My Stars, the beginning of the end

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by darkmenace » Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:20 pm

I would like to say that this controversial post is interesting and thought-provoking but it isn't. Just crazy. Alice Cooper was at its best when it was a cohesive group including Alice, the band, and Bob Ezrin as the engine that made it run. Remove ANY of the parts and the results went downhill.

That winning combination produced 4 albums and they are all stellar. Hands down, no argument. Alice has produced something like 25 albums since then and only a handful have been truly great, many have been mediocre. Alice has stayed interesting to his fan base in terms of lyrics and image, but his music has often faltered and hence record sales have been low.

The billion dollar question: If the Alice, Wagner, Ezrin grouping was the gold standard, how did they wind up with Lace and Whiskey?

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by sumorider » Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:09 pm

>The billion dollar question: If the Alice, Wagner, Ezrin grouping was the gold standard, how did they wind up with Lace and Whiskey?

By 1976, Alice was very tired and ill(alcoholism).
but in those days, Rock musicians had to release an album every year.

Still, I think L&W A-side is good. Songs have potentials.
I don't know about Bob Ezrin at the time.
Although "You and Me" was a big hit, I feel the production was a bit poor.
(As to B-side, I don’t know the good until now)

By the way, Beastie boys use the sample of "It's Hot Tonight",
and guitar solo of "It's Hot Tonight" is as good as "My Stars".


PFOLGORE is flawed ex-music critic or something, I think.
It's crazy that he listened to all ACG album,
and know about maniac detail(Rick Derringer etc),
even buy Dennis book AND write this way…

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by PFOLGORE » Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:12 pm

It's obvious that Mike and Glenn didn't have a problem with using other guitarists
It is had to defy human nature and emotion why do you think Glenn would not feel the jealousy and fears of a natural man. The parade of hire guitarist coming in to the studio must have put Glen understand great stress. He was a proud man; He had his professional pride. I am sure him being push aside accentuated and accelerated his substance abuse problems. Michael probably did not care as much because he did not have the mantel of being lead guitar and maybe agreed with the concept of bringing in other people. He was credited with writing most of the songs, he probably wanted the best musicians playing them.
I actually hear moments of brilliance and great musicianship in Pretties For You and Easy Action.

I agree. There is something magical about the those first albums. It probably has a lot to do with the bands lack of formal training and discipline. The music is raw and authentic and hints of Beatle's influence. While it has been suggested that this is a psychedelic influenced album--I disagree, and would say it is a product of white middle class suburbia. In a time of polemics and passions, they were the band about nothing. And like white middle class kids from the suburbs they had to manufacture their own defiance and rebellion because Alice Cooper was and is a product of the establishment. But returning to my original point, their unorthodox music on its on could never obtain a mass appeal. Had they kept on churning out Albums like the first three I would still be buying them because I did like their original sound. I have listened to some of their early concerts and they sound great live because they were simple,raw and unpretentious. But Alice, Bob & Shep all knew to take it to the next level, to have a universal appeal the original 5 did not have the intrinsic talent to do so. However, the five made great photo shoots and album covers and looked good on the stage so even when BDB & MOL were made the original talent had been marginalized they still played a commercially viable role in the marketing of the band.

For those people about to flame me, listen to the original band members play at the book signing. On Caught in a Dream, Michael's signing is not at a professional level. He is able to play some of the riffs and leads that made that song great but it quickly devolves into a chorus of repetitive chords like a 16 year old hack trying to learn the song from sheet music. So I am having a real problem trying to reconcile how that band created much of the music on School's Out, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love. I am sorry if I killed your Santa Claus but reality is never what it seems.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by darkmenace » Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:30 pm

sumorider wrote:By 1976, Alice was very tired and ill(alcoholism).
While this may have been a factor at the time, it doesn't hold water overall.

Being "tired and ill" (drug addiction) did not stop David Bowie from releasing quality albums during the same period.

When Alice returned to action "sober and strong" in 1986 the results, Constrictor and RYFAY, did not demonstrate a great musician back at work.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by A_MichaelUK » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:00 pm

From PFOLGORE:
"It is had to defy human nature and emotion why do you think Glenn would not feel the jealousy and fears of a natural man."

The only way you would know that for sure is if you knew him, but I doubt you did. I prefer the testimony of Mick Mahbir (who actually knew him) who says he encountered no "jealousy" when he joined.

The parade of hire guitarist coming in to the studio must have put Glen understand great stress.

You conveniently forget that he was also recovering from illness during the latter stages of "Billion Dollar Babies" so the additional musicians were as much down to necessity as much as whether or not his abilities had declined.

