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Alice Cooper

From Academic Kids

Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier, February 4, 1948), is a heavy metal singer and musician. Alice Cooper was originally just the name of Furnier's band. Furnier officially changed his own name to Alice Cooper for a successful solo career.

Furnier, of French ancestry, (born in Detroit but raised in Arizona) and heavily influenced by The Beatles, formed a number of rock bands in the 1960s, including the Earwigs, The Spiders, and The Nazz. Furnier, upon learning that Todd Rundgren also had a band called the Nazz, changed the band's name to Alice Cooper (the name Alice Cooper is said to have been agreed upon after after on of Furnier's Ouija sessions, and learning that he was a reincarnation of a 17th century "witch" of the same name, according to band legen, ofcourse), which at that time included guitarist Mike Bruce, guitarist Glen Buxton, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith. After moving to California in 1968, the band enlisted Shep Gordon and Joe Greenberg as their managers, and the band was soon signed to Frank Zappa's label, Straight Records - releasing two competent but outlandish albums, Pretties For You and Easy Action, to a frosty public and critical reception.

Although the band incorporated theatrics in their stage act from the outset, a chance case of press misreporting an unfortunate, unrehearsed stage routine involving Alice and a live chicken led to the band changing tack - capitalising on tabloid sensationalism and creating a new sub-genre, shock rock.

Contents

1970s

In 1970, the band teamed up with fledgling producer Bob Ezrin on their album etitled Love it to Death. This was the first of more than 10 Alice Cooper group and solo albums done with Ezrin who is credited with having helped to create their definitive sound. A hit single soon followed in 1971's "I'm Eighteen". The band's trailblazing mix of shock and glam theatrics stood out amongst bearded, denim-clad hippy band by sporting sequined costumes by the prominent rock fashion designer Cindy Dunaway (Pink Floyd, The Who) and stage shows that involved gothic torture modes imposed on the lead singer. In the summer of 1972, Alice Cooper served up School's Out to their hungry audience, their biggest success. The album reached number two on the charts and sold over a million copies. The title song went Top 10 in the US and a number one single in the UK.

Missing image
AliceCooperBillionDollarBabies.jpg
Album cover for Billion Dollar Babies.

Billion Dollar Babies, released in 1973, was the band's most commercially successful album, reaching no. 1 in both the US and Britain. That album's first single, "No More Mr. Nice Guy," became a Top 10 hit in Britain, and reached number 25 in the U.S. With a string of successful concept albums in the bag, the band toured the world - attempts to ban their shocking act by politicians and pressure groups only serving to fuel the myth of Alice Cooper and generate more audience interest.

In 1974, the band split - Cooper himself wanting to retain the theatrics that had brought them so much attention, the rest of the group wanting to concentrate on the music which had given them credibility.

His first solo album was Welcome to My Nightmare. He was backed by Lou Reed's band, guitarist Dick Wagner, guitarist Steve Hunter, bassist Prakash John, keyboardist Joseph Chrowski, and drummer Penti Glan. The album was another top 10 hit for Cooper. After three further disappointing albums, in 1977 Cooper was hospitalized in a New York sanitarium for alcoholism. This may be responsible for a surprise return to form on the hard-rocking, semi-autobiographical album From The Inside. Around this time Cooper led celebrities in raising money to remodel the famous Hollywood sign in California. Cooper himself chipped in over $27,000 for the project, doing it in memory of friend and comedian Groucho Marx.

1980s

His albums from the beginning of 1980s, Flush The Fashion, Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin, and DaDa, were not commercially successful, especially in comparison to previous sales. They were regarded as very strange and bizarre at that time, and are now considered cult classics. Flush The Fashion has a spare, edgy musical sound that was so unexpected as to have been truly baffling to long-time fans. The songs are typically clever, however, and hold up very well. Special Forces was a bit darker and more cynical, but continued with the experimental sound. With only mildy positive commerical and critical response to these experiments, Cooper then released Constrictor (1986), a heavier album, which had more, but still very limited, success, followed by Raise Your Fist And Yell (1987) which had a rougher sound than its predecessor. Both Constrictor and Raise Your Fist and Yell were recorded with guitarist Kane Roberts & bassist Kip Winger, both of whom would leave the band by the end of 1987. Kane Roberts would go on as a solo artist, while Kip formed Winger. Roberts' stage attire was unusual since he was basically a Rambo-clone - muscular body, scanty clothing and a guitar that resembled a machine gun.

In 1989, his career experienced a real revival with the Desmond Child produced album Trash which spawned the hit single Poison and a worldwide arena tour.

1990s

In 1991, the album Hey Stoopid was released, and the song with same name became an anti-drug anthem. In 1992, he made a famous cameo in the movie Wayne's World, in which he discusses the history of Milwaukee in some depth. In 1994 he released The Last Temptation, which contains deeper theological thoughts.

2000s

A pause, lasting for six years, ended in 2000 with Brutal Planet. Brutal Planet is musically strong, dark and loud, with subject matter thematically inspired by the brutality of the modern world, although set in a post-apocalyptic future. It was succeeded by Dragontown in 2001, which has been described by Cooper as being "the worst town on Brutal Planet".

In 2003, Cooper again adopted a leaner, cleaner sound for The Eyes Of Alice Cooper. Recognizing that many current bands were having great success with his former sounds and styles, Cooper worked with a somewhat younger group of road and studio musicians who were very familiar with his oevre. However, instead of rehashing the old sounds, they updated them, often with surprisingly effective results. The resulting Bare Bones tour adopted a less-orchestrated performance style that had fewer theatrical flourishes and a greater emphasis on muscicality. The success of this tour help support the growing recognition that the classic Cooper songs were exceptionally clever, tuneful, and unique.

