Review Summary: From 1980 - 1982, Alice Cooper recorded some of his most eclectic and stripped down music of his career. This album his best fom this period, and I love it!
Vincent Damon Furnier (aka. Alice Cooper) is a man of many styles, and as a result he has been able to successfully adapt to the constantly changing musical trends. "Alice Cooper" originally started out as a "jam band" with theatrics not associated or seen in other "jam bands" at that time; and Vincent has always critiqued and satired his society, so it should've come as no surprise when Vincent morphed his sound once more as the 1980's began. "New Wave" and "Punk" music were the new trend, and Vincent was not going to let this chance at making a statement about the present culture slip past him. AC was making "New Wave" music as early as the "Lace & Whiskey" album, so once again, this new sound should've been no surprise.
AC employed Roy Thomas Baker of Cars and Queen fame to produce this album. AC also hired Davey Johnstone (of Elton John fame), Fred Mandel (who later worked with Queen and Supertramp), and long time associate Dennis Conway; "New Wave" AC was now a done deal! "Flush the Fashion '80" introduces the shorter haired, more "military" Alice. If you think AC looked deranged in the early '70s, take a look at pictures of him from the early '80s; now that is freaky! It was also around this time that AC started swigging the juice again (he had been sober for about a year). "FTF" is a very short album, there is no song longer than 4 minutes; most of the songs are 3 minutes in length. The record was a success as it did chart in the top 50 US Billboard (#44), and had a top 40 hit with "Clones(We're All)" (#40).
The album opens with "Talk Talk", a song penned by Sean Bonniwell that was a hit for his band "Music Machine" in the mid '60s. AC does Sean proud as he updates the song but stays faithful to its sound. The next tune, "Clones(We're All)" was written by David Carron (RIP),which was inspired by the late '70s TV movie "Clones". The line, "Six is having problems adjusting to his clone status", is directly from the movie. This song solidified AC's "New Wave" style. It sounds alot like the Gary Numan song "Cars". The next tune "Pain" sounds more like "Welcome To My Nightmare" AC. "Leather Boots" is my favorite song off the album, with great lyrics like:
I saw a cop, he looked pretty shot
By some criminals, left there to rot
I took a look, no one around
I put on his boots and stomped on the ground
Stood so tall and felt so strong
I wanted to be just like him
So I could hurt somebody
LOL! AC at his best IMHO! "Aspirin Damage"; "Nuclear Infected" and "Grim Facts" are all solid, rockin' tunes with great lyrics. "Model Citizen" sounds like it could be a leftover from the "Billion Dollar Babies" album; another fantastic song with AC being the ultimate politician:
Be an Arab, be a Jew
Be a boxing kangaroo
Beat yourself all black and blue
I don't care!
"Dance Yourself To Death" is another paean to teenagers as well as a jab at hippie parents:
I get a kiss good-bye
I get all numb and high
From all the smoke left on their breath
I smile and wish them well
Then I pray like hell
They go and dance themselves to death!
The last song, "Headlines" proves AC's philosophy that there is no such thing as bad press:
Called a conference with the press
Announced my marriage plans in a wedding dress
Climb a building at six-below
On New Year's Eve without a stitch of clothes
I wanna be in the headlines
Anything to be in the headlines.
I LOVE this album! This a fantastic album with great lyrics and rockin' tunes. IMHO this album is EASILY in the Top 5 Alice Cooper records so far released. To some, this album is The Best Alice Cooper album so far released! This is straight ahead, rock-n-roll/New Wave hybrid music with Vincent's sarcsatic humour and wit brightly shining through. This is also the first album since "School's Out" without a ballad. Alice Cooper did tour for this album, and during the tour his band was introduced as the "Hostages". AC would delve further into this new persona and sound on his next album "Special Forces" (another fantastic album worth getting). Do yourself a favor and don't skip this period of the eclectic Vincent Furnier. Always remember to "Flush the Fashion" when your done!