>And like white middle class kids from the suburbs they had to manufacture their own defiance and rebellion because Alice Cooper was and is a product of the establishment.

Or maybe they just had to stand apart from all the other bands in Los Angeles which they were competing with.

> For those people about to flame me, listen to the original band members play at the book signing. On Caught in a Dream, Michael's signing is not at a professional level. He is able to play some of the riffs and leads that made that song great but it quickly devolves into a chorus of repetitive chords like a 16 year old hack trying to learn the song from sheet music.

I assume you know there were two other members of the band on that stage in Dallas but you don't mention them for some reason.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by darkmenace » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:05 pm

PFOLGORE wrote: But Alice, Bob & Shep all knew to take it to the next level, to have a universal appeal the original 5 did not have the intrinsic talent to do so. However, the five made great photo shoots and album covers and looked good on the stage so even when BDB & MOL were made the original talent had been marginalized they still played a commercially viable role in the marketing of the band.
While I believe there are kernels of truth here, the band was far more than puppets on stage just making the band viable from a marketing point of view. They were still songwriters and as Dennis said in his book, they had a key role in the direction of the music and image. Alice, Bob, and Shep made some major errors trying to take things to the next level, for example the marketing of the movie, GTSYAAC. When their vision departed from the band's vision is when the AC phenomenon lost its edge and became a gimmick.
PFOLGORE wrote:listen to the original band members play at the book signing. On Caught in a Dream, Michael's signing is not at a professional level. He is able to play some of the riffs and leads that made that song great but it quickly devolves into a chorus of repetitive chords like a 16 year old hack trying to learn the song from sheet music.
I believe this is a poor example to use to move to your conclusion. Michael Bruce is nearly 70 years old and hasn't played regularly (as far as I know) for decades. This would have nothing to do with his skills in the 1970s.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Si » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:11 pm

PFOLGORE wrote:
I actually hear moments of brilliance and great musicianship in Pretties For You and Easy Action.

I agree. There is something magical about the those first albums.
Really? So which is it. You stated "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;" and now agree there is "moments of brilliance and great musicianship in Pretties For You and Easy Action" and "There is something magical about the those first albums."
PFOLGORE wrote: But Alice, Bob & Shep all knew to take it to the next level, to have a universal appeal the original 5 did not have the intrinsic talent to do so.
By that arguement the band never had the "intrinsic talent" as 'Eighteen" was a big hit at the start and took them to the next level. Also you fail to understand the limitations on the early albums. They had no time or money at first to realise their ideas. It took 'Eighteen' to help with that issue and by the time they got to BDB they could do exactly what they envisioned.
PFOLGORE wrote: However, the five made great photo shoots and album covers and looked good on the stage so even when BDB & MOL were made the original talent had been marginalized they still played a commercially viable role in the marketing of the band.
So you think the band were simply poster boys to sell the records?!?!
PFOLGORE wrote: For those people about to flame me,
No one is flaming you. Just pointing out where you are wrong and your logic is flawed.
PFOLGORE wrote: listen to the original band members play at the book signing. On Caught in a Dream, Michael's signing is not at a professional level. He is able to play some of the riffs and leads that made that song great but it quickly devolves into a chorus of repetitive chords like a 16 year old hack trying to learn the song from sheet music. So I am having a real problem trying to reconcile how that band created much of the music on School's Out, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love. I am sorry if I killed your Santa Claus but reality is never what it seems.
So you are using the barely rehearsed performance of an 65+ year old retired musician in a book store as evidence that the band couldn`t play, perform or create quality music 40+ years before? Seriously??? Do you include Dennis and Neal in that opinion or are you just picking on Michael to try and support your arguments?

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Si » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:25 pm

Sorry but...
PFOLGORE wrote: On Caught in a Dream, Michael's signing is not at a professional level. He is able to play some of the riffs and leads that made that song great but it quickly devolves into a chorus of repetitive chords like a 16 year old hack trying to learn the song from sheet music.
This truly boggles the mind. It is no secret that Michael's playing isn`t what it once was. I'm sure he knows this better then anyone. As has been pointed out he doesn`t play as much as the others and hasn`t for years. Who knows what other issues Michael *may or may not* have that could also be an influence.

