Alice Cooper – Muscle of Love – 1973
This album has been over shadowed by other successes to say the least. That doesn’t mean that Muscle of Love isn’t a good album, it is! It’s the last one with the original band with themes of teenage angst and all that. As a theme album, it’s kind of brilliant. The cover art was really cool on the vinyl album. It was delivered in a cart board box rather than a regular album sleeve. You can see that the even tried to imitate some moist damage at the bottom. The album in CD for doesn’t quite deliver the illusion though. Many of these Vinyl albums has damaged covers by the way. It was a rather fragile solution.
If we leave the album cover and start to talk about the music. Then Muscle of love reminds me quite a bit of some of the best albums of Alice Cooper, Billion Dollar Babies and Killer. It feels a bit more pretentious though and that’s often a negative sign. But there’s self-distance too on songs like Working up a Sweat and Never Been Sold Before. There are a lot of musical influences on this. I would have liked it to be more of a rock album but A+ for the effort to doing something else than they did before.
Michael Bruce, that has gotten credit from be before for writing some of the best rock songs on the albums, are involved in four of the songs together with Cooper. Alice Cooper himself is involved in everything on this album. He has credit on every single song. Four of them together with all the other member of the band.
There were two singles from this album. Teenage Lament ’74, the only song of ”hit” material proportions and the title track Muscle of Love. The latter did not reach a chart position at all. But never mind that. An album might rely on singles to be successful but not to be good. And this is a good album. There’s no doubt about that. There’s not that intensive fire in the songs that Billion Dollar Babies had but it’s still a fine album. That is something that would have been needed for me to elevate it really high.
An honorably mention to Man with the Golden Gun, a really good song that was supposed to be the lead track to the James Bond movie. Obviously, the producers of the movie changed their minds in the end. Which is sad because it’s a really good song!