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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 August 2012
It's certainly ironic that Alice Cooper's best 1980's album is from a period where his personal life, and health, was in utter turmoil. Back on the booze - and, for a period, cocaine - Alice was on a downward spiral; churning out three erratic, eccentric records, that had already drastically eroded his fan base. Then came 1983's 'Dada' - an album that Warner Brothers didn't even expect AC to deliver; an album that saw the return of both producer Bob Ezrin and guitarist/composer Dick Wagner; an album which Alice claims he now can't even remember making!

It's essentially a further step along the continuum begun with 1980's 'Flush The Fashion' - off-the-wall, unformulaic, produced with no concession to, or consideration of , any particular fan base etc. What elevates it above the previous three albums is the depth of the songwriting; the main participants may all have been in a 'state', but the songs are uniformly strong. Somehow, from the depths of despair, Alice forged an album of epic proportions - an 'accidental' classic.

There is some humour here - 'I Love America' - and the use of the, then cutting-edge, Fairlight synthesizer/computer initially creates a false jauntiness; peel back that initial layer though and you're soon enveloped in an air of melancholic desperation. The final track, 'Pass The Gun Around', has Alice at the end of his tether - there's a gunshot at the very end that makes you really jump.

After owning, then losing, the original vinyl, I bought the 2010 Collectors Choice edition. Although it doesn't specifically claim any remastering, it actually sounds excellent - plenty of bass, but no 'loudness wars'.
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on 20 September 2017
Damn fine cd!
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on 17 November 2010
On first listen this sounded as terrible as Special Forces was. After continued resilience and faith, this has flowered into probably the best of, not only his pre-Constrictor 80s output but possibly one his very best albums to date. However, it is very schizophrenic and many of the tracks vary wildy in tone. The difference is that they are all actually rather good and so the odd mixture becomes eclectic. There is actually not one bad track here.

The title track is a dark soundscape and not really much of a song as such but instils a dread that is difficult to create on record. It actually sounds nightmarish with whispered asides and the constant heart-beat drumming adding to a quiet cacophany that echoes inside your subconscious long after. Not at all the weakest here despite its lack of structure and length; it is sufficiently creepy. Which is why 'Enough's Enough' was so difficult to like. It erupts into life like an annoying younger sibling, especially after the serious moodiness of 'DaDa'. But, it turns out that it is a great little toe-tapper with a melody and chorus that sticks in your head like a children's nursey rhyme. It is completely bonkers and uncool and actually a bit scary because of it. It's like the musical equivalent of a close friend suddenly becoming hysterically manic. 'Former Lee Warmer' is more subdued and really only good at best but, as each song adds to whole, it works perfectly after the previous track. It is a ballad of sorts. 'No Man's Land' gets better and better with repeated listens. It's a great old-fashioned AC track and slowly became one of my favourites. 'Dyslexia' on the other hand returns to the bonkers world of 'Enough's Enough'. But, again, after due diligence, it is a rather catchy track, albeit ridiculous and as nightmarishly viral as 'DaDa'.

'Scarlett and Sheba' is astonishingly good. It's a very overblown power ballad that is one of his best tracks that never sees the light of day anymore. 'I Love America' is equally as excellent but for different reasons. It's a deliberately funny song that takes the mick out of America while making the narrator seem rather likeable. It is rousing, far better than 'Lost in America' from The Last Temptation, is completely underrated and is possibly one of the only comedy tracks I've listened to to actually BE genuinely hilarious, even after many listens. 'Fresh Blood' is an MOR grower that has a great chorus, you just won't know it until the 5th listen. But when you do - wow. Again, one of my favourite AC tracks ever. And it's about vampires - of course. 'Pass the Gun Around' has a brilliantly lethargic chorus and finishes the album perfectly. Great, 5 star stuff. And to think that he publicly stated that he could not remember recording this!

After the dross that he was producing year after year during the beginning of the 80s, this was a surprise, but a surprise that took a while to become one... if you get me. I would recommend this to be as worthy an addition to the Alice Cooper canon as Welcome to My Nightmare, Love It To Death, Billion Dollar Babies and Killer. It's far better than School's Out and Muscle of Love, has a distictive sound that he had never used before or after and stands out as a curious addition to a classic back catalogue. It should not be universally and critically pigeon-holed as an also-ran but be revered as a peerless seminal benchmark, left-field work.

