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UNITED STATES, Michigan, Detroit

Date Formed 1968

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Categories: Classic Rock, Glam Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal


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1963 to 1968

The King of Shock Rock and the originator of the theatrical Rock stage show. ALICE COOPER has inspired a myriad of imitators (yes, even KISS fell under the spell, the New York Glam gods even once going so far as to admit that they wanted to create a band of four Alice Cooper's!) as well as pioneering both the Glam and Doom Rock genres single-handedly. Alice Cooper has reigned supreme for nearly thirty years at the peak of his profession.

Born Vincent Damon Furnier, the son of a preacher, in 1948 in Detroit, Michigan. The man who would be Alice moved to Phoenix, Arizona with his family in an apparent bid to beat his bronchial asthma and, inspired by the British imports of the day formed the EARWIGS in the early 60s. Actually creating the band merely to get girls and performing their first gig at a talent show sporting BEATLES wigs. Before long, the fledgling group, now adding second guitarist John Tatum, took on the far nastier handle of the SPIDERS in 1963, releasing two singles. 'Don't Blow Your Mind' and 'Wonder Who's Loving Her Now' on the Santa Cruz and Very labels respectively in 1967.

The SPIDERS full line up read Furnier on lead vocals, guitarists Tatum and Glen Buxton, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer John Speer. At this stage in their careers the SPIDERS were a covers band mainly performing ROLLING STONES songs.

With Tatum's departure THE WILDFLOWERS guitarist Michael Bruce was to fill the gap. With THE WILDFLOWERS Bruce had released a single 'On A Day Like Today' on Aster Records. Unbeknown to the SPIDERS Bruce was to appear on the next WILDFLOWERS single secretly under the less than inspired pseudonym of Bruce Michael!

By 1968, and re-locating from Arizona to Los Angeles, the band had become NAZZ (after 'Jesus the Nazarene') and featured a line-up of guitarists Bruce and Buxton, bassist Dunaway and former HOLY GRAIL drummer Neal Smith.

A single surfaced 'Wonder Who's Loving Her Now' backed by 'Lay Down And Die' on Very Records.

In an inspired move NAZZ became ALICE COOPER later that year prompted by the emergence of Todd Rundgren's new act NAZZ. The name having come from a band Ouija bourd session, Furnier asking the spirits to reveal his past incarnations.

Initially ALICE COOPER was the name of the band unit as a whole. However, Vincent Furnier was to take on the role of Alice himself. A local venue owner, Sherry Cottle of the Cheetah Club, that was promoting the band added the embellishment that Alice had a his strong conviction that he had once been a 16th century witch bearing the name in a past life. The die was cast.


Early press flyers describe the other musicians as 'Glen Buxton- 'A Black Knight', 'Michael Bruce- 'A Street Poet', Dennis Dunaway- 'Artist Of The Courts' and Neal Smith as 'A Warrior King'.

1969 to 1970

ALICE COOPER's early dates included such notable supports as opening for LED ZEPPELIN's very first American show at Hollywood's Whiskey A-Go-Go club. With LED ZEPPELIN coming down with flu ALICE COOPER finished the booked tour with BUDDY MILES stepping in as headliner.

Demos around this period granted them an audience with the Music Machines label but the band were rejected apparently on account of the record company's dislike of Furnier. A contract was allegedly offered if the ALICE COOPER would ditch their singer, a point the band refused to budge on.

Setting out to deliberately shock their audiences in order to get the maximum amount of attention, Furnier in particular reveling in his new found androgynous character although the story that he killed chickens on stage is untrue.

The story had originated after a gig in Toronto during 1969, ALICE COOPER were on the same bill as JOHN LENNON and THE DOORS. Someone thew a chicken on stage, Alice threw it back alive and claims that the first 10 rows were full of people in wheelchairs. "The cripples tore the chicken to pieces", said Cooper!

None other than FRANK ZAPPA picked up on the buzz, after witnessing the band support cult comedian Lenny Bruce. Inviting the band for an audition ALICE COOPER duly turned up at his house at 6.30 in the morning and started to play. Zappa, castigating the quintet for waking him at such an ungodly hour when he had meant 6.30 in the evening nevertheless was adept enough to sign them to his Straight label in 1968, releasing ALICE COOPER's debut album, 'Pretties For You', the same year. Zappa had intended to produce the record but eventually delegetad this task to Ian Underwood and Herb Cohen. A series of delays outside of the band's control pushed back the album release date to March of 1969.

The 'Pretties For You' gatefold album cover, by an artist named Ed Beardsley, was not commissioned specifically for the record but happened to be a piece of artwork admired by Zappa and hanging on his wall at home. The original intention had been to use Salvador Dali's 'Geopoliticus' Child' but the rights could not be secured. In any event the Beardsley painting stoked controversy due to the fact it includes a woman showing her panties. Cautious record company types duly placed stickers over the offending undergarments!

ALICE COOPER's debut gig as a Straight artist came predictably enough opening for Zappa's MOTHERS OF INVENTION on an eclectic bill also including such diverse talents as KIM FOWLEY, CAPTAIN BEEFHEART, EASYCHAIR and WILDMAN FISHER at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium.

Zappa had set ideas about how he wanted to handle the band, even going so far as to suggest a name change to the ALICE COOKIES GROUP in order to accommodate a marketing brainstorm involving their projected debut album being sold in a cookie tin! The group stuck to their guns also vehemently shelving notions of releasing their record in tuna fish cans.

'Pretties For You', recorded on 16 track, borrowing musically heavily from the James Bond film soundtrack to the movie 'Goldfinger' and produced by MOTHERS OF INVENTION man Ian Underwood was to just graze the charts peaking at number 193.

Interestingly the single lifted from the album 'Reflected' was later to chart upon ALICE COOPER's ascendancy, radically reworked and retitled 'Elected'.

The sophomore follow-up to 'Pretties for you' titled 'Easy Action', a David Briggs (NEIL YOUNG'S CRAZYHORSE) produced effort, saw a release in 1970 and prompted gigging further into the heartland of America where in general ALICE COOPER received a much more favourable response. Unfortunately sales dipped and the record failed to make an impression on the Billboard top 200.

