From the Vault...


Alice Cooper

© Warner Bros. Records
Year of Release: 1983

track listing
  • DaDa
  • Enough's Enough
  • Former Lee Warmer
  • No Man's Land
  • Dyslexia
  • Scarlet And Sheba
  • I Love America
  • Fresh Blood
  • Pass The Gun Around

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    Alice Cooper Website
    Previous Review: #787
    Various Artists--Battle Of The Bands
    Next Review: #789
    Talking Heads--Remain In Light
    Alice Cooper

    Throughout his early career, Alice Cooper had been known as a unique stage performer, with his bizarre shock-rock performances, and unusual makeup (before Kiss came along). His band was exceptional, yet in 1975, he broke away from his band, and became a more mainstream performer, and was somewhat accepted by the entertainent industry. From 1980 to 1983, he made a complete 180, by experimenting in punk music, and needless to say, this period was not truly his finest moment. Returning back to his shock-rock ways in 1986, he would later return to his glory by 1989, by being rediscovered by a new generation of hard-rock fans.

    This week, we look back at DaDa from 1983, from his bleak and not-so-famous period of his career.

    The title track is truly amazing. It's an eerie instrumental, with very little vocals, actually they are sound effects, giving this song a more eerie effect, and is truly a great track for any horror soundtrack.

    "Enough's Enough" has the mainstream meets Pop Punk sound for Alice, where he was being compared to a somewhat Las Vegas showman on our review Alice Cooper Goes To Hell. Not exactly matching the exceptional title track's music format, even though Cooper was still in his "punk period" of his career, with previous albums Flush The Fashion, Special Forces, and Zipper Catches Skin.

    "Former Lee Warmer" is definitely Pop, as in the Vegas showman style. It can also be theatrical than the standard Pop sound. Theatrical is also best described on "No Man's Land," yet it has a somewhat Punk meets Rock style.

    "Dyslexia" is also theatrical rock, not exactly the Vegas style, but it is different. We can also say the same for "Scarlet And Sheba," having a theatric progressive sound as it opens, yet again, we can hear the showmanship as heard in "Former Lee Warmer" and "No Man's Land." Yet this particular tune has a lot of energy.

    "Scarlet And Sheba" merges into another very different-in-sound tune, "I Love America," a more talking song, yet it's lyrics are not exactly the same in such standard Americana tunes as "God Bless America," yet it could be associated as a Rock & Roll version of Americana, with lyrics such as:

    I love that mountain with those four big heads
    I love Velveeta slapped on Wonder Bread
    I love a commie .. if he's good and dead, yup
    I Love America

    I love Old Glory and homemade pie
    I think them Ruskies should be sterilized
    I love my chicken Kentucky Fried ... Finger Licken' Good!

    I love General Patton in w.w. II
    My Pocket Fisherman and my Crazy Glue
    I love the Beav and Wally too

    I love the bomb ... hot dogs and mustard
    I love my girl but I sure don't trust her
    I love what the Indians did to Custer
    Here they come!
    There they go!

    lyrics by Cooper & Shaw

    "Fresh Blood" has a more Pop Eighties sound, as in Roger Waters' first solo release, Radio K.A.O.S. "Pass The Gun Around" has the showmanship again, yet with its dark lyrics: Pass the gun around, Give everyone a shot ... give everyone a shot, Pass the gun around, And throw me in the local river ... let me float away ... We can easily see that Alice Cooper was in a period of his life that was not-so-pleasant; previously he was in a psychriatric ward in the late 1970s (his album From The Inside was based on his experiences there). Yet thank god, no one else passed the gun around in a suicide attempt, as Ozzy Osbourne's "Suicide Solution," where there were argued hidden messages -- "Get the gun, get the gun, shoot, shoot, shoot" -- which Ozzy himself denied there were no such lyrics written for this song; it was really written about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

    Not exactly Pop or Punk, not exactly Progressive Rock either -- it is very different than the heavy-metal sound associated to Alice Cooper's music. During the early Eighties, Cooper was experimenting with other sources of music. Beforehand, his music had crossed into the more Pop mainstream. With punk albums behind him, DaDa was slowly returning into a more Rock atmosphere, rather than heavy-metal.

    Theatrical Rock is the best way to describe it, and the term Rock Opera is even another better description. DaDa -- a very different perspective for the fans of Alice Cooper.

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    Previous Review: #787
    Various Artists--Battle Of The Bands
    Next Review: #789
    Talking Heads--Remain In Light