||From the Vault...
"Alice Cooper Goes To Hell"
© Warner Bros. Records
Year of Release: 1978
Go To Hell
You Gotta Dance
I'm The Coolest
Didn't We Meet
I Never Cry
Give The Kid A Break
Wake Me Gently
Wish You Were Here
I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
Alice Cooper related sites:
"Alice Cooper Goes To Hell"
Alice Cooper started out with a great band, and had great albums with
them. After seven albums and a Greatest Hits compilation with band members
Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith, Alice departed
from the band. His second album after the breakup, released in 1976,
Alice Cooper Goes To Hell, has Alice going in different musical
directions than he did with his former band members, which was straight
First off, Go To Hell is more heavy metal than the common hard
rocking sound Alice used to play. You Gotta Dance is kind of like the
old Alice, yet it has a bouncy pop beat.
I'm The Coolest is a slow, grooving song, where Alice is talking
rather than singing. Not just talking, he's whispering the lyrics in a
"cool" fashion. The groove of this song is kind of jazz-driven. (Now that's
different from Alice!) Didn't We Meet is more of a pop-rock song,
where it is mostly piano-driven. It's chorus rocks, and so does the break
in the middle, bringing back the old Alice.
I Never Cry is a slow ballad, in the same style as his previous
hit, Only Women Bleed (from Welcome To Nightmare), and a song that
was released later in his career, How You Gonna See Me Now (From The
Inside). Truthfully, these ballads are remarkably done, both musically
and vocally, from a man who made hard-rock and (especially) shock-rock records.
Now, talk about different: Give The Kid A Break has a Las Vegas
Showcase sound: It's one of those songs where you can visualize Alice dressed
in top hat and coat tails dancing down the steps on a broadway stage, kicking
out his legs to the beat, along with the Vegas showgirls. (Again, different
musical directions is heard on this album...)
Guilty returns Alice back to your standard rock and roll. This
song has more of a Kiss feel than his standard old material. Wake Me
Gently is another soft ballad, and it has a somewhat Ozzy Osbourne ballad
sound to it. (Mama, I'm Coming Home comes to mind.)
Wish You Were Here is another hard rocker, where the guitars are
the main source. Also heard are bongo drums, as they start out like The
Rolling Stones' Sympathy For The Devil. Towards the end, the guitars
sound similar to The Beatles' intro of Come Together. Also in some
instances (similarly), the beginning guitars also has a John Lennon Cold
Alice's version of I'm Always Chasing Rainbows is another Vegas-style
song, as you begin to wonder what direction does Alice REALLY wanted to go, back
in 1976? I don't think trying to take old pop standards for a hard rock artist
is a good thing to do: Gene Simmons did the same thing on his
1978 solo album,
with When You Wish Upon A Star. Both of these songs (Alice's and Gene's)
can be put somewhere at the bottom of a list. Rainbows is merged into
Going Home, as the two songs together leaves the listener wondering what
would be in store next for Alice Cooper, back in 1976.
It seems that after 1975, Alice Cooper was accepted by the entertainment
world as a "pop" entertainer, than the shock-rock image he perfected in previous
years. Back then, looking at such acts as himself, along with Kiss and David
Bowie, the entertainment industry would look at them as more of a "bizarre"
rock talent, leaving them in their own separate worlds. It was funny watching
Alice appear on talk shows, like when he told Mike Douglas he was playing
golf with political (!) and other well-known celebrities. He was also a
regular celebrity guest on The Hollywood Squares.
After Alice left his hard rocking band, he pointed into a more pop rock
world, and Alice Cooper Goes To Hell proves that. It features songs
that are more in a pop-rock style, than what he once played when he first
Maybe Alice was trying to rediscover his musical boundaries. Maybe
hard rock music was getting to him. After all, he did admit himself to a
psychriatic hospital in 1978, and after that, he recorded From The
Inside, (an album based on his experiences at the hospital), and then
recorded punk rock albums from 1980 to 1983. He would later return to the
hard rock style in 1986. And just when you thought Alice was a washup,
he was rediscovered by a new generation of fans in 1989, when he returned
back to rock stardom with the hit Poison from the album Trash.
But Alice Cooper Goes To Hell shows Alice trying to find a new
direction in music. There weren't any real big hits off this album, and
to some Cooper fans, this album may be one of their least favorites. But
giving it a listen, there are some songs here that are good, and some you
can put at the bottom of another list. But all in all, this album is
good, but obviously, there are far more better ones than this one from
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