School's Out (song)

Last updated

"School's Out"
Alice Cooper School's out 45.jpg
Cover of the 1972 US single
Single by Alice Cooper
from the album School's Out
B-side "Gutter Cat"
ReleasedApril 26, 1972 (1972-04-26)
Label Warner Bros.
Producer(s) Bob Ezrin
Alice Cooper singles chronology
"Be My Lover"
"School's Out"
Alternative cover
School's Out - Alice Cooper.jpg
Cover of the 1972 German single

"School's Out" is a song first recorded as the title track of Alice Cooper's fifth album. It was released as the album's second single on April 26, 1972. It has been regarded as the band's signature song [1] and reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Inspiration and writing

Cooper has said he was inspired to write the song when answering the question, "What's the greatest three minutes of your life?". Cooper said: "There's two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you're just getting ready to open the presents. The greed factor is right there. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you're sitting there and it's like a slow fuse burning. I said, 'If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it's going to be so big.'"

Cooper has also said it was inspired by a line from a Bowery Boys movie. On his radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper , he joked that the main riff of the song was inspired by a song by Miles Davis. [2] Cooper said that guitarist Glen Buxton created the song's opening riff.

The lyrics of "School's Out" indicate that not only is the school year ended for summer vacation, but ended forever, and that the school itself has been literally blown up. It incorporates the childhood rhyme, "No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks" into its lyrics. It also featured children contributing some of the vocals. "Innocence" in the lyric " ... and we got no innocence" is frequently changed in concert to "intelligence" and sometimes replaced with "etiquette." The song appropriately ends with a school bell sound that fades out.

Later performances saw Alice Cooper incorporate parts of the first verse of "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2", a song by Pink Floyd (also about school, and produced by Bob Ezrin) into "School's Out".

Release and reception

"School's Out" became Alice Cooper's first major hit single, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart and propelling the album to #2 on the Billboard 200 pop albums chart. It was the highest-charting single for the Alice Cooper band, and its #7 peak position was matched only by "Poison" among Cooper's solo efforts. Billboard ranked it as the No. 75 song for 1972. [3] In Canada, the single went to #3 on the RPM Top Singles Chart [4] following the album reaching #1. [5] In Britain, the song went to #1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in August 1972. It also marked the first time that Alice Cooper became regarded as more than just a theatrical novelty act.

The single version of the song is a slightly sped-up narrow stereo remix of the album version with one major difference—the "turn-off" effect used upon the school bell and sound effects at the end of the album version is not used on the single version, allowing the school bell and effects to simply fade out.

Some radio stations banned the song from their airwaves, stating that the song gave the students an impression of rebelliousness against childhood education. Teachers, parents, principals, counselors, and psychologists also shunned the song and demanded several radio stations ban the song from ever being played on the air.

"School's Out" was ranked #326 on Rolling Stone 's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. [6] In 2009 it was named the 35th best hard rock song of all time by VH1 [7] and the song appeared on the TV show American Idol in 2010. The Guardian placed it as number 3 on its list of "The 20 best glam-rock songs of all time." [8] In 2018, Ian Chapman and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have called it a "glam rock anthem." [9] [10] Nick Talevski has called it a "hard rock anthem" on his book Rock Obituaries: Knocking On Heaven's Door. [11] The Independent named the song at tenth in the list "Gold Dust: Glam rock's top 10 singles." [12]

The song has been used in various movies including Scream , Dazed and Confused , Rock 'n' Roll High School , and I Love You, Beth Cooper .

