Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 27 August 2014
For this fourth album as a solo artist, in 1978, Alice Cooper parted company with long time producer, Bob Ezrin, and co-wrote the album with Elton John’s co-writer, Bernie Taupin. New producer, David Foster, was an odd choice, and would go on to produce the likes of Celine Dion, Air Supply, Barbara Streisand and Andrea Bocelli. This team delivered a third album in a row of mixed results for Alice.

After releasing ‘Lace & Whisky’, Cooper had been treated for alcoholism in a sanitarium. This provided the inspiration for the thematic version of hell for this outing. Instead of characters in the netherworld, or the nightmare of an alcoholic stupor, or even the tortured souls of a film noir private detective, we have the stories of patients in an asylum. Yet, to call it a personal, introspective record would be a mistake. It remains heavy on theatrics and characters.

While the subject matter connects better with the original trademark style of the Alice Cooper band and ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’ much better than the Muppetsy lightweight approach on ‘Goes to Hell’ or the neurotically eccentric world of ‘Lace & Whisky’, it is lessened by the influence of Taupin. His piano-heavy style weighs on this effort, bringing it again and again closer to the middle of the road and to less interesting arrangements and song structures than Cooper had previously established on all his other albums. At times, you can almost imagine Elton singing the songs, so echoey of his sound are some of the melody lines (in particular, ‘Jackknife Johnny’ and ‘Wish I Was Born in Beverly Hills’).

High points are the stellar, rocking, opening title track, the eerie ‘The Quiet Room’ which ruminates on suicide, the ear-worm of the risqué rocking ‘Nurse Rosetta’, about a priest who has succumbed to the pleasures of the flesh, and the famous ballad, ‘How You Gonna See Me Now’. ‘Millie an Billie’, a love song about two murderers who seemingly killed their children, is another interesting moment.

It’s hard not to think that Bob Ezrin would have helped make the classic Cooper subject matter on this album come to life and reflect the ‘sickness’ and vaudevillian theatre in its lyrics. As it is, in the hands of Taupin and Foster, it all falls a little flat.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 11 November 2010
After the almost middle of the road Lace & Whisky, Alice changed tack once again. We begin to hear on this album the sneering vocal that he would become synonymous with during his mid-to-late 80s revival, via hard rock/heavy metal. As with most of his output, the lyrics are sublimely black and even subvert the tone of the track being played sometimes, especially on the ballad, 'Millie & Billie' where there's a narrative concerning 2 serial killers in love speaking back and forth to each other (possibly even a hint of dual-personality syndrome?). Again the artwork and packaging, especially on the original vinyl, is outstanding; his debaubed visage can make for quite a striking image on an Ipod. However, musically it is still rather bland, similar to his previous effort in quality. There are some great tracks, one utter stonker but the rest are merely ok.

Unfortunately the title track is one of the 'ok' tracks. What should have been a red-letter Alice Cooper song is only just a passable toe-tapper. It starts with keyboard which sets the tone as quite mellow and few guitars are brought into the mix throughout the album proper, apart from the excellent 'Serious'. 'Wish I Were Born in Beverly Hills' is more up-tempo but is still only good at best. The chorus is quite catchy after 3 or 4 listens but it's not one of his best.

The album turns around when it reaches track 3. 'The Quiet Room' is very good. Again it is keyboard driven but has the hallmark of a true Cooper nightmare. His sneering vocals are evident and the lyrics have wonderfully dark undertones (and overtones!). It is also very catchy with a great chorus and reminds me of 'Wind-Up Toy' from Hey Stoopid; that's the overall tone of the track. 'Nurse Rozetta' is an 'almost' classic. The lyrics are fantastic - his turns of phrase are phenomenal - and the tune is both upbeat and melancholy. Not quite a classic but not far off. This segues into the wonderful ballad, Millie & Billie'. A duet with Marcy Levy, it sounds like it should be a number from a musical. The similarities with 'Goes To Hell' abound as they are both conceptual in narrative and also in many ways musically. As a ballad it is quite rousing. Then comes the 2 minute slice of genius that is, 'Serious'. It begins with a great riff (both guitar and keyboard) and then carries on, ramped up and really quite heavy compared to the other material on the album. This could actually sit relatively well with any of the tracks on Constrictor, subject to a production tweek. One of my favourite Cooper tracks.

