Alice Cooper Biography
Singer + songwriter Alice Cooper, an artist who has had immeasurable
impact upon Rock music and every facet of Pop culture, was born Vincent
Damon Furnier on February 4, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan USA. His interest
in music began as a teenager while attending high school in Phoenix, there
he formed his first band: Earwigs. By 1965, the group had moved to Los
Angeles and changed their name to the Spiders. The Spiders changed their
name once again, this time to The Nazz and began making treks to Hollywood
to perform, eventually signing with Frank Zappa's Straight Records label.
In 1968, Furnier, guitarists Mike Bruce and Glen Buxton, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith created a designed-to-shock dynasty of decadence by pushing the limits of both Rock and theatricality; the group named themselves Alice Cooper and entered the studio for their debut album.
In 1969 was released "Pretties For You", followed by "Easy Action" a year later, but the records failed to sell well.
The band then moved to Furnier's hometown of Detroit, they quickly signed with Warner Bros. and began to record their next album, "Love It To Death"; it crashed into the top 40 of the U.S. Pop chart upon its January 1971 release and included the band's first charting single, "Caught In A Dream" plus "I'm Eighteen", which peaked at #21 on the U.S. Pop chart.
Following the chart success of their third album, the group rushed back into the studio, in Chicago, to record "Killer", the fourth Alice Cooper album hit the record shelves before 1971 was out and reached the #21 position on the U.S. Pop chart spawning a mid-sized hit single in "Be My Lover".
They became one of the world's top heavy-Rock bands and concert attractions; the group developed a stage show as overwhelming as their music, that featured fake blood, electric chairs, guillotines and huge boa constrictors; 1972's "School's Out" catapulted Alice Cooper into the Hard-Rock stratosphere, this album rose to #2 in the States selling over one million copies, the title-track peaked at #7 on the U.S. Pop Singles and soared to the #1 position in the U.K. charts.
The following year, the band had its first #1 album; "Billion Dollar Babies" topped both the U.S. and U.K. charts and its main single, "No More Mr. Nice Guy", peaked at #25 on the U.S. Pop Singles list and broke the top 10 in Britain; their sixth LP generated two more American Top 40 hits: "Elected" and "Hello Hurray".
In late 1973 was released, "Muscle Of Love" and would unfortunately prove to be the original Alice Cooper band's last studio album together; it peaked at #10 on the U.S. Official Pop chart and the lead single, "Teenage Lament '74", made a mid-chart appearance reaching #48 in the United States.
During 1974, the Cooper camp successfully marked time by releasing their "Greatest Hits" album which rose to #8 in America; shortly thereafter Bruce and Smith decided to begin recording their own prospective solo projects, the band finally split-up. Meanwhile, determined to raise his game to the next level, Vincent Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper and embarked on a solo career.
"Welcome To My Nightmare", his first solo album, was released in 1975 and promptly returned him to the top 5 of the U.S. Pop Sales chart; it produced a mid-size hit in its title-track and "Only Women Bleed", a sensitive ballad which peaked at #12 on the Pop Singles chart.
Cooper followed it up with "Alice Cooper Goes To Hell", this album didn't rise higher than #27 in the U.S. however the lead single, "I Never Cry", hit #12 on the Pop chart.
1977's "Lace And Whiskey" failed to crack the top 40 of the Pop Albums list but the theatrical rocker scored a top 10 hit single with "You And Me".
It was around this time that he hit the bottle; his 1978 album "From The Inside", recorded after drying out in a New York hospital for alcoholism, was another disappointing set which reached the #60 slot on the Pop Albums chart and provided a top 20 hit single in "How You Gonna See Me Now".
Cooper revamped his sound to fall halfway between New Wave Hard-Rock and driving disco-Rock and one and a half year later, in May 1980, he released "Flush The Fashion" which reached the #44 spot on the U.S. Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart and generated a top 40 hit with "Clones (We're All)".
"Special Forces" followed a year later but received even less attention reaching a modest #125 on the Pop Albums chart.
Two albums were released over the next two years, "Zipper Catches Skin" in October 1982 and "Da Da" in late 1983, but, although critically acknowledged, both failed to dent the charts.
Once Alice Cooper finally beat the bottle in 1986, he released "Constrictor", his first album in three years, which marked his return to the U.S. chart reaching the #59 position on The Billboard 200.
"Raise Your Fist And Yell" followed in the fall of 1987, this album was another Billboard's Top 200 chart entry at #73.
But it was two years later, that the album called "Trash", which featured an array of guest stars including Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry among others, restored Cooper to the good graces of audiences, it climbed into the top 10 of the U.K. Albums chart and peaked at #20 on the American Billboard Top 200 highlighted by the smash hit "Poison", this single hit the top 3 in Britain, reached #15 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks and rose to #7 on The Billboard Hot 100 pushing the album to platinum status Steteside; the follow-up singles from the record, "House Of Fire" and "Only My Heart Talkin'", both charted in the lower half of The Billboard Hot 100, with the latter peaking at #19 on The Mainstream Rock chart.
Unfortunately, the return to the high-end of the charts that Cooper enjoyed with this album was short-lived and "Hey Stoopid", released in mid-1991, failed to crack the top 40 of The Billboard 200 Albums listing; the title-track peaked at #13 on The Mainstream Rock chart but stalled at #78 in The Billboard Hot 100; the second single, "Love's A Loaded Gun", picked up modest airplay on Active Rock stations across the United States.
Three years later he resurfaced with "The Last Temptation", on his twentieth studio record Chris Cornell sang and even wrote a couple tracks, but the album failed to rise above #68 on The Billboard Top 200 chart.
After six years absence, with the exception of the 1997's live set "A Fistful Of Alice", in June 2000 the shock-Rock icon released, "Brutal Planet", his first album for Spitfire.
"Dragontown" followed a year later but, like its predecessor, the album was a marginal chart entry on The Billboard 200.
In September 2003 he released "The Eyes Of Alice Cooper" through Eagle Rock Entertainment, it reached the top 10 of the Billboard's Independent Albums chart.
Alice Cooper returned in August 2005 with "Dirty Diamonds" which hit the #169 slot on The Billboard Top 200 list and included the Active Rock radio single "Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies)".
Three years later he joined forces with SPV to unleash the conceptual album "Along Came A Spider"; the set, which features special guests such as guitarist Slash and Kiss drummer Eric Singer, peaked at #53 on The Billboard 200 and hit the U.K Top 40.
Alice Cooper will release his hugely anticipated new album, "Welcome
2 My Nightmare", on September 13, 2011, via Universal Music Group.
Recorded with longtime collaborator Bob Ezrin, who produced the original
multi-platinum "Welcome To My Nightmare" album in 1975, the
record picks up right where they left off.
The disc includes the already established live favorite and first single "I'll Bite Your Face Off"; more than 35 years later, Alice and Ezrin have resurrected the horror and humor for a new generation.