In 2004, the song was also used in a Staples television commercial for the back to school retail period in which Cooper appeared as himself. [13]


Cover versions

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band March 1976 School's Out Mighty Band 1983 School's Out 45 Grave 1984 School's Out Toyah May 13, 1985 School's Out Grave Digger 1985 Unverified School's Out Kirka 1986

  School's Out Krokus 1986 

School's Out Alien Sex Fiend 1986 School's Out Annabella 1986 School's Out Attila 1986 Unverified School's Out Bl'ast! [US] 1987 School's Out Rave Elements March 21, 1993 School's Out Reverb Motherfuckers 1993 School's Out The Last Hard Men December 1996 School's Out Hello [GB] 1996

  School's Out Soul Asylum December 8, 1998 

School's Out Block Busters 1998 School's Out The Donnas 1998 School's Out Dave Mustaine January 1999 School's Out Sevendust 1999 School's Out A Group 2000 School's Out Daphne and Celeste 2000 School's Out Donots September 30, 2002 School's Out A*Teens feat. Alice Cooper 2002 School's Out Michael Bruce September 16, 2005 School's Out Brisk 2005 School's Out Gwar August 29, 2006 School's Out Avid All Stars October 2, 2007 School's Out ESP 2007 School's Out Hellsongs August 27, 2010 School's Out Well of Souls December 21, 2010 School's Out Shawn Mars December 21, 2010

  School's Out Debauchery March 25, 2011 

School's Out Glee Cast May 14, 2012 School's Out Hellsongs with Members of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra 2012 School's Out The Kingfishers (Open Records Studio Artists) August 8, 2014 School's Out - Another Brick in the Wa… Hollywood Vampires September 11, 2015 School's Out Joel Hoakstra, Derrick LeFevre, Richard Kendrick, Curtis E. Phlush September 23, 2016 School's Out Bouchard, Dunaway & Smith June 30, 2017 School's Out Blitzkrieg April 27, 2018

  School's Out Renaud Hantson's Furious Zoo October 19, 2018 

Daphne and Celeste version

"School's Out"
Single by Daphne and Celeste
from the album We Didn't Say That!
ReleasedAugust 21, 2000 (US)
Label Phantom Sound/Visi
Daphne and Celeste singles chronology
"School's Out"
"You & I Alone"

Pop duo Daphne and Celeste released a cover of the song in 2000, although much of this cover is original, in a pop-rap style. The chorus is based on that in Alice Cooper's version, and some other elements of it have been retained as well. The single is remixed from the version released on their album We Didn't Say That! , removing a prominent synthesizer line from the chorus among other, more minor changes. The B-side, "The Camp Song", was the only non-album D&C song available until the release of their fourth single almost 15 years later. School's Out was their first and only single released in Japan.

Track listing
  1. "School's Out"
  2. "The Camp Song"
  3. "School's Out" (Gridlock Mix)
  4. "School's Out" (video)
"School's Out"
GWAR Schools Out.jpg
Single by Gwar
from the album Beyond Hell
Label DRT Entertainment
Producer(s) Devin Townsend & Cory Smoot
Gwar singles chronology
"A Soundtrack to Kill Yourself To"
"School's Out"

Gwar version

"School's Out" was also covered by the band Gwar. It was the first release from their 2006 album Beyond Hell . It was released as a digital download through services such as iTunes and eMusic, and as a promotional CD sent to radio stations.

Anabella version

Track 6 (B side LP), in Anabella´s 1986 "Fever" album.

Chart performance

Related Research Articles

Poison (American band) American glam metal band

Poison is an American heavy metal/glam metal band which achieved commercial success in the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s and has sold 15 million records in the United States and over 50 million albums worldwide. The band has charted ten singles in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, including six Top 10 singles and the Hot 100 number-one, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn". The band's breakthrough debut album, the multi-platinum Look What the Cat Dragged In, was released in 1986, followed by Open Up and Say... Ahh!, which was certified 5× platinum in the US. Their third consecutive multi-platinum and best selling album was Flesh & Blood. The most successful incarnation of the band consists of founding members lead singer and rhythm guitarist Bret Michaels, drummer Rikki Rockett, bassist and pianist Bobby Dall and longtime lead guitarist and backing vocalist C.C. DeVille. In the 1990s following the release of the band's first live album, Swallow This Live, the band experienced some line up changes and the fall of pop metal with the grunge movement. But the band's fourth studio album, Native Tongue, still achieved Gold status and the band's first compilation album, Poison's Greatest Hits: 1986–1996, went double platinum.

