Pretties for You

Last updated
Pretties for You
Alice Cooper - Pretties for You.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 25, 1969 [1]
Recorded1968-69
StudioWhitney Studios, Los Angeles [2]
Genre
Length38:10
Label Straight
Producer
Alice Cooper chronology
Pretties for You
(1969)
Easy Action
(1970)
Singles from Pretties for You
  1. "Reflected"
    Released: May 19, 1969

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. [7] Alice Cooper guitarist Glen Buxton stated he could listen to Barrett's guitar playing for hours on end. [8]

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Alice Cooper (band) American rock band

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.

Straight Records Record Company

Straight Records, self-identified simply as Straight, was a record label formed in 1969 to distribute productions and discoveries of Frank Zappa and his business partner/manager Herb Cohen. Straight was formed at the same time as a companion label, Bizarre Records. Straight and Bizarre were manufactured and distributed in the U.S. by the Warner Bros. Records family of labels, which also included Reprise Records. Straight recordings were distributed in the U.K. by CBS Records.

Contents

The artwork for this album is a painting by Edward Beardsley. [9] It was originally hanging on the wall of the living room in Frank Zappa's house, [10] and his wife Gail Zappa stated that it was later stolen from them. [11]

Edward Beardsley is an American artist who has also been a professor, dean of the division of fine arts and the founder and program director of the UCR/California Museum of Photography. Possibly his most well-known work was featured on the cover of Alice Cooper's debut album, Pretties For You.

Frank Zappa American musician

Frank Vincent Zappa was an American multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, and bandleader. His work is characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, orchestral and musique concrète works, and produced almost all of the 60-plus albums that he released with his band the Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. Zappa also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. He is considered one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse rock musicians of his era.

Gail Zappa trustee of the Zappa Family Trust

Adelaide Gail Zappa was the wife of musician and composer Frank Zappa and the trustee of the Zappa Family Trust. They met in Los Angeles in 1966 and married while she was pregnant with their first child, Moon, followed by Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva.

Pretties for You was a critical and commercial failure, only briefly appearing on the Billboard Top 200, and none of its songs have ever been played live by Cooper since the release of the band's breakthrough album Love It to Death . [12] The song "Reflected", Alice Cooper's first single, was later rewritten as "Elected", which features on their 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies .

<i>Love It to Death</i> 1971 studio album by Alice Cooper

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.

Reflected (song) Alice Cooper single

"Reflected" is the first single by the rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1969 from their debut album Pretties for You.

Single (music) Type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

Production

According to Alice Cooper's band manager Shep Gordon, when recording at Whitney Studios in Burbank, Frank Zappa left his brother in charge of recording while Zappa left the studio. Zappa returned later that day and informed them the album was finished, having only recorded the band rehearsing. Gordon states that there was no producer during recording, that the band had no complete songs written, that Zappa "didn't spend 5 minutes in the studio" and never asked to hear their material, and that the band's debut album was made up entirely of that rehearsal recording, aside from the live recording of "Levity Ball". [13]

Shep Gordon producer

Shep E. Gordon is an American talent manager, Hollywood film agent, and producer. Gordon is featured in a 2013 documentary, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, which was directed by Mike Myers.

Track listing

All songs written by Alice Cooper, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith.

Glen Buxton American guitarist, songwriter

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.

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".

Neal Smith (drummer) American rock drummer

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.

Side one
  1. "Titanic Overture" – 1:12
  2. "10 Minutes Before the Worm" – 1:39
  3. "Sing Low, Sweet Cheerio" – 5:42
  4. "Today Mueller" – 1:48
  5. "Living" – 3:12
  6. "Fields of Regret" – 5:44
Side two
  1. "No Longer Umpire" – 2:02
  2. "Levity Ball" – 4:39
  3. "B.B. on Mars" – 1:17
  4. "Reflected" – 3:17
  5. "Apple Bush" – 3:08
  6. "Earwigs to Eternity" – 1:19
  7. "Changing Arranging" – 3:03

Reception

Lester Bangs of Rolling Stone felt that there were no "[hints] of life, spontaneity, joy, rage, or any kind of authentic passion or conviction". However, he stated that "within the context of [Alice Cooper's] self-imposed limitations, the album is listenable". He concluded the review by saying that "Alice Cooper's music is, for this reviewer at any rate, totally dispensable". [14]

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage of rock music and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine broadened and shifted its focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. It has returned to its traditional mix of content, including music, entertainment, and politics.

