From the Vault...


Alice Cooper
"School's Out"

© Warner Bros. Records

Year of Release: 1972

track listing
  • School's Out
  • Luney Tune
  • Gutter Cat vs. The Jets
  • Street Fight
  • Blue Turk
  • My Stars
  • Public Animal #9
  • Alma Mater
  • Grande Finale

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    Alice Cooper
    "School's Out"

    School IS OUT -- Being this the week of Christmas, many schools are off for the next two weeks as everyone celebrates Christmas and New Year's. Alice Cooper's music may best be "celebrated" at Halloween, yet anyone who was, is, and currently a fan, always enjoys his macabre of music. Alice is still recording today, and he may not be heavily popular as he was in his prime in the 1970s, yet his music has been discovered by a new generation of fans today. His prime was in the early years, where School's Out was released in 1972. The title track alone was an anthem for young schoolkids, where when summertime came, everyone was singing (or screaming, for that matter) "School's Out" for Summer!

    "Luney Tune" may sound something less-than-the-average Alice Cooper band tune, (most especially from their first album, Pretties For You). The memories I have of "Gutter Cat vs. The Jets" is that this song was the flip side of "School's Out," when I used to have the famous green colored Warner Bros. 45 rpm single. (And from my memory, it was titled "Gutter Cat," not having the "vs. The Jets" on the single's label. This tune, as well as the title track, defined the early (and best) years of Alice Cooper's music.

    "Street Fight" is less than a minute, yet it's eerie, and also defines Cooper's music in his prime. "Blue Turk" is definitely different, having a somewhat jazzy blues feel, yet it's enjoyable, and it also has an almost Vegas showmanship, which Cooper would later experiment with on Alice Cooper Goes To Hell. The horns at the end, turns out to be more blues, yet mixed with a jazz style.

    "My Stars" may not be as energetic as most common early Alice Cooper songs, yet it remains as a good album track. "Public Animal #9" definitely has an early 1970s rock and roll sound, and could easily pass as one of the many "what ever happened to" bands of Rhino's Have a Nice Day series.

    Another different tune, is "Alma Mater." Almost sounding like a ballad, it has more of a pop rock sound than the standard hard-rock style heard from previous Cooper releases. "Grande Finale" is an instrumental, and you would think it was performed by the likes of the early Chicago and/or Blood, Sweat & Tears, with the horn orchestration. Alice Cooper did this? Highly unlikely, when first listening to it; I guess you have to see and hear it from the School's Out release itself to believe it.

    It seems that Alice Cooper and his famous band kind of mellowed out on School's Out. As a youngster, I had the LPs Easy Action, Love It To Death, Killer and Billion Dollar Babies. Every one of these albums defined Alice Cooper and his band as being one of the best hard-rock bands of the 1970s. Never having the School's Out album while growing up, I assumed that the entire album was as rocking as the tunes such as "School's Out" and its flip side, "Gutter Cat vs. The Jets." What a surprise to find to find, that they recorded songs in a style other than what everyone was used to hearing. Yet they would return to the hard-rock style in 1973 with Billion Dollar Babies, and release another album, Muscle of Love in 1974. Alice Cooper and his band disbanded afterwards, as Cooper would experiment with various types of musical styles, yet it proved not as successful as he was when he first appeared on the music scene with his band. Troubled times also occurred later on, with alcoholism, but as the coming decade would follow, a new generation of hard-rock/heavy metal fans would discover his music, and Cooper would enjoy another route of success.

    Truthfully, Cooper's music was best from his early 1970s releases. He did return to the hard-rock style in the 1980s throughout today, but his "new sound" is much heavier, as it reflects on today's Alternative/Hard Rock sound. Cooper's music is best enjoyed when discovering (or re-discovering) his beginning years. His first album, Pretties For You was a testing phase, yet his breakthrough albums were the LPs I used to have as a kid, and songs from those particular albums is the Alice Cooper that I remember best.

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