Around this time, drummer John Speer was replaced by Neal Smith. By the end of the year, the band had relocated to Los Angeles. In , the band learned that Todd Rundgren also had a band called Nazz , and found themselves in need of another stage name. Furnier also believed that the group needed a gimmick to succeed, and that other bands were not exploiting the showmanship potential of the stage. The legend that the name came from a session with a ouija board was later discredited.
Nonetheless, at the time Cooper and the band realized that the concept of a male playing the role of a villain, a woman killer, in tattered women's clothing and wearing make-up, would have the potential to cause considerable social controversy and grab headlines. In in his book Alice Cooper, Golf Monster Cooper stated that his look was inspired in part by film.
One night after an unsuccessful gig at the Cheetah club in Venice, California , where the band emptied the entire room of patrons after playing just ten minutes, they were approached and enlisted by music manager Shep Gordon , who saw the band's negative impact that night as a force that could be turned in a more productive direction. Being woken up by a band willing to play that particular brand of psychedelic rock at seven in the morning impressed Zappa enough for him to sign them to a three-album deal.
Another Zappa-signed act, the all-female GTOs , who liked to "dress the Cooper boys up like full size Barbie dolls ", played a major role in developing the band's early onstage look. Cooper's first album, Pretties for You released in , was eclectic and featured an experimental presentation of their songs in a psychedelic context.
Alice Cooper's "shock rock" reputation apparently developed almost by accident at first. An unrehearsed stage routine involving Cooper, a feather pillow, and a live chicken garnered attention from the press; the band decided to capitalize on the tabloid sensationalism, creating in the process a new subgenre, shock rock. The chicken instead plummeted into the first few rows occupied by wheelchair users, who reportedly proceeded to tear the bird to pieces. Cooper denied the rumor, whereupon Zappa told him, "Well, whatever you do, don't tell anyone you didn't do it.
The band later claimed that this period was highly influenced by Pink Floyd , and especially the album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Glen Buxton said he could listen to Syd Barrett's guitar for hours at a time.
Despite the publicity from the chicken incident, the band's second album, Easy Action , produced by David Briggs and released in June , fared even worse than its predecessor, entirely failing to dent the Billboard Top Around this time, fed up with Californians' indifference to their act, they relocated to Pontiac, Michigan, where their bizarre stage act was much better received by Midwestern crowds accustomed to the proto punk styles of local bands such as the Stooges and the MC5.
Despite this, Cooper still managed to receive a cream pie in the face when performing at the Cincinnati Pop Festival. Michigan would remain their steady home base until They were on acid and we were basically drinking beer. We fit much more in Detroit than we did anywhere else. The band's mix of glam and increasingly violent stage theatrics stood out in stark contrast to the bearded, denim-clad hippie bands of the time. We wanted to see what was next. It turned out we were next, and we drove a stake through the heart of the Love Generation".
This was the final album in their Straight Records contract and the band's last chance to create a hit. That first success came with the single " I'm Eighteen ", released in November , which reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot in early Not long after the album's release in January , Warner Bros. Records purchased Alice Cooper's contract from Straight and re-issued the album, giving the group a higher level of promotion.
Love It to Death proved to be their breakthrough album, reaching number 35 on the U. Billboard album charts. It would be the first of 11 [fn 6] Alice Cooper group and solo albums produced by Ezrin, who is widely seen as being pivotal in helping to create and develop the band's definitive sound.
The group's tour featured a stage show involving mock fights and gothic torture modes being imposed on Cooper, climaxing in a staged execution by electric chair , with the band sporting tight, sequined, color-contrasting glam rock -style costumes made by prominent rock-fashion designer Cindy Dunaway sister of band member Neal Smith, and wife of band member Dennis Dunaway.
Cooper's androgynous stage role had developed to present a villainous side, portraying a potential threat to modern society. The success of the band's single and album, and their tour of , which included their first tour of Europe audience members reportedly included Elton John and a pre- Ziggy David Bowie , provided enough encouragement for Warner Bros.
Their follow-up album Killer , released in late , continued the commercial success of Love It to Death and included further single success with " Under My Wheels ", "Be My Lover" in early , and " Halo of Flies ", which became a Top 10 hit in the Netherlands in Thematically, Killer expanded on the villainous side of Cooper's androgynous stage role, with its music becoming the soundtrack to the group's morality-based stage show, which by then featured a boa constrictor hugging Cooper on-stage, the murderous axe chopping of bloodied baby dolls, and execution by hanging at the gallows.
In January , Cooper was again asked about his peculiar name, and told talk-show hostess Dinah Shore that he took the name from a "Mayberry RFD" character. The summer of saw the release of the single " School's Out ". It went Top 10 in the U. The album School's Out reached No. The band relocated to their new mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Cooper sent her a bunch of flowers in gratitude for the publicity. In February , Billion Dollar Babies was released worldwide and became the band's most commercially successful album, reaching No.
