Alice Cooper – Goes to Hell – 1976
Alice Cooper Goes to Hell follows in the musical wake after the legendary masterpiece Welcome to my Nightmare. The songs seem to be written with the stage in mind and how they could be performed live. It’s theatrical and would fit on any musical scene. At least if you’re talking about rock scenes and other equivalents.
But I don’t think there’s any real classics on this album. Of course, we got the main title but apart from that, there’s nothing obvious in that field. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t great songs, because there’s certainly a few of those. There’s also a couple of songs like You gotta Dance and I’m the Coolest, which seems to be full of irony, that may not be the best Alice Cooper made in his career. But they’re still kinda cool and I like them as well.
Of course, they don’t reach up to the greatness of Didn’t We Meet and the ballad I Never Cry. The latter also climbed the charts a bit. By the way. All of the songs, apart from I’m Always Chasing Rainbows are written by Alice Cooper himself and Dick Wagner. Bob Ezrin produces. Ther ought to count for something. That guy usually turns everything he touches into gold.
What more? Well, Alice Cooper sings a duet with himself in the theatrical Give the Kid a Break. He also get’s unfriendly with the backup singers. Or maybe it’s the other way round? Doesn’t matter. It’s a cool song to be sure! There’s a lot of humor throughout the album and that’s nothing new when it comes to theme albums by Alice Cooper. There’s a warmth beyond pretentious drivel.
It may not always reach all the way, like in the too theatrical musical number I’m Always Chasing Rainbows. But there’s always some self-awareness there. Maybe that’s truer than ever on this album. Apparently, the Goes to Hell is a lot about Alices’ own alcoholism. There are titles like Guilty that seems to emphasize this. But on the other hand. What does a song called Wake Me Gently has to do with that?
Never mind! There’s a lot of good songs here. Wish You Were Here might be the cream of the crop. But as a whole, this might not be Alices’ best album. Actually, it’s not. But it’s genuine and if you like this kind of rock, I wouldn’t miss out on this one. It’s closed by something that might work as a prelude the upcoming From the Inside.
Disclaimer: The original post was lost and I’ve tried to recreate it as good as I could from memory. I don’t always remember all the details I felt in the original writing moment so there might be some differences. To keep the tempo up I’ve tried to be as short and to the point as possible.