|Muscle of Love|
|Studio album by|
|Released||November 20, 1973|
|Studio||Sunset Sound, Hollywood; Record Plant, New York and The Cooper Mansion, Greenwich, Connecticut|
|Genre||Hard rock, glam rock, art rock|
|Producer||Jack Richardson, Jack Douglas|
|Alice Cooper chronology|
Muscle of Love is the seventh and final studio album by rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1973.
An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at 33 1⁄3 rpm. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The audio cassette was a format widely used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s.
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.
Cooper stated in an interview at the time of recording that the album marked a return to a basic rock sound. "It's not complicated in any sense and there's not a lot of theatricality on it. It's very basic rock and roll throughout." Cooper further explained, " Billion Dollar Babies was a studio effort all the way. So was School's Out . It was just so clean that after a few times of hearing it myself, it had no mystery to it. I really wanted this one to have more guts to it. More balls."
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.
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.
Muscle of Love is the first Alice Cooper album without Bob Ezrin as producer since the pre-stardom Easy Action . The explanation given at the time was that Ezrin was recovering from illness.However, bassist Dennis Dunaway revealed in a 2011 interview that the band split with the producer during an acrimonious rehearsal in which guitarist Michael Bruce stood up to Ezrin and refused to change the arrangement of "Woman Machine". Jack Richardson and Jack Douglas stepped in to share co-production duties. Author Bob Greene described his participation in the album's recording sessions, and his experiences touring with the band, in his 1974 book "Billion Dollar Baby."
Robert Alan Ezrin is a Canadian music producer and keyboardist, best known for his work with Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, and Phish. As of 2010, Ezrin's career in music had spanned four decades and his production work continued into the 21st century, with acts such as Deftones and Thirty Seconds to Mars.
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".
Dennis Dunaway is an American musician, best known as the original bass guitarist for Alice Cooper . He co-wrote some of the band's most notable songs, including "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out".
Dunaway recalled the album sessions as being very difficult. "The problems on that album were that we could tell that everything was being pulled out from underneath us. As hard as we tried to get it back to where it once was, we had that sinking feeling going on. We wanted to rekindle what the band was about but there was just too much exhaustion by then."
In a contemporary interview with Circus magazine, Cooper said that a loose concept of "urban sex habits" developed during the album's recording.The title of "Big Apple Dreamin' (Hippo)' refers to the Hippopotamus club of New York City which the band used to frequent. "Never Been Sold Before" is the retort of a prostitute to the man she is supporting, and the title track is, according to Cooper, about "sexual awakenings". "It's about the kid who just learned how to masturbate, and what all those dirty books his father used to hide are all about." "Woman Machine" is a science fiction-themed song dating back to the band's early years and is, as Cooper explained, "basically a chauvinistic song. It's about a female robot, like Julie Newmar was on that TV program with Bob Cummings. If we had women robots, they could do anything, even sexual things, just by changing their tubes."
Circus was a monthly American magazine devoted to rock music. It was published from 1966 to 2006. In its heyday the magazine had a full-time editorial staff that included some of the biggest names in rock journalism, such as Paul Nelson, Judy Wieder, David Fricke, and Kurt Loder, and rivaled Rolling Stone in sales and surpassed Creem. In 1974, a sister publication was launched, titled Circus Raves, but by 1977 that venture had been merged into Circus Magazine, thus making Circus Magazine a biweekly.
Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment. Prostitution is sometimes described as sexual services, commercial sex or, colloquially, hooking. It is sometimes referred to euphemistically as "the world's oldest profession" in the English-speaking world. A person who works in this field is called a prostitute and is a type of sex worker.
Masturbation is the sexual stimulation of one's own genitals for sexual arousal or other sexual pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation may involve hands, fingers, everyday objects, sex toys such as vibrators, or combinations of these. Mutual masturbation is masturbation with a sexual partner, and may include manual stimulation of a partner's genitals, or be used as a form of non-penetrative sex.
Not all of the songs have a sexual theme; "Crazy Little Child" tells the story of a youth criminal, and in "Teenage Lament '74", a teenager fails to find happiness even when doing everything to try to be "hip"."Man With the Golden Gun" was written with the intention of having it appear on the soundtrack of the then-upcoming James Bond film of the same name. Cooper recalled in a 2011 interview:
"Teenage Lament '74" is a song by Alice Cooper. It was released on the album Muscle of Love, and was written by Cooper and Neal Smith.
