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Alice Cooper

Originally, there was a band called Alice Cooper led by a singer named Vincent Damon Furnier. Under his direction, Alice Cooper pioneeredagrandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville, heavymetal,and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood, and huge boa constrictors,allcoordinated by the heavily made-up Furnier. By that time, Furnier had adopted the name for his androgynous on-stage personality. Whilethevisuals were extremely important to the group's i ...read more

Originally, there was a band called Alice Cooper led by a singer named Vincent Damon Furnier. Under his direction, Alice Cooper pioneeredagrandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville, heavymetal,and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood, and huge boa constrictors,allcoordinated by the heavily made-up Furnier. By that time, Furnier had adopted the name for his androgynous on-stage personality. Whilethevisuals were extremely important to the group's impact, the band's music was nearly as distinctive. Driven by raw, simple riffs andmelodiesthat derived from '60s guitar pop as well as show tunes, it was rock & roll at its most basic and catchy, even when the bandventured intopsychedelia and art rock. After the original group broke up and Furnier began a solo career as Alice Cooper, his actual musiclost most of itstheatrical flourishes, becoming straightforward heavy metal, yet his stage show retained all of the trademark props that madehim the king ofshock rock.

Furnier formed his first group, the Earwigs, as an Arizona teenager in the early '60s. Changing the band's name to the Spiders in 1965,thegroup was eventually called the Nazz (not to be confused with Todd Rundgren's band of the same name). The Spiders and the Nazzbothreleased local singles that were moderately popular. In 1968, after discovering there was another band with the same name, thegroupchanged its name to Alice Cooper. According to band legend, the name came to Furnier during a Ouija board session, where he was toldhewas the reincarnation of a 17th century witch of the same name. Comprised of vocalist Furnier -- who would soon begin calling himselfAliceCooper -- guitarist Mike Bruce, guitarist Glen Buxton, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith, the group moved to Californiain1968. There, the group met Shep Gordon, who became their manager, and Frank Zappa, who signed Alice Cooper to his StraightRecordsimprint.

Alice Cooper released their first album, Pretties for You, in 1969. Easy Action followed early in 1970, yet it failed to chart. Thegroup'sreputation in Los Angeles was slowly shrinking, so the band moved to Furnier's hometown of Detroit. For the next year, the grouprefinedtheir bizarre stage show. Late in 1970, the group's contract was transferred to Straight's distributor Warner Bros., and they beganrecordingtheir third album with producer Bob Ezrin. With Ezrin's assistance, Alice Cooper developed their classic heavy metal crunch on1971's LoveIt to Death, which featured the number 21 hit single "Eighteen"; the album peaked at number 35 and went gold. The successenabled thegroup to develop a more impressive, elaborate live show, which made them highly popular concert attractions across the U.S. andeventuallythe U.K. Killer, released late in 1971, was another gold album.

Released in the summer of 1972, School's Out was Alice Cooper's breakthrough record, peaking at number two and selling over amillioncopies. The title song became a Top Ten hit in the U.S. and a number one single in the U.K. Billion Dollar Babies, released thefollowing year,was the group's biggest hit, reaching number one in both America and Britain; the album's first single, "No More Mr. NiceGuy," became aTop Ten hit in Britain, peaking at number 25 in the U.S. Muscle of Love appeared late in 1973, yet it failed to capitalize on thesuccess ofBillion Dollar Babies. After Muscle of Love, Furnier and the rest of Alice Cooper parted ways to pursue other projects. Havingofficiallychanged his name to Alice Cooper, Furnier embarked on a similarly theatrical solo career; the rest of the band released oneunsuccessfulalbum under the name Billion Dollar Babies, while Mike Bruce and Neal Smith both recorded solo albums that were never issued.In the fall of1974, a compilation of Alice Cooper's five Warner albums, entitled Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits, became a Top Ten hit.

For his first solo album, Cooper hired Lou Reed's backing band from Rock 'N' Roll Animal -- guitarists Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter,bassistPrakash John, keyboardist Joseph Chrowski, and drummer Penti Glan -- as his supporting group. Welcome 2 My Nightmare, AliceCooper's firstsolo album, was released in the spring of 1975. The record wasn't a great departure from his previous work, and it became aTop Ten hit inAmerica, launching the hit acoustic ballad "Only Women Bleed"; its success put an end to any idea of reconvening AliceCooper the band. Itsfollow-up, 1976's Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, was another hit, going gold in the U.S. After Alice Cooper Goes to Hell,Cooper's career began toslip, partially due to changing trends and partially due to his alcoholism. Cooper entered rehabilitation in 1978,writing an album about histreatment called From the Inside (1978) with Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist. During the early '80s, Coopercontinued to release albumsand tour, yet he was no longer as popular as he was during his early-'70s heyday.