Legacy

AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine feels that the album "was an earnest but flawed stab at psychedelia that occasionally caught fire". [15]

Live covers

On November 8, 2015, the entire record was performed live at The Stone in NYC as part of Nick Didkovsky's residency there. [16] Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway and Cindy Smith Dunaway were in attendance. Dennis Dunaway joined the band for "Nobody Likes Me" as an encore, a song that was originally slated to be on the record.

Personnel

Alice Cooper band

Charts

YearChartPosition
1969 Billboard Pop Albums193

Related Research Articles

Michael Bruce (musician) American rock musician and member of Alice Cooper

Michael Owen Bruce is an American rock musician, best known as a member of Alice Cooper.

<i>Greatest Hits</i> (Alice Cooper album) 1974 greatest hits album by Alice Cooper

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.

<i>Muscle of Love</i> 1973 studio album by Alice Cooper

Muscle of Love is the seventh and final studio album by rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1973.

<i>Schools Out</i> (album) 1972 studio album by Alice Cooper

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.

<i>Easy Action</i> 1970 studio album by Alice Cooper

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".

<i>Killer</i> (Alice Cooper album) 1971 studio album by Alice Cooper

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>Alice Cooper: Brutally Live</i> 2000 video by Alice Cooper

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.

<i>The Strange Case of Alice Cooper</i> 1979 video by Alice Cooper

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.

Elected (song) single by Alice Cooper

"Elected" is a single by rock band Alice Cooper, released as the first Hot 100 hit on their sixth studio album Billion Dollar Babies (1972). The single reached #26 during election week on the charts in the United States, #4 on the charts in the United Kingdom and #3 in Austria. It inspired one of the first MTV style story line promo videos ever made for a song.

<i>School Days: The Early Recordings</i> 1973 compilation album by Alice Cooper

School Days: The Early Recordings is a compilation album by Alice Cooper, released in 1973. It contains the band's first two albums, Pretties for You and Easy Action. The original albums were released by Straight Records, but since Warner signed the band later on, they got the rights to re-release the material.

Halo of Flies (song) Alice Cooper song

"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.

<i>Super Duper Alice Cooper</i> 2014 Canadian biographical documentary film

Super Duper Alice Cooper is a 2014 Canadian biographical documentary film about shock rock musician Alice Cooper, written and directed by Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen and Reginald Harkema.

<i>Paranormal</i> (Alice Cooper album) 2017 studio album by Alice Cooper

Paranormal is the twentieth solo album by Alice Cooper, released on July 28, 2017. It features three tracks performed by the "classic" line-up of the Alice Cooper band plus Larry Mullen Jr. from U2, Roger Glover from Deep Purple, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, Swedish songwriter and session guitarist Tommy Denander, Alice Cooper bandmate Tommy Henriksen, Steve Hunter and more.

References

  1. Alice Cooper Box Set
  2. "Hot Rats: Notes & Comments". globalia.net. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  3. 1 2 Doyle Greene (17 February 2016). Rock, Counterculture and the Avant-Garde, 1966-1970: How the Beatles, Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground Defined an Era. McFarland. p. 125. ISBN   978-1-4766-2403-7.
  4. 1 2 Love It to Death at AllMusic. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  5. Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 224. ISBN   9781843531050.
  6. Pearson, Paul (August 8, 2007). "Alice Cooper, Love It to Death". PopMatters . Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  7. Liner notes to The Life and Death of Alice Cooper box set, p. 62.
  8. Palmerston, Sean (August 10, 2011). "Alice Cooper – Old School 1964-1974". Hellbound.ca. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  9. "Pretties For You". Sickthingsuk.co.uk. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  10. "LIFE: Musician Frank Zappa (R) w. parents (L–R... - Hosted by Google". Images.google.com. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  11. "Re: Questions about Alice Master Tapes". Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  12. Alice Cooper Tour Archive
  13. "Episode 758 - Shep Gordon". WTF with Marc Maron Podcast . November 10, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  14. Bangs, Lester (July 12, 1969). "Records". Rolling Stone . San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (37): 36–37. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  15. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Pretties for You - Alice Cooper at AllMusic . Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  16. "Pretties For You LIVE". didkovsky.com. Retrieved July 6, 2016.