The album cover, another lavish gatefold affair, was already beginning to indicate a direction change away from a band and more to Alice as a solo star with more photos of the singer than the other band members. Nevertheless, Michael Bruce still got to sing lead vocals on two tracks 'Beautiful Flyaway' and 'Below Your Means'. Another oddity picked up by fans is the mention of ZEPHYR bassist Ken Passarelli in the lyrics to 'Mr. And Misdemeanour'.


The corporates had caught wind of ALICE COOPER's potential and the band was soon sucked into the realm of the majors. Warner Bros. bought out Straight Records who set their new signings to work on a third album, 'Love It To Death', released in 1971, as the band settled into their new home base of Detroit.

The then relatively unknown Bob Ezrin was drafted in as producer for what was to be the start of a long and fruitful relationship. The inaugural shot from Warner Bros. was to be the single 'Shoe Salesman' / 'Return Of The Spiders' from the previous 'Easy Action' album but at the last minute a change of mind had 'Hallowed Be My Name' offered instead.

'Love It To Death' also caught the band embroiled in their first taste of American censorship. The original sleeve photograph had Alice poking his thumb out of his cloak. The record company deemed this to be overtly phallic and later re-issues had an artist paint out the offending digit. Strangely cassette copies continued to be issued with the offending digit intact.

A more significant feature of the gatefold album sleeve would be the inner fold out close up of Alice's eyes- the first time his now trademark make up had been seen on product.

The music contained within the grooves would herald a writing maturity within the band. 'The Ballad Of Dwight Fry' was a homage to one of Hollywood's earliest horror actors Dwight Frye, famous for his portrayal of Dracula's insane insect devouring assistant Renfield. Cooper, prompted by Bruce mimicking the voice of a child for the intro, would echo this film role by acting out his own version of Renfield's straightjacketed imprisonment on stage. His on stage aide during these cameos would be Cindy Smith- sister of band member Neal Smith.

'Black Juju', so named after a local dog that hung around the studio, would come complete with a Psychedelic organ break directly inspired by PINK FLOYD's 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun'. Things would get even stranger though with 'Sun Arise', a song already made a UK hit by its composer bearded Australian comedian ROLF HARRIS!

Now harnessed to the relative security of being an inspiring new act with a major label deal the stage show was there to be taken to its most bizarre extremes to be truly anti-establishment. The group introduced a whole host of shock tactics and stage props in a bid to top anything and everything their audiences might have seen before, ranging from guillotines and electric chairs to decapitated baby dolls and, what would become, the ALICE COOPER trademark, a live python!

'Love It To Death' produced ALICE COOPER's first American Top 40 hit single, 'I'm Eighteen' (which peaked at 21) and set the mood for Cooper-mania. The track was actually an old composition, originally titled 'I Wish I Was 18' and a meandering 8 minutes long, brushed up and edited by Ezrin and with a whole new set of lyrics courtesy of Alice.

The single actually geared itself up for nationwide adulation via a Canadian radio station, CLKW in Ontario, which broadcast to much of northern America. The Canadian government had recently enforced a ruling stating that a certain percentage of air time must be devoted to native artists and with ALICE COOPER's producers Bob Ezrin and Jack Richardson both from the land of the red maple leaf the track qualified. 'Love It To Death' would achieve gold sales status for half a million records sold during November of 1972.

The November 1971 album 'Killer' continued to stoke the fire. Warner Bros., having no desire to mess with a winning formula, put the band back into the same Chicago studio alongside the same production team that had delivered the goods with 'Love It To Death'.

Originally to be titled 'Killer- Convicted' based around a sleeve artwork idea the band had formulated that in the end proved too complex 'Killer' eventually surfaced bearing a photograph of Alice's newest stage prop Kachina, actually Neal Smith's pet, the soon to be famous trademark python. Kachina was already being used by Alice as a stage prop but from 'Killer' onwards her role would be given greater prominence wrapping around the singer during 'Be My Lover'.

'Killers' gatefold cover would also provide the inception for another Cooper icon. A free calander featured as part of the sleeve design would be decorated with a photograph depicting a mock hanging of the singer. The image was in such demand later re-issues also included the photo and calander. Mexican versions of the album, titled in Spanish 'Asesino', would have this gallows picture as the front cover to avert any religious objections to the snake.

'Killer' launched two hit singles and would also be bolstered by a glut of tracks that would remain stage favourites for many years to come such as 'Desperado' (about THE DOORS Jim Morrison), 'Dead Babies', 'Be My Lover' and 'Under My Wheels'. Another staple 'Halo Of Flies' was borne out of an earlier song entitled 'The More I Want To Know You'. Rejigged and re-arranged the track would get its new title courtesy of Cooper's then girlfriend Cindy Lang.

'Killer' would belatedly be certified platinum for one million sales in 1986.


The six month tour for 'Killer', which commenced in May of 1972, now had the band delving deep into shock theatre with Alice ripping babies apart during the subtle 'Dead Babies' track before being duly executed on a gallows. The 'Killer' album reached number 21 in the American charts going gold on 28th January whilst 'Love It To Death' was still holding on in the top 100.

With 'School's Out', the title track of ALICE COOPER's 1972 release, made the top 10 in the States and gaining a British number 1, much to the revulsion of conservative music lovers everywhere! The song soon elevated itself to that of a bona fide Rock classic, re-entering charts globally on numerous ocassions and being featured as a lynchpin in every ALICE COOPER show. So resiliant was its appeal that Alice would be guesting on a 30 year anniversary re-make by Swedish Pop stars the A*TEENS, albeit tempering the original lyric "School's been blown to pieces" to the somewhat tamer "I'm bored to pieces".

