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May 15, 1973 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-05-15

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Page Five

Tuesday, May 15, 1973


Tuesday, May 15, 1973 THE SUMMER DAILY Page Five



_._ ,..

Alice: Sex, violence
mno e un than. ecology
Alice Cooper, the all-American boy, is 24 years old. He likes
to watch television and drink Budweiser beer and go to baseball
Alice Cooper also is the biggest name in American rock
music in 1973. His albums sell millions of copies, and hun-
dreds of thousands of people jam arenas across the country to
see his extravaganzas of sex and violence set to music.
In a recent conversation, Alice said "I'm up for a reaction,
on some level-they can throw up, they can laugh, they can leave
-as long as they don't just sit there. The worst audience you
can get is intellectuals .. . I want the 16-year-old kids."
On his song topics, Alice says "I just think that sex and vio-
lence is more fun than ecology. There's nothing wrong with hu-
man bloodlust. I can't think of anything that should be taken too
"This is the 1970's cabaret-we're jist exploiting decadence.
The Germans invented the cabaret out of decadence, and that's
what we're doing."
Alice is clearly a child of television. Put him in front of a
relatively intimate audience, without eye makeup or props,
Summer Daily
and he becomes a long-haired Johnny Carson who tells sick jokes
. ° . and always has a witty comeback. Closer still, in direct convery-
sation, he is lucid and a clear-headed self-analyst.
But it is not really this "off-stage" Alice who counts. It's the
costumed, sneering, rock star Alice who sells all those tickets
and records.
On stage, Alice's perceptions of the direction rock music and
theater is going, combined with the jaded attitude of his audi-
ences, have led to maniacal sexual fantasies and violent excess-
es - chopped-qp dolls and dismembered mannequins, hanging,
gangs, gun fights and beheadings.
Yet in many ways, Alice should be easier for America to
understand, if not embrace, than the purposefully non-theatrical
bands of the '60s: "I believe in gimmicks-I would hate to go up
on stage in a pair of levis and just play rock 'n' roll - that's old,
- ."'and stupid."
? -As for the music, it almost seems silly to comment, since
Billion Dollar Babies (Warner Bros. BS-2685) has already been
certified a platinum album, which means it has sold more than
a million copies.
Nonetheless, I'll defy popular opinion and say that despite
some fine hard rockers "Elected," "No More Mr. Nice Guy," fea-
turing Donovan trading lead vocals with Alice plus the brief,
- ~whimsical and out-of-character "Mary Ann", Alice Cooper's best
album is still Killer. In fact, Killer remains one of the best hard
rock albums 'ever released by anybody.
uN Though insisting predictably, that Babies is the best Cooper
s- album yet, Alice modestly concedes that "we haven't made a
Sgt. Pepper yet, but that's what we're going for. We're very
r+competitive people'
* CBruce Meyer is a feature writer for the United Press Inter-
Record, rantigsand ravng

mentation is unique with vibes
and violin playing an important
role. Guitarist Charlie Whitney
plays some strong solos, and
shows that he is a fine guitarist.
Singer Roger Chapman possesses
one of the most unusual voices in
rock, a penetrating throaty
It's a Beautiful Day . . . To-
day (Columbia KC 32181)
It's A Beautiful Day has be-
come one of the foundation-
stones of San Francisco music.
Recently, however band mem-
bers ganged up on leader - foun-
der - violinist David LaFlamme
and kicked him out. With his.
departure; the band lost their
reason for existence.
Bassist Bud Cockrell is now
the leading light of the band. He
has a nice voice, very throaty
and gruff, and his compositions
are moderately good in their
simplicity. His three tunes,
"Down On the Bayou," "Watch-
ing You, Watching Me," .and

"Mississippi Delta," seem good
by themselves, but their proxim-
ity to each other is deadly as
they end up flowing together and
becoming annoyingly tedious.
His coup d'etat, "Creation" is
also overextended, although it
does have a fairly decent con-
Songs by keyboardist Fred,
Webb fare better because they
are meant to be simple and easy-
going, particularly his opener
"Ain't It Lovin' You Baby"
which starts the album out on a
strong rollicking note whose pro-
mise is never fulfilled. Vocalist
Pattie Santos is still an asset as
is guitarist Bill Gregory. New
violinist Greg Bloch is an utter
failure in comparison with La-
Flamme; Bloch remains through-
out the album as a total non-en-
tity and he is used rather spar-
ingly. The collaboration of the
new band members yields a sat-
isfactory album which shows
some talent and is held down by
Cockrell's pretensions.

often in rather nebulous blues
tunes which are very soft and
laid back, featuring Shane's un-
distingunished and superfacial vo-
cals along side his adequate do-
'These songs miss the strength
of the band - the fierce attack
of veterans Vestine, de la Parra,
and Hite, particularly the unique
and sizzling power of Vestine's
When this g"tsv anoroach is
harnessed, along with some sim-
ple attacking 'on the k".vboards,
then you have some really fine
straight ahead m'isic. For exam-
ple, the opener "Keep It Clean",
an ecology-blues that although a
little lyrically pretentious, is a
pretty nice rocking tune. "Rock
& Roll Music", a rock - blues
derivative that is recognizable
enough to please and original
enough to sound good, and
"Framed" by Leiber - Stoller of
"Hound Dog"-"Jailhouse Rock"

FAMILY - Anyway (United
Artists USA-5527)
Family, an English band with
a depth of talent and uniqueness,
recently released one of their
past albums for the first time
in the United States. On Any-
way, Family- comes across ex-
cellently live, particularly in
"Good News-Bad News." Their
sound is very eclectic, with sub-
tle variations of loud and soft
and slow and fast. The instru-

Age (United Artists UA-LA049-F)
Canned Heat has risen up in
the pop world through the ex-
ploitation of their own brand of
commercialized gutsy blues.
On their new album, The New
Age, the music is still basically
blues - oriented, but the blues.
is much more mellow and often
distractingly sweet. J a m e s
Shane indulges himself a bit too

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