Nice Guy ", the latter of which was the last UK single from the album; it reached No. Around this time Glen Buxton left Alice Cooper briefly because of waning health. With a string of successful concept albums and several hit singles, the band continued their grueling schedule and toured the United States again.
Continued attempts by politicians and pressure groups to ban their shocking act only served to fuel the myth of Alice Cooper further and generate even greater public interest. The guillotine and other stage effects were designed for the band by magician James Randi , who appeared on stage during some of the shows as executioner.
In at Dragon Con , Randi and Cooper discussed their working relationship during this period. Beneath the surface, however, the repetitive schedule of recording and touring had begun to take its toll on the band.
Muscle of Love , released at the end of , was to be the last studio album from the classic lineup, and marked Alice Cooper's last UK Top 20 single of the s with " Teenage Lament '74 ". An unsolicited theme song was recorded for the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun , but a different song of the same name by Lulu was chosen instead.
By , the Muscle of Love album still had not matched the top-charting success of its predecessor, and the band began to have constant disagreements. For various reasons, the members agreed to take what was expected to be a temporary hiatus. Everybody still gets together and talks. His book Billion Dollar Baby , released in November , painted a less-than-flattering picture of the band, showing a group in total disharmony.
During this time, Cooper relocated back to Los Angeles and started appearing regularly on television shows such as The Hollywood Squares , and Warner Bros. However, the band's feature film Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper consisting mainly of concert footage with 'comedic' sketches woven throughout to a faint storyline , released on a minor cinematic run mostly to drive-in theaters, saw little box-office success.
To avoid legal complications over ownership of the group name, "Alice Cooper" had by then become the singer's new legal name. Speaking on the subject of Alice Cooper continuing as a solo project as opposed to the band it once was, Cooper stated in , "It got very basically down to the fact that we had drawn as much as we could out of each other.
After ten years, we got pretty dry together. It was a concept album that was based on the nightmare of a child named Steven, featuring narration by classic horror movie film star Vincent Price , and serving as the soundtrack to Cooper's new stage show, which now showcased more theatrics than ever, including an 8-foot-tall 2. The Nightmare which was later released on home video in and gained a Grammy Awards nomination for Best Long Form Music Video was regarded as another groundbreaking moment in rock history.
Adding to all that, a concert film, also called Welcome to My Nightmare produced, directed, and choreographed by West Side Story cast member David Winters and filmed live at London's Wembley Arena in September , was released to theaters in The film was released in a special edition DVD in Such was the immense success of Cooper's solo project that he decided to continue as a solo artist, and the original band became officially defunct.
While occasionally performing with one another and Glen Buxton , they would not reunite with Alice until October 23, , at the second Glen Buxton Memorial Weekend for a show at CoopersTown in Phoenix. In , they appeared on two tracks they co-wrote on Alice's album Paranormal , released in July, and in November they joined his current live band for five tour dates in the United Kingdom.
Following the US No. Following the tour, Cooper had himself hospitalized in a sanitarium for treatment, during which time the live album The Alice Cooper Show was released. The subsequent tour's stage show was based inside an asylum, and was filmed for Cooper's first home-video release, The Strange Case of Alice Cooper , in He also appeared in an against-typecasting role as a piano-playing disco waiter in Mae West 's final film, Sextette , and as a villain in the film Sgt.
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Cooper also led celebrities in raising money to remodel the famous Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California. In , Alice also guest starred on good friend Soupy Sales show, "Lunch with Soupy Sales" and was hit in the face with a pie, as part of the show One of the greatest moments of my life was getting pie-faced by Soupy. He was one of my all time heroes. Cooper's albums from the beginning of the s have been referred to by Cooper as his "blackout albums" because he cannot remember recording them, owing to the influence of illicit substances.
Flush the Fashion , produced by Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker , had a thick, edgy new wave musical sound that baffled even longtime fans, though it still yielded the US Top 40 hit " Clones We're All. His tour for Special Forces marked Cooper's last time on the road for nearly five years; it was not until , for Constrictor , that he toured again. In mid, after the recording of DaDa , Cooper was hospitalized for alcoholism again, and cirrhosis of the liver.
By February , Cooper became a "free agent" for the first time in his career. Cooper spent a lengthy period away from the music business dealing with personal issues. His divorce from Sheryl Cooper was heard at Maricopa County Superior Court, Arizona, on January 30, but a decision was made by the couple not to move forward with the divorce. Behind the scenes Cooper kept busy musically, working on new material in collaboration with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.