'School's Out' was a record recorded under pressure from the label to repeat the previous hits. The lead eponymous single had actually been worked up during the previous bout of touring and recorded in a gap in the live schedule. Only a fortnight's rehearsal seperated the closure of touring before the band went into the Record Plant in New York to record. The album proved ambitious, even including 'West Side Story' references in the song 'Gutter Cats Vs. The Jets', a track originally demoed as 'Gutter Pussy'. One song that was demoed but did not make the finished album was 'Evil'- a much sought after rarity on the ALICE COOPER bootleg market.

The album itself was so packaged that the buyer could form a cardboard miniature of a school desk, with the first pressing actually slipped inside a pair of fetching paper panties! Inside was a school test paper listing the track order- strangely missing off one track completely- Street Fight- and other songs in the incorrect running order.

The packaging construction was so well thought out that fans who wished to dissassemble their record sleeves could construct the whole device into a free standing 3D desk. For some reason the Mexican pressing, titled 'Se Acabbo' La Escuela', has the front cover duplicated on the back of the sleeve design. Various national curiosities saw the lavish packaging altered for reproduction ease in various territories with New Zealand, Argentinian and Japanese pressings all offering unique variants.

The 'School's Out' actual desk used for the photoshoot, complete with original etched in band member signatures, would come into the possession of the Hard Rock Café's collection in later years. The image was such a well known piece of Rock iconography that the restauraunt chain would even use the very same design as menu covers in 1998.

ALICE COOPER's paper panties publicity stunt with the album had worked so well the theme would be re-activated for the bands July 22nd Hollywood Bowl concert as thousands of panties were dropped into the audience.

The band put in their first English gig at Wembley Arena and a cunning publicity stunt, deliberately stalling a large truck in central London displaying billboards of a nude Alice wrapped in a snake, more than gave the band an impact for the show. The press also had a field day when it was learnt that on the plane trip over the Atlantic an elderly woman sitting next to Alice had actually died mid-flight! The unsuspecting Rocker had thought his elderly neighbour to be merely asleep.

ALICE COOPER put in another mammoth stretch of gigs in America prior to a triumphant return to Europe in November 1972.

The ALICE COOPER magic worked with the 'Elected' single later in the year inspired by the US elections of the period. It would've been interesting to see how far things might have got had Alice Cooper run for President himself!

'Elected' took pride of place on the 'Billion Dollar Babies' album, a record that began Cooper's musical transition toward a darker, spookier phase with the hammer horror tinged 'Sick Things' and 'I Love The Dead'. Warner Bros. were by now totally convinced of the band's fiscal viability and so the recording sessions were wound up in England with such notables as Donovan, T-REX's Marc Bolan and THE WHO's Keith Moon being present.


'Billion Dollar Babies' catapulted to the number 1 position in America triggering the most lavish touring extravaganza yet. The dates opening in Rochester New York on March 5th and ensuing for another seventy shows. The stage set alone, now with a guillotine supplanting the gallows, cost in excess of $150'000 and the band travelled from city to city on the Starship Boeing 707 later used by LED ZEPPELIN.

Alice himself was now such a celebrity that his ascendant star eased him into the showbiz bracket whereby he could quite comfortably rub shoulders with the likes of George Burns, Groucho Marx and the surrealist painter Salvador Dali. In 1973 Zappa's Straight Records, eager to cash in on the impact made by 'School's Out' and 'Billion Dollar Babies' re-released the first two ALICE COOPER albums as a double set re-titled 'School Days'

'Billion Dollar Babies' was followed with the 'Muscle Of Love' album the same year. Despite the band's overt success the strains were beginning to tell behind the scenes with all members sliding into reliance on alcohol. Buxton in particular was now under such pressure that many of his guitar tracks were being wiped from recording. The opening single from the album 'Teenage lament' was an overblown production with guests from such illustrious backing vocalists as Phil Spector, Liza Minelli and the Pointer Sisters.

However, the spectre of bad marketing was to rear its head again unduly affecting sales of the album. Packaged in a cardboard cover record stores refused to take the album because the packaging simply would not fit into standard racks. 'Muscle Of Love' shifted more than 800'000 copies in it's first week but the previous two albums had both been certified platinum upon release.

A tour naturally followed but by now the band's concerns about Buxton's health were so great he was checked into a re-habilitation centre. Mick Mashbur came in as substitute but upon Buxton's return the band felt his playing was so removed from what was required they retained the services of Mashbur and mixed Buxton's guitar out of the mix.

ALICE COOPER's reputation also backfired badly when a 13 year old boy hanged himself, the press believing that the youngster had been trying to imitate Alice's stage act.

The 'Muscle of love' tour wound down in typically overblown with the band performing to over 125'000 people at a record breaking outdoor gig in Brazil. The South American audience being whipped into such a frenzy that stage invasions necessitated a break in the show whilst order was resumed by armed police.

Returning home the tensions within the band were now so great that solo projects were mooted to clear the air. Alice in particular was beginning to suffer and admitted to drinking a case of beer every day.

Bruce recorded the 'In My Own Way' album for Polydor in Germany. The record featured a cameo from Alice and boasted Keith Moon on drums. Smith and Dunaway meanwhile cut the unreleased 'Platinum God' prior to forming THE FLYING TIGERS signing to CBS Records but once again the album, though recorded, was shelved. Alice, however, had greater plans.

1974 to 1976

Following the release of 'Muscle Of Love' Alice went solo, having sacked his band and recruiting a brand new group for the critically acclaimed 'Welcome To My Nightmare'. Alice's new sidekicks included guitarists Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, bassist Prakash John and drummers Pentii Glan and Josef Chirowski, all of whom had previously played with LOU REED. Wagner had also recorded three albums as a member of FROST. KING CRIMSON man Tony Levin added additional bass in the studio.

Cooper's former partners in crime formed the BILLION DOLLAR BABIES and signed to Polydor, although a legal battle between Alice and his ex band mates over ownership of the name prevented the debut BILLION DOLLAR BABIES album from being released until 1977.

