Leif lived in spitting distance of the studio & had a couple hit records, & movies, later several years, I got a deal & Podolor produced my first album. The nephew & I gophered for 2 Three Dog albums & it all seemed glamorous at the time. I don't know Alice, I've met him that's all. His parents came by the studio one day. Engineer Bill Cooper tells the story... these two older people conservative, knock on the door, in the middle of the chaos inside, 'Oh hello, we're here to see our son, Vince...!
I have issues with Alice Cooper's solo albums starting in the late 70's and onward...…..there's some decent material here and there, but most of it is weak (in my opinion). Although some of the album covers and packaging are pretty cool...I found a sealed cut-out album of From The Inside last weekend. I really dig the gimmicky album cover, and it was pretty cool opening the shrink and removing a record that hasn't seen the light of day for 41 years (I imagined Alice coming out of the asylum, back to the outside world when the record was pulled out). I just wish the covers would match the music...…...so much of his song material during this time is layered with plenty of cotton candy, pink bubblegum, and a huge dose of corn syrup.
Listening to albums such as Special Forces causes me to experience intense separation anxiety from the band, Alice Cooper (1969-1973). I think I'll go listen to Killer now.
How you gonna see me now is a good song, but it seems like a Leo Sayer or Barry Manilow song.
One of my faves by Alice.
The previous album, Flush the Fashion, stripped back the lush & plush concepts of '70s solo Alice, and Special Forces is even more minimalist. It's Cooper's punk album. With a career in free-fall, a cocaine & alcohol addiction, plus a record company that had lost interest in him, an 'out of it' Alice veered all over the place for the 'blackout' records. Sales-wise it was disastrous, but, liberated from any audience pandering, it accidentally kickstarted a very creative period for Alice. IMO, the final four Warner Brothers albums are all musical gems.
yeah. from the inside imo is the best solo album he did after welcome to my nightmare before he took a few years off and came back metal
That was a scary Alice Cooper, he looked ill.
I don't like any of his post-Dada albums, but I'm really glad he survived!
Yes, he looks physically and/or mentally ill at this time. So glad he got through it.
If you've never heard any post-Dada albums, they are worth checking out. It's strange though how he went full-blown heavy metal, so it sounds almost nothing like what came before. But a lot of it is really good.
That's why I don't like any of them.
A diet of cocaine and alcohol will take its toll.....I'm glad he's clean, sober, and still with us.
I'm with ya. It's worth noting, though, that he's recorded a few albums that aren't really in that mold. The Eyes Of Alice Cooper, from 2003, for example, has a few songs that are purposely in the style of the original band circa 1972-73, and a couple of songs that have some Beatlesque chord changes/melodies. Dirty Diamonds is also in the same vein.
This is why I love this place! Sick! Thanks for the epic posts mate
First side I really like but vicious rumours is.the only song I like on side 2
I could have lived with it maybe even happily if he had injected some good metal into
His music but he went with the hair metal and I hate that **** with a passion.
Yes! I would definitely reccommend those if someone is looking for something "simpler" ala Love It To Death etc.
Alice is strange to me because he has that quintessential metal image going on, but until Raise Your Fist and Yell, he wasn't really metal at all - he's got tons of ballads and theatrical stuff, concept albums, etc
Raise Your Fist and Yell is pretty great imo. Sure it's "hair metal", but Freedom and Roses On White Lace are pretty legit "metal" imo.
I actually like that ghoulish look on him but good lord he looks like he's about to die!
He almost did, in 1983
Between Hey Stoopid and W2MN, I’m pretty illiterate with Alice’s albums. Would love to know a good place to start if I want as much “blackout era” vibe, if you’ve got any suggestions like that!
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