This list combines the top 10 essential Alice Cooper albums from the Alice Cooper group and the solo albums released by Alice Cooper after the band split up in 1975. The band’s first album Pretties for You was released in 1969. Since the release of their first record, the band has released close to twenty-six albums. Their last album Welcome to My Nightmare 2 was released in 2011. The Alice Cooper Band led by frontman Vincent Damon Furnier would become one of the pioneering rock acts in terms of stage theatrics. No other band had ever performed shows using live snakes, guillotines, and fake blood to amuse and entertain rock audiences. The band paved the way for bands like Kiss with the use of makeup and stage props.
The Top 10 Alice Cooper Albums
# 10 – Trash
This was the great Alice Cooper comeback album we had all been waiting for. Alice was in fine vocal form on this 1980s release. Produced by hit maker Desmond Child, the album has a very polished 1980s glam sound. Many of the songs echo the song structures of vintage Desmond Child hits like Bon Jovi’s ” Living on a Prayer,” and “You Give Love a Bad Name.” However, there is no one that ever sounded like Alice Cooper and there is no mistaking that this is an Alice Cooper album no matter how heavy an influence Desmond Child had on the songwriting and production. Standout tracks include, “Poison,” “Spark in the Dark,” and “Bed of Nails” which featured the brilliant guitarist Kane Roberts. The album also featured appearances by Joan Jett, Steven Tyler, Jon Bon Jovi, and Richie Sambora.
# 9 – Hey Stoopid
The follow-up to Alice Cooper’s 1989 release “Trash,” the album “Hey Stoopid,” found Alice once again defining the Alice Cooper sound within the genres of the modern period it was released. The album featured a huge selection of guest artists including guitar virtuosos Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Vinnie Moore. And if that were not enough, legendary rock singer Ozzy Osbourne made an appearance along with Slash on the title track. Alice Cooper has always been known for great song titles, and “Hey Stoopid,” featured one of his most memorable entitled, “Feed My Frankenstein.” The album also featured some beautiful signature Alice Cooper ballads including the standout track, “Hurricane Years.”
# 8 – Killer
Rolling Stone Magazine called this one of the best albums released in 1971. The magazine at the time also ranked the “Killer,” album as the best of Alice Cooper’s career. It was an early rating because it was at the time only 1971. Rolling Stone critic Lester Bangs compared the Alice Cooper track, “Under My Wheels,” to a classic style Rolling Stones song. Bangs was right on the money because what made the “Killer,” album so effective was the stripped down to the bone raw rock and roll sound that depicted the great Stones records. Yes, Alice Cooper at their finest, at that time, and still one of their most solid rock and roll recordings.
# 7 – Lace and Whiskey
Alice Cooper released one of his strongest ballads to date on the Lace and Whiskey album. The Song “You and Me,” charted as high as No. 9 on the Billboard Top 10 single charts in 1977. The album also opened with a killer rocker, “It’s Hot Tonight,” which would be used as a show opener in some of Alice Cooper’s later concert tours. A concept album was written loosely around a 1940s-style film-noir detective story. Concepts aside, the album delivered a strong collection of well-written and produced Alice Cooper songs which for some was a nice change from the two previous nightmare theme-based albums Cooper had released in 1975 and 1976.
# 6 – Alice Cooper Goes To Hell
Speaking of nightmare albums, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell was the follow-up to his hugely successful “Welcome to My Nightmare,” album of 1975. And like its predecessor, the “Goes to Hell,” album featured another strong ballad from Alice Cooper. The track “I Never Cry,” may not have been as successful as Welcome to My Nightmare’s, “Only Women Bleed,” but its melodic ideas and cynical lyrics were just as effective.
# 5 – Easy Action
Easy Action was the band’s second album after their debut Little Pretties. There were still touches of the psychedelia that ran through the first album. However, on “Easy Action,” we start to see the shorter three-minute pop rock songs that would mark a new direction for the band: although the album still did contain some longer progressive style tracks such as “Goodbye.” Nonetheless, Easy Action was a solid effort by the Alice Cooper group and interesting development in the sound of the band at the dawn of the seventies.
# 4 – Love it to Death
The Alice Cooper band’s third album, “Love it to Death,” became their career defining moment in which their distinctive sound became realized by producer Bob Ezrin. The sixties were dead and so was the sound of their original first two albums. “Love it to Death,” featured their mega-hit “I’m Eighteen.” On “Love it to Death,” the band sounded more like the Stooges than the Strawberry Alarm Clock and in some cases seemed to be inspired by the Doors and MC5. Regardless of their inspirations, “Love it To Death,” sounded great from start to finish and was their strongest album to date.
# 3 – School’s Out
The “School’s Out, album contained the band’s highest charting single in their history. The single “School’s Out;” hit No.7 on the Billboard charts in 1972. Furthermore, the song became not only a classic staple of rock and roll radio, but the subject matter of the song would also become part of popular culture for the rest of the century. Every school child (and most teachers) would be singing the lyrics to the Cooper classic at the sound of that last bell, at the end of June, year in, year out. Furthermore, the album was also full of well-written songs that balanced the boundaries between punk, pop and progressive rock.
# 2 – Welcome to My Nightmare
Vincent’s first solo album in which he had legally changed his name to Alice Cooper. And what an album it was. The album became a showcase for the new live theatrical Alice Cooper show. “Only Women Bleed, “would become Alice Cooper’s first solo hit and stands as one of his most beautiful melodic ballads lined with the famous Alice Cooper lyrical wit. The album contained many standout tracks that would become concert staples for many future years. “Cold Ethyl, Black Widow, and Devils Food “all stood out among the best tracks on the lp and would define the start of Alice Cooper’s solo career and new dark theatrical personality.
# 1 – Billion Dollar Babies
When “Billion Dollar Babies,” was released in 1973, it soon hit the No.1 spot on the album charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom. It is rated as the best Alice Cooper album on the majority of most critics’ top Alice Cooper album lists. The album spawned four hit singles with three of them charting on the Billboard Top 40 charts. With the release of Billion Dollar Babies, the Alice Cooper band defined their essential sound with the best album of their career. It was not only Alice Cooper’s greatest record, but it was also one of the best rock albums ever recorded.
(Released February 25 1973)
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