Alice Cooper
From the Inside


4.5
superb

Review

by DropTune USER (65 Reviews)
June 5th, 2018 | 9 replies


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The world is an asylum. We just live in it.

One of the unsung heroes of the classic rock era was From the Inside. Not as shocking or obscene as Alice Cooper’s previous works, the little known record hit the shelves during the year The Cars and Van Halen broke into the mainstream. Combined with the lack of shock value and Alice Cooper’s stint in rehab, it’s easy to see why listeners weren’t as eager. When the face of fear removes his mask, listeners are left with Vincent Furnier: a broken man whose celebrity brought substance abuse and strained relationships. Critics didn’t know what to make of the album at first. Some saw it “too self-indulgent,” others saw it as a mixed bag, but none saw From the Inside as it was; nothing more than an underappreciated masterpiece. As time rolled on and listeners had more access to music, a handful retraced their steps to one of Alice Coopers most personal albums. Nevertheless, it’s time we come to appreciate From the Inside as one of Uncle Alice’s best.

“How you gonna save me now"” roars Alice Cooper as he’s dragged into the cold oblivion of the asylum. Hugged in the vice grip of a strait-jacket and tossed in a squishy room, Alice is padlocked in a cell and left to his own devices. From the Inside shows us a different horror story. Not one of beheadings, snakes, or electric chairs. We’re introduced to the horror that is the human mind, or addiction rather. Alice Cooper removes his makeup and shows his true face. He’s vulnerable for the first time, and he’s left to the hands of doctors and nurses to fill the hollow. Each song is a chapter in the diary kept by Alice Cooper during his stay. We learn of his friends, enemies, and day-to-day life. The texture is dreamlike as Alice processes this uncharted realm. ‘Wish I Were Born In Beverly Hills’ and ‘How You Gonna Save Me Now’ adopt the grandiose closer to Cooper’s previous work. ‘Beverly Hills’ has the catchy hook and powerful vocals among the likes of Billion Dollar Babies. ‘Save Me Now’ pioneers a power ballad structure shrouded in the usual darkness of an Alice Cooper song.

Input from former Elton John members aided in giving the record a softer edge and bigger production. Choruses are more of a spectacle like in ‘Serious’ and ‘Wish I Were Born…’ The instrumentation is a lot smoother and poppier than previous installments. The atmosphere is very reminiscent due to Alice reflecting on life outside of the asylum. The dreamscape is perhaps the most impressive in songs like ‘How You Gonna Save Me Now’ and ‘The Quiet Room.’ ‘Jackknife Johnny’ and ‘Millie and Bobbie’ introduce the seedy inmates of the asylum and wear their sins on their sleeves. “Dear Johnny, your excuse was lame/All your friends sleep in boxes while you sleep in chains,” sings ‘Jackknife Johnny,’ a shell-shocked vet who lost it all. “God made love crazy so we wouldn't feel alone,” hails Millie and Billie, a tainted love so strong Donald was the price to pay. “But such torture his memory brings,” they sing, “all sliced up and sealed tight in baggies,” as a lighthearted beat plays in the background.

Part of the reason I was inspired to review From the Inside was for the records amount of unfair criticisms. Ahead of its time is a phrase I rarely use, but in the case of the record, I find it justifiable. Critics and fans didn’t know how to interpret From the Inside. It wasn’t as hard or edgy as his previous work, nor did it rely on shock value. It simply wasn’t Alice Cooper, it was Vincent Furnier. Fans and critics glossed over it for that reason. They wrote it off as “too intellectual” and patiently awaited its follow up. Alice Cooper’s writing is something understated. Although songs like ‘Eighteen’ and ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’ teased his ability, From the Inside entirely relies on it. Colorful characters, vivid imagery, and a strong narrative build the album to the standard it is. Although the music was tame for an Alice Cooper album, the lyrics were phenomenal. Dreamscapes are one of the many elements introduced in From the Inside artists seldom used. It’s hypocritical how an artist is bashed for showing complexity in an era defined by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. From the Inside is a brilliant narrative achievement for Alice Cooper. It’s one of my personal favorite albums and comics in my collection. It’s the only album to beg the question what do you see when Alice Cooper removes his makeup.

Standout Tracks
Everything.



Recent reviews by this author
William Ryan Key VirtueSlipknot .5: The Gray Chapter
System of a Down ToxicityNine Inch Nails Bad Witch
Mike Shinoda Post TraumaticSenses Fail If There Is Light, It Will Find You
user ratings (146)
Chart.
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Doctuses
June 5th 2018


1878 Comments


If I could, I would run up to this guy and just scream in his face in one long yell for 30 straight seconds.

DropTune
June 5th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I met him once at a comic con. You wouldn't be the first.

wham49
June 6th 2018


4423 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is one of the best solo works from AC, top 3 probably, I have alwys identifyied with his lyrics and thinik he is an underrated songwriter



however it is a far cry from the original AC band days, that is why 4.5 is too high. I m at a generous 3.5 becasue I love Alice and think he deserves way more love and credit for the albums the original band put out, but in reality his is prob. a 3

DropTune
June 6th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's almost ironic considering how I felt it was good *because* it wasn't involved in the Alice Cooper haze. I can see why listeners wouldn't find the appeal in From the Inside. It's asking a lot considering how its presented. It's more contemplative than anything else. It's definitely not easy listening. You have an interesting perspective, but I think the concept more than justifies its rating.

wham49
June 6th 2018


4423 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

actually I feel Nightmare is almost as contemplative, in a more fun way, it is more the music, not the concept for me, one of the strengths of alice is very dark subject in happier musical accompaniment, which usually works well, but sometimes the music is too light and "ordinary" I guess,

how do you feel about Goes to Hell

DropTune
June 7th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'll give Goes to Hell a write up sometime soon. Cooper's music flops around a bit. He works better as a pop-parody than anything else. The music in here wasn't really ordinary, it was just more contemporary. The Elton John influence takes a big stance in how the songs are orchestrated. It's not one of the albums strengths, but it's a nice juxtaposition in most cases.

Batareziz
June 7th 2018


203 Comments


Nice review, Tune, have a pos. I like Cooper, both the band and solo stuff, and this album is definitely one of the more interesting releases of his. Coop needs more love, stat.

Batareziz
June 7th 2018


203 Comments


I've seen his Hollywood Vampires show, the man definitely knows how to control and entertain the audience, despite his age. I'd love to see his Alice Cooper show.

DropTune
June 7th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

He knows the biz inside and out. He can put on a hell of a show no matter the crowd.



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