BILLION DOLLAR BABIES at first planned a stage show to rival anything ALICE COOPER had presented previously but after just four shows, with UFO as support, the band ground to a halt. Smith was to turn up on the 1980 PLASMATICS album 'New Hope For The Wretched' before founding DEADRINGER with Dunnaway, ex-BLUE ÖYSTER CULT bassist Joe Bouchard. Former VICTORY singer Charlie Huhn and ARC ANGEL guitarist Jay Johnson. With DEADRINGER Smith and Dunaway issued a 1989 album 'Electrucution Of The Heart'.

The 'Welcome To My Nightmare'movie, filmed in March of 1975, found ALICE COOPER persuading horror movie legend Vincent Price to partake in a cameo role in the project.

The 1976 album 'Alice Cooper Goes To Hell' saw the retention of both Hunter and Wagner on guitar. Levin once more contributed session bass with Allan Schwartzberg on drums. Additional guitar came from John Tropea while producer Bob Ezrin supplied keyboards.

The choice of album title for this latter release was more than apt for it was during this period that Cooper began to involve himself on the professional celebrity circuit, appearing on TV shows as 'Hollywood Squares' and enjoying life on America's finest golf courses with the likes of George Burns and Bob Hope. And then there was Alice's appearance on 'The Muppet Show'...

1976 also found Scottish act the SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND covering 'Schools Out' for their 'Penthouse Tapes' album. It would be the first of many...

1977 to 1979

1977 saw the momentum maintained with the semi conceptual 'Lace And Whiskey' album, another collaboration with Ezrin seeing Prakash John, alongside Tony Levin, returning on bass. Other key sessioniers would be guitarist Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter.

'Lace And Whiskey' would play host to the top ten single 'You And Me' which out of character featured a stark photo sleeve of Alice sans make up or costuming. 'You And Me' would also give ALICE COOPER his biggest hit to date in Australia where it climbed to the no. 3 position. The record had many songs centred around a film noir detective theme and this idea would be pursued with promotional items such as T shirts complete with 'Bullet holes', a pulp novel and also into the following live dates dubbed the 'King Of The Silver Screen' tour.

Recovered from the Anemia which had cancelled the projected 1976 shows ALICE COOPER renewed live undertaking in Australia and closing with a solitary date in Auckland, New Zealand in mid March 1977. Accompanying him on these dates would be guitarists Dick Wagner and BALANCE man Bob Kulick, Prakash John on bass, keyboard player Mark Stein and drummer Pentti Glan.

In America the 'King Of The Silver Screen' tour commenced on June 19th at the Anaheim Stadium in California with a gargantuan festival performance which also numbered NAZARETH, THE TUBES and THE KINKS as performers. The band saw Wagner, John and Glan retaining their positions with Steve Hunter back in the guitar position and Fred Mandel on keyboards. Another new member would be Alice's customary reptilian companion. The constrictor Angel was chosen following 'snake auditions'.

From the Anaheim extravaganza the tour wound it's way around Canada and back into the States for a three month run climaxing in Denver, Colorado on the 30th August. These shows would see the transference of the detective 'Maurice Escargot' character from album and video to the live stage. The stageshow itself was a suitably lavish affair with a great reliance on video screens, even rolling fictional TV advertising between numbers. Somewhat bizarrely four leviathan size chickens toting submachine guns also made their presence felt. Old favourites such as the guillotine were also still in evidence.

With the fulfilment of the tour schedule Cooper admitted himself into a New York hospital for treatment as a chronic alcoholic. ALICE COOPER would celebrate his return to the outside world by acting in a Mae West and Tony Curtis movie 'Sextette'. On set he would rub shoulders with other participants from the world of music THE BEATLES drummer RINGO STARR and THE WHO's Keith Moon.

By the following March Cooper was healthy enough for a further burst of tour activity and mid 1978 would see America treated to the 'School's Out' summer trek. The live band would, necessitated by various members being committed to other projects, be revised yet again for this jaunt with Steve Hunter now accompanied by Jefferson Kewley on guitar and a fresh rhythm section of bass player Dee Murray and drummer Dennis Conway. Fred Mandel maintained his position on keyboards. The band began their three month slog in Buffalo, New York on the 27th April. Mid tour, at Saginaw's Wendler Arena on May 10th, the ALICE COOPER band would be recorded and broadcast on the nationally syndicated 'King Biscuit Flower Hour' radio show.

Alice would put in another television performance in July of 1978 by famously appearing on 'The Muppet Show' singing spoofed versions of 'School's Out', 'You And Me' and 'Welcome To My Nightmare'. Quite surreally for a show aimed at the nations youth Alice's character attempts to intice the Muppets characters to enter into a pact with the Devil!

Another round of dates, billed as 'Mad House Rock', broke the band into February of 1979 winding up on the 29th of April in Rapid City. Prakash John and Pentti Glan resumed duties with Hunter now working alongside Davey Johnstone on guitar. Various support acts included EDDIE MONEY and even BLONDIE.

The man's next studio album 'From The Inside' (the live set, 'The Alice Cooper Show', had appeared in the interim) was inspired by his period of hospitalisation and was written in collaboration with ELTON JOHN's writing partner Bernie Taupin. ELTON JOHN's bass player Dee Murray also contributes as did CHEAP TRICK guitarist Rick Neilsen. Wagner and Johnstone maintained stability in the guitar department with drums from session man Jim Keltner.

ALICE COOPER also, perhaps regrettably, also appeared in the Robert Stigwood, BEATLES inspired movie 'Sgt Pepper' alongside AEROSMITH and PETER FRAMPTON.

1980 to 1983

1980's Roy Thomas Baker produced 'Flush The Fashion' attempted to move Cooper into a more contemporary New Wave position. Johnstone was still on board and studio drums came from ex-CHINA member Dennis Conway. The record failed to match past glories and was the first of a host of early 80s albums that found Cooper exploring new musical territories. It's status was recognized in later years when SMASHING PUMPKINS covered 'We're All Clones' in 1995.

