Alice Cooper
Easy Action


3.0
good

Review

by LepreCon USER (14 Reviews)
August 29th, 2009 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sophomore effort from the Alice Cooper band gives us much the same as their debut but also contains hints of what was to come

LepreCon Pesents: Rock Legends
Legend In Focus: Vincent Furnier- ALICE COOPER
Part Two: Can't Keep A Good Freak Down...


It was one year on from their poorly received debut and yet the Alice Cooper band had no intentions of quitting. Still signed to the legendary satirical rock master Frank Zappa’s Straight label, Vince Furnier- who would later adopt the Alice Cooper moniker for himself- and the rest of the band decided to stick to their (hit and miss) guns and gave us another obscure record much in the same vein as Pretties For You from a year earlier.

The Easy Action Lineup Was:

Vincent Damon Furnier- lead vocals
Glen Buxton- lead guitar
Michael Bruce- rhythm guitar and keyboards
Dennis Dunaway- bass guitar
Neal Smith- drums
and featuring
David Briggs- piano

Being the dawn of a new decade, something had to change. While Pretties For You was critically panned and a commercial flop, dabbling in 60’s hippy, trippy psychedelia with influences from blues, progressive rock and the British pop invasion, and indeed Easy Action is comparable to its predecessor with respect to sound, the band began to add more hard rock influences into their playing and songwriting. It can be argued that Easy Action was the album that laid the foundation for the rise of one of the most controversial and spectacular rock n’ roll bands of the 70’s, as well as one of the most recognised and acknowledged rock legends of all time. If not, the record was at least the first step in the evolution of the Alice Cooper band.

There is evidence of change on the opening track, Mr & Misdemeanour, with Vince ditching his clean, poppy vocal style occasionally, in favour of a more familiar Cooper snarl. Even the lyrical matter begins to take a darker turn, often being more negative than the ambiguous but generally light subject matter found on their debut. Although not quite up there with the serial killing themes of later Cooper albums, they are all the same different to what people would have been accustomed to back in the day, Refrigerator Heaven being about a cancer-sufferer being cryogenically frozen until he can be cured of his crippling ailment, for example.

Like the debut, Easy Action is laden with short, upbeat hook laden tunes between the longer tracks, with songs such as Shoe Salesmen showing a clear Beatles influence and the Bowie-esque Laughing At Me. However, upon hearing the awesome Return of The Spiders, the listener detects the first hint of the hard rocking band that Alice Cooper was destined to become. The loud, buzzing guitars that augment this pure rock n’ roll tune gives a clear sign of their heavier rock influences, something that Pretties For You was almost devoid of completely. Indeed, Easy Action is a more conventional rock album than the band’s debut in the respect that the record contains the ballad Beautiful Flyaway, something else that Pretties For You lacked.

Of course, as I have mentioned, the 60’s sound is still very much present, most notably on the epic 7- and a half-minute closer, Lay down and Die, Goodbye, which could have very easily been written by Frank Zappa himself at this time (remember, the band was still signed to his label). It is a mostly instrumental, chaotic blend of keyboard-imbued psychedelia and guitar-infused hard rock that is the least accessible track on the record which takes some getting used to and, indeed quite a bit of it is unnecessary, somewhat marring the closure of what has been another solid early Alice Cooper album. That said, there are a few throwaway tracks that the album could have also done without, one such song being the bland Still No Air, which has no charm when compared with much of the rest of the album.

The production, while an improvement upon Pretties For You’s scratchy sound, is quite dry. This is believed to be the result of the dislike that producer David Briggs had for the band’s musical direction. Ironically Briggs has a small feature in the album, playing the piano in Shoe Salesman.

All in all, Easy Action is superior to Pretties For You but was still a critical and commercial failure. However, unlike Pretties For You, Easy Action gave the listener a taste of the future, massive hard rocking sound that was to be Alice Cooper on later releases, and thus makes this a slightly under-appreciated gem in the Alice Cooper back catalogue. Not exactly essential, but an entertaining listen nonetheless.

The Easy Action Lineup Was:

Vincent Damon Furnier- lead vocals
Glen Buxton- lead guitar
Michael Bruce- rhythm guitar and keyboards
Dennis Dunaway- bass guitar
Neal Smith- drums
and featuring
David Briggs- piano

To Be Continued In Part Three: Love It To Death...



Recent reviews by this author
Mike Oldfield Tubular BellsHozier Hozier
Tracy Chapman Tracy ChapmanElf Carolina County Ball
Rory Gallagher Irish Tour '74Elf Elf
user ratings (148)
Chart.
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
LepreCon
August 29th 2009


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Second review of the Alice Cooper discography. I have a few more written to be posted over the next week, but other commitments will limit my activity. Also I hope to break the discography up with different bands to keep me sane.

LepreCon
August 29th 2009


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sooo... I take it I'm the only fan of Alice Cooper here

Greggers
August 29th 2009


2375 Comments


Pretty much, though I've never really listened to much of him/them

Good review btw

LepreCon
August 29th 2009


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thank you. Well there are a few AC fans here that I know of, they just don't seem to be around right now.

shindip
August 30th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I am here, couldnt log in yesterday. Review is great, even though I still have to hear this.

LepreCon
August 30th 2009


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks Shindip

shindip
August 30th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

To honor your reviews of this unknown artist, im thinking of doing a Tom Waits discography review.

Douchebag
August 31st 2009


3626 Comments


WOO! I couldn't log in yesturday, great review I probably will never hear these old records, but I was playing goes to hell on vinyl the other day and it was really fun.

LepreCon
August 31st 2009


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@Shindip: hehe, cool, Tom Waits ftw



Thanks Alligator, Goes To Hell is an awesome album, will probably get a 4 review when I come to it. Commitments are slowing me down a little bit for this week so it may only be two reviews per week until I settle into my new place.

Boognish
August 31st 2009


1003 Comments


kind of blew

LepreCon
September 1st 2009


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The album or the review?

shindip
September 2nd 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nah, fuckit ill do Tom Waits later.

Nagrarok
October 3rd 2009


8588 Comments


I haven't heard much Cooper, only his latest album and some famous songs (School's Out, etc.). This is a great review, I like your writing style. You should write more.

blinkgreyhope
October 3rd 2009


16 Comments


alice cooper fucking blows. btw im going to be posting a review on the new afi album soon so everyone watch out.

Nagrarok
October 3rd 2009


8588 Comments


btw im going to be posting a review on the new afi album soon so everyone watch out.


Comment is completely irrelevant.

blinkgreyhope
October 3rd 2009


16 Comments


its incredibly relevant actually.

Nagrarok
October 3rd 2009


8588 Comments


Explain then.

blinkgreyhope
October 3rd 2009


16 Comments


because when i write this review i really think it's in everyone's interest on sputnik to read it in my oqn humble opinion. pretty sure i have the right to just say as a side note you know "hey everyone check out my upcoming review its pretty good."

Nagrarok
October 3rd 2009


8588 Comments


I meant it had nothing to do with this thread, but sure, you can post anything you want.

LepreCon
October 4th 2009


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like your writing style. You should write more.


Thanks, I will have a few more posted soon but things have been hectic in the past few weeks, what with returning to college and moving into my new place, so I haven't had a lot of time to listen to more Cooper :'/ But they're coming, don't worry! And also, lol @ blinkgreyhope





You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy