Another Alice Cooper playlist for your enjoyment!
Even though my love for the man known as Alice Cooper began in 1989, I didn’t see him live until the early 2000s. Since then, I’ve seen him about 8 or 9 times, so 21st century Alice is as important to me as the Coop from any previous decade.
Alice has always been a bit of a chameleon, and all his style shifts typically work well. He plays with kick-ass musicians, whether it was the original Alice Cooper band or Kane Roberts or Eric singer or more recently Australian shredder Orianthi.
There are definitely songs peppered throughout his career that I don’t like as much as others, but only one that I truly hate, and every album he’s released has something I love on it somewhere.
Alice was pretty productive in the first decade of the new millennium, more so than he was in the 90s (five albums released between 2000 and 2009, with only two proper studio albums in the 90s). Add two proper albums, and some extras since 2010, and we’re looking at seven plus albums I’ll be pulling from for this playlist. So, rock and roll here and read on for thoughts.
I Gotta Get Outta Here (Welcome 2 My Nightmare): I’m gonna kick things off with part of the closing to Alice’s 2011 sequel to his classic 1974 Welcome to My Nightmare. This should maybe be at the end of the playlist, but I don’t know, it just feels like a good intro to this stage in the man’s career. Plus, it summarizes the story of the W2MN album pretty well.
Genuine American Girl (Paranormal): Alice released a new album last year, and it included a couple of bonus tracks recorded by the original Alice Cooper band. This is my favorite of the two, but I included the other further down in the playlist. Fun for the sake of nostalgia, but they are also genuinely good tunes.
Wake the Dead (Along Came a Spider): ACAS came out in 2008 and is, to my ears, the culmination of all the various styles Alice has tried his hands at over the decades. It’s got some 70s style rock vibes, it revisits some of his heavier sounds from the turn of the millennium, and some of it even recalls his late 60s psychedelic origins. It’s a concept album that follows a serial killer called Spider, who turns out to be the grown-up version of Alice’s child character Steven.
Sunset Babies (Dirty Diamonds): The DD album was really fun when it came out, but I’ll admit that this and the title track (later in the playlist) are the main tunes I go back to from this album. It’s enjoyable as a whole, but overall it already sounds a little dated.
I’ll Bite Your Face Off (Welcome 2 My Nightmare): This was the first single for W2MN and it really amped up the excitement for the album. It sounded kinda weird knowing it was supposed to be part of this concept album, but once you heard it in context of the album, it worked. But either way, some kick-ass rock n’ roll.
Fireball (Paranormal): “Fireball” is from the album proper, and was not one of the original Alice Cooper band tunes. It’s kinda muted and dark sounding and I dig it. I will be honest, though, Paranormal did not grab me the way his past five albums did upon release.
Vengeance is Mine (Along Came a Spider): Fun fact that I just will always specifically remember: This album was released the same day as Lost Boys: The Tribe came out on DVD, July 29, 2008.
Dirty Diamond (Dirty Diamonds): I remember seeing Alice on the Dirty Diamonds tour. During the title song, he’d throw out fistfuls of fake diamond necklaces. I need to ask my mom, but I feel like she caught something. Maybe not. It was a long time ago.
You and All of Your Friends (Paranormal): The other original band bonus track. RIP Glen Buxton.
Disgraceland (Dragontown): I know Brutal Planet and Dragontown have their die-hard fans. They’ve kinda become cult albums in the way his early 80s stuff did. But I just don’t get into that style as much. I do listen to them on occasion, and did quite a bit when they first came out. They’re heavier, but are just not my go-to Cooper records. I do like “Disgraceland” quite a bit and I think it woulda felt at home on The Last Temptation almost, or as one of his weirder one-off tracks, like “For Britain Only”
Every Woman Has a Name (Dragontown): I’m not normally a ballad-y kinda person. Usually, when they turn it down, I skip to the next track. But nobody does a ballad like ol’ Hard Hearted Alice. Here we have the spiritual sequel to “Only Women Bleed” and the songs gives me goosebumps every time.
Jeepster (Hollywood Vampires): Okay, so this is not from a proper Alice Cooper album, but was done by his kinda supergroup or whatever, Hollywood Vampires, which I reviewed upon release in 2015. This is a cover of one of my favorite T. Rex songs and they do a damned fine job.
MORE BONUS TRACKS:
Backyard Brawl (The Eyes of Alice Cooper): In 2003, Alice returned to his more hard rock roots with The Eyes of… For some reason, this album is not on Spotify. And for another some reason, my favorite track, “Detroit City”, is not on YouTube…or I just can’t find it, since putting Detroit and Alice Cooper in the search field turns up a lot of live performances of other songs in Detroit.
Bad Situation (Welcome 2 My Nightmare): W2MN came in about 736 different versions, and I think this was on the iTunes exclusive version. I like it a lot. I also really like his cover of The Animals “We Gotta Get Outta This Place”, but I can only find live versions on YouTube. I think I bought the album in 3 different formats when it was released for all the bonus cuts.
Clowns Will Eat Me (Dragontown): This is a fun tune that was on the bonus disc for the special edition of Dragontown. The bonus CD also has a live cover of “Go to Hell” that is one of my favorite Alice recordings, period.
If you’ve been following along, I’ve thrown out playlists for Alice’s 70s output and his later 80s (or like ‘86 to ‘91) stuff. The man shows no sign of slowing down, so maybe I’ll hit you up with volume 4 in 10 years. I do have a couple of other Coop-related things up my sleeve, but until then, hang in there.