Then it returns to mediocre-ville. 'How You Gonna See Me Now' is a ballad by the numbers that is fine, just not too interesting. 'For Veronica's Sake' is quite good and has a great singalong chorus but it doesn't stick with you after many listens. 'Jacknife Johnny' is a mixture of ballad and mid-tempo material. It's got a nice, twisted melody and has the obligatory excellent lyrics but is forgettable. ' Inmates' is an ok closer but, as with the title track, could have been so much better.

A pretty standard album, just not up to his best. The middle 4 tracks are the best and the rest is ok. There are no bad songs, just not a lot of really interesting ones. If you compare this to Billion Dollar Babies, Welcome to My My Nightmare or even Love It To Death and Killer, it does not stand up well. And after this, even more troubling times were ahead....
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 November 1999
Finally I have found this on CD to replace my mangled, chewed up 20-year-old tape! I was never, and am still not, a big Alice Cooper fan, but this is one of the best albums of all time from anybody. Co-written by Alice and Elton John's sidekick, Bernie Taupin; the album is (I believe) written from Alice's personal experiences inside an institution (not sure if it was alcohol or psychiatric related). There's not a poor track on the album - every one literally tells a fantastic story. "Millie and Billie" is probably my favourite - it shows what some mixed-up (is that politically correct enough?) people will do for love! You can just picture "Nurse Rozetta" ("...I won't let her, catch me peering, down her sweater, secretly my eyes undress her..."). The single "How You Gonna See Me Now" should have been a big hit, but wasn't. This whole album should have been a fantastic success. If you ever trust a review then BUY THIS CD!!!. Can I review it again when I've got the CD which I'm just about to order....
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 21 January 2018
It's now 2018. Hard to believe it's 40 years old this album. Time for a 40th anniversary deluxe issue of this album. Remaster it and put that extra track 'No Trick' on it. All other 5 star reviews of this album are correct. It's a classic Alice cooper album. It has rock songs and it has ballads. What most people don't know is that 11 songs, not ten, were recorded for this album but only ten made it onto the album. The other (lost) song only briefly came out on the b side of the How You Gonna See Me Now single. The song is called No Tricks and it's just as good as the other songs on the album. It fits in well with the album's concept story too. It tells of Alice coming down from his substance abuse while locked up on the inside. It's 40 years now. Release a deluxe issue of this album and put the song No Tricks on it as well. Then we'll finally have the full complete classic album that From The Inside is.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 June 2000
Having been a fan of "The Coop" since '70 "From The Inside" is one of his most memorable albums because it was written after experiencing life in an Asylum whilst 'drying out'. My favourite track is the title track "From The Inside" a beautifully polished smooth song and "Nurse Rosetta", can't you just picture her in that sweater. This album is not like anyhting you might come to expect from the master of macabre rock, unless your a devotee like me when you get to realise that Alice can always deliver something remarkably different when you least expect it. If you've always only ever remembered Alice for "Schools Out" or "Elected" then you MUST listen and BUY this album.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 23 November 2014
Concept albums usually don't work all that well for me, but come on.. this is Alice Cooper. 1978's 'From The Inside', his last album of the 1970s, is a solid album from start to finish, and about the only 'concept' record I can see through to the very end without skipping a track.

The album is actually based on some of the real people Alice met during his stay in a New York mental hospital, and the songs here describe these colourful characters, including a prostitute ('Wish I Was Born In Beverly Hills') and a gambler ('Serious') There are lots of Alice classics to enjoy including the excellent title track, 'The Quiet Room' and the epic closer 'Inmates (We're All Crazy')'. With great song writing, help from three of Elton John's band members, and about the coolest of all Alice's album covers, I can't help but wonder why on earth this gem hasn't yet been remastered and re-released?