1981's 'Special Forces' attempted to inject some Rock back into ALICE COOPER's career. Featuring guitarists MIKE PINERA (ex IRON BUTTERFLY) and Davey Johnstone (a member of ELTON JOHN's touring band), former CACTUS member Duane Hitchings on keyboards, bassist Eric Scott and ex ALABAMA drummer Craig Krampf. A European tour kicked off 1987 with shows across France and Spain. UK shows in February would initially see BIG COUNTRY acting as support but this band split up mid-tour and were replaced by SHRAPSHIRE. So enthused was Alice at the reception given to him by UK fans he issued a special EP entitled 'For Britain Only' in April.

'Zipper Catches Skin', released in August 1982, found ALICE COOPER maintaining his core band of Pinera, Wagner, Hitchings, Scott and Kampf. The drum stool was occupied by erstwhile PALEY BROTHERS and PIPEDREAM man Jan Uvena (later to join ALCATRAZZ) whilst NITZINGER namesake John Nitzinger put down guest guitar. Six-stringer Billy Steele (later to work with STEVE PERRY) also contributed. Erik Scott departed for pastures new, finally re-emerging in 1988 with his new act FUGITIVE.

ALICE COOPER's 1983 album 'Da Da', panned by critics as just being too weird, included LISA DALBELLO on backing vocals. Wagner and Prakash were back in the studio for this outing alongside drummer Richard Kolinka. Importantly, Alice took time away from the road to deal with his health issues. Diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver and dangerously ill, he spent many months in rehabilitation and building back his strength.

1984 to 1988

Alice would spend a lengthy period away from the touring circuit dealing with personal issues. His divorce from Sheryl Cooper was heard at Maricopa County Superior Court, Arizona on January 30th 1984. The following month he guested, alongside co-presenter Grace Jones, at the Grammy Awards. Behind the scenes Cooper was working on new material as a collaboration with AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry. Reconciled with Sheryl, the couple relocated to Chicago. The spring of 1984 was taken up with filming, Alice acting in the movie 'Monster Dog', filmed in Torrelodones, Spain. The year closed with more writing sessions, this time in New York during November with HANOI ROCKS guitarist Andy McCoy. Although Cooper hooked up with guitarist KANE ROBERTS as his new writing partner, the only 1985 appearance on record was a guest spot on TWISTED SISTER's 'Be Crool To Your Skool'.

Alice moved to fresh pastures with a deal with MCA Records giving the man the impetus to make an impressive impact in 1986 with the 'Constrictor' package jointly produced by Beau Hill and Michael Wagener, recorded in New York throughout the first half of 1986. Apparently Cooper had been planning a Heavy Metal version of the Cowboy epic 'The Magnificent Seven' for a movie venture, several of the 'Constrictor' songs having been written for this aborted endeavour. Early recording sessions would witness a return of original ALICE COOPER band members Neal Smith and Dennis Dunaway, pre-production being conducted in the drummer's studio in Connecticut, although none of these tapes would make the final album.

Material from the album was submitted for the movie soundtrack score to the horror flick 'Friday The 13th- Jason Lives'. The original take of 'He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)' would be slated for inclusion but rejected. Cooper brought in Michael Wagener to produce a brand new version of the song for the film adding fresh lyrics and melodies to the original which became 'Trick Bag'. Evidence of further evolvement during the recording process came with the track 'Nobody Move', included on acetates but not included in the final running order.

The North American album cover depicted a photo montage of a python emerging from Cooper's mouth. European variants had this artwork altered to incorporate the snake wrapped around 'Alice's head, the original being deemed too extreme. 'Constrictor', issued in September 1986, did not make a huge impact on the charts, 59 in the USA and 41 in the UK, but did raise Cooper back into the international media.

ALICE COOPER toured backed with a seriously talented new band comprising hulk-like guitarist KANE ROBERTS, bassist KIP WINGER, keyboard player Paul Taylor, billed as 'Paul Horror' (real name Paul Horowitz), and ex FIFTH ANGEL drummer Ken Mary. The latter had replaced ex RAINBOW man David Rosenberg who had played on the album, with Winger coming in for original bassist Donnie Kisselbach.

The ensuing dates, commencing in Santa Barbara, California in October 1986 in America and dubbed the 'Nightmare Returns' tour, would see the return of the much loved execution sequence. Erstwhile W.A.S.P. guitarist Randy Piper was in line to back up Roberts but, following apparently unsatisfactory rehearsals, would lose his position to Johnny Dime (real name Arthur Funaro), sometimes known as 'Devlin 7'.

Support acts for the US legs included GUNS N' ROSES, VINNIE VINCENT INVASION and FASTER PUSSYCAT. By November Cooper was touring the UK, appearing at London's Wembley Arena on the 23rd with less than obvious guests DOCTOR & THE MEDICS prior to a nationwide run backed by ALIEN SEX FIEND. Return American dates had VINNIE VINCENT INVASION as openers.

US touring carried through into 1987, this time supported by MEGADETH. Canadian concerts in March saw SWORD as opening act. On August 30th ALICE COOPER headlined the Reading Festival in the UK. European concerts were scheduled for the following month but then cancelled. September 1987's ensuing 'Raise Your Fist And Yell' album retained the previous touring line-up put the pedal to the metal even more and featured a star studded supporting cast of guests JON BON JOVI and RICHIE SAMBORA alongside AEROSMITH's Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. The track 'Prince Of Darkness' would be used for the soundtrack for the movie of the same name, both Cooper and Roberts also putting in cameo appearances. Unfortunately MCA only lifted the one single, 'Freedom', from the album which fared worse on the charts than its predecessor.

The accompanying 'Live In The Flesh' tour began with a warm up date at the Ventura Theatre in Ventura, California on October 15th. The live band remained virtually steadfast with only Steve Steele, previously of MESOMORPH and Kane's CRIMINAL JUSTICE, supplanting Winger.

American dates had FASTER PUSSYCAT and FREHLEY'S COMET as opening acts. These shows ran through into early December but the death of Cooper's father then resulted in cancellations. ALICE COOPER picked up US dates to close the year, aligned GUNS N' ROSES. 1987 closed with a New Year's Eve show at the Center Coliseum in Seattle, washington supported by MOTÖRHEAD and FASTER PUSSYCAT.

