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Alice Soars From The Depths Of Despair
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'.