Alice might have hit rock bottom on a personal level, but as a result of all of his excessive drinking, he managed to give the recording buying public one of his best albums in a varied and extensive recording career.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 6 February 2016
Can't believe the number of 5*reviews for this. It's seriously awful.
11 Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 November 2004
When I bought this album, this was my second Alice Cooper Album, (The first being Dragontown) so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'd heard "How You Gonna See Me Now" and "From The Inside" on Mascara & Monsters; The Best Of Alice Cooper, and they were two of my favourites. This probally was the main driving force behind me buying this album. I am very glad that I did because it is one of my favourite CDs that I own (plus its reasonably cheap for a CD - so you get outstanding value for money).
Heres just a brief backround on the circumstances behind the writing of this album. In the late 70s Alice had an alcohol adiction and admitted himself into a mental hospital to try and beat the addiction. Upon leaving he wrote this masterpiece based upon his experiences. Its hard to believe that such a hard experience led to such a witty and on the whole funny album.
Its really hard for me to say what my favourite song is because the songs are all great with outstanding and funny lyrics. "The Quiet Room" is chilling and is probally my favourite, but other highlights include "Millie & Billie", "I Wish I Was Born In Beverly Hills" and "From The inside".
To truely describe the album it would be best to go through each song one by one so here goes:
1. From The Inside - Excellent opener. Sets the scene of Alice waking up to find himself in a mental home. Upbeat rocky track. *****
2. Wish I Was Born In Beverly Hills - Opening similar to "Under My Wheels". Hilarious lyrics. Bop my head to this almost every time *****
3. The Quiet Room - Slower Ballad Track. Lyrics witty but not funny. Powerful lyrics and an album highlight *****
4. Nurse Rozetta - Hillarious and vile track about a priest infatuated with a nurse!!! *****
5. Millie & Billie - Sounds like a "light romantic pop" duet the lyrics take a dark and sinister turn. Another album highlight *****
6. Serious - Another rocky track with the harsh vocals and witty lyrics Alice does so well. Nothing special though ****
7. How You Gonna See Me Now - Romantic track based on a letter Alice wrote to his wife during his stay in a mental hospital. Another album highlight! *****
8. For Veronica's Sake - Lighter and slower than "Serious" but has the same harsh vocals and witty lyrics! ****
9. Jacknife Johnny - This, in my opinion is a weaker version of How You Gonna See Me Now! Nothing Special ****
10. Inmates (We're All Crazy) - Amazing album closer! A summary of the album with witty lyrics. The album goes out on such a high! *****
Its strange to think this album is only 39 minuites long because it is so enjoyable it seems to take a lot longer! One reason for that maybee because I play most tracks twice!! I would recommened this album to all Alice Fans, who don't have it or to those curious about his music. Its hard to compare this album to anything I've ever heard so I can't say if you like certain bands then you'll like this.
0Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 April 2016
I don't think it's new to any Alice Cooper fans that he had a slightly different musical approach to songs on this album from the one that had had earlier. Everything is still the same good old rock and roll and may God bless Alice! We need him to do his magic for a long time.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 August 2011
As a hardcore Alice fan from first hearing School's Out as a teen, I have to say this is up there with his best for me. Certainly his most underrated, and practically unknown here in the UK as on it's release, Alice couldn't get arrested over here, and on his subsequent 'comeback' here it got lost and forgotten.

It's a stunning body of work from the man. Albeit on a more musical and adult level than his earlier work.....comparisons to his Goes To Hell concept can be made, but this journey is about the hell he found in the asylum he wound up in through his drink problems, and the characters both real and imagined or exeggerated maybe....

The Quiet Room, as said above, is the standout track. Alice really makes you feel for his tortured soul in the song. And How You Gonna See Me Now comes into it's own as part of the album, rather than just a romantic sounding single. Both Millie and Billie and the title track are strong and quite unnerving in their lyrics, and feel.

However, for all it's 'darkness', it's all done with Alice's unique humour and melody, that makes him and this album a treasure in rock music.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Customers also viewed these items

Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)