Thursday, April 26, 2012

Alice Cooper--School's Out (1972)

     For those who read this blog who are under the age of 40, it's probably humorous to read some of these stories based on what we see of an artist now. Of course, from a historical standpoint, it shows that if we show growth at all, we change over the years. In all media, there is the added perspective of how a person is portrayed now as opposed to 20, 30, 40 years ago.
     For a few years, Alice Cooper was the scourge of my parents generation. Just about every ill that had befallen on teenagers was being blamed on Cooper and his overt call to unwitting children to revolt and usurp authority. Truth was, that those children, understood "the Coop" and "School's Out" much more than parents gave them credit for.. Any kid from first to twelfth grade understood the unabashed glee of that song. And the theatrics? Cooper was a logical extension from artists like, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Screamin' Lord Such, and Arthur Brown. The group KISS, Marilyn Manson, and Lady Gaga has kept this tradition going. Performance art as music has been a part of rock almost as long as we have had rock and roll.
     The group Alice Cooper had made the slow trek from Detroit garage band in the late 60's (who literally could clear a room) to top notch rock band. Producer Bob Ezrin had taken the rawness of "Pretties for You", and "Easy Action", and smoothed just enough of the sharp edges without effecting the raw power of the group. The subsequent albums, "Love It To Death", and "Killer" began a slow climb on the charts, and made them stars with the FM radio crowd.
     1971's, School's Out was the real breakthrough and gave the group their first top 10 single. They were one of the predominant rock bands from 1971-1975. This clip was from Britian's "Top of the Pops" from 1972.


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