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Muscle of Love

Alice Cooper

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Album Review

Coming off such conceptual, theatrical, sleazy hard rock records as the massively successful School's Out (1972) and Billion Dollar Babies (1973), the Alice Cooper group decided that their next release would be more along the lines of their earlier, more straightforward work (à la Love It to Death). While Muscle of Love was a gold-certified Top Ten success, it performed below expectations (their previous two albums peaked at number two and number one, respectively) and would unfortunately prove to be the original Alice Cooper band's last studio album together. The album may not be as coherent as their previous classics (producer Bob Ezrin took a leave of absence) and more filler is present than usual, yet Muscle of Love is perhaps Alice Cooper's most underrated record — more than a few overlooked and forgotten classics reside here. The two best-known tracks are undoubtedly the Top 20 anthem "Teenage Lament '74," which features none other than Liza Minnelli and the Pointer Sisters on backing vocals, and the boisterous title track. But other tracks are just as good — the Led Zep-stomping opener, "Big Apple Dreamin' (Hippo)," the gentle "Hard Hearted Alice" (a precursor to Cooper's future ballad-oriented direction), the raging "Working Up a Sweat," and "Man with the Golden Gun" (which was written for the James Bond movie of the same name, but rejected). A forgotten hard rock classic.

Customer Reviews

Never been sold before?

Behind the greasepaint and pantomime Alice Cooper was always an astute artist and businessman. In1973 few of his teenage fans, myself included, cared about this. We wanted the shock rock stage sets and ghoulish lyrics that this album's predecessors had delivered with relish. Alice was top of the charts and on top of his game. All the more puzzling then that after the obvious theatricality of Billion Dollar Babies, Alice and the band should retreat into more workmanlike rock and roll. There was to be no 'Elected' or 'School's Out' to demand radio airplay this time around. We youngsters quickly got bored and moved on. But revisiting this album thirty odd years later I have to agree with i-tunes verdict of an underrated classic. Cooper's first band were superb; not the most accomplished rock outfit to be sure, but rough edged and utterly distinctive. 'Man with the Golden Gun', disgracefully rejected by the 007 production machine, is as inventive as anything on the earlier albums, 'Woman Machine' has a riff that won't go away and 'Hard Hearted Alice' is without doubt Cooper's finest creepy-sad ballad. Hindsight is a curse, I know, but I now realise that Alice Cooper simply could not have repeated Babies on the follow up. That album, justly a fans' favourite, was already teetering dangerously close to parody on 'I Love the Dead'. New direction was needed. Muscle of Love is a retrenchment and, sadly, when Alice Cooper found a way forward he didn't take the band with him. When he welcomed us to his nightmare a year later it was great, but it was never quite the same again. Listen, then, to these final offerings from one of the early seventies' true originals and appreciate them for what they are, overlooked gems from an artist striving for his next step and not content to rip off his fans with cynical formulaic repeats. Now we understand and we forgive you Alice!

Muscle of Love

Good Review. I remember waiting to hear the first play of this album on Radio Caroline in 1973. It was very late at night
and the signal wasn't very good. But they played the first two tracks "Big Apple Dreaming" and "Never Been Sold Before".
They sounded great and i bought the album straight away. It is a great album, and should have been a greater success.
I recently watched a programme about the James Bond songs and it was agreed that the Lulu song "Man With the Golden
Gun" was the least favourite Bond song and the Alice written song was a better song and should have been used.
I've always wondered if The Alice Cooper Group song had been used as the Bond song and it had become a huge hit
whether they would have split up. A great Alice Cooper album and the last as a band, listen to the clips and see for yourself.

Biography

Born: 04 February 1948 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Originally, there was a band called Alice Cooper led by a singer named Vincent Damon Furnier. Under his direction, Alice Cooper pioneered a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville, heavy metal, and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood, and huge boa constrictors, all coordinated by the heavily made-up Furnier. By that time, Furnier had adopted the name...
Full bio
Muscle of Love, Alice Cooper
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  • £7.51
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal, Arena Rock, Hard Rock
  • Released: 1973

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