The spring of was taken up with filming, Cooper acting in the B-grade horror movie Monster Dog , filmed in Torrelodones , Spain. Shortly thereafter he reconciled with Sheryl; the couple relocated to Chicago. A video was made for the song, featuring actor Luke Perry and Cooper donning his black snake-eyes makeup for the first time since , but neither the song nor the video drew public interest. In , Alice Cooper officially returned to the music industry with the album Constrictor.
The Constrictor album was a catalyst for Cooper to make a triumphant return to the road for the first time since the Special Forces project, on a tour appropriately entitled The Nightmare Returns. The Detroit leg of this tour, which took place at the end of October during Halloween, was captured on film as The Nightmare Returns , and is viewed by some as being the definitive Alice Cooper concert film. It was released on DVD in The Constrictor album was followed by Raise Your Fist and Yell in , which had an even rougher sound than its predecessor, as well as the Cooper classic " Freedom ".
The subsequent tour of Raise Your Fist and Yell , which was heavily inspired by the slasher horror movies of the time such as the Friday the 13th series and A Nightmare on Elm Street , served up a shocking spectacle similar to its predecessor, and courted the kind of controversy, especially in Europe, that recalled the public outrage caused by Cooper's public performances in America in the early s. In Britain, Labour M. David Blunkett called for the show to be banned, saying "I'm horrified by his behaviour — it goes beyond the bounds of entertainment".
The controversy spilled over into the German segment of the tour, with the German government actually succeeding in having some of the gorier segments of the performance removed. Constrictor and Raise Your Fist and Yell were recorded with lead guitarist Kane Roberts and bassist Kip Winger , both of whom would leave the band by the end of although Kane Roberts played guitar on "Bed of Nails" on 's album Trash.
In , Cooper made a brief appearance as a vagrant in the horror movie Prince of Darkness , directed by John Carpenter. His role had no lines and consisted of generally menacing the protagonists before eventually impaling one of them with a bicycle frame.
Jake considered the involvement of Cooper to be an honor, as he had idolized Cooper in his youth and was still a huge fan. On April 7, , Cooper nearly died of asphyxiation after a safety rope broke during a rehearsal concert wherein he pretended to hang himself, a stunt he would often perform during live concerts.
Then in his career finally experienced a legitimate revival with the Desmond Child produced and Grammy -nominated album Trash , which spawned a hit single " Poison ", which reached No.
In , Cooper released his 19th studio album Hey Stoopid featuring several notable rock musicians guesting on the record. Released as glam metal's popularity was on the wane, and just before the explosion of grunge, it failed to have the same commercial impact as its predecessor. The same year also saw the release of the video Alice Cooper: Prime Cuts which chronicled his entire career using in depth interviews with Cooper himself, Bob Ezrin, and Shep Gordon.
One critic has noted that Prime Cuts demonstrates how Cooper had used in contrast to similar artists who succeeded him themes of satire and moralisation to such good effect throughout his career.
He's the axe murderer, he's the spoiled child, he's the abuser, he's the abused; he's the perpetrator, he's the victim, he's the gun slinger, and he's the guy lying dead in the middle of the street". During the early s, Cooper guested on records by the most successful bands of the time, such as the Guns N' Roses album Use Your Illusion I , on which he shared vocal duties with Axl Rose on the track " The Garden ". Cooper made a cameo appearance in the comedy film Wayne's World. Cooper and his band first appear onstage performing "Feed My Frankenstein" from their album Hey Stoopid.
Afterwards at a backstage party, the movie's main characters Wayne Cambell and Garth Algar discover that when offstage, Cooper is a calm, articulate intellectual as he and his band discuss the history of Milwaukee in depth. Alice Cooper , Duane Hitchings. Arthur Lee. Cooper, Davey Johnstone , Fred Mandel. Cooper, Hitchings, Scott, Mike Pinera. Billboard Pop Albums. Skeletons in the Closet track B1.
Vicious Rumours track B5. You Look Good in Rags track B3. United States Genres hard rock. Craig Krampf tracks A1—B5. Richard Podolor. The Studio Albums — Special Forces Tour. Australian Chart Book — St Ives , N. Hung Medien. Retrieved March 10, Australia's Music Charts Retrieved March 14, Retrieved on August 10, ". Retrieved on August 20, Music Canada.
Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Australian Recording Industry Association. August 7, Retrieved August 5, Archived from the original on Generation Landslide ' Skeletons in the Closet. You Look Good in Rags. You're a Movie. Vicious Rumours. Spotify Amazon.The discography of American rock artist Alice Cooper consists of 27 studio albums, 48 singles, 11 live albums, 21 compilation albums, 12 video releases, and an audiobook. Six of his studio albums have achieved platinum in the United States and three more have achieved gold. Promo-only releases, bootlegs and unauthorized/fan-made releases have been excluded.