I know most of you are gearing up for Halloween (and I’m excited too!), but as far as I’m concerned, it’s summer. The weather’s hot and the beach is still on my mind every day. I know The Coop is usually reserved for that special day at the end of October, but his guitar-driven romps have always given me serious summer vibes. When the leaves start changing, I’ll be back with a group of very differently toned AC songs, but until then, this handful of 70s-era Cooper tracks are, in my mind, designed for summer drives. You can search Spotify for this playlist using “Bloody Popcorn Presents: Alice Cooper Volume 1”. Or, you know, click here.
1 – “Long Way to Go” (Love it to Death, 1971). I had to use this as the opener, as it’s one of my absolute favorite Alice songs; it’s way underrated and it’s just a nice fast rockin’ number. Love it to Death is easily one of my favorite albums, when they were still Alice Cooper the Band and not Alice Cooper the Dude. The album is book-ended by two excellent deeper cuts, and then filled out with either hits or live staples. And “Long Way to Go” gets kinda buried. This is one to crank.
(For no reason, here’s Mudhoney’s excellent cover of “Long Way to Go”)
2 – “Raped and Freezin’” (Billion Dollar Babies, 1973).
3 – “Wish I Were Born in Beverly Hills” (From the Inside, 1978).
4 – “Teenage Lament ‘74” (Muscle of Love, 1973). This tune has a definite T. Rex-y 70’s glam feel to it, and that’s aces with me. Even at 38, I’m still a sucker for rebellious “parents just don’t understand” kinds of lyrics. I’m a parent now and when my kids are teenagers, I’m sure I won’t understand either.
5 – “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (Billion Dollar Babies, 1973). Megadeth’s ripping cover of this rocker for the Shocker soundtrack was my introduction to the world of Alice Cooper, alongside Alice’s “Poison”. It’s been a staple of any Cooper playlist for me ever since.
Dave Mustaine: “Me? A nice guy? Yeah right!”
6 – “You Drive Me Nervous” (Killer, 1971).
7 – “Be My Lover” (Killer, 1971). Weirdly, though I always enjoyed this tune, it took Joan Jett’s stompin’ cover to really make me appreciate it.
8 – “Department of Youth” (Welcome to My Nightmare, 1975).
9 – “Go to Hell” (Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, 1976). Here’s a little confession: I don’t think I ever really realized that Alice Cooper Goes to Hell was a continuation of the Steven story from Welcome to My Nightmare. It makes perfect sense looking back on it…but yeah, man, never knew. This is a great opener, and if I didn’t already have “Long Way to Go” locked in, this woulda been my choice. Also, the bonus disc that came with 2001’s Dragontown has a seriously smoking live version of this song, and it annihilates the original studio track, almost.
10 – “Escape” (Welcome to My Nightmare, 1975). Gotta close out with one of my favorite and one of the most rockin’ jams on the seminal Nightmare album.
BONUS TRACK! This song is not on Spotify, so it can’t be part of the official playlist. And also, it’s not a 70s track…but I can’t make a summer-themed Alice playlist and NOT include “Hard Rock Summer”, familiar to you all by way of Friday the 13th Part 6. I do not know why this tune didn’t make it to his 1986 album Constrictor, but it is badass, and always gets me in the mood to “…aim my van at the LA sand”.
So that’s it. I hope you crank this playlist in your Bitchin’ Camaro and try and enjoy the last bits of summer before we dive headfirst into Halloween insanity!