<i>Billion Dollar Babies</i> 1973 studio album by Alice Cooper

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.

Walk This Way 1975 single by Aerosmith

"Walk This Way" is a song by the American hard rock band Aerosmith. Written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, the song was originally released as the second single from the album Toys in the Attic (1975). It peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1977, part of a string of successful hit singles for the band in the 1970s. In addition to being one of the songs that helped break Aerosmith into the mainstream in the 1970s, it also helped revitalize their career in the 1980s when it was covered by hip hop group Run-D.M.C. on their 1986 album Raising Hell. This cover was a touchstone for the new musical subgenre of rap rock, or the melding of rock and hip hop. It became an international hit and won both groups a Soul Train Music Award for Best Rap Single in 1987 Soul Train Music Awards.

Hang On Sloopy 1965 single by the McCoys

"Hang On Sloopy" is a 1964 song by Wes Farrell and Bert Berns, originally titled "My Girl Sloopy". It was first recorded and made a hit by R&B vocal group the Vibrations. When the rock band the McCoys covered it in 1965, the song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the UK Singles Chart.

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

Love It to Death is the third studio album by American rock group Alice Cooper, released in March 1971. It was the band's first commercially successful album and the first album that consolidated the band's 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.

<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.

<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>Psycho Circus</i> 1998 studio album by Kiss

Psycho Circus is the eighteenth studio album by American rock band Kiss and the first to involve all four original members since 1979's Dynasty. Some pressings featured a lenticular cover that alternates between a black Kiss logo and the album title with pictures of a clown and the band members, while the Japan initial first pressing featured a pop-up cover which had three foam spring-loaded panels of a clown face and two others with band members faces that popped out when the doors were opened. "You Wanted the Best" is the only Kiss song in which lead vocals are shared by the entire lineup.

Crocodile Rock 1972 single by Elton John

"Crocodile Rock" is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and recorded in summer 1972 at the Château d'Hérouville studio in France, where John and his team had previously recorded the Honky Château album. It was released on 27 October 1972 in the UK and 20 November 1972 in the U.S., as a pre-release single from his forthcoming 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player, and became his first U.S. number-one single, reaching the top spot on 3 February 1973, and staying there for three weeks. In the U.S., it was certified Gold on 5 February 1973 and Platinum on 13 September 1995 by the RIAA.

Armageddon It 1987 song by Def Leppard

"Armageddon It" is a song by the English pop-metal band Def Leppard from their 1987 album Hysteria. It was released as a single in 1988 and went to No. 3 in the United States, becoming their fourth top-ten hit. It also reached the top 10 in Canada and New Zealand and the top 20 in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

You Give Love a Bad Name Song by Bon Jovi

"You Give Love a Bad Name" is a song by American glam metal band Bon Jovi, released as the first single from their 1986 album Slippery When Wet. Written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child about a woman who has jilted her lover, the song reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on November 29, 1986 and became the band's first number one hit. In 2007, the song reentered the charts at No. 29 after Blake Lewis performed it on American Idol. In 2009 it was named the 20th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. Despite the lyrics of the chorus, the song should not be confused with "Shot Through the Heart", an unrelated song from Bon Jovi's 1984 self-titled debut album.

Get It On (T. Rex song) 1971 single by T.Rex

"Get It On" is a song by the English glam rock group T. Rex, featured on their 1971 album Electric Warrior. Written by frontman Marc Bolan, "Get It On" was the second chart-topper for T. Rex on the UK Singles Chart. In the United States, it was retitled "Bang a Gong " to avoid confusion with a song of the same name by the group Chase.

Mama Weer All Crazee Now 1972 single by Slade

"Mama Weer All Crazee Now" is a song by the British rock band Slade, released in 1972 as the lead single from their third studio album Slayed?. It was written by lead vocalist Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea, and produced by Chas Chandler. It reached No. 1 in the UK, giving the band their third number one single, and remained in the charts for ten weeks. In the United States, the song reached No. 76.