January 1988 US dates saw ARMORED SAINT then MOTÖRHEAD as guests lasting into February. The UK, kicking off at the Edinburgh Playhouse on April 1st, tour found CHROME MOLLY as support act. Alice made the news on April 7th with his London Wembley Arena show when the safety device failed on the gallows. The noose tightened around the singers neck and he had to be cut free by crew. Stoically, Alice carried on with the performance.

German concerts, retaining CHROME MOLLY as openers, suffered from censorship as restrictions forced Alice to remove the spearing baby dolls on his sword, the axe attack on a female mannequin, the disemboweling of a pregnant woman and splattering fake blood. The set list would differ when the band reached Scandinavia, incorporating 'He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)', the song having been a sizable hit in Sweden. The tour wrapped up at the Forest National in Brussels, Belgium on May 6th.

Winger and Taylor would form the multi- platinum Melodic Rockers WINGER once touring was over. Kane Roberts announced his departure for a solo career in August. Meantime, ALICE COOPER would break ties with MCA Records. His two album sojourn with the label had heightened his profile setting the star up for a new deal with Epic Records. He closed the year in New York, involved in writing sessions with Desmond Child in December.

1989 to 1993

It was Alice Cooper's decision to leave MCA Records and sign to the Epic stable that brought Alice truly back into the public domain. 1989's 'Trash' album gave Alice his first Top 10 hit single for some twelve years in the form of 'Poison'. The success of 'Trash' might well have lain in the use of noted songwriter DESMOND CHILD in the songwriting process.

Cooper hit the road once more with an even more spectacular show and with a band comprising guitarists Pete Friesen and ex-ASIA man Al Pitrelli, ex-LITA FORD bassist Tommy 'T-Bone' Caradonna, DREAM THEATER keyboardist DEREK SHERINIAN and former MARILLION and GTR drummer Jonathan Mover. Cooper tour brought him back to Europe that Winter headlining a three band bill that brought with it GREAT WHITE and BRITNY FOX.Resuming action in North America, Eric Singer, a veteran of BLACK SABBATH, took over on the drum stool. Australian dates in May of 1990 saw THE BOMBERS as support act.

1991's 'Hey Stoopid' continued the trend. Although the hits were not as big the guest list most certainly was. The album also boasted a huge guest list of Rock luminaries including STIV BATORS, JON BON JOVI, VAN HALEN's Michael Anthony, TOTO's STEVE LUKATHER, AEROSMITH's Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton, KANE ROBERTS, RICHIE SAMBORA, KIP WINGER, STAN BUSH, BATON ROUGE's Kelly Keeling, MÖTLEY CRÜE's Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx, VINNIE MOORE, OZZY OSBOURNE, Slash of GUNS N' ROSES and STEVE VAI. Besides this names the album was laid down by drummers Bobby Chouinard (BILLY SQUIER) and Mickey Curry (BRYAN ADAMS), guitarists GUY MANN-DUDE and Jack Johnson, bass from Hugh McDonald (later of BON JOVI) and keyboard player Jai Winding.

ALICE COOPER toured America as part of the 'Operation Rock n' Roll' touring festival bill with a variety of Epic rock acts including headliners JUDAS PRIEST, MOTÖRHEAD, METAL CHURCH and DANGEROUS TOYS. When the dust settled Freezin' joined Brit Rockers THE ALMIGHTY whilst Pitrelli joined C.P.R., SAVATAGE, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT and later MEGADETH.

1994 to 2002

Cooper returned with the 1994 concept album, 'The Last Temptation', which was tied in with a comic book created to accompany the album and subsequent singles releases. His band for this release comprised MICHAEL BOLTON and BERLIN guitarist STEF BURNS, ex-WENDY O'WILLIAMS bassist Greg Smith, Sherinian on keyboards and drummer David Vosikkinen. Alice worked with various outside songwriters on this record including NIGHT RANGER's Jack Blades, SOUNDGARDEN's Chris Cornell, STYX guitarist TOMMY SHAW and ICON's Dan Wexler. Burns would then join Y&T, Smith joined RAINBOW and Sherinan DREAM THEATER.

ALICE COOPER returned in 1996, surely inspired back into action by the new breed of pretenders to the Shock Rock throne in order to show the copyists how the whole thing is really done. A lengthy American tour with co-headliners the SCORPIONS was undertaken. Alice Cooper announced that School was out once more and hit the road in Europe for a series of shows, albeit playing significantly smaller venues than those he had filled in the late 80's and early 90's. ALICE COOPER also slotted in a festival headliner in Belgium on a bill including MEGADETH and BIOHAZARD. The gigs were sell outs and coincided with the release of a live album, essentially a greatest hits package relaunching Cooper onto a public in need of something more inspirational than the majority of 'rock' music foisted upon them by the media.

Very much a return to the roots affair, recorded in the intimate surroundings of the Cabo Wabo Cantina club in Mexico, a 300 capacity joint owned by SAMMY HAGAR. 'A Fistful Of Alice' included Hagar himself as guest on guitar, plus Slash of GUNS N' ROSES and WHITE ZOMBIE vocalist ROB ZOMBIE.

One studio track 'Is Anyone Home?' was tied in at the end of the gig for radio play and featured a recording line-up of ex-ICON guitarist Dan Wexler, ex MR MISTER guitarist Steve Farris, Merrit Morrison on bass and drummer Matt Laug (who had played on ALANIS MORISSETTE's 'Jagged Little Pill' album).

The live tracks naturally featured Alice's 1997 tour band comprising guitarists Ryan Roxie, ELECTRIC ANGELS and CANDY, and REB BEACH, ex-WINGER, bassist Todd Jensen, previously of SEQUEL, HARLOW, the DAVID LEE ROTH band and HARDLINE, keyboard player Paul Taylor, of WINGER,and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, from FIONA, Y&T and WHITE LION. Further live action in America found the band plotting another drawn out headline affair supported by DOKKEN and SLAUGHTER.

