Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The King of Spooky

Today in Music History:

In 1992, twenty years after the release of his milestone 'Harvest,' Neil Young issues a sequel, 'Harvest Moon.' It becomes his first million-seller since 1979's 'Rust Never Sleeps.'
Dwight FryThere is one artist that I have done to death on this site and that is the shockmeister himself, Alice Cooper. One could conclude that homercat likes his Coop and one would be correct. Past posts include this one and this other one. If you are compiling a Halloween compilation for a party or other reasons then a failure to include any Alice material would be a sham. One of the scariest things about Alice is his ultra conservative views, for example recently opening a christian summer camp or being a Bush supporter. Still he is the master of the creepy song.

I mentioned earlier the ultra creepy album DaDa which seems to be a concept album of sorts. There seems to be a recurring theme about the father and the brother that is kept locked away. I've already said the opening track is very spooky and it doesn't end there. 1983's Dada, reunited Cooper with Bob Ezrin, who produced most of his '70's albums. It turned out to be Cooper's strongest album in a decade. Alice was still struggling with alcoholism at this point, and the tone of this album is rather dark. His trademark shock lyrics have an unsettlingly serious undertone on "No Man's Land" and "Pass The Gun Around". The gruesome songs are dressed up in lush arrangements including prominent strings and keyboards. "Former Lee Warmer" is rather spooky, almost supernatural sounding, conveying the feel of loneliness and darkness. This is right in with the context of the song, which talks about a brother being locked up in an upstairs room of a house to which only the "storyteller" has possession. The final track "Pass the gun around" deals with the subject of wasting time and getting drunk - feeling like there is nothing worth living for . It might almost have a biographical aspect to it, considering Alice's position at the time. The song has an underlying sadness and despair to it and when the song ends with the sound of a gun going off it really does leave the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. You also get a sense of the turmoil in Alice's life at the time. Dada is an overlooked masterpiece and many Cooper fans will tell you it's one of his best albums. I would rank it in the top 5 myself.
Former Lee Warmer by Alice Cooper
Pass the Gun Around by Alice Cooper (rs)
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Here's a song off of another highly overlooked album. It's not really a spooky song but it's kind of neat opening with a spooky organ riff. Everytime I hear it I see visions of all these creepy looking skeletons dancing around in a maniacal frenzy. Sounds like Halloween to me.
Skeletons in the Closet by Alice Cooper
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A few more must have creeptastic Cooper tunes to round off this post.
Ballad of Dwight Fry
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The Awakening(bonus alternate version) (rs)
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Unfinished Sweet
Buy It

Funny Toon