|Studio album by|
|Released||March 27, 1970|
|Studio||Sunwest Studios, Hollywood|
|Alice Cooper chronology|
Easy Action is the second studio album by the American rock band Alice Cooper, released by Straight Records in March 1970. The title comes from a line from one of the band's favorite films, the musical West Side Story . As with Pretties for You , the band's debut from the previous year, Easy Action was neither a commercial nor critical success. Singles include "Shoe Salesman" and "Return of the Spiders".
Drummer Neal Smith later said of the record producer David Briggs, "David hated our music and us. I recall the term that he used, referring to our music, was 'Psychedelic Shit'. I think Easy Action sounded too dry, more like a TV or radio commercial and he did not help with song arrangement or positive input in any way."None of Easy Action’s songs have ever been performed live by Cooper since the tour in support of their third album Love It to Death ; in fact, only "Return of the Spiders" was performed on the tour for that album.
A small number of early U.S. copies were pressed on the blue Bizarre Records label. These copies carry the same catalog number WS-1845 and album cover as the regular Straight Records release.
Though perhaps seen as being an overlooked work in terms of later releases, Easy Action tracks "Mr. & Misdemeanor" and "Refrigerator Heaven" were both later included in the well-received compilation album The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper . "Refrigerator Heaven" was also included in the Warner Bros. compilation album Zapped, which showcased acts signed or produced by Frank Zappa. The closing track "Lay Down And Die, Goodbye", which was originally written and recorded as a demo by the band when it was called Nazz, begins with a sample of Tom Smothers saying "You are the only censor; if you don't like what I'm saying, you have a choice: you can turn me off". This is followed by an instrumental jam and finishes with the chorus from the demo. (The last part of the song is listed on the Science Fiction album as "I've Written Home to Mother", while the instrumental jam section is listed as "For Alice" or "An Instrumental".
Detroit-born vocalist Vincent Furnier co-formed the Earwigs in the mid-1960s in Phoenix, Arizona. The band released a few singles and went through a few name changes before settling on a lineup with guitarist Glen Buxton, guitarist and keyboardist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith.In 1968 the band adopted the name Alice Cooper—a name Furnier later adopted as his own—and presented a story that it came from a 17th-century witch whose name they learned from a session with a ouija board.
At some point Buxton painted circles under his eyes with cigarette ashes, and soon the rest followed with ghoulish black makeup and outlandish clothes.The band moved to Los Angeles and became known for its provocative, theatrical shock rock stage show. In an incident during a performance at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival in 1969, Cooper threw a live chicken into the audience, who tore it to shreds.
The band auditioned for Frank Zappa's Straight Records label, and Zappa signed them with a $6000 advance.The group's released its first album, the psychedelic Pretties for You , in 1969 on Straight. It sold poorly.
According to Alice Cooper's band manager, Shep Gordon, the band's record label wouldn't use the production tapes from producer David Briggs. Instead, the label opted to use the band's rehearsal tapes in the final cut of the album.
Cooper and Dunaway were fond of the musical film West Side Story , and quotes from the film appear in the song "Still No Air" ("got a rocket in your pocket", "when you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way); another quote gives the album its title.
|Christgau's Record Guide||C|
The album appeared in 1970 with a cover on which the band poses turned away from the camera, their uncovered backs exposed except where covered with their long hair. A radio commercial that accompanied the album's release touted the band as "unisex, raw, together, and violent—just like you, fellow American".
The staff of Rolling Stone did not like the album, stating that "there's nothing nearly that interesting" and that "the pretty stuff sounds like something Walt Disney had the good sense to leave in the can".Robert Christgau, in The Village Voice, rated it a C, explaining that it has very few of the "pseudo-decadent and -psychedelic charms" shown on Pretties for You, along with "tuneless singing, tuneless playing, tuneless tunes, and pseudo-musique concrete".
The music showed little of the hard rock the band became famous for; the songs on its first two albums are more reminiscent of the pop-rock and psychedelia of bands such as mid-1960s the Who and Jefferson Airplane. They failed to find an audience and sold poorly. The group moved to Detroit, and with the next album, Love It to Death , producer Bob Ezrin had them strip down their sound and simplify the songwriting; the album and its first single, "I'm Eighteen" were the first in a string of big successes.
AllMusic's Joe Viglione feels that the album "might be the perfect picture of an evolving Alice Cooper Group". And that it "gives evidence that Cooper has more of a voice than he got credit for". He concludes by saying: "That this band could run the gamut from [Frank] Zappa to [David] Bowie, and perhaps inspired both, makes Easy Action a good study and entertaining record."
All songs written by Alice Cooper, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith.
Billion Dollar Babies is the sixth studio album by American rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1973. The album became the best selling Alice Cooper record at the time of its release, hit number one on the album charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom, and went on to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album has been retrospectively praised by such critics as Robert Christgau, Greg Prato of AllMusic, and Jason Thompson of PopMatters, but The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) gave the album only two and a half stars.
Neal Smith is an American musician, best known as the drummer for the rock group Alice Cooper from 1967 to 1974. He performed on the group's early albums Pretties for You and Easy Action, their breakout album Love It to Death and the subsequent successful albums Killer, School's Out, and Billion Dollar Babies. The last new studio album with the five original Alice Cooper group members participating in new music was Muscle of Love in 1973. The original group's Greatest Hits studio album was released in 1974. In 2018, a live performance album Live From The Astroturf, Alice Cooper recorded in 2015 was released, featuring four of the original group members performing eight of their hit songs, with long-time Alice Cooper solo band guitarist and friend Ryan Roxie interplaying lead guitar parts with original group rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, on behalf of original group lead guitarist Glen Buxton, who died in 1997 of pneumonia three weeks before his 50th birthday.
Michael Owen Bruce is an American rock musician, best known as a member of Alice Cooper.
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Love It to Death is the third studio album by Alice Cooper, released in March 1971. It was the band's first commercially successful album, and is considered to be where the band first consolidated its aggressive hard-rocking sound. The album's best-known track, "I'm Eighteen", was released as a single to test the band's commercial viability before the album was recorded.
School's Out is the fifth studio album by American rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1972. Following on from the success of Killer, School's Out reached No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Canadian RPM 100 Top Albums chart, holding the top position for four weeks. The single "School's Out" reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 3 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles Chart and went to No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart. The album achieved sales of over 50,000 copies in Australia, being eligible for the award of a Gold Disc.
Shiny Beast is the tenth studio album by American rock band Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, released in October 1978 by Warner Bros. Records. The album emerged from production difficulties surrounding Bat Chain Puller, an album Captain Beefheart recorded for DiscReet and Virgin Records in 1976. DiscReet co-founders Herb Cohen and Frank Zappa feuded over the production of the album, because Cohen funded the production with Zappa's royalty checks. Captain Beefheart recorded a new album titled Shiny Beast due to Zappa withholding the master tapes of the original Bat Chain Puller album.
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Alice Cooper was an American rock band formed in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1964. The band consisted of lead singer Vince Furnier, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith (drums). Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper and has had a solo career under that name since the band became inactive in 1975. The band was notorious for their elaborate, theatrical shock rock stage shows. In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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