Without Alice Cooper, there might never have been the NY Dolls, KISS, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Motley Crue, Slipknot or Rob Zombie ... maybe not even David Bowie, or at least not Ziggy Stardust. The iconic hard rocker literally invented the concept of the rock concert as theater.
With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors, and baby dolls, he is considered by fans and peers alike to be "The Godfather of Shock Rock"; Cooper has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a grandly theatrical and macabre brand of rock designed to shock.
Originating in Detroit in the late 1960s, Alice Cooper was originally a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and drummer Neal Smith. The original Alice Cooper band broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit "I'm Eighteen" from the album Love It to Death, which was followed by the even bigger single "School's Out" in 1972. The band reached their commercial peak with the 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies.
Cooper adopted the band's name as his own name in the 1970s and began a solo career with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare. In 2011 he released Welcome 2 My Nightmare, his 19th album as a solo artist, and his 26th album in total. Expanding from his Detroit rock roots, in his career Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including conceptual rock, art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, New Wave, pop rock, experimental rock and industrial rock.
Alice Cooper is known for his social and witty persona offstage; The Rolling Stone Album Guide has called him the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer". Cooper is credited with helping to shape the sound and look of heavy metal. Although preceded by Screamin' Jay Hawkins and his macabre stage props, he is regarded as being the artist who "first introduced horror imagery to rock'n'roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre". Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur and, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper.
In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
From his first solo album, 1975's Welcome to My Nightmare through releases such as 1994's The Last Temptation and 2000's Brutal Planet, concept albums have been a specialty of Alice's, and this time he spins the story of a serial killer who imagines himself as the most predatory of all insects, trapping his prey, killing them, then enveloping his eight victims in silk, taking a leg from each of them. A web of intrigue, wrapped around some serious hard rock.
Known as the architect of shock-rock, Alice (in both the original Alice Cooper band and as a solo artist) has rattled the cages and undermined the authority of generations of guardians of the status quo, continuing to surprise fans and exude danger at every turn, like a great horror movie, even in an era where CNN can present real life shocking images.
With his influence on rock & roll long since acknowledged, there is little that Alice Cooper hasn't achieved in his remarkable career, including platinum albums, sold-out tours and any number of honors and career achievement awards.
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