Love It To Death (1971)

Love It To Death Album Cover

Background

 

Love It To Death is the 3rd Alice Cooper album and was released in 1971.  If Easy Action was a step up in class from Pretties For You, then Love It To Death demonstrates a stratospheric shift into a fully polished band ready for commercial success.  It’s for this reason that many (including Alice himself) see this as the first ‘proper’ Alice Cooper album.  And rightly so, this record not only is rammed full of hits but also is the first offering (thanks in large to the introduction of producer Bob Ezrin) that found the perfect balance between catchy, radio friendly, tunes and the macabre theme for which the band became famous for.  If you’re going to start an Alice Cooper collection then this really is the album to begin with!

 

The album cover is notable as the original (pictured) featured Alice's thumb sticking out of his pants!  This was airbrushed out as many people took offense to this bit of fun.

 

Caught In A Dream

 

The instant pop appeal of the album is highlighted in the opening track which documents the challenges of ‘living the dream’.  It’s clearly based on the band’s own experience of chasing fame and provides a small insight to the lack of glamour of their early years.  

Alice yells “I need everything the world owes me, I tell that to myself and I agree”.  A great line which highlights the stubborn confidence (or is that blind faith?) that the band hand as they battled for glory!

 

Rating: 8 Skulls

 

Eighteen

 

From start to finish, Eighteen simply blow you away.  In my humble opinion, it’s 3 minutes of pop perfection, full of energy, superb instrumentals and brilliantly catchy lyrics.  I remember listening to this track when I turned eighteen myself thinking that never has a truer word been said about my current state of mind.  Ultimately though “I’m eighteen………………………………. and I like it”!

Without a doubt, one of the top 5 Alice Cooper tracks.

 

Rating: 9 Skulls

 

Long Way To Go

 

Another simple, but brilliant, rocker dedicated to enjoying your younger years and not settling down too soon.  Alice still occasionally includes this track in his live shows and it always draws a great reaction from the fans. 

 

Rating: 8 Skulls

 

Black JuJu

 

The tone of the album changes significantly with the tribal-march opening to this nine minute monster of a track, which probably provides the closest link to the first two albums.  Whilst it demonstrates Alice Cooper at their eerie and sinister best, I personally don’t feel that the song works very on this album as it’s extremely raw and unlike anything else on offer here.  Not everyone will agree with this as I know some people really like it, I don’t necessarily disagree with them, I just think it might have had more impact if it was on the following album, Killer.            

 

The opening segment of this track was used to great effect as the opening to the 2003 Bare Bones tour (Alice then came on stage to Hello Hooray).

 

Rating: 6 Skulls

 

Is It My Body

 

Things get back on track with this glam classic, which has also featured heavily on Alice’s many tours.  The irony of the lyrics are at their best when this happens with Alice’s face smeared with makeup and a snake round his neck.

 

Rating: 7 Skulls

 

Hallowed Be My Name

 

An upbeat rocker which on first listen shares similarities with Halo Of Flies from the Killer album.  This is a solid track but struggles to compete with some of the other material on the album.

 

Rating: 6 Skulls

 

Second Coming

 

Another solid track which finds Alice at his vocal best and the band providing some excellent individual input.   

 

Rating: 6 Skulls

 

Ballad Of Dwight Fry

 

Put simply, the Alice Cooper band’s finest moment.  The track, a tribute to actor Dwight Frye (who amongst other roles played Fritz in Frankenstein) is based on the tortured characters that he often portrayed.  This really has everything; it’s musically entrancing and is dark, sinister and mysterious.  I used to scare myself listening to it with the lights off; such was the impact that it had on me!  Alice plays the role brilliantly and the song remains to this day the highlight of any tour as he screams “I gotta get out of here” in his straightjacket.  It really is a very powerful song!

 

The song (complete with Alice and faithfully recreated band members) was recently featured in the Tim Burton film Dark Shadows, with some of the storyline clearly built around the song.  How often does that happen?!   

 

Rating: 10 Skulls

 

Sun Arise

 

The oddest of oddities, a cover of a 1961 Rolf Harris track!  This very piece of information should mean enough for it to be doomed to failure but, somehow, quite the opposite happened.  This is a terrific track with that by now unmistakable Alice Cooper angst and humour.  A great way to end the album!

 

Rating: 8 Skulls

 

OVERALL ALBUM RATING: 8 SKULLS

 

See my Love It To Death collection here.