'Flush The Fashion' was a noticable change from the Alice of the 70s. New wave and punk had taken their toll and a new approach was needed, along with a new image, or so Alice obviously thought. There is one real classic Cooper song on here ('Pain') and a minor hit single ('Clones'), along with one real turkey ('Leather Boots') but the rest, while good material, isn't what most Alice fans wanted, then or now. In actual fact the songs sounded much better live on the next tour during which all but three were performed.
- Talk Talk (Bonniwell)(2:09)
- Clones (We're All) (Carron)(3:03)
- Pain (Cooper, Johnstone, Mandel)(4:06)
- Leather Boots (Geoff Wester)(1:36)
- Aspirin Damage (Cooper, Johnstone, Mandel)(2:57)
- Nuclear Infected (Cooper, Johnstone, Mandel)(2.14)
- Grim Facts (Cooper, Johnstone, Mandel)(3:24)
- Model Citizen (Cooper, Johnstone, Mandel)(2:39)
- Dance Yourself To Death (Cooper, Frank Crandall)(3:08)
- Headlines (Cooper, Johnstone, Mandel)(3:18)
- Alice Cooper - Vocals
- Davey Johnstone - Guitars
- Fred Mandel - Guitar, Keyboards
- Dennis Conway - Drums
- "Cooker" John LoPresti - Bass
- Backing Vocals: Flo And Eddie, Joe Pizzulo, Fred Mandel, Ricky "Rat" Tierney and Keith Allison
Produced By Roy Thomas Baker
Executive Producer: Shep Gordon
Associate Producer: Ron Voltz
Engineer: Ian Taylor, Jon Weaver
Recorded at Cherokee Recording Studios, Los Angeles
Arrangements by Alice Cooper, Fred Mandel and Davey Johnstone
Cover Art Direction: Alice Cooper and Peter Whorf
Photography: Fred Valentine (front cover), Jonathon Exley (other photos)
Design: Eddy Herch
Album Notes - (Detailed release information)
Promotional Portrait, 1980
During the 'Madhouse Rocks' tour of 1979 a freshly sober Alice looked frighteningly thin and gaunt. Many wondered if he was already drinking again but the truth was worse, and hidden for decades afterwards. In fact it wasn't until the 'Super Duper Alice Cooper' documentary film that he would finally come clean and admit he had swopped one addiction for another. While his relationship with Bernie Taupin on 'From The Inside' had been creatively fruitful, it had also introduced him the cocaine and by 1980 he was using the drug heavily. Even Taupin, who had a wealth of experience with the drug, thought Alice was going too far and purposely seperated himself from the situation, believing that if he stayed Alice was going to pull him down too. It however took another three years (after recording 'Dada') for his drug problems to come to a head.
During this period of drug use he would create four albums in three years, the first of which was 1980's 'Flush The Fashion'. Looking to take a step away from the slick AOR of 'From The Inside' and tap into the new punk/new wave explosion the album is short, sharp and to the point. Only 'Pain' breaks the 4 four minute mark with many of the songs under three minutes, and the whole album is over in less then 30 minutes total. It's probably a sign that things weren't right that there are no less then three songs on the album not written by Alice himself. 'Talk Talk' is an old 'Music Machine' number the original band had performed in their pre-Zappa days. 'Clones (We're All)' was written by David Carron and brought to Alice by new producer Roy Thomas Baker, best know for producing The Cars. And 'Leather Boots' was the third, written by the mysterious Geoff Wester, of whom there is no trace other than this song.
The cover of 'Flush The Fashion' is a purposely simple design and based on artwork actually created by Alice. The album is credited to "Alice Cooper '80" to signify a fresh start and new direction. Original adverts for the album stated "No Ballads" in a reference to the large number of such songs released as singles since Alice went solo.
'Clones (We're All)' was released as the first single and reached as far as #40 on the Billboard charts, while the album reached #44 before dropping quickly. 'Talk Talk' was released as a second single but went nowhere. One oddity is that 'Clones (We're All)' was actually listed in the Billboard "disco" chart!
