Albums That Built The Foundation To Heavy Metal :
Artist : The Alice Cooper Band
Album : Love It To Death
Released : March 8, 1971
Metal Mofo Album Rating : 5/5 (One Of The Most Influential Hard Rock Albums Of The 1970s.)
The Alice Cooper Band :
It’s really been sad how over the past few decades the original Alice Cooper band had not received the respect or accolades like bands of the same era have, notably Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. In reality they were just as influential to the music that would become both Heavy Metal, and Hard Rock. What’s even more criminal is that many people don’t even realize that Alice Cooper was originally one of America’s greatest bands, especially since their lead singer would take the name. For knowledgeable fans of the band though, the name “Alice Cooper” is much more than a guy who now hosts a radio show, and plays golf, it’s a band who would build a template for not only the right way to sound, but also look.
While bands like Zeppelin, Sabbath, and Deep Purple were building the foundation to Heavy Metal in the UK, the Alice Cooper Band were doing that, but also was developing a way to look on stage that was much more scary and shocking than those bands in America. Today we hear about how bands like KISS throwing up Blood, wearing makeup, or how Ozzy was biting heads off bats. Truth is Alice Cooper did it first. By 1971 it was truly time for the band to “make or break” with their third album now known as “Love It To Death”. After two really good, buy unfocused studio albums, with Producers who didn’t share their vision. After a disastrous experience working with Neil Young’s Producer David Briggs, they regrouped and headed to Detroit Michigan.
In the early 1970s it was obvious that heading to Michigan was the right decision. With bands like The Stooges, and MC5 it became the the location of groundbreaking sounds that would go on to influence both Punk, and Heavy Metal. Most importantly for the Alice Cooper Band though was this was when they would meet a young Producer by the name of Bob Ezrin. They would then get a major record deal on Warner Brothers, (the same record company that had Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple) and made them rehearse for eight to ten hours a day. This was in would give the band a much tighter sound especially with the two guitar players Glen Buxton, and Michael Bruce. The song known as “I’m Eighteen” would become a huge hit, but the album as a whole was solid from start to finish. Oh, and for anyone thinking that Black Sabbath was making the scariest music of the time, listen to the song “Black Juju”, which is as dark and scary as anything ever done.
The marriage between Alice Cooper, and Bob Ezrin would be a match made in heaven. Just eight months later they would work together again on the “Killer” album, followed by two more classics “School’s Out” and “Billion Dollar Babies.” Each of those records containing some of the greatest hard rock music of the 1970s. Today after years of disrespect, the original Alice Cooper Band is finally starting to get some recognition they have always deserved. Not only are newer bands realizing how influential and ahead of their time they were, but after years of being snubbed they were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The record “Love It To Death” should be part of any Metal/Punk/Glam/Hard Rock fan’s collection. Absolutely Essential..
“Caught in a Dream” (Michael Bruce) – 3:10
“I’m Eighteen” (Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith) – 3:00
“Long Way to Go” (Bruce) – 3:04
“Black Juju” (Dunaway) – 9:09
“Is It My Body” (Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith) – 2:39
“Hallowed Be My Name” (Neal Smith) – 2:29
“Second Coming” (Cooper) – 3:04
“Ballad of Dwight Fry” (Cooper, Bruce) – 6:33
“Sun Arise” (Harry Butler, Rolf Harris) – 3:50