My Stars, the beginning of the end

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My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by PFOLGORE » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:52 pm

My Stars, released on the Schools Out Album was perhaps the epiphany and validation rolled in to one to Alice, Bob Ezrin, and Dick Wagner that Alice as a solo Artist didn't need the band. During the Love to Death session Bob became aware of the the limitations of the band's musical abilities. Musically, the songs 18 and Caught in a Dream are the bands best efforts without being propped up by Bob Ezrin or hired talent. Listen to the bands freshman and sophomore attemps Pretties for You and Easy Action, the only thing that redeems the albums are Alice's clever lyrics; musically and technically they have garage band talent. Most bands do not get three chances, Alice Cooper was very fortunate to have cross paths with their management and producers.

In Dennis Dunway's book he goes in to details about the Love it to Death recording sessions but is silent on the making Killer, Schools Out, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love. This is most likely because, Love it to Death is the last album where the band even had close to a majority of control on the product that they put out. Bob Erzin influence is felt throughout the whole Album. The Second Coming, the Ballard of Dwight Fry are melodic keyboard driven that has to be all Bob.

On Killer, Rick Derringer is brought in to play lead on Under My Wheels. The best straight forward rock song on the Album.

On Schools Out My Stars could be labeled as Alice's first solo career song. Blue Turk, lyrically, is classic Alice, the best in the business the music is great too, the only problem is you don't go from play distorted guitars leads and simples chord progressions as found on the first three albums to the sublime instrumentals on Blue Turk. Grand Finale also does not sound the like original band. The only songs on the album that sound true to the original band are Public Animal Number 9, and Schools Out. Glen or Michael could never pull off the aggressive leads on My Stars. The is all Alice, Dick and Bob.

Billion Dollar Babies is essentially Alice's first solo Album. Sure Dennis and Neal may have played on every song, but with the exception to the drum intro on Billion Dollar Babies those roles are pretty much generic. Alice's Lyrics stand out on this Album and the amazing guitar playing. We know it was not Glen and Michael's role was probably limited to playing some rhythm on certain tracks.

On Muscle of Love, the troops pushed back a little bit and Bob walked. Without Bob the Album had a some great tracks but did not meet expectations.

Last their solo Album Battle Axe, did not have Glen, who actually may have helped it by giving a little rawer edge. But there is nothing note worthy about the Album. Even its best tracks are not as good as Return of the Spiders, or Reflected. Alice solo Album Welcome to my Nightmare is a classic and the natural progression from Billion Dollar Babies.

Michael's solo work is unremarkable

Alice's talent outgrew the bands. To keep up management had to bring hired guns so the music was palatable to the public and sold records. What are the chances of three high school buddies all having superstar talent. There is no chance. Alice was blessed with the talent and the other went along for the ride as long as they could but in the end the facade collapsed and Alice, Dick and Bob were left standing.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by pitkin88 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:25 pm

Not sure why someone deleted my one word response but it can be found in the Sex Pistol's album from 77.


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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by mestreech » Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:51 am

I would indeed also use the word Pitkin has used.
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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Mr.Bluelegs » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:20 am

That's a heck of a first post, Pfolgore. Your take is interesting, but I don't really agree- especially how the others weren't in Alice's league.
Mike Bruce was/ is a phenomenal songwriter, completely essential to their success. I would say Mike was the most important member next to Alice. True, Ezrin called the shots, but the original band was more than capable of handling the playing. WTMN was a great album, I agree, with great musicians, however, it really doesn't compare to "classic Alice" like Killer. Anyways, welcome aboard & I'm sure you'll enjoy the views and debates on this most awesome website!

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Docwyoming » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:44 am

PFOLGORE wrote:My Stars, released on the Schools Out Album was perhaps the epiphany and validation rolled in to one to Alice, Bob Ezrin, and Dick Wagner that Alice as a solo Artist didn't need the band. During the Love to Death session Bob became aware of the the limitations of the band's musical abilities. Musically, the songs 18 and Caught in a Dream are the bands best efforts without being propped up by Bob Ezrin or hired talent. Listen to the bands freshman and sophomore attemps Pretties for You and Easy Action, the only thing that redeems the albums are Alice's clever lyrics; musically and technically they have garage band talent. Most bands do not get three chances, Alice Cooper was very fortunate to have cross paths with their management and producers.

In Dennis Dunway's book he goes in to details about the Love it to Death recording sessions but is silent on the making Killer, Schools Out, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love. This is most likely because, Love it to Death is the last album where the band even had close to a majority of control on the product that they put out. Bob Erzin influence is felt throughout the whole Album. The Second Coming, the Ballard of Dwight Fry are melodic keyboard driven that has to be all Bob.

