Alice Cooper - Constrictor

edited August 2 in year-1986

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ARTIST: Alice Cooper
ALBUM: Constrictor
LABEL: MCA
SERIAL: MCA-5761 (LP), MCAD-5761 (CD)
YEAR: 1986

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Alice Cooper - vocals * Kane Roberts - guitars * Kip Winger - bass * David Rosenberg - drums * Paul Delph - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Teenage Frankenstein * 02 Give It Up * 03 Thrill My Gorilla * 04 Life And Death Of The Party * 05 Simple Disobedience * 06 The World Needs Guts * 07 Trick Bag * 08 Crawlin' * 09 The Great American Success Story * 10 He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)

Background

With this album, Alice Cooper made the transition to melodic hard rock/metal. Added with a strong theatric and visual awareness, Cooper and band in tow aimed high for the MTV audience as well as fans of the horror movie genre.

Having Winger and Roberts in his band certainly attracted some female attention! Overlooked for some time, enthusiasts of any genre will enjoy the melody Cooper and co nailed here.

The Songs

'Constrictor' revolves around short three-minute, hook-filled tracks with an abundance of macho backing vocals. Nice. 'Teenage Frankenstein's subject matter is indeed that, showing Cooper's insistence in harking back to familiar territory.

'Give It Up' contains some nice melodic passages with an abrasive chorus. Not overly heavy, but it has plenty of guitar heroics from Roberts. 'Thrill My Gorilla' (great title!) builds more strength, with ever so slight synths noticeable with some quite amusing shouts from the backing vocalists.

'Life And Death Of The Party' begins with hints of AOR, melodic guitar fills, and the eventual pay-off is a hardly threatening chorus, high on dramatic chord changes. 'Simple Disobedience' is a fine stomp-a-long rocker as is 'The World Needs Guts' which moves with some pace, very metal riffing at the heart of its musical power.

'Crawlin' wouldn't have sounded out of place on Twisted Sister's 'Love Is For Suckers', commercial hard rock with melody out of all corners. The album reaches boiling point with 'The Great American Success Story', an anthem so infectious, it was made for an 80's high school flick.

Cooper indeed gets his soundtrack number in with 'He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)' the theme for 'Friday The 13th Pt VI'. A song made for Cooper's cartoonish macabre antics, the opening bass riff and subsequent synths are the sound of a rocker who is back indeed!

In Summary

While the album was a minimal success, Cooper made more of an impact with his patented stage shows which returned to the glory of the 70's. Cooper quickly followed up in 1987 with the heavier 'Raise Your Fist And Yell', which fared worse than 'Constrictor'.

Of course Cooper would enjoy the most succesful moment of his career with 1989's 'Trash', with its smash single 'Poison' proof that Cooper was back in a big way. That comeback owes its fortunes to 'Constrictor' which defined the sound Cooper carried for some years, glorious melodic American hard rock/metal.


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