Alice once said that the ideas and titles for all the songs (apart from the covers presumably) for the 'Flush The Fashion' album came from headlines in 'The National Enquirer'.
In 'Grim Facts', 'SRO' is and American term meaning 'Standing Room Only'.
'Clones (We're All)' could possibly be based on a movie. The movie is called 'The Clones', a cheapish B-movie from 1973. It features one of the clones saying to a scientist "six is having problems adjusting to his clone status" [Note: I just watched the movie an failed to hear this line]. Of course, Alice didn't write these lyrics.
Contrary to popular belief they never shot promotional video for 'Clones'. However two clips are frequently seen appearing to be videos for the song. The first, as seen in the 'Prime Cuts' documentary, is from a short lived variety show called 'Pink Lady And Jeff' which Alice appeared on to promote the album. The second is from a TV special filmed in Paris, France in late 1981 for the 'Special Forces' album/tour. The show featured Alice and the touring band in various clips including 'Clones', which is set in a futuristic scrapyard. More on the 'Paris Special' can be found on the 'Special Forces' page.
Frank Crandall, co-writer of 'Dance Yourself To Death' was married to Alice's sister Nicola.
The 'Flush The Fashion' tour commenced on June 4th in El Paso, TX and ran through to mid-August with a couple of addition shows tacked on a little later. That first show was recorded and transmitted on the radio although in a strange twist half the songs on the broadcast were actually taken from 'The Alice Cooper Show'. No one has yet come up with an explaination beyond the possibility something happend to the orignal tapes making some songs unusable.
The show was a drastic departure from previous productions. Gone were the big props and theatrics, replaced by a lean, mean Alice Cooper hammering through songs with the minimum of fuss. Of course Alice can't be completely without props, and he still used a few things like a crutch for 'I'm Eighteen' and flag for 'Elected'. Most of the songs from 'Flush...' made an appearance with the exception of 'Leather Boots', 'Aspirin Damage' and 'Headlines'. 'Gutter Cat Vs The Jets' was resurrected for the first time since 1972 and included a mock street fight between the band and roadies. Other then that it was a pretty basic rock show, especially compared to the over the top performances of the past.
Also gone was the tradmark make up. Instead Alice simply used heavy eye make up, and red lipstick that accentuated how thin he was. His hair was also tired back and it wasn't until the encore he would let it down to show he hadn't actually cut it all off.
The tour is most famous for the 'Toronto Riot'. On August 19th Alice arrived at the Toronto CNE Stadium to perform as usual but backstage he reportedly suffered the worst asthma attack he had had in years, although it's quite possible this was a cover story. Support band 'Zon' had already completed their support set before it was announced Alice wasn't fit enough to perform. Some sections of the crowd didn't take the news well and proceeded to trash the place, throwing chairs at the stage and fighting with security guards and police, causing thousands of dollars worth in damages to the venue along with around 31 arrests and 17 injuries. Local news caught the whole thing on film and led with the story on the morning news.
Nothing from the album was played live after the 1981/2 'Special Forces' tour until 2017, when after years of mentioning it as one he would like to revisit, 'Pain' finally reappeared for a year or so. Played without the keyboards which swamped the original it sounded fantastic with the then current guitarists Ryan Roxie and Nita Strauss playing harmony guitars to great effect.
The Performers - The band were introduced as 'Hostage Fever'
- Fred Mandel - guitar
- Mike Pinera - guitar
- Duane Hitchings - keyboards, guitar
- Erik Scott - bass
- Ross Salomone - drums
Alice Cooper on the 'Flush The Fashion' tour, 1980.
- Instrumental Intro
- Model Citizen
- Grim Facts
- Go To Hell
- I Never Cry
- Talk Talk
- I'm Eighteen
- Gutter Cat Vs The Jets
- Only Women Bleed
- Clones (We're All)
- Nuclear Infected
- Under My Wheels
- Dance Yourself To Death
- Road Rats
- School's Out