On Killer, Rick Derringer is brought in to play lead on Under My Wheels. The best straight forward rock song on the Album.

On Schools Out My Stars could be labeled as Alice's first solo career song. Blue Turk, lyrically, is classic Alice, the best in the business the music is great too, the only problem is you don't go from play distorted guitars leads and simples chord progressions as found on the first three albums to the sublime instrumentals on Blue Turk. Grand Finale also does not sound the like original band. The only songs on the album that sound true to the original band are Public Animal Number 9, and Schools Out. Glen or Michael could never pull off the aggressive leads on My Stars. The is all Alice, Dick and Bob.

Billion Dollar Babies is essentially Alice's first solo Album. Sure Dennis and Neal may have played on every song, but with the exception to the drum intro on Billion Dollar Babies those roles are pretty much generic. Alice's Lyrics stand out on this Album and the amazing guitar playing. We know it was not Glen and Michael's role was probably limited to playing some rhythm on certain tracks.

On Muscle of Love, the troops pushed back a little bit and Bob walked. Without Bob the Album had a some great tracks but did not meet expectations.

Last their solo Album Battle Axe, did not have Glen, who actually may have helped it by giving a little rawer edge. But there is nothing note worthy about the Album. Even its best tracks are not as good as Return of the Spiders, or Reflected. Alice solo Album Welcome to my Nightmare is a classic and the natural progression from Billion Dollar Babies.

Michael's solo work is unremarkable

Alice's talent outgrew the bands. To keep up management had to bring hired guns so the music was palatable to the public and sold records. What are the chances of three high school buddies all having superstar talent. There is no chance. Alice was blessed with the talent and the other went along for the ride as long as they could but in the end the facade collapsed and Alice, Dick and Bob were left standing.
You sound like a person who wants to defend Alice's choice to dump the high school friends and people who supported him from the hard times just when the money started rolling.

Alice Cooper the solo artist NEVER had an album that came close to what the original band produced. WTMN was his closest shot and the rockers on that album simply do not match up to what the original band did. A good beginning that ultimately wouldn't go anywhere for years. Cooper was resigned to copying this success over and over (ACGTH was WTMN II despite what he claims).

To this day Cooper is forced to run through the band's greatest hits and he has NEVER come close to find a closer to replace School's Out or the second choice Under My Wheels.


By the way, the former was written based on a riff by Buxton, and the latter song was written without ANY involvement from Cooper as well. Take away the band and what's Alice's closer? No More Mr. Nice guy? That's almost entirely a Bruce song. Elected? Even you know that's just Reflected with some improvements.


Cooper's lyrical contribution with the original band was at times over credited... Bruce actually wrote much of what Alice sang. Cooper would improve upon it, by Bruce's own admission, but to give Cooper sole credit for the lyrics is to concede ignorance on how these songs were actually created.

I will admit that Bruce's lyrics on Battle Axe were worthy of Spinal Tap.

Cooper's career took a noticeable decline after leaving the band. You seem to forget how critics received his ballads. You seem to forget how his albums flopped from about 77 onward. Maybe a slight comeback for FTI but after that... the decline was horrific and it lasted for years. I bought these albums as they came out and each time, I can tell you, I'd wonder why I kept following him.

What Cooper did - and this was impressive - was survive. Even as his albums failed he continued to do interesting things, write good lyrics and retain hardcore fans. Even as his body started to fall to pieces from his crack use, he kept going. And we can take a second look at albums like DaDa and enjoy them, even as Cooper himself doesn't even recall them.

Cooper eventually came back and no matter the style of the times, adapted. He's stuck around for decades, but the reality is that for the most part he's done so more as a character, an icon, a showman. His time as a top tier rocker ended with the original band But he's managed to stick around for generations and THAT"S his amazing feat.
Last edited by Docwyoming on Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Docwyoming » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:45 am

pitkin88 wrote:Not sure why someone deleted my one word response but it can be found in the Sex Pistol's album from 77.
Your response is better than mine.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by mr.barlow » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:49 am

I'm glad that Pitkin provided the link to a previous thread in which I had quite a bit to say on the matter. It saves me the time of rehashing it all.

I think that the whole progression of the original band was a natural one. Once they met Ezrin he took them to a whole new level. A good producer is usually the one who is responsible for the final product and what the listener hears. George Martin was as vital to the success of The Beatles as any of the band members. It was George Martin who created the classic sound of The Beatles. This was mainly due to his classical music background and incredible arranging skills. Hmmmm..sounds similar to Ezrin.

At any rate--all of the songs after Easy Action are heavily influenced by Ezrin. The band members themselves will tell you so. Ezrin, like George Martin, understood that in order to continue to grow you had to up the ante with each album. "Sgt. Pepper's" was a whole new universe compared to "Love Me Do". The same can be said for School's Out being far more sophisticated than "Love It To Death".