Cooper received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003. It is located at the corner of Orange Drive and Hollywood Boulevard.

Cooper continues to record and tour heavily as of January 2005.

Cooper owns a rock and roll club and restaurant called Cooperstown in Phoenix and Cleveland. Cooper is also an avid golfer and also has a popular syndicated radio show called "Nights with Alice Cooper" where classic rock and roll songs are showcased.

Discography



Line ups

1963-1972

  • Alice Cooper (vocals)
  • Glen Buxton (guitar)
  • Michael Bruce (guitar)
  • Dennis Dunaway (bass)
  • Neal Smith (drums)

1973

  • Alice Cooper (vocals)
  • Glen Buxton (guitar)
  • Michael Bruce (guitar)
  • Dennis Dunaway (bass)
  • Mick Mashbur (guitar)
  • Neal Smith (drums)

1974-1976

  • Josef Chirowski (keyboards)
  • Alice Cooper (vocals)
  • Penti Glan (drums)
  • Steve Hunter (guitar)
  • Prakash John (bass)
  • Tony Levin (bass)
  • Allan Schwartzberg (drums)
  • Dick Wagner (guitar)

1977-1979

  • Alice Cooper (vocals)
  • Dennis Conway (drums)
  • Pentti Glan (drums)
  • Steve Hunter (guitar)
  • Prakash John (bass)
  • Davey Johnstone (guitar)
  • Jefferson Kewley (guitar)
  • Bob Kulick (guitar)
  • Tony Levin (bass)
  • Fred Mandel (keyboards)
  • Dee Murray (bass)
  • Allan Schwartzberg (drums)
  • Mark Stein (keyboards)
  • Dick Wagner (guitar)

1980-1983

  • Alice Cooper (vocals)
  • Duane Hitchings (bass)
  • Prakash John (bass)
  • Davey Johnstone (guitar)
  • Craig Kampf (drums)
  • Richard Kolinka (drums)
  • Mike Pinera (guitar)
  • Erik Scott (bass)
  • Jan Uvena (drums)
  • Dick Wagner (guitar)

1984-1988

  • Alice Cooper (vocals)
  • Johnny Dime (guitar)
  • Donnie Kisselbach (bass)
  • Ken Mary (drums)
  • Kane Roberts (guitar)
  • David Rosenberg (drums)
  • Steve Steele (bass)
  • Paul Taylor (keyboards)
  • Kip Winger (bass)

1989-1993

  • Alice Cooper (vocals)
  • Tommy Carradonna (bass)
  • Pete Friesen (guitar)
  • Jonathon Mover (drums)
  • Al Pitrelli (guitar)
  • Derek Sherinian (keyboards)
  • Eric Singer (drums)

1994-2002

  • Alice Cooper (vocals)
  • Teddy Andreadis (keyboards)
  • Reb Beach (guitar)
  • Stef Burns (guitar)
  • Jimmy DeGrasso (drums)
  • Eric Dover (guitar)
  • Steve Farris (guitar)
  • Todd Jensen (bass)
  • Matt Laug (drums)
  • Bob Marlette (bass)
  • Merrit Morrison (bass)
  • Ryan Roxie (guitar)
  • Derek Sherinian (keyboards)
  • Eric Singer (drums)
  • Greg Smith (bass)
  • Paul Taylor (keyboards)
  • David Vosikkinen (drums)
  • Dan Wexler (guitar)
  • Chuck Wright (bass)
  • Phil X (guitar)
  • Pete Freezin' (guitar)

2003-2005

  • Alice Cooper (vocals)
  • Tommy Clufetos (drums)
  • Eric Dover (guitar)
  • Chuck Garrick (bass)
  • Damon Johnson (guitar)
  • Ryan Roxie (guitar)
  • Eric Singer (drums)

Fans

Many artists and rock bands claim to be fans of Cooper's, including KISS, Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Alice in Chains, U2, The Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Mtley Cre, Melvins, Tool, UFO, W.A.S.P., Michael Jackson, Megadeth, and of course Marilyn Manson, who has been called an imitation of Cooper.

Other

Melody Maker magazine once published a satirical concert review of Cooper in the form of a mock obituary, causing confused readers to think he had died. Once he had been tracked down, Alice Cooper reassured them: "I'm alive, and drunk as usual".

Enough Rope interview

Aired on 20 June 2005 ahead of his June-July 2005 tour, Cooper had a wide-ranging interview for Australian television's Enough Rope with interviewer of celebrities, Andrew Denton. Cooper discussed: his 'cure' and subsequent abstinence from alcohol for 24 years and subsequent obsession with golf, the shock value of his shows (saying that "all the rest were Peter Pan and I decided to be Captain Hook"), being a Christian, and the nature of his relationship with Groucho Marx (who saw his shows as vaudeville) and Salvador Dal (who saw his shows as "surrealistic"), his support for George W. Bush, and his social and work relationship with his family. transcript (http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/transcripts/s1396692.htm)

ANDREW DENTON: But you must be disappointed. The whole business of being a teenager is to rebel against your parents.

ALICE COOPER: I know. It's really true though. I think we all watch everybody else's kids rebel and then my kids go, "Ah, I'm not into that." My daughter comes home and she says, "You know what the problem is, dad? You're cooler than my friends." She says, "I wish I could say you weren't but you are. You're cooler than my friends."fr:Alice Cooper he:אליס קופר no:Alice Cooper pt:Alice Cooper sv:Alice Cooper fi:Alice Cooper de:Alice Cooper

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