Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Special Forces

So I'm at work this morning and I hear on the radio that Alice Cooper is one of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductees for 2011.  Or should I say the Alice Cooper Band, he isn't being inducted for his post 75 work yet.  You know what? It's about damn time. For the last five years I have done many rants about the repeated, year after year snubbings that the voters have handed out to Alice, while other less deserving artists made it into the Hall. Finally this huge oversight has been rectified so I had to post this up today as my tribute to Alice.

Special Forces
Special Forces is the 13th studio album by Alice Cooper, released in 1981. Alice had fallen out of favor when he released this album in 1981 which quickly went nowhere on the charts. That's the only explanation I can think of for it not yielding a handful of hits. This is a peppy, slick, high-energy feel good album with some of Alice's funniest lyrics. The loose theme is some kind of para-military fantasy and the album begins with a helicopter, (which Alice probably lifted from Pink Floyd and then Aldo Nova would steal it yet again a year or so later for Fantasy) dropping the head banging song Who Do You Think We Are into your ears.   Come to think of it, I've heard that darn helicopter in a lot of songs.  This album is probably not at the top of too many Alice Cooper fan's favorites list, but I absolutely love it.  I remember the day when I first listened to this album.  I can't remember if it was me or my old college buddy who first bought it the day it came out but I remember going over to his apartment and we listened to this album all night until we both had pretty much memorized every lyric on the album, even coming up with a little skeleton dance for the song Skeletons in my Closet.

This CD is a pure 80's delight, with sound effects, robotic background vocals, heavy synth use, all mixed with Alice's unique lyrical style create one of the most original CD's in the Cooper catalog. The stand out song, for me, is You're A Movie, which features Alice as a General, who is the reincarnation of Patton, with Hannibal's heart, and Alexander's prowess. It is delightfully smug and condescending and sung in a cocky,deadpan way that is marvelous. After all these years I still laugh out loud everytime I hear it.

A song called "Look At You Over There, Ripping The Sawdust From My Teddybear," was listed on the album packaging, but was removed by Cooper from the album itself before the release, as he felt it didn't fit with the overall theme. It was later released in demo form on the box set The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper, and again in demo form on the 2010 reissue of Special Forces. There is a completed studio version of the song which still remains unreleased. I have added the demo of the song on this one.  I remember wondering what the teddy bear song was all about at the time, was it a hidden backwards track or what the heck does it mean.  Congrats on your induction Alice and here's a couple gems from this least heard Cooper album.

Who Do You Think We Are?
You're A Movie
Buy It

Funny Toon


Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I am raising a Bud in Alice's honour right now. Maybe later I will put on some women's clothing and go golfing.

Anonymous said...

I love it!!!! Good tunes....Better memories.

It's about time that the Hall opened their doors to Alice. Now how about Kiss, Priest, Rush and Maiden????



Anonymous said...

On the 2004 "Eyes of Alice Cooper" tour, they actually played "Who Do You Think We Are" live, and it rocked! Never saw him on that tour, though I wish I had. Love the chorus of "You're A Movie"...

You're a movie - I'm quite aware
You're a movie - Mmm yes
The exception - Oh you noticed?
You're the final kind...

homercat said...

Mr. Beer I think I was raising a Bud as I wrote this one. You're right Bake great memories and I have bitched about the Hall of Fame for years and their failure to include truly deserving Rockers in their institution. Would have loved to see him perform that one live and that's what I'm talkin bout, that song is a hoot to listen to. Thanks guys.