In order to do this Ezrin brought in people to get it done. It's not saying that the others lacked in talent, but they could not achieve the sound that Ezrin had for each album. Also, we all know of Glen's problems and inactivity starting around School's Out. This also led to Ezrin's reliance on outside session players.

Billion Dollar Babies became the pinnacle for the band. Ezrin wanted to top it. he knew in order to find success they had to continue in that direction. The others thought otherwise and we got MOL.

I have said many times on this forum that all one has to do is listen to B$B and WTMN back to back and it's quite evident that it's the natural follow-up to B&B. MOL sticks out like a sore thumb and is quite inferior to both B$B and WTMN (I personally love the MOL album). The band stepped back and Alice and Ezrin forged ahead in a new direction and great success.

One album personifies the genius of Ezrin. That is Dada. That album shows what could be accomplished when Alice, Wagner and Ezrin got together to make an album free from any commercial pressures. That album is pure art.

When it comes to Alice Cooper (band and solo) the most important person in the history of the band is Bob Ezrin.

Without Bob Ezrin there would have never been Love It To Death--the album that got them on their way. There would have never been Billion Dollar Babies--the album that made them the biggest band on the planet and one of the most influential albums in rock history. There would have never been a Welcome To My Nightmare or a successful Alice solo career.

Also, next to Ezrin, the single most important person in the success of Alice's solo career was Dick Wagner. The man does not get the credit he deserves and it's a shame he passed away before getting what was due to him. Also, "My Stars" was all Dick Wagner. That song is one of the best--if not the best--song in Alice's career. It's one of the best recorded guitar playing in the history of rock n roll.

I pray that one day he is given proper credit on all subsequent re-releases of the "School's Out" album. Perhaps after the title of the song it could read something like "My Stars"(featuring Dick Wagner).

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by pitkin88 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:18 am

Mr Barlow and PFOLGORE separated at birth.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by mr.barlow » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:26 am

It's nice to see that I'm not the only longwinded gasbag on this forum!

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by cherrypie » Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:45 am

'Ballard of Dwight Fry are melodic keyboard driven that has to be all Bob. '

I believe that the melodic keyboard was all Mike Bruce actually.
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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Babysquid » Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:55 am

cherrypie wrote:'Ballard of Dwight Fry are melodic keyboard driven that has to be all Bob. '

I believe that the melodic keyboard was all Mike Bruce actually.
Who was also responsible for most of the "best in the music business" lyrics to "Blue Turk" I believe. Didn't Glen play the "sublime instrumentals" lead on that one as well?

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by steven_crayn » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:31 am

PFOLGORE gets the award for the most ridiculous post in the history of the Sickthings forum and there have been some truly ridiculous posts, but no one has ever talked as much garbage, it's like the band never contributed anything according to the gospel of the intellectually challenged one.
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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Mr. Skull » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:44 am

John Lennon said, "[Dick James is] another one of those people, who think they made us. They didn't. I'd like to hear Dick James' music and I'd like to hear George Martin's music, please, just play me some.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by A_MichaelUK » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:00 am

From PFOLGORE:
"On Killer, Rick Derringer is brought in to play lead on Under My Wheels. The best straight forward rock song on the Album."

You don't mention "Halo Of Flies" which was the band's reply to some of the accusations in your post. Some of the other claims you make may be true but to state they only had "garage band talent." is unfair.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by A_MichaelUK » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:12 am

From Docwyoming:
"Cooper was resigned to copying this success over and over (ACGTH was WTMN II despite what he claims)."

Some more nonsense, this time from the other side of the debate.

> Take away the band and what's Alice's closer?

The fact you ignore "Department Of Youth" is interesting.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by A_MichaelUK » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:34 am

From Docwyoming:
"Cooper was resigned to copying this success over and over (ACGTH was WTMN II despite what he claims)."

Some more nonsense, this time from the other side of the debate.

> Take away the band and what's Alice's closer?

The fact you ignore "Department Of Youth" is interesting.

Bruce actually wrote much of what Alice sang.

Do you have evidence?

>Cooper's career took a noticeable decline after leaving the band.

Yes and the careers of the other members have been spectacularly successful.

>You seem to forget how critics received his ballads.

"You seem to forget" that they were hits, though.

>You seem to forget how his albums flopped from about 77 onward.

I don't think selling nearly ten million units since is that bad. Tell us how successful "Electrocution Of The Heart" was?

> Even as his albums failed he continued to do interesting things, write good lyrics and retain hardcore fans.

You wrote "I bought these albums as they came out and each time, I can tell you, I'd wonder why I kept following him." but now you state "Even as his albums failed he continued to do interesting things, write good lyrics and retain hardcore fans." Which is it?

