In the beginning there was a band called “Alice Cooper.” The lead singer, Vincent Furnier, took that name as his own, too. While stardom was in the future for Furnier, the group produced some early albums that were interesting, if atypical of the output to follow.
Live At the Whiskey A-Go-Go, 1969
For years it had seemed like “Pretties for You” was the first Alice Cooper release. Certainly it was the earliest one in print. However, in recent years, it turns out that this live disc was released before that one, but apparently in a very limited release.
The songs here are all presented in studio renditions on “Pretties For You,” except for “Nobody Likes Me.” The recording is not bad for a live recording of an unknown group in 1969. Some of these recordings have shown up over the years on bootlegs, but the official CD was released in 2005.
Pretties for You
“Pretties for You” was the 1969 studio debut release of the band called “Alice Cooper.” Don’t expect to find the shock rock meets hard edged, at times metal, music that would later be associated with this group.
“Pretties for You” is at times difficult to get through. The music is essentially strangaue in any event.
The band was on Frank Zappa’s record label, but in many ways this set was even more strange than anything Zappa ever recorded. Even for hardcore Cooper fans, this is a challenging listening experience.
While it’s still not the hard-edged, macabre rock that would later be associated with Cooper, signs of that sound were beginning to show up on this 1970 release. This album is sort of a bridge between the psychedelically odd “Pretties for You” and the classic “Love it to Death” that would follow.
Love it to Death
“Love it to Death” delivered the type of hard rock that would become part of the Alice Cooper trademark. It was the first disc to feature songs that became Cooper classics like “Ballad of Dwight Fry” and the hit single “I’m Eighteen.” This 1971 disc was the one that broke Alice Cooper, the band, into radio and the American psyche.
The beginnings of the classic Alice Cooper sound had been forged by their third studio album. They would have four more discs as a band, but the foundation was in place for that journey by 1971.
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