But I would MUCH rather see him up on that stage with Neal, Dennis and Alice where he belongs, enjoying himself and doing his best, then for him to not be there. Do you suggest he shouldn`t have been ALLOWED to be on the stage playing when HE was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame along with the others? Should he not be allowed to appear with Dennis at the signings?
He has earned the right to be there and for you to suggest he (and Neal and Dennis) barely contributed to the success of "Alice Cooper" is not just wrong in every possible way but is, frankly, offensive.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by pitkin88 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:37 am

Si wrote:Sorry but...
PFOLGORE wrote: On Caught in a Dream, Michael's signing is not at a professional level. He is able to play some of the riffs and leads that made that song great but it quickly devolves into a chorus of repetitive chords like a 16 year old hack trying to learn the song from sheet music.
This truly boggles the mind. It is no secret that Michael's playing isn`t what it once was. I'm sure he knows this better then anyone. As has been pointed out he doesn`t play as much as the others and hasn`t for years. Who knows what other issues Michael *may or may not* have that could also be an influence.

But I would MUCH rather see him up on that stage with Neal, Dennis and Alice where he belongs, enjoying himself and doing his best, then for him to not be there. Do you suggest he shouldn`t have been ALLOWED to be on the stage playing when HE was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame along with the others? Should he not be allowed to appear with Dennis at the signings?
He has earned the right to be there and for you to suggest he (and Neal and Dennis) barely contributed to the success of "Alice Cooper" is not just wrong in every possible way but is, frankly, offensive.

I'd like to add that this is a studio song that features two guitars, including alternate solos. Add to that Michael is also singing it. Not an easy feat at all.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by patrick » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:27 am

if you would like to form an opinion on Michael's qualities, as has been suggested before here , just look at the iceland show

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuMy9jo13z0
you really wouldn't understand..

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Toronto Bob » Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:13 pm

I am sorry if I killed your Santa Claus but reality is never what it seems.
You're giving yourself far too much credit, you've barely given me a smirk here. I'll give you a C for an attempt at parody of a music critic and trolling

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Ted Sallis » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:27 pm

mr.barlow wrote: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).
I was just searching through some old e-mails and I found this interesting little tidbit:

In his website Dennis mentions how MB actually came up with the bass part on
'My Stars' from the SO album because he (Dennis) was in the hospital at the time.

The above is from 2006 so I don't know if that info. is still in Dennis' site, but MB stated in his book that there wasn't really an (original) song that the ACG did that he (Michael) didn't write something on.

My Stars is far too great a song in terms of quality to have been written without MB/the rest of the ACG's input. Just listen to WTMN, most of which I believe was written by Alice and Dick Wagner (with help from Bob Ezrin) and compare the quality.

Ted

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by pitkin88 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:05 am

Ted Sallis wrote:
mr.barlow wrote: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).
I was just searching through some old e-mails and I found this interesting little tidbit:

In his website Dennis mentions how MB actually came up with the bass part on
'My Stars' from the SO album because he (Dennis) was in the hospital at the time.

The above is from 2006 so I don't know if that info. is still in Dennis' site, but MB stated in his book that there wasn't really an (original) song that the ACG did that he (Michael) didn't write something on.

My Stars is far too great a song in terms of quality to have been written without MB/the rest of the ACG's input. Just listen to WTMN, most of which I believe was written by Alice and Dick Wagner (with help from Bob Ezrin) and compare the quality.

Ted

This is correct Ted. Michael came up with the part but Dennis does play it on the record. AFAIK neither Dick nor Steve did anything more than come up with the ( great ) solos on the bands records. They did not sit in on any writing with the band.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by A_MichaelUK » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:01 pm

From Ted Sallis:
"My Stars is far too great a song in terms of quality to have been written without MB/the rest of the ACG's input."

I don't disagree but that raises the thorny issue of what exactly constitutes composition. The introduction (which features the bass) is almost the 'signature' of the song and so arguably, the appropriate credit should have been given, but for publishing (and legal) purposes, those sort of embellishments can be considered to be an arrangements and so don't necessarily always count as being part of the composition. Almost every band or artist you can think of will have been affected by this in some way.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Babysquid » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:22 am

A_MichaelUK wrote:From Ted Sallis:
"My Stars is far too great a song in terms of quality to have been written without MB/the rest of the ACG's input."

I don't disagree but that raises the thorny issue of what exactly constitutes composition. The introduction (which features the bass) is almost the 'signature' of the song and so arguably, the appropriate credit should have been given, but for publishing (and legal) purposes, those sort of embellishments can be considered to be an arrangements and so don't necessarily always count as being part of the composition. Almost every band or artist you can think of will have been affected by this in some way.
It's like Eric Clapton's Layla. That memorable guitar intro is what most people associate with the song, however when he performed it acoustically it was absent. The song however was still Layla.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Ted Sallis » Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:36 pm

A_MichaelUK wrote:From Ted Sallis:
"My Stars is far too great a song in terms of quality to have been written without MB/the rest of the ACG's input."

