Right at the end of his Alice Cooper Goes To Hell concept album (in which Alice the narrator is cast down from the pearly gates to bargain with Old Saint Nick himself) comes this 70’s excess take on Judy Garlands showstopper.
I’m not going to pretend Go To Hell is Alice’s absolute strongest album. They’re sort of coasting a bit at this point in the 70’s. Ananananand yet… The album does have some blinders on it. The title track, You Gotta Dance, I’m The Coolest, Give The Kid A Break and Guilty show the many sides of the Man who at this stage has become a Kids TV fixture. Alice is essentially a cartoon character who has somehow kept the menace, the twisted Halloween vision and the humour intact on his journey from Rock and Roll Outlaw to the villain of light entertainment.
The fact Alice was so messed up (at the stage he was on The Muppet Show) that they couldn’t get a clean enough looking photo of him for the album cover of Goes To Hell says a lot. If you’re a Cooper Nerd you may well recognise the cover photo of the green faced Alice as a blown up repetition of the image ‘from the inside’ of Billion Dollar Babies, but given a 70’s airbrushed tint. Imagine looking too rough to feature on a record called This Famous Person Goes To Hell! Jeeze.
So why single out this track? Well, believe it or not I don’t listen to a lot of old black and white musical soundtracks, so the song for me belongs to Alice and to Alice only. The Vaudeville side of his persona is holding its own with Perry Como, Sammy Davis, Tony Bennett, Mandy Patinkin and the aforementioned Judy.
So it came to pass that my love for the metal icon and real life Jack Skellington in my teens has helped me appreciate a whole other area of show biz in the long run. It’s always a kick to be in a hotel lobby or shopping mall and hear someone slick and cheesy take a run at a song from Alice Cooper Goes To Hell.
So it seems a good opener for my latest theme week. Welcome to the Alice Cooper Show.
I know the theme weeks have come thick and fast around SteveForTheDeaf recently so I’ve thrown together some Mix-tape pages on the menu of the site so it’s easier to find all the Stones Covers, Landfill Indie and the If You See Kay trilogy in just a couple of clicks (Top Corner/ Three Lines Icon). Because if there’s one thing music fans love more than reading about music, it’s making lists.