Alice Cooper

I'm EighteenLove It To Death
Under My WheelsKiller
School's OutSchool’s Out
ElectedBillion Dollar Babies
No More Mr. Nice GuyBillion Dollar Babies
Welcome To My NightmareWelcome To My Nightmare
Only Women BleedWelcome To My Nightmare
You And MeLace And Whiskey
Feed My FrankensteinHey Stoopid

Alice Cooper photo 1




Alice Cooper playlist


Contributor: David Lewis

Alice Cooper, the legendary shock rock artist, has been captivating audiences for over five decades with his distinctive blend of theatrics, dark themes, and unforgettable music. With his powerful stage presence and thought-provoking lyrics, Cooper has become an icon in the rock industry. An unusual figure, a conservative – he voted for Bush and Trump. He is also an evangelical Christian and an ordained minister. Yet he has a wide circle of friends, is deeply beloved and deeply respected, not just as a musician but a mentor and encourager to countless younger acts.

Born Vincent Damon Furnier on 4th February 1948 in Detroit, Michigan, Alice Cooper developed a passion for music at an early age. Influenced by artists such as Elvis Presley and the Beatles, he formed a band called the Earwigs in high school, which later evolved into the Spiders and, eventually, Alice Cooper. The name Alice Cooper was chosen to represent a feminine counterpart to the male-dominated rock scene. Originally it was the band name, but like Darius Rucker and Ian Anderson will tell you, the front man will get the name.


Alice Cooper’s career gained momentum in the early 1970s when the band released their breakthrough album Love It To Death (1971) featuring the hit single I’m Eighteen. With Cooper as the lead vocalist, his distinctive voice and charismatic stage presence captivated audiences worldwide. Embracing shock rock aesthetics, his performances incorporated props such as guillotines, electric chairs and fake blood, creating a theatrical experience unlike anything seen before.

A classic rock anthem and statement of defiant intent, I’m Eighteen was a big hit. The song’s raw energy and lyrics about the struggles of adolescence spoke to a generation of young listeners. Not since My Generation had someone expressed teenage frustration so effectively. And with the stage show, influenced by Screaming Lord Sutch and Universal horror movies, the Alice Cooper band showed much potential.

Another high-energy rock song, Under My Wheels from 1971’s Killer, showcased Cooper’s ability to deliver a powerful performance. With its driving rhythm and catchy chorus, it remains a fan favourite to this day.


School’s Out is an anthem of youthful rebellion and isolated one of Alice Cooper’s most iconic songs. Its infectious guitar riff and catchy chorus resonated with audiences, solidifying its place in rock history.

A satirical take on politics, Elected displayed Cooper’s biting wit. Catchy hooks and clever lyrics made it an instant hit, highlighting his ability to entertain and provoke thought, simultaneously.

With its memorable melody and biting lyrics, No More Mr. Nice Guy, my second choice from 1973’s Billion Dollar Babies, serves as a tongue-in-cheek response to his public persona, challenging the notion that he was simply a shock rocker and featuring his songwriting prowess.

The title track of Cooper’s first solo album, Welcome To My Nightmare (1975), delved into the depths of his imagination. The song’s haunting melody and vivid storytelling painted a picture of a twisted dream world, highlighting Cooper’s ability to create a macabre musical landscape. This was performed on the original Muppet Show and the staging is magnificent.

A departure from his usual shock rock style on Welcome To My Nightmare, Only Women Bleed showcased Cooper’s ability to tackle sensitive subjects. This thoughtful ballad addressed the issue of domestic violence. The character of the woman is fully fleshed out. All in all, the effect is astounding

You And Me from Lace And Whiskey (1977) is a paean to domestic bliss. The character of Alice was starting to wear on Vincent and the pressure to always be ‘on’ was unbearable. This is, at least to my ears, an expression of his desire to lead a quieter life. It’s also a great song and uncharacteristic of the man who was famously decapitated in his concerts.


Released in the late 1980s, Poison – the opening track on Trash and a huge hit single – demonstrated Cooper’s facility to adapt to changing musical landscapes. There’s a sense in which the master has come in to show these younger ones – the glam movement – how to do it. And it’s a great lesson.

Cooper’s collaboration with guitarist Steve Vai resulted in the electrifying track Feed My Frankenstein. With its heavy guitar riffs and horror-inspired lyrics, it exemplified Cooper’s ability to fuse rock and theatricality seamlessly. Vai is a terrific guitarist, particularly in the right context, and he delivers in spades here.

Alice Cooper’s musical journey has been one of innovation, reinvention and unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll. His ability to combine shock value with thought-provoking lyrics and theatrical performances has solidified his status as a true rock icon. In 2023, he announced his latest album, Road (unreleased at time of writing). Probably the nicest guy in rock and roll, not only is his legacy secure, he continues to build on it.






Alice Cooper official website

Welcome To My Nightmare – Alice Cooper Fan Site

SickthingsUK – Alice Cooper Resource (including Discography)

Alice Cooper (Wikipedia)

Bob Harris interview – Old Grey Whistle Test (1974))

Alice Cooper biography (AllMusic)

David Lewis is Australia’s best jazz mandolinist, unless you can name someone else: then he’s Australia’s second-best. In any case, he’s almost certainly top 100. He is a regular contributor to Toppermost, and also plays guitar, banjo and bass professionally. More of his writing can be found at his rarely updated website. David is also the co-author of “Divided Opinions” and “Politics, Protest, Pandemic: The Year That Changed Australia”, both derived from an established podcast on Australian politics.

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  1. Andrew Shields
    Jul 21, 2023

    Thanks for this fascinating piece on a fine artist. ‘School’s Out’ was absolutely huge when I was growing up. And the Muppet Show clip is just brilliant. Thanks again.

  2. Alan Haines
    Oct 1, 2023

    Loved reading your Alice piece. Schools Out was just one of those songs that grabbed you by the whatsits and never let go. Even today, and I’m in my 60s, I can’t get over how much energy this song gives out. From that moment on I was an Alice Cooper fan and I wouldn’t take issue with any of the choices you’ve made. For me Billion Dollar Babies is one of THE great rock albums, insightful, clever, innovative and with great tunes. Fabulous stuff. Think I’ll play it now! Cheers for the write up.

  3. Glenn Smith
    Oct 6, 2023

    When I was 15 in my bunch of mates we had a friend Big Bill. Bill was hitting 18 and looking back was probably on the spectrum somewhere before we had decent diagnoses around neuro diversity. Bill’s big focus in life was Alice Cooper, he was the completist’s completist. Which meant we got to hear everything Alice, hence my admiration for your inclusion of the opening track on Killer, Under My Wheels, man we loved that song! Big Bill scored us tickets to see Alice in 1977, an outdoor gig at the Sydney Showground. By then punk had had its impact, I’d cut my hair (sorry Crosby..) and developed a music “attitude” which dissolved the moment Alice came out. The gig was mind blowing, big sound, great performance and a hell of a lot of fun. I distinctly remember thinking how Alice was one of us, he just seemed to be part of the scene that was being a teenage boy in the 70’s, I know this can seem to be a bit wanky, but truly he spoke to us. This is an exceptional list, covers so many of Alice’s many bases perfectly. Except….the 15 year old boy in me would have included (from his favourite album) Department of Youth/Cold Ethel and the super creepy but quite brilliant Steven. But who cares, you’re a true fan Mr Lewis, great work.

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