I don't disagree but that raises the thorny issue of what exactly constitutes composition. The introduction (which features the bass) is almost the 'signature' of the song and so arguably, the appropriate credit should have been given, but for publishing (and legal) purposes, those sort of embellishments can be considered to be an arrangements and so don't necessarily always count as being part of the composition. Almost every band or artist you can think of will have been affected by this in some way.
I completely agree - the definition of composition versus arrangement often is a thorny issue. 2 songs in the ACG catalog are attributed to Alice and Bob only: My Stars and I Love the Dead. If I recall correctly, in the latter case Dick Wagner was paid a sum of money for his input instead of also receiving credit. In the case of My Stars, I don't know what transpired since, as AMUK states above, embellishments can be considered to be an arrangements and so don't necessarily always count as being part of the composition.

Ted

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Si » Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:28 pm

Ted Sallis wrote: I completely agree - the definition of composition versus arrangement often is a thorny issue. 2 songs in the ACG catalog are attributed to Alice and Bob only: My Stars and I Love the Dead. If I recall correctly, in the latter case Dick Wagner was paid a sum of money for his input instead of also receiving credit. In the case of My Stars, I don't know what transpired since, as AMUK states above, embellishments can be considered to be an arrangements and so don't necessarily always count as being part of the composition.

Ted
I think all the people involved (GB aside) have at one time or another said that you should take the writing credits with a grain of salt on those albums. There are some songs that they claim are completely inaccurate.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by pitkin88 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:29 pm

Ted Sallis wrote:
A_MichaelUK wrote:From Ted Sallis:
"My Stars is far too great a song in terms of quality to have been written without MB/the rest of the ACG's input."

I don't disagree but that raises the thorny issue of what exactly constitutes composition. The introduction (which features the bass) is almost the 'signature' of the song and so arguably, the appropriate credit should have been given, but for publishing (and legal) purposes, those sort of embellishments can be considered to be an arrangements and so don't necessarily always count as being part of the composition. Almost every band or artist you can think of will have been affected by this in some way.
I completely agree - the definition of composition versus arrangement often is a thorny issue. 2 songs in the ACG catalog are attributed to Alice and Bob only: My Stars and I Love the Dead. If I recall correctly, in the latter case Dick Wagner was paid a sum of money for his input instead of also receiving credit. In the case of My Stars, I don't know what transpired since, as AMUK states above, embellishments can be considered to be an arrangements and so don't necessarily always count as being part of the composition.

Ted

I Love The Dead was bought from Dick which is why he gets no credit. Apparantly he needed the cash. I am guessing it was an instrumental, or had the original lyrics replaced, as those are Alice's lyrics AFAIK. Not sure if this is mentioned in Dick's book or not. It would certainly be nice to hear a demo assuming one exists.

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Si » Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:27 pm

pitkin88 wrote:
Ted Sallis wrote:
A_MichaelUK wrote:From Ted Sallis:
"My Stars is far too great a song in terms of quality to have been written without MB/the rest of the ACG's input."

I don't disagree but that raises the thorny issue of what exactly constitutes composition. The introduction (which features the bass) is almost the 'signature' of the song and so arguably, the appropriate credit should have been given, but for publishing (and legal) purposes, those sort of embellishments can be considered to be an arrangements and so don't necessarily always count as being part of the composition. Almost every band or artist you can think of will have been affected by this in some way.
I completely agree - the definition of composition versus arrangement often is a thorny issue. 2 songs in the ACG catalog are attributed to Alice and Bob only: My Stars and I Love the Dead. If I recall correctly, in the latter case Dick Wagner was paid a sum of money for his input instead of also receiving credit. In the case of My Stars, I don't know what transpired since, as AMUK states above, embellishments can be considered to be an arrangements and so don't necessarily always count as being part of the composition.

Ted

I Love The Dead was bought from Dick which is why he gets no credit. Apparantly he needed the cash. I am guessing it was an instrumental, or had the original lyrics replaced, as those are Alice's lyrics AFAIK. Not sure if this is mentioned in Dick's book or not. It would certainly be nice to hear a demo assuming one exists.
It is. He mentions he must have lost a ton of money on the deal haha

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Re: My Stars, the beginning of the end

Post by Ted Sallis » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:43 pm

pitkin88 wrote:I Love The Dead was bought from Dick which is why he gets no credit. Apparantly he needed the cash. I am guessing it was an instrumental, or had the original lyrics replaced, as those are Alice's lyrics AFAIK. Not sure if this is mentioned in Dick's book or not. It would certainly be nice to hear a demo assuming one exists.
Yes it would certainly be nice to hear a demo of ILTD assuming one exists - if so, it's then a question of why it wasn't included in the Deluxe Edition 2CD release of BDB.

Ted

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