Los Angeles Times

Originally Published: January 14, 1993

Classic of the Week

Author: Buddy Seigal

Alice Cooper "Love It to Death" (1971); Warner Bros.

Although not Alice Cooper's debut, "Love It to Death" was the first album to establish the group (named after its tarted-up singer) as a troublesome noise to be reckoned with. The peace, love and patchouli oil sentiment of the '60s lingered into the next decade; when this uniquely twisted record was released in the midst of all those groovy good vibes, it tweaked a lot of noses.

Coming on like a violent storm of satanic malevolence and sexual confusion, "Love It to Death" signaled that some folks weren't buying into the Age of Aquarius anymore. "I'm Eighteen" was the first and arguably the best of many teen-rage anthems of the '70s, and it's surrounded by such pounding, primal fare as "Long Way to Go," "Is It My Body (That Makes You Love Me)" and the sublimely disturbing "Ballad of Dwight Fry."

Critics of the day suffered the band's studied decadence and lack of musical sophistication even as young Americans ate the fierce sound up like some forbidden fruit denied them by a conspiracy of self-righteous hippies. "Love It to Death" went a long way toward paving the road for the punk rock to come--and for the metal explosion that still annoys many survivors of the '60s.