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2023 Albums Thing #006 - Alice Cooper “Billion Dollar Babies”

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As a kid first getting into music that I liked, rather than stuff I heard from my folks, Glam Rock was the first thing that caught my ear. Slade, T.Rex, Sweet…they were the bands that this 10/11 year old latched on to. Glam was simply the pop music of the time, hairy blokes with guitars and a knack with a chorus who’d all been paying their dues on the club circuit since the mid 60’s in most cases.

And slightly off to one side, not quite Glam, but definitely hairy blokes with guitars, and a snake, was Alice Cooper. We just thought it was the singers name, not quite realising at that time Alice Cooper was a band. The song that stuck out to all us schoolkids was, of course, “School’s Out” but there were others that hit the charts, “Hello Hooray” and “Elected” which some years later I discovered were from an album called “Billion Dollar Babies”.

It would have been the early 80’s when I heard the entire album and it’s been a favourite ever since. The aforementioned singles are both on side 1 with the title track and the closing, unsettling “Unfinished Sweet” wherein at a dental visit our hero is told “your teeth are OK but your gums gotta go” ! Side 2 opens with AC’s great anthem “Mo More Mr Nice Guy” and some more of the schlock-horror on which their stage show was based, the eerie “Sick Things” and the jaunty sing-a-long “I Love The Dead”.

It was Glam but not as we knew it. It has proved influential, we’d argue that without the huge “influence” of Alice Cooper and Slade then Kiss would never have had a career. And we didn’t even get to the sleeve, in the days when artwork mattered…

No More Mr Nice Guy - https://youtu.be/_yo1S50Aqoo

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