Cooper made a successful comeback in the late '80s, sparked by his appearances in horror films and a series of pop-metal bands thatpaidmusical homage to his classic early records and concerts. Constrictor, released in 1986, began his comeback, but it was 1989's Trashthatreturned Cooper to the spotlight. Produced by the proven hitmaker Desmond Child, Trash featured guest appearances by Jon BonJovi,Richie Sambora, and most of Aerosmith; the record became a Top Ten hit in Britain and peaked at number 20 in the U.S., goingplatinum."Poison," a midtempo rocker featured on the album, became Cooper's first Top Ten single since 1977. After the release of Trash,hecontinued to star in the occasional film, tour, and record, although he wasn't able to retain the audience recaptured with Trash. Still,1991'sHey Stoopid and 1994's The Last Temptation were generally solid, professional efforts that helped Cooper settle into a comfortablecultstatus without damaging the critical goodwill surrounding his '70s output. After a live album, 1997's Fistful of Alice, Cooper returned onthesmaller Spitfire label in 2000 with Brutal Planet and Dragontown a year later. The Eyes of Alice Cooper appeared in 2003 and foundAliceand company playing a more stripped-down brand of near-garage rock. Dirty Diamonds from 2005 was nearly as raw and hit thestreetsaround the same time Alice premiered his syndicated radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper. Three years later he returned with AlongCame aSpider, a concept album that told the story of a spider-obsessed serial killer. In 2010, he released the live album Theatre of Death,alongwith a download-only EP of redone Cooper classics titled Alice Does Alice. 2011's Welcome 2 My Nightmare, a sequel to his1975,conceptual classic of the same name (minus the 2), was recorded with longtime co-conspirator Bob Ezrin, and featured 14 brand newcutsthat spanned multiple genres and relied on the talents of a host of previous members of the Alice Cooper band (including Steve Hunter),aswell as a guest spot from pop superstar KeSha. « hide

Similar Bands: Kiss, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Kane Roberts, Hollywood Vampires

LPs
Welcome 2 My Nightmare
2011

3
136 Votes
Along Came a Spider
2008

3.4
175 Votes
Dirty Diamonds
2005

3.5
130 Votes
The Eyes Of Alice Cooper
2003

3.3
112 Votes
Dragontown
2001

3.7
133 Votes
Brutal Planet
2000

3.9
148 Votes
The Last Temptation
1994

3.9
141 Votes
Hey Stoopid
1991

3.8
203 Votes
Trash
1989

3.6
256 Votes
Raise Your Fist and Yell
1987

3.5
134 Votes
Constrictor
1986

3.2
124 Votes
DaDa
1983

3.5
101 Votes
Zipper Catches Skin
1982

2.5
93 Votes
Special Forces
1981

3.2
88 Votes
Flush The Fashion
1980

3.3
95 Votes
From the Inside
1978

3.8
113 Votes
Lace and Whiskey
1977

3
94 Votes
Alice Cooper Goes to Hell
1976

3.6
153 Votes
Welcome to my Nightmare
1975

4.3
327 Votes
Muscle Of Love
1973

3.4
114 Votes
Billion Dollar Babies
1973

4.2
345 Votes
School's Out
1972

3.8
278 Votes
Killer
1971

4.2
300 Votes
Love It To Death
1971

4.2
288 Votes
Easy Action
1970

3.2
111 Votes
Pretties For You
1969

3
113 Votes
Live Albums
No More Mr. Nice Guy Live!
01/01/2012

4.1
7 Votes
Theatre Of Death: Live At Hammersmith 2009
2010

4.2
21 Votes
Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper (DVD)
2005

4.3
31 Votes
Brutally Live DVD
2000

4.5
26 Votes
A Fistful of Alice
1997

4
31 Votes
Trashes The World (DVD)
1990

4.7
3 Votes
The Nightmare Returns Live DVD
1986

4.4
21 Votes
The Alice Cooper Show
1977

3.3
42 Votes
Nobody likes... Alice - Alice Cooper Live


3.4
8 Votes
Compilations
Spark in the Dark: the best of Alice Cooper
2009

4
15 Votes
The Beast of Alice Cooper
2006

4
9 Votes
The Best of Alice Cooper: Mascara & Monsters
2001

3.9
39 Votes
The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper
1999

4.7
33 Votes
Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits
1973

4.1
82 Votes

Contributors: hooligan77, ladyevil, snakebite1480, AleksiS, TheSmashBro, rockandmetaljunkie, TheRamblingElf, AnotherBrick, longtee35, jamesheritage, Mikesn, LifeInABox, Alex101, jhed13, sunsinger, Voivod, RunOfTheMill, KILL, rockandmetaljunkie, AleksiS, Lordifani, Willie,

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