Hurricane Years – Alice Cooper

People don’t give enough love the ‘Big Budget Glossy Come Back Years’ of late 80’s early 90’s Alice Cooper. The attitude du jour is that The 70’s stiff is cool and retro, the weird out era has some arty gems and recently in this new century he’s trying to get that MC-5/Stooges feel back where he can.

I saw Alice play Wembley on the Hey Stoopid Tour. It remains one of my most blissful gig memories abiding to this day. The production was huge, innovative and the song choices covered everything from Schools Out and Elected right up to the latest album.

So the album previous Trash had the hugest hits of 80’s-90’s Alice. Poison was a think tank monster hit from the people who brought you the hits of the era via Bon Jovi, Cher, Aerosmith and Kiss. Production line pop rock written by guns for hire. This is why that stuff hangs together so well on those compilations of driving rock you see in garages. It’s all written by the same few people so it sounds cohesive.

Hurricane Years is in many ways as unremarkable as it is aerodynamically designed to get it’s hair blown back by a fan. And yet, one thing You Give Love A Bad Name, Hide Your Heart, We All Sleep Alone and What It Takes all have in common is their brilliance. They’re full on candy coated pop rock. You either love that stuff or you don’t. And yet even if you don’t you know all the words.

Hurricane Years is quite the lean mean fighting machine in that company. It does have all the hall marks of Big Haired Era Alice and it has a proper cartoon aesthetic to it’s outlaw on the run lyrics.

“I got a ticket to nowhere I got no respect for the law I got no use ’cause it’s all abuse, It’s the cutting edge of the saw”

The guns for hire in the studio on Hey Stoopid are all A List. Slash, Ozzy, Vinnie Moore, Satch, Steve Vai, Mötley Crüe, Elvira so It makes sense the album drips with signature moves from each of them.

I singled out Hurricane Years as one of my favourite Alice songs because of it’s full tilt energy. Feed My Frankenstein may have loomed larger in his legend over time and the genuinely creepy Wind Up Toy did tie in the 70’s stuff very neatly with this new era. Hey Stoopid was quite the blast at the time but it does appear preserved in pre-grunge aspic in hindsight. And the sleazy edged ballads? They’re all like music for strippers to drink off duty to. No it has to be Hurricane Years. This is my Jam.


9 thoughts on “Hurricane Years – Alice Cooper

  1. I have it more with the early Cooper. At the beginning of the seventies, he definitely put an end to the utopian dreams of the hippies. For me were those postpubertal scary yearnings with “Killer” (1971) already reached… Life is a theatre you only have to know how to staged it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the link! As I already said, “Killer” was one of my postpubertal identification longings. And then the “Schools Out” album wrapped in a pair of girls panties…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a strong song. I hadn’t heard it before. I saw Alice in ’86 or ’87. Vinnie Vincent opened up, when Slaughter and Strum were still with him, and both bands just destroyed it. We had front row seats, and I really wish he’d have had this song then. Oh well, he does now. Thanks, brother.

    Liked by 1 person

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