The Man with the Golden Gun is a 1974 British spy film and the ninth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. A loose adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel of the same name, the film has Bond sent after the Solex Agitator, a device that can harness the power of the sun, while facing the assassin Francisco Scaramanga, the "Man with the Golden Gun". The action culminates in a duel between them that settles the fate of the Solex.
It was supposed to be the Bond theme, but it actually came in a day too late, and by the time they heard it, they'd already signed for Lulu's song. I went, "You're gonna take Lulu over this?" [Laughs.] 'Cause it was perfect for The Man With The Golden Gun. It had helicopters, it had machine guns—it had the Pointer Sisters, Ronnie Spector, and Liza Minnelli doing background vocals! We went to every single one of those John Barry albums to try and invent the perfect James Bond song, and even Christopher Lee, who played Scaramanga in the movie, said, "Oh, man, why did we take the Lulu song? This song is the one!" [Laughs.] So, yeah, we lost out on that one, but I still put it on the album. I said, "I don't care, I'm going to do a James Bond track no matter what."
Though credited as lead guitarist on Muscle of Love, Glen Buxton was "not invited" to play on the album according to drummer Neal Smith, Cooper, and others. His inclusion in the liner notes was mainly due to management's concerns about the band's image with fans. Smith stated the absence was due to "problems that Glen was having with the demons of rock and roll at that particular time ... really, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love, Glen didn't really play on the (latter) album. By hook or by crook, the albums had to be put out." The band sought out other guitar players to fill in, including Dick Wagner and fellow Cortez High School alum Mick Mashbir.
There is an additional suggestion that a session drummer was used on part of the album. Band member Michael Bruce refers, in his autobiography, to producer Jack Douglas bringing in a drummer specifically to play on "Crazy Little Child".This report is given some added support by the claims of session drummer Allan Schwartzberg, who says he played on several tracks.
In place of the usual record jacket, the original LP was packaged in a shallow corrugated cardboard carton, with a "stain" intentionally printed along the bottom. On the inner sleeve, the band members appear dressed as sailors. In the "before" daytime shot, they are about to enter a nude wrestling emporium; in the "after" nighttime shot on the other side of the sleeve, they appear beaten and sprawled out on the street, having been thrown out of the club.The front of the album cover design agency Pacific Eye & Ear was temporarily redecorated to serve as the setting for the photo session.
The original release also included a paper "book cover" sheet that could be folded and used as a book jacket. A photo on the sheet depicts the band members in their sailor uniforms looking dejected while peeling potatoes.
|Christgau's Record Guide||C|
Muscle of Love received an uneven reception from critics. Writing in Rolling Stone , Lenny Kaye gave the album a mixed review, describing its content as "hit-or-miss" and believing that the group had lost focus with regard to its musical direction.Phonographic Record published a negative review and suggested that the group had been unable to overcome the loss of Ezrin. Creem , however, gave the album a positive review, calling it "a magnificent effort".
Although Muscle of Love went to No. 10 on the Billboard 200 and earned a gold certification, it was considered something of a commercial disappointment in light of its predecessor Billion Dollar Babies having reached No. 1 and attaining platinum.
Muscle of Love's songs have been rarities at Alice Cooper's subsequent concerts: apart from the title track (performed erratically in 1989, 1997 and since 2004) plus four performances of "Teenage Lament '74" in 1996 and 2004, nothing from Muscle of Love has been performed since 1974. "Never Been Sold Before", "Crazy Little Child", "Man with the Golden Gun" and "Woman Machine" have never been performed live.
The song "Muscle of Love" was covered by Fireball Ministry for their 2001 FMEP release. "Teenage Lament '74" was covered by Big Country on their 2001 covers album Undercover, and by Tyla on the 1993 Various Artists tribute album Welcome to Our Nightmare. "Hard Hearted Alice" was covered by Chris Connelly on the Mutations: A Tribute to Alice Cooper compilation.
|1.||"Big Apple Dreamin' (Hippo)"||Alice Cooper, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith||5:10|
|2.||"Never Been Sold Before"||Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith||4:28|
|3.||"Hard Hearted Alice"||Cooper, Bruce||4:53|
|4.||"Crazy Little Child"||Cooper, Bruce||5:03|
|1.||"Working Up a Sweat"||Cooper, Bruce||3:32|
|2.||"Muscle of Love"||Cooper, Bruce||3:45|
|3.||"Man with the Golden Gun"||Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith||4:12|
|4.||"Teenage Lament '74"||Cooper, Smith||4:32|
|5.||"Woman Machine"||Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith||4:31|
Additional musicians from the LP liner notes:
Album - Billboard (United States)
Singles - Billboard (United States)
|1973||"Teenage Lament '74"||Pop Singles||48|
|1974||"Muscle of Love"||Pop Singles||-|
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.
