in CAT

C.A.T: Love it to Death

Alice Cooper – Love it to Death (1971)

I swear this is my final post about Alice Cooper. After this I don’t know why I’d ever need to write about him again. Frankly, I don’t even want to write about him right now, but I’ve always thought “Hey, it would be fun to review this album around halloween huh?” It’s as good a way as any to end my string of posts on the “King of Shock Rock”. Billion Dollar Babies may have been the group’s biggest commercial success, but this is the album with the best tunes and the best feel for frightening subject matter.

After two failed albums this is the release that brought the group into the mainstream. A great deal of this is attributed to both the improved songwriting from the band (most notably guitarist/keyboardist Michael Bruce) and producer Bob Ezrin (Kiss, Pink Floyd) who would from here on become an integral part of the band’s sound. The Alice Cooper fan favorite “I’m Eighteen” was the breakout single of the album but alongside it were many tracks that were of equal quality.

Songs like “Long Way to Go” and “Is It My Body?” are quick no nonsense rockers that pack a punch both melodically and instrumentally, while songs like “Black Juju” and “Ballad of Dwight Fry” (obvious nod to the horror actor) reveal more of the group’s dark experimental side. Love it to Death also holds a special place in my heart for containing my favorite Alice Cooper song “Caught in a Dream”, a catchy Michael Bruce penned rocker that opens the album and has made it onto many of my classic rock playlists, it’s like the classic that never was.

I hear Poon guitarist/vocalist Lesley Quartermaine was greatly inspired by this album while recording his last E.P. I caught up with him for a quick comment. Lesley said: “Man when that album came out everyone was all freakin’ out ’cause they thought Alice was sticking his schlong out on the cover. I don’t remember anything else about that album.” In addition, it was included on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums list awhile back so if you’re looking for something good for this halloween season then prepare to love it to death!

Favorite Tracks: “Caught in a Dream”, “Hallowed Be My Name”, “Is It My Body?”