Alice Cooper got heavy and awful on ‘Raise Your Fist and Yell’

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Alice Cooper didn’t want to waste her new life after roaring with 1986 constrictorand he quickly followed the career-rejuvenating LP with Raise your fist and shoutreleased on September 29, 1987. constrictor found the veteran shock rocker emerging from self-imposed exile from the music industry with newfound sobriety, clarity of purpose and a metallic edge that could stand up to a new generation of rockers from the Sunset Strip to the big guys. hair.

He stayed the course Raise your fist and shout, aided once again by strapping, Rambo-esque guitarist and co-writer Kane Roberts and bassist and future Winger namesake Kip Winger. 80s metal producer Michael Wagener (Dokken, Extreme, Skid Row) handled production, giving Cooper’s 10th solo album (and 17th overall) a slick pop-metal sheen by emphasizing over Roberts’ giddy shredding and Cooper’s piss-and-vinegar vocals.

Time may have quenched Cooper’s thirst for debauchery, but it has done nothing to dull his righteous anger. Raise your fistThe opening track of “Freedom,” takes aim at the Parents Music Resource Center, the committee co-founded by Tipper Gore in 1985 that released a “Filthy Fifteen” list of morally objectionable songs (including AC/DC, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, Black Sabbath and WASP) and put Parental Advisory stickers on albums with explicit lyrics. “You want to rule us with an iron fist“, sneers Cooper on the track.”You change the lyrics and become Big Brother / This is not Russia, you are not my father or my mother!

“I never left behind that phase of my development where I hated sectarian authority and fought against it too,” Cooper said. metal hammer in 1988. “I wrote the song ‘Freedom’ instead of a letter of complaint to let the PMRC and everyone they represent know what I think of them. This band shouldn’t be taken too Really, they’re just four women in Washington trying to get as much publicity as possible for their husbands, who are all influential politicians.Since the main man behind the PMRC, Albert Gore, has himself admitted that he used to smoke weed and listen to loud rock music when he was a kid, the movement wouldn’t last long anyway.”

Watch Alice Cooper’s “Freedom” Video

That spirit of youthful challenge pervades the other anthemic tracks on Raise your fistof the first side, including “Lock Me Up” (I’m ready to kill / I’m back with a rage / I want them to write in the paper every night how I bloodied the scene!) and “Return the radio” (You think I’m wasting all my precious time / You say my music should be a crime / Well, give the radio back… to the maniacs!) But it’s on the back half that Cooper indulges his other love: macabre, over-the-top horror.

“Prince of Darkness”, which originally appeared on the soundtrack to John Carpenter’s 1987 supernatural horror film of the same name, kicks off side 2 of Raise your fist and shout with an evocative story of an unholy, black-hearted creature bent on destroying humanity. “Time to Kill” and “Chop, Chop, Chop” leave little to the imagination with their luscious, shock-metal titles and lyrics, which could easily describe any of the villains in thriving slasher movie franchises such that Halloween, Friday 13 Where freddie. But these are the last two songs on Raise your fist and shout – the eerie keyboard “Gail” and the morbid shredding festival “Roses on White Lace” – which show how sharp Cooper’s songwriting was always.

“It’s kind of autobiographical,” Cooper said. Kerrang! in 1987 while explaining the album’s closing one-two punch. “This guy watches so many horror videos – that’s all he does – to the point where he doesn’t know if he’s in the videos or just watching. And for some reason he keeps killing – but all of his victims are named Gail, all Un. He keeps killing them, and he can’t tell the actors in the videos from the real victims! he killed that girl in the song “Gail”, and he thinks about his bones in the ground and about how the bugs are inside his ribcage, and the dog digs up the bones – he wonders how the dog remembers Gail.”

Then it hits him. “And he sees this wedding dress and there are bloodstains on it, but he doesn’t see the bloodstains, he sees roses!” Cooper exclaimed. “This guy is a romantic, you know? He’s so crazy, he’s looking at this blood and all he sees is roses. ‘Roses on White Lace’ is all that stuff about him that doesn’t know that’s really blood. For him, he painted these pretty roses on that white dress. So he’s really a psycho.”

Listen to Alice Cooper’s “Roses on White Lace”

Cooper matched Raise your fistlyrically grotesque with an assortment of ghastly stunts on the Live in the Flesh tour, including cutting up prostitutes, beheading monsters and hanging himself from his infamous gallows. The production was so intense that the German government demanded he cut sections of the show, including the disembowelment of a pregnant woman and the impaling of dolls on a sword after reports emerged from England of girls fainting in the audience. A failed crusade to outright ban the show in England was also launched – ironically, by blind politician David Blunkett.

As always, some critics called Cooper’s antics tasteless schlock, but the singer took a different view. “Alice gets to the point where it’s not violent anymore, where it gets funny,” he said. Kerrang! “It’s the same with horror movies. When I first saw Friday 13 I was like, ‘Hey, this is really violent, I hope people can handle this’. But after about the fourth, I started making fun of them and saying, “That’s really funny! “”

Featuring hungry young rockers like Faster Pussycat and Guns N’ Roses, Cooper’s Live in the Flesh tour proved he could still run with the pack. Unfortunately, this did not help her album’s commercial prospects. Raise your fist and shout plummeted to No. 73 on the Billboard 200, and after the tour all of her songs disappeared from her setlists until 2019, when “Roses on White Lace” made its comeback.

Yet, despite being a minor entry in Cooper’s discography, Raise your fist and shout was an important stepping stone in the career of the singer. It proved its constrictor the success was no fluke and allowed him to take his live show to new heights – and it paved the way for his true comeback album, 1989’s Top 20, which went platinum. Trash can.

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You can’t kill Alice Cooper.

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