Truly stunning.
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on 6 December 2001
This is very different musically from the usual Alice if not lyrically.
Yes, it does have a very 80's feel to it and the use of computer programmes for most of the drums was a bit of a mistake. However the concept of the album works well. Scarlet and Sheba is a real Cooper classic that he really should be performing live, the keyboards are great on this song. Former Lee Warmer is a slow dark piano driven song reminscent of I love the dead. I love America is an hilarious send up with a level of humour that only Alice could achieve.
The closing tracks Fresh Blood and Pass the gun around are typical Cooper songs lyrically but with a more electronic musical approach that works well. All in all a very good album
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on 8 August 2007
These were strange times for the Coop, and the party was definately almost over for him. After the abrasive, new-wave meets military-fetish that was the "Special Forces" album and the directionless "Zipper Catches Skin", Alice reunited with Dick Wagner and Bob Ezrin for 1983's "Dada". Most of the album was produced using the, at the time, new synthesizer technology, which gives the album a somewhat dated feel. Alice was clearly struggling to update his sound for modern times; the true return to form wouldn't come until 1986's hair-metal influenced "Constrictor". However, this remains a compelling curio in the Cooper collection. In hindsight, some of the material here gains more gravitas when you realise that later the same year Alice was hospitalised for his own good, after suffering from severe weight loss, induced by his chronic dependance on alcohol. "Pass the Gun Around" is most obviously a cry for help, but otherwise mildly comedic songs such as "No Man's Land" and "I Love America" also take on a renewed pathos.
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on 6 July 2005
As noted elsewhere, it's not a typical Alice album - I'm not his biggest fan but this one does it for me. Humorous, dark and inciteful lyrics (nowhere better than "I Love America"), with better story telling than some of his more famed moments and terrific production. Some of the electronica that features sounds a bit dated now, but its more than saved by Dick Wagner's guitar.
Bob Ezrin's (and Wagner) influence is huge here and anybody who has heard Kiss overlooked "the Elder" will recognise his hand and style at that time, contributing as he does to the songwriting and musicianship as well as production. It's an album more than a collection of songs and benefits from listening as a whole.
Highly recommended.
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on 31 May 2004
The spookiest intro Alice Cooper has ever done opens this album -- a little girls voice behind menacing music, repeating the word "Dada." Try that on a dark night with all the lights out! Producer Bob Ezrin, guitarist Dick Wagner, and Alice put together an excellent album of material that defies categorization. It's not 80's music, it's not 70's disco...it can only be called Alice Cooper music.
(...) The album's predecessors, "Zipper Catches Skin" and "Special Forces" did not sell well either. But these early 80's albums tend to have a special place in the hearts of fans who've rediscovered them over the past twenty years.
I place "Dada" as my favorite Alice Cooper album. Maybe because it's like "Former Lee Warmer," the misbegotten monster-sibling housed under lock and key in the attic; but I have grown to love it. And there's no arguing that Alice has put out some exceptional material to date, this one just eeks past "Billion Dollar Babies" as his best.
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on 31 August 2007
The final of Alice's four early 80's "Electro New Wave" albums is by far and away the best of the four. Its funny, dark, twisted, and just plain weird. "Dada" Sets the scene in a perfect way. I don't know what the "sucking" noise on this track is supposed to be - a baby's dummy or something??
"Enough's Enough" is a classic piece of rebellion against a father. "Former Lee Warmer" a spooky tale of a deranged man locked in the attic by his brother. "No Mans Land" Contains some of The Coop's funniest lyrics ever. "Dyslexia" is a furiously bouncy song, and very catchy. "Scarlet And Sheba" is probably one of Alice's most raunchy songs ever - lyrically, and would not be lost on his more commercial "Trash" album.
"I Love America" is probably the albums worst song musically, but again you can't help grinning at the lyrics as they are very clever and funny!
"Fresh Blood" is the albums highlight for me. Catchy Boppy song about vampires. The album closes with "Pass The Gun Around". A very dark song, possibly depicting Alice's struggle with the bottle at this time. However its one of the best ballads Alice has ever done.
Sadly Alice has never played any of these songs live (and probably never will as he says he remembers very little of this album). Its a shame because as well as sounding damn good, he could really put some clever theatrics to some of the songs like "Former Lee Warmer"
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on 22 December 2009
This was one of the best Alice albums I heard in my younger days. It proved pretty difficult to get a hold of in the days of vinyl. Very atmospheric, and the whole album always makes me feel alive!! Lyrics are excellent and to get it on CD was a dream come true! A great period for Alice (although probably his worst personally). Excellent tracks and lyrics and music.
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on 29 March 2001
As an big fan, and one who knows just how good Alice can be (e.g. Billion Dollar Babies, Welcome to my Nightmare), I am acutely aware when he doesn't quite reach the high standards he has set himself. Rather than give everything which bears the Alice Cooper monicker five stars just because it's him, I always aim to be objective. 'Da Da', however, is not as much of a loss of form as its lack of exposure would tend to indicate. Sure, it's not up there with the classic albums, but it's certainly not the worst either. The subject matter is suitably Cooperesque, disturbed psyche, sinister goings on within disfunctional families, and a large helping of tongue-in-cheek (see 'I Love America'). The opener and title track 'Da Da' sets the scene nicely with broodingly sinister music, and a glimpse of an unstable mind. The musical roller coaster begins in ernest with the excellent 'Enough's Enough' and the superb and subtly menacing 'Former Lee Warmer' (great play on words!), a track which would grace any Alice album. The standard dips slightly with the more dispensable 'No Man's Land' and 'Dyslexia', before storming to another high with 'Scarlet and Sheba'. 'I Love America' is amusing if slightly throw-away, while the excellent 'Fresh Blood' gets the musical diversity vote with its funky, horn laden groove (at times sounding not a little like Pink Floyd). 'Pass the Gun Around' brings the album to a dramatic close, and one's left with the feeling that even in the face of adversity Alice's talent cannot be totally stifled. I found this album to be a bit of a grower when I first purchased it (on vinyl, years ago). The fact that a lot of the drumming and other music is unashamedly computerised disappoints me a little, and detracts from the overall feel and impact of the record. It is a great album, though.
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