Meantime, other members of the original ALICE COOPER group were resuming activity too. Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce and Neal Smith-collectively known as ROCK LEGENDS alongside FREHLEY'S COMET man RICHIE SCARLET on bass and keyboard player John Glenn, performed live for the first time in October 1997 at the Area 51 club. The event, an evening of classic early ALICE COOPER material, was captured for posterity as 'Live At Area 51' CD and video.

Alice rekindled his relationship with Bob Ezrin for 2000's 'Brutal Planet' album, his first for new label Spitfire Records. Roxie was retained from the touring band and ex KISS drummer Eric Singer joined the fold along with Canadian guitarist Phil X and bassist Rob Marlette.

Cooper's live band in 2000 consisted of Roxie, Freezin', bassist Greg Smith, former GUNS N' ROSES keyboard player Teddy Andreadis and Singer on drums. However, in early 2001 Singer was enticed back to KISS in order to replace PETER CRISS, the drummer even supplanting the KISS veteran to such a degree he had to wear the man's famous 'cat' face make up on stage. For Australian 2001 touring the band had the temporary assistance of former member and present day MEGADETH man Jimmy DeGrasso. Touring in the UK during May saw DIO as guests.

Meantime it was revealed that Cooper, along with MEGADETH' Dave Mustaine and a number of sports celebrities had part ownership of a restauraunt in Phoenix, AZ naturally entitled 'Cooperstown'. Diners had the pleasure of non stop Cooper videos and music piped to them while they were served by staff adorned in full Cooper make up!

Alice bounced back in October 2001 with his third instalment of the world corruption themed 'Last Temptation' trilogy with the 'Dragontown' album, once again produced by Bob Marlette and Bob Ezrin.

Cooper's impact on society in general was recognised at an award ceremony on September 1st held by the International Horror Guild. The singer was named as having bestowed upon him the Living Legend Award for 2001, the first recipient outside of the literary profession to ever receive the honour.

Another high profile band would take on 'Under My Wheels' when American Thrash vets SLAYER donated a roaring cover version to the NASCAR sponsored 'Crank It Up' compilation in the summer of 2002. The ALICE COOPER band would tour Great Britain during November headlining a bill dubbed 'The Monsters Of Rock' tour supported by THUNDER and THE WILDHEARTS. However, within days of the press release a further statement had THE WILDHEARTS withdrawing from these gigs and THE QUIREBOYS stepping up as replacement. L.A. GUNS would be added at a later date too.

A double CD re-release of 'Dragontown' was unveiled for late September release to coincide with North American tour dates dubbed 'Descent Into Dragontown' commencing August 30th in South Dakota and finishing up in Poughkeepsie on November 2nd. The enhanced edition of the album added the previously unreleased 'Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me', live takes of 'Go To Hell' and 'Ballad Of Dwight Fry' recorded in 2000 and a new 'Brutal Planet 2002 Descent remix'. Touring throughout late 2002 in North America and Europe saw the employment of bass veteran Chuck Wright, a man most recently linked with MONTROSE but also citing credits with QUIET RIOT and HOUSE OF LORDS amongst many others. Eric Singer would be back on the drum kit with GLAMNATION and JELLYFISH guitarist Eric Dover joining the familiar face of Pete Freezin' on guitar. Calico Cooper, Alice's daughter, would lend backing vocals.

2003 to 2007

ALICE COOPER revealed that he would be stripping down his traditional over the top stageshows for 2003 and embarking upon a no frills North American stretch of dates that June dubbed the 'Bare Bones' tour. In keeping with the character of this proposal Cooper's band dispensed with keyboards. Alongside the by now familiar faces of Ryan Roxie, Eric Dover and Eric Singer would be the new DIO credited bass player Chuck Garrick. A new album to accompany these shows, 'The Eyes Of Alice Cooper' would be produced by Andrew 'Mudrock' Murdoch, the lead in track 'Detroit City' featuring guest guitar from MC5's Wayne Kramer.

Rather belatedly, ALICE COOPER made his mark in Hollywood on 2nd December as the Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce presented the singer with his own star on Hollywood's Walk Of Fame. 2004 it would appear would see no let up in the live campaign with US dates and European festival performances being scheduled in for the Summer. With drummer Eric Singer rejoining KISS the TED NUGENT credited Tommy Clufetos stepped into the drum position.

Alice was awarded an honorary doctorate by Grand Canyon University, a Christian liberal arts college, in May. Apparently the singer had donated financially to the school. Meantime, some of Alice's old acquaintances would be traversing the North American club circuit, the band BDS Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith alongside BLUE ÖYSTER CULT man Joe Bouchard.

In August, an unusual scare ocurred before ALICE COOPER's Wallingford Oakdale Theater show. The singer's famous snake, an 8 foot long python, swallowed a heating pad by mistake. The reptile had to undergo emergency surgery to remove the 14 inch device. Meantime, Cooper's band evolved further with the BROTHER CANE and JOHN WAITE credited Damon Johnson replacing Dover.

In November, Alice and wife of 29 years choreographer Sheryl Cooper, were announced as recipients of the 'Phoenix Power Couple' award. The notation cited not only the pair's familiar roles in entertainment but also their involvement with the Solid Rock Foundation - a Christian non-profit organization dedicated to helping youth and teens, their downtown restaurant 'Cooperstown' and Alice's frequent excursions to the golf course. The Solid Rock Foundation put on an ALICE COOPER headlined gig in December, seeing the singer appearing alongside a reformed DAMN YANKEES and CHEAP TRICK's Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen.

Cooper opened 2005 with an unusual, invitation only gig in Orlando, Florida, playing a private show to launch Phillips-Van Heusen and Tehama's jointly designed IZOD-G brand of golf clothing. Dates in major venues across the UK in November of 2005 saw the band allied with TWISTED SISTER. A new album would be announced for 2005 with the title 'Dirty Diamonds'. Although Tommy Clufetos handled drums for these sessions he would then depart to join ROB ZOMBIE's band, as Eric Singer was once again put in the frame for live work. In the main, 'Dirty Diamonds' would be crafted by seasoned session players, numbering guitarist Rick Boston, bassist Mike Elizondo and keyboard player Teddy Zigzag.

