Easy Action (1970)

Easy Action Album Cover

Background

 

Easy Action is the 2nd Alice Cooper album and was released in 1970.  It’s noticeably more refined than the group’s first album (Pretties For You) with the songs / lyrics generally being more focused.  However, it’s still somewhat flawed and is prone to fits of obscurity which probably explains why it failed to achieve any notable commercial or critical success.  However, the foundations of a successful band were clearly being laid with turning fortunes just round the corner…

 

Mr. and Misdeameanor

 

The opening track sounds like it’s lifted straight out of a Broadway play.  It has plenty of arrogance and swagger and would have been right at home on Billion Dollar Babies. 

 

Rating: 7 Skulls

 

Shoe Salesman

 

A classy, up tempo, track which highlights the increasing diversity and talent of the band.  The lyrics are somewhat cryptic, no matter how many times I listen to it I can never quite decide what the meaning of them is (I guess that’s part of the attraction though!).  

 

Rating: 7 Skulls

 

Still No Air

 

Featuring lyrics from West Side Story’s Jet Song, Still No Air is a raucous number.  It’s all rather uncoordinated though and doesn’t make for easy listening.  One of the albums weaker tracks.

 

Rating: 5 Skulls

 

Below Your Means

 

A lengthy track at nearly 7 minutes but, oddly, only about a minutes worth of lyrics followed by a long instrumental section followed by what must be the longest ever fade out at the end (over a minute).  The lyrics are again somewhat confusing, the instrumental, however, is really good and contains notable input from all the members of the band.  

 

Rating: 7 Skulls

 

Return Of The Spiders

 

A fantastically aggressive track with Alice at his snarling best.  Coupled with a haunting drumbeat and edgy guitar playing and you’re onto a real winner.  Along with the opening track this really does sound like a signature Alice Cooper.

 

Rating: 8 Skulls

 

Laughing At Me

 

Things mellow out with this short track which again displays strong instrumental quality.  They lyrics are rather bizarre again but it’s still a very listenable (and likeable) track.

 

Rating: 7 Skulls

 

Refrigerator Heaven     

 

Another short track featuring the sort of lyrics and dark humour that would later become a staple of the band.  At this stage, they hadn’t quite got things nailed down but again, a good window into the future:

 

Rating: 6 Skulls

 

Beautiful Flyaway

 

This is an interesting and funny song, mainly because every line seems to shoehorn in one word too many.  Another song that sounds like it was born on Broadway, and therefore, is very easy on the ear.

 

Rating: 7 Skulls

 

Lay Down and Die, Goodbye

 

The final (and longest) track on the album starts with a fitting message to a world that at the time was struggling to understand Alice Cooper:

 

You are the only censor. If you don't like what I say, you have a choice. You can turn me off”

 

This track could quite conceivably be a leftover from Pretties For You, very strange, very psychedelic and not at all easy to listen to.  Alice Cooper at its most experimental!

 

Rating: 4 Skulls

 

OVERALL ALBUM RATING: 6 SKULLS

 

See my Easy Action collection here.