Although the music of Alice Cooper has been labelled no less than extensively, the music and influences themselves have ranged far beyond any destitute categories or slander that were only inevitable from the variety of jazz, rock and blues insights, morbid clothing and accused lurid song-titles such as Dead Babies
At the time School's Out
was produced, the infamous and influential band known as Alice Cooper were denounced for nearly any problem that the ministers and mothers could relate to a band of youthful boys who were sick of the 60's love caprice, and took it upon themselves to form their own notion.
They had recently released Killer
and opened up to new fans, even internationally. It now seemed that what was known as an over-rated song from a deadpan album would be the next step. At least it seemed through common observation.
No one should be unfamiliar with the title track. The riff is well-known and represents the infamous guitar styling of Alice Cooper, bluesy, rocky and also quite jazzy. In terms of general musicianship, it seems almost deprived in order to create this instant hit, this set-list encore, this overemphasised studio work"... I've always felt it was a song that worked on a number of levels, if not a little overblown in terms of what they have also released. Yet the sensationalism shouldn't have ruined a more than favourable song.
Then we jump into Luney Tune
an the jazz influences become more apprehensible. Though the music is cheery, you can't escape the loathsome nature behind a drug addict turned criminal who steals a razor and ends his misery.
begins with a bass riff and the instruments enter all at once to the repetitive tune until the interlude, comprising of nothing but an organ and finger snapping lead you into the final verse in which the aforementioned Jets
takes the previous track to it's destination and plays a fight scene in the background from both The Jets and the cats howling at one another with a furious bass-line.
The bass also starts Blue Turk
with nice lead work, jazzy instrumentals and well-written lyrics, sung masterfully. Then the solo; the guitars and horns maintain the jazz vibe. As the song ends, there are mixed feelings of a song that's not as bad as I feared, but perhaps not as good I hoped, worth a listen at least.
A lead guitar line begins this with some light drumming. It goes on with a piano part and spaced lyrics, with a fast and catchy chorus until the guitar starts screaming for another few lines. The lyrics are just as strange as the music, and the lyrics are
The follow-up track Public Animal #9
is infectious and besides the intro and solo, the instrumentals are fairly simple. There's a great deal of irony expressed in the lyrics as the narrator is a self-proclaimed hooligan in the field of particularly petty crimes. Compared to a great deal of music by Alice Cooper, this one track is particularly joyful and almost stinted.
An acoustic riff and muffled vocals begin one of the best tracks on School's Out
. It says goodbye to the school and their sad feelings that accompany the departure and everyone can associate with, even if it isn't embraced as such. It might be worth listening to the album that helped define the term "teen anthem."
is the final track, an instrumental that at first sounds oddly like those backing tracks preset in keyboards. It's a bit like techno meets jazz and at the end; it turns into a mid 70's detective theme, then "pow!" it's over. Along with Gutter Cats…
, this is a satirical track about the "West Side Story" stereotypes of troubled youth.
Either way you look at it, it's a clever and engaging concept album, and enough to reach the Top 10 smash in June, 1972. Irreverent and outrageous as ever, yet with a theatrical flair. For an album like that to stand the test of time for over three decades would be naïve.
: School's Out
, Luney Tune
, Alma Mater