The singer extended his civil duties by appearing on local Scottsdale television, promoting online vehicle registration and reminding drivers of the perils of running red lights, for the Arizona Department of Transportation. Cooper would also find himself in another on screen project, as part of the 2005 'Rock School' documentary chronicling the pioneering work of Paul Green's School Of Rock Music in Philadelphia. The singer fronted up a version of 'School's Out' backed by musicians from the school.

In June ALICE COOPER band members Eric Singer, Ryan Roxie and Chuck Garrick assembled a band with Damon Johnson for a short burst of Australian gigs. Alice's band would also make their presence felt on the soundtrack to the Horror movie 'Scarlet Fry's Junkfood Horrorfest', starring ALICE COOPER's daughter Calico. The contributed track, 'Psycho Fighter', featured Roxie, Garrick, ex-MÖTLEY CRÜE man John Corabi and drummer Tommy Clufetos.

ALICE COOPER partnered with CHEAP TRICK for US co-headline dates throughout August and September. Meantime, 'Dirty Diamonds' landed at no. 169 on the US Billboard charts, the man's highest chart entry in over a decade. Eric Singer occupied the drum position for touring until a prior commitment with KISS saw him opting out of the last three US dates, Tommy Clufetos returning from work with ROB ZOMBIE to fulfil these gigs prior to Singer's return. That October the Eric Singer, Ryan Roxie, Chuck Garrick and Damon Johnson axis once again convened for live dates, this time two gigs in Indianapolis, Indiana as fundraisers for Hurricane Katrina relief.

DEEP PURPLE and ALICE COOPER teamed up for a German tour in February 2006. However, longstanding guitarist Ryan Roxie opted out, his place being taken by the ADLER'S APPETITE, VINCE NEIL band, RATT, BIG BANG BABIES, PRETTY BOY FLOYD, DADS PORNO MAG, WARRANT and SLASH'S SNAKEPIT credited Keri Kelli .For shows in July ex-UNION and VINCE NEIL band man Brent Fitz filled in on drums as Eric Singer was occupied with KISS.

Alice fronted a metalized version of THE BEATLES 'Hey Bulldog' for the Restless Records tribute album 'Butchering The Beatles' released in October, this track also featuring guitarist STEVE VAI, VELVET REVOVER bassist DUFF McKAGAN and MOTÖRHEAD drummer Mikkey Dee.

ALICE COOPER set 'Along Came A Spider' as the title of his next studio album, originally scheduled for May 2007 release. The recording roster for this effort comprised guitarists Keri Kelli and Damon Johnson, bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Eric Singer. However, in mid-April Cooper revealed the timeline for this album had been scheduled further back into 2008. Meantime, he launched his long awaited autobiography 'Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: A Rock 'N'Roller's 12 Steps To Becoming A Golf Addict'.

The band hit Chile, Argentina and Brazil for concerts in May and June 2007. Australian gigs took place in July. Cooper performed at the Wellington Westpac Arena, New Zealand 'Rock2Wgtn' festival over Easter 2008 flanking KISS, OZZY OSBOURNE, POISON, WHITESNAKE and LORDI. Many critics were of the opinion that Cooper gave a show stealing performance.

The conceptual 'Along Came A Spider' opus, the tale of a serial killer named Spider described as “an arachnophobic psychopath” by Cooper, saw release on July 29th 2008. This set, produced by Danny Saber, was recorded utilising Cooper's longstanding live band members drummer Eric Singer, bassist Chuck Garric plus guitarists Keri Kelli and Jason Hook.

Alice Cooper headlined the second annual 'Supergroup' artist and entertainer recovery benefit concert on Sunday 26th April 2009 at Berklee Performance Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Joining him onstage would be guitarist ex-KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, guitarist Ricky Byrd, ex-JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, drummer Chad Smith, from RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS and CHICKENFOOT, drummer Simon Kirke, of BAD COMPANY, guitarist Barry Goudreau, of BOSTON, Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis, bassist Will Lee, singer-harmonica player James Montgomery, singer Kate Taylor, bagpipe and tin whistle player Scruffy Wallace, of the DROPKICK MURPHYS, plus guitarist Damon Johnson.

Still able to sitir up controversy, ALICE COOPER's 11th December 2009 concert at Finland's Tampere Areena was cancelled on "religious grounds." The venue's president/CEO, Harry Wiherkoski, was quoted as saying in the Finnish media, "We don't arrange concerts where Satanism or non-god-worshipping occurs."

Garry Sharpe-Young

Copyright Musicdetector Websites 2009










TRASH 1989



DADA 1983

















Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees) 1997

Hole In My Soul 1997

It's Me 1994

Feed My Frankenstein 1992

Hey Stoopid (Single) 1991

Love's A Loaded Gun 1991

Only My Heart Talkin' 1990

Poison (Single) 1989

Bed Of Nails 1989

House Of Fire 1989

I Got A Line On You 1988

Freedom 1987

He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask) 1986

Teenage Frankenstein 1986

From The Inside (Single) 1979

Four Tracks From Alice Cooper EP 1978

How You Gonna See Me Now 1978

(No More) Love At Your Convenience 1977

You And Me 1977

I Never Cry 1976

Department Of Youth 1975

Only Women Bleed 1975

Welcome To My Nightmare (Single) 1975

Muscle Of Love (Single) 1974

Halo Of Flies 1973

Hello Hurray 1973

No More Mr. Nice Guy 1973

Billion Dollar Babies (Single) 1973

Teenage Lament '74 1973

Nobody Likes Me (Single) 1972

Be My Lover 1972

School's Out (Single) 1972

Elected 1972

Caught In A Dream 1971

Under My Wheels 1971

I'm Eighteen 1970

Shoe Salesman 1970









HE'S BACK 1997








LADIES MAN - LIVE 1969 1987





He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask) (Promo) 1986

Give It Up 1986

(No More) Love At Your Convenience (Promo) 1977

School's Out (Promo) 1972

Reflected 1969