Glen Edward Buxton was an American musician and composer, best known as lead guitarist for the original Alice Cooper group. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Buxton number 90 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. In 2011, he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the original Alice Cooper group.
Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits is the only greatest hits album by American rock band Alice Cooper, and their last release as a band. Released in 1974, it features hit songs from five of the band's seven studio albums. It does not include any material from their first two albums, Pretties for You and Easy Action.
Love It to Death is the third studio album by the American rock band 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.
Pretties for You is the debut studio album by American rock band Alice Cooper, released on June 25, 1969 by Straight Records. At this time, the name "Alice Cooper" referred to the band and not its lead singer Vincent Furnier, although he was also known as Alice Cooper. The album has a psychedelic flavor to it; the group had yet to develop the more concise hard rock sound that they would become famous for. Most of the tracks feature unusual time signatures and arrangements, jarring syncopation, expressive dynamics, sound effects, and an eclectic range of music influences. A few songs, such as "Levity Ball", show the influence of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, with whom the band hung out during the British group's U.S. tour. Alice Cooper guitarist Glen Buxton stated he could listen to Barrett's guitar playing for hours on end.
DaDa is the eighth solo album by Alice Cooper. It was originally released in September 28, 1983, on the label Warner Bros.. DaDa would be Cooper's last album until his sober re-emergence in 1986 with the album Constrictor. The album's theme is ambiguous, however, ongoing themes in the songs' lyrics suggest that the main character in question, Sonny, suffers from mental illness, resulting in the creation of many different personalities. The album alludes strongly to the dadaist movement. Its cover was based on a painting by surrealist artist Salvador Dalí titled Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire. Produced by long-time collaborator Bob Ezrin, at the time his first production with Cooper in six years, DaDa was recorded at ESP Studios in Buttonville, Ontario, Canada.
Killer is the fourth studio album by the Alice Cooper band, released in November 1971. The album reached number 21 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and the two singles "Under My Wheels" and "Be My Lover" made the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"I'm Eighteen" is a song by rock band Alice Cooper, first released as a single in November 1970 backed with "Is It My Body". It was the band's first top-forty success—peaking at number 21—and convinced Warner Bros. that Alice Cooper had the commercial potential to release an album. The song and its B-side feature on the band's first major-label album Love It to Death (1971).
Brutally Live is a DVD of Alice Cooper's concert on 19 July 2000 at the Labatt's Hammersmith Apollo in London, England, released later in the same year. It was re-released in 2003 on DVD accompanied with an audio CD of an edited version of the DVD's soundtrack.
The Strange Case of Alice Cooper is a live concert video released in September 1979, of Alice Cooper performing with his backing band The Ultra Latex Band. The concert was filmed on April 9, 1979 during Cooper's 'Madhouse Rock' Tour in San Diego, California, at the San Diego Sports Arena, in support of the album From The Inside.
"Billion Dollar Babies" is a popular 1973 single by the rock group Alice Cooper, taken from the album Billion Dollar Babies. It was released in July 1973, months after the album had been released. The track is a duet between Alice Cooper and Donovan, who provides the falsetto vocals. BMI lists the composers of "Billion Dollar Babies" as Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce and Reggie Vinson. Some sources list the composers as Cooper, Bruce, drummer Neal Smith, and "R. Reggie", the latter being an allusion to Vinson's nickname "Rockin' Reggie Vinson".
"Halo of Flies" is a 1973 single by rock band Alice Cooper taken from their 1971 album Killer. The single was only released in the Netherlands, two years after the song appeared on the album. The song was, according to Cooper's liner notes in the compilation The Definitive Alice Cooper, an attempt by the band to prove that they could perform King Crimson-like progressive rock suites, and was supposedly about a spy organization.
"Reflected" is the first single by the rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1969 from their debut album Pretties for You.