> Even as his body started to fall to pieces from his crack use, he kept going. And we can take a second look at albums like DaDa and enjoy them, even as Cooper himself doesn't even recall them.

Another contradiction.

>His time as a top tier rocker ended with the original band But he's managed to stick around for generations and THAT"S his amazing feat.

That is definitely a major achievement but to imply it's down to determination and stamina only (qualities he definitely possesses) is as nonsensical as the nonsense from PFOLGORE which you are rebutting.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by tuneylune » Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:28 pm

PFOLGORE wrote:My Stars, released on the Schools Out Album was perhaps the epiphany and validation rolled in to one to Alice, Bob Ezrin, and Dick Wagner that Alice as a solo Artist didn't need the band. During the Love to Death session Bob became aware of the the limitations of the band's musical abilities. Musically, the songs 18 and Caught in a Dream are the bands best efforts without being propped up by Bob Ezrin or hired talent. Listen to the bands freshman and sophomore attemps Pretties for You and Easy Action, the only thing that redeems the albums are Alice's clever lyrics; musically and technically they have garage band talent. Most bands do not get three chances, Alice Cooper was very fortunate to have cross paths with their management and producers.

In Dennis Dunway's book he goes in to details about the Love it to Death recording sessions but is silent on the making Killer, Schools Out, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love. This is most likely because, Love it to Death is the last album where the band even had close to a majority of control on the product that they put out. Bob Erzin influence is felt throughout the whole Album. The Second Coming, the Ballard of Dwight Fry are melodic keyboard driven that has to be all Bob.
Wow... :bam: :bam: :bam:
Listen to the albums again...without distractions and remember that it was SEVERAL people who contributed to the sound/success .

On Killer, Rick Derringer is brought in to play lead on Under My Wheels. The best straight forward rock song on the Album.

On Schools Out My Stars could be labeled as Alice's first solo career song. Blue Turk, lyrically, is classic Alice, the best in the business the music is great too, the only problem is you don't go from play distorted guitars leads and simples chord progressions as found on the first three albums to the sublime instrumentals on Blue Turk. Grand Finale also does not sound the like original band. The only songs on the album that sound true to the original band are Public Animal Number 9, and Schools Out. Glen or Michael could never pull off the aggressive leads on My Stars. The is all Alice, Dick and Bob.

Billion Dollar Babies is essentially Alice's first solo Album. Sure Dennis and Neal may have played on every song, but with the exception to the drum intro on Billion Dollar Babies those roles are pretty much generic. Alice's Lyrics stand out on this Album and the amazing guitar playing. We know it was not Glen and Michael's role was probably limited to playing some rhythm on certain tracks.

On Muscle of Love, the troops pushed back a little bit and Bob walked. Without Bob the Album had a some great tracks but did not meet expectations.

Last their solo Album Battle Axe, did not have Glen, who actually may have helped it by giving a little rawer edge. But there is nothing note worthy about the Album. Even its best tracks are not as good as Return of the Spiders, or Reflected. Alice solo Album Welcome to my Nightmare is a classic and the natural progression from Billion Dollar Babies.

Michael's solo work is unremarkable

Alice's talent outgrew the bands. To keep up management had to bring hired guns so the music was palatable to the public and sold records. What are the chances of three high school buddies all having superstar talent. There is no chance. Alice was blessed with the talent and the other went along for the ride as long as they could but in the end the facade collapsed and Alice, Dick and Bob were left standing.
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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by pitkin88 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:39 pm

While Heaven Wept wrote:'PFOLGORE'..... I wonder who that is.

It couldn't possibly be someone just trying to stir up stuff on this forum could it?

Who would do such a thing.


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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by mr.barlow » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:19 pm

pitkin88 wrote:
While Heaven Wept wrote:'PFOLGORE'..... I wonder who that is.

It couldn't possibly be someone just trying to stir up stuff on this forum could it?

Who would do such a thing.


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That's funny. Unlike others both past and present on this forum I am never afraid to speak my mind under my own user name.

If anyone would like to read my comments on "My Stars" on a thread which I believe I started a while back they can simply click on the link you provided above.

I have a feeling that some guy over at The Rusty Nickel is having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that Alice and the original band members are on the brink of reuniting. All of his blather and nonsense about Alice and Shep is all being flushed down the toilet.

It looks like the rest of the original band members, including Michael Bruce are about to join up with Alice and his evil puppetmaster Shep. The Rotten Lime will never be the same!

I just hope that it's Steve Hunter that gets the gig to fill Glen's spot. Steve is finally getting the credit he is due for his work on B$B and it would be fitting to include him on any potential tour.

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