Alice Cooper
Hey Stoopid


4.5
superb

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
August 4th, 2009 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hey Stoopid, go get this album!

The 80’s had been a bad time for Alice Cooper. Nondescript albums and failed attempts at flirting with other musical tendencies had left the Shock King dangerously close to losing most of the fanbase he had garnered in the 70s. Even the perfectly decent albums, like 1985’s Constrictor, failed to convince or impress the fans, who longed for the halcyon days of Killer. A comeback of sorts was made with 1988’s Trash, an album that showed Alice revitalized and updated for the new decade, and flirting with the “in” sounds of the late 80’s, namely glam rock. In view of that album’s acceptance and success, the exact same template was used for Trash’s follow-up, 1990’s Hey Stoopid. The results were, again, above average, even if this album is not as highly regarded as its predecessor.

For Hey Stoopid, Alice takes his cues from what was still popular at the time: the vibrant, gushy, shiny hard rock of bands like Poison, Warrant or Firehouse. It comes as no surprise, then, that Burning Our Beds comes across as something Guns’n’Roses may have written at the time, or that the overall sound relies heavily on the huge crunchy riffs, sweeping keyboards and shouty backing vocals of glam rock, while endowing them with an extra dosage of class.

Experienced artist and master songwriter that he is, Alice surrounds himself with the cream of the hard rock crop this time around. His “regular” band is comprised of guitarist Stef Burns, bassist Hugh McDonald, drummer Mickey Curry and keyboardists Robert Bailey and John Webster. However, the album is absolutely littered with guest appearances. Shredding guitarists Steve Vai, Vinnie Moore and Joe Satriani each feature on two songs, and Feed My Frankenstein is even graced with a Vai/Satriani tandem, resulting in a whopping solo; additionally, names like Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx, Slash and even the Madman himself, Ozzy Osbourne, put in appearances, making this a hard-rock all-star reunion of sorts.

As such, it’s surprising to acknowledge that the best tracks on this album are those where Alice and the gang are left to themselves. Of the album’s four clearest standouts, only two feature any kind of famous guest. The title track brings in Slash on the solo and Ozzy Osbourne on the bridge’s distinctive backing vocals, as well as pitting Joe Satriani up alongside Stef Burns; Hurricane Years sees Vinnie Moore lend a hand as well. However, Love Is a Loaded Gun and Might As Well Be On Mars, arguably the two best tracks, see the band fend for themselves without any help from big-name artists. The results are no less than stellar, making these two ballads the standouts of the album.

This brings us to Master Alice’s specialty: the ballads. As shocking as he is, Vincent Fournier has always known how to melt a few hearts with his slow tracks, and this album is no exception. No less than four tracks are ballads, and they all work well, to a greater or lesser extent. Fournier and his cronies clearly know when and how to use a string section or keyboards on a track, while at the same time keeping it classy and sophisticated. While this is true of the more rocking tracks as well, it is on the ballads that it becomes more noticeable.

But Alice and co. don’t just shine on the slower tempos; in fact, the standard of songwriting is generally very high on this album. Tracks such as Hurricane Years, Snakebite and Wind-Up Toy are all above-average slabs of eighties hard rock, and even the songs where the verse sections are not that interesting are usually redeemed by a catchy chorus (Dangerous Tonight) or an awesome solo (Feed My Frankenstein). All in all, this is a near-perfect album in both the execution and the songwriting itself.

Of course, there are exceptions. Little By Little and Dirty Dreams are rather poor when compared to the rest of the songs, and for some reason I could never get behind Feed My Frankenstein, even if it does have the best solo on the album and a funky robotic voice. I seem to be the exception, however, since this track has featured on the legendary Wayne’s World, as well as enduring on Alice’s live setlist to this day. Me, I’m much more partial to the “hey hey hey hey’s” and thumping drums of the title track, the huge chorus of Hurricane Years, the tongue-in-cheek atmosphere of Wind-Up Toy the great solo of Love Is a Loaded Gun or the sweeping, moving strings of Might As Well Be On Mars. But it may just be me…

