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Monday, October 25, 2004

FROM THE INSIDE

Alice Cooper spent a good amount of 1978 in a mental facility in Connecticut seeking treatment for alcohol induced insanity. Betty Ford had yet to open the doors of her clinic, and the proliferation of rehabs had not started in earnest. Alice, losing his mind, checked himself into a booby hatch. The result is this great record from 1979. The case of Bud by day, quart of whiskey by night lifestyle had caught up with him, as it would Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics for this record with Alice while he (Bernie) was still a full fledged drunk. Bernie doesn't remember the project, but he did a good job. This is one of my favorite Alice records because it's such a departure. Alice had always used writing partners, weather it was Michael Bruce, Bob Ezrin, or Dick Wagner, but this is the one and only colaboration with the esteemed Mr. Taupin. Alice also took a break from Bob Ezrin, who had produced every Alice record since 1971's 'Love It To Death', in favor of David Foster, noted pianist, and producer (see Karate Kid soundtrack, he he he), so it's no wonder that the record has a Broadway feel. It still rocks however, but it tells a story too, and a good one. Tony Alva and I always dug 'The Quiet Room', 'Jackknife Johnny', and the title track. 'Serious' is great rocker with one of the best lines in rockdom:

'All of my life was a laugh and a joke
A drink and a smoke
And then I passed out on the floor
Again and again and again
I took that serious'

I always thought that this record should be brought to Broadway. It has all the goods. Tunes, story, characters. It's also Alice's swan song as far as big production session guy type records, he would spent the early eighties pushin' the punk/new wave version of Alice (whick I love) and the late eighties making bad heavy metal, before regrouping and putting out some slamming stuff in recent years.
Kudos to Alice for being the consumate performer, his politics suck however.

Comments:
You can't hate every Bush voter my man... I think this quote is great, "If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."

"From the Inside" is another record that I have to give props to my brother for. He wore it out on the turntable for a couple of months and I could not ignore it. VERY good production for the period. The end of the title track is my favorite bit and the ballad "How You Gonna See Me Now?" is a great tune as well.

I have always been a big fan of Alice's top ten oriented ballads that seem to have been as much of a staple on all his post original band records as the token Keith Richards fronted songs on Stones albums of the era. I'll see if I can't run some of them down... In addition to the above, there was "I Never Cry" from ‘Goes To Hell’, "You and Me" from ‘Lace and Whiskey’, and my all time favorite, "Only Women Bleed" from ‘Welcome
To My Nightmare’. All of these were great radio hits that I secretly loved when WPLJ was playing them in heavy rotation on the Teen Club stereo. I say secretly loved since my friends would have killed me for admitting this. "What the...? Those songs are for Leif Garrett loving wussies", they would have been heard to say to me for such a confession.

At first we laughed about it
My longhaired drunken friends
Proposed a toast to Jimi’s ghost
I never dreamed that I would wind up on the losing end
I'm stuck here on the inside
I'm lookin' out
I'm just another case
Where's my make-up, where's my face? On the inside, yeah!!!

Followed by Rick Neilson's crashing and beautifully distorted A chord. Awesomely brilliant. I think I’ll go home and dig that disc out for my trip to Washington tomorrow.

Thanks Jackson.
 
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