Sounds - 1977


Originally Published: 1977

From the days when Alice was straight

(Jacketed, that is)

Author: Vivian Goldman

Alice Cooper
'Love It To Death'

(Warner Brothers WS 1883)

"I'm caught in a dream - so what?"

I loved it to death.

In 1972 a bunch of ex-bikers in drag wearing kohl stiletto-spiking round their eyes, wasn't the terminal snooze it proved to be by '74.

Sitting huddled around a little gas heater in Earlsdon, a spectacularly dreary suburb of Coventry, Alice Cooper beckoned as a symbol of everything that was avant-garde, horrific, and romantic. Just some bunch of alien weirdos from over the water, no past and a dubious future, to say the least - hurtling our mundane present into convulsions of decadence, earth tremors as acutely exquiste as the cold chills of excitement I felt queuing up and seeing Lou Reed playing at the Kings Cross Cinema on his first ever British date.

Alice Cooper had the crazed nobility of Frankenstein's monster in the 30's flick. Guitars slashed merciless razor-gash licks, the rhythms seething like bubbling vats of hell - Alice screeched "Hallowed be my name!" peering into the steaming waters, searching for his true reflection through the distorting vapours...

It had to be that way. Why, Alice laid into the next song, 'Ballad Of Dwight Frye', a remorseless descent yet again into the nether regions by singing "I couldn't tell if the bells were getting louder, songs they I ring I finally recognise..." Ye gads, why hadn't I thought of it before!

No only the true spirit of Frankenstein unleashed (proof: Dwight Frye's the name of the actor who performed the role of Igor, the stunted mutant assistant in the flick) but also Quasimodo! The Hunchback Of Notra Dame! The bells, Goldman, the balls! Why yes, seems to me I can hear something...

"I made friends with a lot of people in the danger zone," Alice purred menacing s the cats in 'Eye Of The Cats'. Yes siree, Alice, and they're the cream of my society.

By the time Alice was dragged away in his straitjacket, kicking and clawing his way into the padded cell dream reality, I was shaking with a lethal combination of fear and masochistic elation. As the music sequed into the neanderthal stomping African-style beat of the most unlikely version of Rolf Harris's 'Sun-Arise' you could hope to imagine, I was an incoherent, babbling wreck, with a lop-sided grin and maniac crazed wide eyes that could have earned me a fortune as an EC horror comix model. And yes, brothers and sisters, this happened frequently. Like every time I listened to this album through cans, wish was a lot.

Re-release it, Warner Brothers. Why don'tcha. Pleeeeeez, Give it to me, just one more time - AAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!