Another high point of this album are the lyrics. This has long been another of Alice’s strong points, and here he is as clever as ever. You need not look further than Love is a Loaded Gun, a song about the desperate measures taken by a prostitute’s lover, that is absolutely tongue-in-cheek, yet also a little moving. Wind-Up Toy is the usual misfit tale, a la Teenage Frankenstein, while tracks like Hey Stoopid and Hurricane Years take a more reflexive point of view, perhaps motivated by Alice’s own struggles with alcohol. And then, of course, there are the heartbroken songs (Die For You, Burning Our Beds, Might As Well Be On Mars), as well as the innuendo-laden moments of sexual bravado (Snakebite, Feed My Frankenstein, Dangerous Tonight), always wrapped in Alice’s dearly cherished horror ambiance. All in all, another notch in this album’s already worn-out belt.

In summation, and despite the occasional weaker moment, Hey Stoopid is heavily recommended to not only Alice fans, but hard rockers in general. This strong set of songs definitely deserves to be remembered for more than its clownish, cartoonish artwork and a stint on a one-time blockbuster comedy. So go out, get it, or stay home and download it. Just don’t let it die. It doesn’t deserve to.

Recommended Tracks
Hey Stoopid
Love Is a Loaded Gun
Might as Well Be On Mars
Hurricane Years
Wind-Up Toy



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Comments:Add a Comment 
shindip
August 4th 2009


3536 Comments


Ive only heard the singles here, and they were cheesy and awesome

Nagrarok
August 4th 2009


8245 Comments


I've only heard Along Came A Spider by Cooper, which had some great cheese on it.

Willie
Moderator
August 4th 2009


15970 Comments


Nice review.

In view of that album’s acceptance and success, the exact same template was used for Trash’s follow-up, 1990’s Hey Stoopid. The results were, again, above average, even if this album is not as highly regarded as its predecessor.
That's because Trash still kind of had an air of darkness about it, despite the 80s vibe. This album, on the other hand, was complete 80s party-style crap.

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shindip
August 4th 2009


3536 Comments


Nagarok, get Billion Dollar Babies. It is his best album and amazing.

Douchebag
August 4th 2009


3624 Comments


FEED MY FRANKENSTEIN! MEET MY LIBIDO, HIS A PSYCHO! HUNGRY FOR LOVE AND IT'S FEEDING TIME!

I should check this album out, i've only heard welcome to my nightmare, go to hell, along came a spider and a live plus greatest hits.

great review.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2009


20857 Comments


Good review Pedro. You make a pretty good case for your high rating, even if I am surprised you feel this is a 4.5. I still look back on quite a few songs off 'Trash' pretty fondly.

ConorMichaelJoseph
August 9th 2009


1870 Comments


Personally I think Welcome to My nightmare was Alice's finest moment, but that's just me. Great review, I like this album quite a bit.

Asiatic667
August 9th 2009


4648 Comments


hey schools out for summer guys

ConorMichaelJoseph
August 9th 2009


1870 Comments


School's out for me forever

Asiatic667
August 9th 2009


4648 Comments


schools been blown to pieces

ReturnToRock
October 6th 2009


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

SCHOOL'S. OUT. COM. PLETELYYYYYYYYY. *drum roll, end-of-song havoc*

TheNotrap
August 5th 2011


8067 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Really like this Alice. Hey Stoopid is filled with good songs.
My favourites are the title track, Love's a Loaded Gun, Might as Well Be on Mars, Little by Little, Wind-Up Toy and specially Dangerous Tonight.

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JayAreSeven
August 29th 2011


1 Comments


You got all three dates wrong, Constrictor was released in 87, Trash in 89 and the album of your review Hey Stoopid in 1991.

Softmusicnothere
March 8th 2012


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This one is far superior to Trash. It contains more of Alice's dark sense of humor from the 70's while definitely something that would please 80's-early 90's era fans. Might As Well Be On Mars was a great song that he ought to bring back live.

KjSwantko
March 4th 2014


9277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED MYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY



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