Sound — 9
Where to start? Only buy this if you're a hardcore Coop fan, or like a different album. Because it is warped. This album was recorded in 1983, during Alice's almost terminal battle with the bottle. And the album really reflects the darkness and detachment he felt at the time. He had previously released 3 very unsuccessful albums; Flush the Fashion, Zipper Catches Skin, and Special Forces. For this one, he used a lot of the new wave sound he had previously experimented with on Flush the Fashion. With the help of Dick Wagner on multi instruments and songwriting, Bob Ezrin's production (who was battling cocaine addiction during the recording of this album), multi instruments and songwriting, they created a very complex and bleak masterpiece. The album tells the story of the life of a criminally insane man named Sonny, who suffers from schizophrenia, and basically each song is a different personality. Conceptually it's been completely misinterpreted and misunderstood, much like Welcome to my Nightmare. I will try to break it down for you in the next section.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically, probably the most disturbing of all Alice Cooper albums. Incredible words and melodies. 01. Dada - the creepy opening with Bob Ezrin talking to Alice apparantly pretending to be a psychologist, asking about the man's son (Sonny), when he replies that Sonny is the man's daughter. Showing the dehumanizational tactics His Dad uses to break Sonny emotionally. 02. Enough's Enough - the indroduction of Sonny, and His finally bubbled resentment toward his molesting and abusive Father.In this song he tells how his father would sell him like a whore on the sreet, "Go f--k and f--k and make a buck". Along with the death of his beloved mother.He decides to leave home. 03. Former Lee Warmer - again we have the Father's perspective. Describing the family secret, that his brother is some kind of hideous freak locked in the attic. And the sounds he hears through the walls, like an out of tume piano,"When I hear Him play, in his twisted key", slowly drive Him crazy. 04. No Man's Land - here's where we come back to Sonny, out on the road with no money, and he gets a job as a mall santa. He gets pursuaded by a girl to come to her house just for nothing but sex. And the first multiple personality references appear here. "She didn't notice I was thin with a delicate chin Nor the softness of my skin, nor the scent of my other personalities, She didn't see through my disguise, didn't see it in my eyes She was in for a surprise when she discovered my emotional plurality", and, "She didn't know that there was more of me She'd have to learn to love all four of me". 05. Dyslexia - basically a song about the confusion that goes along with lust. And the feelings start to take over him. And he soon starts murdering people. 06. Scarlet And Sheba - Sonny finds two girls that are willing, and has sex with them, then kills them. One of the more disturbing songs. Filled with lyrics about murder and Bondage, great chorus. 07. I Love America - the only light song of the bunch. An unseen personality presents itself as an all American car salesman, with a list of American cliches. Very funny song. Without this song, the album would almost be to dark to listen to. Not that it's a bad thing. 08. Fresh Blood - here we get another murder song, slightly reminiscent of Scarlett and Sheeba, except on a larger scale. Detailing the hunger for blood, and the ruthlessness and randomness of the victims. This personality presents itself as the almost helpless host for these evil personalities, "He gets hungry, I go hunting In the moonlit streets For somebody that's right". Some of the best lyrics of the album. 09. Pass The Gun Around - here is our climactic ending. In which comes a point of realization for Sonny. He sobers up and wakes up in a hotel room surrounded by the dead bodies of his killing spree. He wants to kill himself, and let everyone that maede Him what he was get their shot at him, "Pass the gun around Give everyone a shot, give everyone a shot, you gotta Pass the gun around And throw me in the local river, let me float away".Extremely sad and heartfelt song. As mentioned above, Alice's fight for his life are really present in these lyrics. And you sympathize with him. A long Dick Wagner solo in this one.
Overall Impression — 10
In my opinion, the most underrated in Coop's very diverse catalog. It may not be for everyone. But give it a chance. The best songs on the album are all of them. I love the sheer intensity and depravity that comes bleeding through this album. If it were stolen, I would have to kill someone, and go through the hassle of importing it from Germany again, because unfortunately it's no longer made in the US.