Photograph (Def Leppard song) 1983 single by Def Leppard

"Photograph" is a song performed by English rock band Def Leppard and produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. It is the lead single from the band's third studio album, Pyromania (1983). Their lead vocalist Joe Elliott has described the song as generally about "something you can't ever get your hands on". When released as a single it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart, where it stayed for six weeks, and No. 12 on the Pop Singles chart. In 2009 it was named the 13th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. It was also listed as the No. 17 greatest song of the past 25 years by VH1.

"Superstar" is a 1969 song written by Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell with a songwriting credit also given to Delaney Bramlett that has been a hit for many artists in different genres and interpretations in the years since; the best-known versions are by the Carpenters in 1971, and by Luther Vandross in 1983.

Im Eighteen 1970 single by Alice Cooper

"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).

Nothin but a Good Time 1988 single by Poison

"Nothin' but a Good Time" is the first single from the glam metal band Poison's second studio album Open Up and Say... Ahh! The B-sides are "Livin' For the Minute" and "Look But You Can't Touch".

Elected (song)

"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.

No More Mr. Nice Guy (song)

"No More Mr. Nice Guy" is a song by American rock band Alice Cooper, taken from the 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies. The single reached No. 25 on the US charts and No. 10 on the UK charts, and helped Billion Dollar Babies to reach No. 1 in both the UK and the US. The song was written by Michael Bruce and Alice Cooper.

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)

"How Sweet It Is " is a song recorded by American soul singer Marvin Gaye from his fifth studio album, How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You (1965). It was written in 1964 by the Motown songwriting team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, and produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier. The song title was inspired by one of the actor and comedian Jackie Gleason's signature phrases, "How Sweet It Is!"


  1. ""School's Out" Forever: The Secret History Of Alice Cooper's Classic". Deadspin. May 21, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  2. Originally stated May 4, 2008; clarified as just a joke on June 3, 2008.
  3. Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
  4. 1 2 "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  5. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  6. "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone . April 7, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  7. " music". Archived from the original on August 27, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  8. Savage, Jon (February 1, 2013). "The 20 best glam-rock songs of all time". The Guardian . Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  9. Chapman, Ian (2018). Experiencing Alice Cooper: A Listener's Companion. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 26. ISBN   9781442257719.
  10. Mervis, Scott (October 27, 2018). "Alice Cooper is the perfect master of ceremonies for WDVE Halloween party at Stage AE". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  11. Talevski, Nick (2010). Rock Obituaries: Knocking On Heaven's Door. Omnibus Press. p. 64. ISBN   978-0-85712-117-2.
  12. Pepinster, Catherine (August 16, 1998). "Gold Dust: Glam rock's top 10 singles". The Independent . Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  13. "Staples Unveils Back-to-School Commercial Starring Alice Cooper; 'School's Out' - Or Is It - For Veteran Rocker in New Ad Campaign". Business Wire. July 8, 2004. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012.
  14. "Neal Smith Rocks". April 29, 2020. Archived from the original on May 30, 2020. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  15. ""Go-Set Singles Chart Page with "School's Out" Peak Position"" Retrieved on November 5, 2009.
  16. ""Austrian Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Retrieved on August 10, 2009."
  17. ""German Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Archived September 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  18. ""Irish Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  19. ""Norwegian Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  20. ""Dutch Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  21. Flavour of New Zealand, 9 October 1972
  22. Rice, Jo; Tim Rice; Paul Gambaccini; Mike Read (1979). The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (2nd ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 56. ISBN   0-900424-99-0.
  23. "Alice Cooper - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles" Allmusic . Retrieved on August 10, 2009."
  24. Cash Box Top 100 Singles, August 19, 1972_
  25. "Top 100 Hits of 1972/Top 100 Songs of 1972". Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  26. "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1972".