The Alice Cooper album of the Day: SPECIAL FORCES

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tuneylune
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The Alice Cooper album of the Day: SPECIAL FORCES

Post by tuneylune » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:25 pm

Original 1982 review: Well, I guess it was too good to last. Eagerly awaiting the FLUSH THE FASHION followup, I found SPECIAL FORCES following the same depressing trend of the past few albums with spotty production and uninspired songs. You just cringe hearing mistakes like "You Look Good in Rags' and "You're A Movie". "skeletons in the Closet" sucks and "Prettiest Cop on the Block" is no bargain either. "Who Do You Think We are", however, is first rate as is "Don't Talk Old To Me" and "Seven and Seven Is". The biggest surprise is a live version of "Generation Landslide" (From the BILLION DOLLAR BABIES album) and thus is the best on the LP. The closing tune invokes the melody of "Who Do You Think We are" and closes with Alice snarling "We Don't Care!". Well, Alice, maybe you'll care when your fans desert you and the bucks run out. I'm still convinced you can come up with some interesting material in the future-I only hope I'm right. **
Now: Of the early 80's quartet that Alice mentions having hardly any memory of due to alcohol, I find this the most uneven-sometimes really not caring for it and other times thinking it wasn't half bad. Although there are some humorous songs on here, nothing like FLUSH or ZIPPER and not nearly as dark as DADA. My hopes were lifted by the first two songs on first listen: "Who do You think We Are" is a fine opener (although the first minute before the song kicks in sounds a lot like DAWN OF THE DEAD with the keyboard playing and a helicopter-?) with great drumming (which was encouraging to my AC/DC and Black Sabbath mentality at the time) and an awesome Mike Pinera guitar solo. The frenetic cover of Love's "Seven and Seven Is" continues the pace. Have grown to really like "Prettiest Cop on The Block " as gotten older and find many similarities to "The Saga of Jesse Jane" from DIRTY DIAMONDS ; ie a "manly man" who isn't afraid to express his feminine side and woe to you if you have a problem with it. "Don;t Talk Old To Me" still sounds good and while I like the added verses in "Generation Landslide", it reminded me too much of Gene Simmon's re-recording "See You In Your Dreams" on his solo album. Both songs were fine the first time out and why bother redoing them?
I found Side Two quite lackbuster back in 1981 and "You Want It, You Got It has not improved since then, at least to me. Like "You Look Good in Rags", but find the acapella verses not needed and found "Vicious Rumors" to be the continuing story of "Jack Knife Johnny", whom we met on FROM THE INSIDE and things have only gotten worse for the poor guy. "You're a Movie" is probably the funniest song on the album and Alice's character reminds me A LOT of George McClellan, the Civil War General who possessed an enormous ego ("I seem to be the only one fit to command" is similar to George's "Once again, I have been called upon to save the Country"), unbridled arrogance and not enough moxie to back up his boasts.
This may sound strange, but I have found "Skeletons in The Closet" to be another one of Alice's alcohol confession songs-the dreamy keyboards which sound somewhat out of sync, his moaning (Pain or sadness at his plight) and the "bones" could be bottles of various sizes hidden in the places he mentions. The voices he hears calling him at the end could be in his own head or loved ones calling him and his outburst of "What!! What Do You Want", while funny, sounds annoyed/dismayed, but quite as desperate as the "What Do You Want" in "Steven" (Of course, this could be idle musing on my part, as well).
While not really pleased with this album, it was cool to see him a few months later on THE TOMORROW SHOW performing the first two songs and a great "Under My Wheels" along with an interview. However, I was SHOCKED to see how bedraggled he looked, not knowing he had slipped off the wagon into a worse addiction (news traveled slower in those days and not much press on this other than HIT PARADER I was able to find anything-ROLLING STONE, in their usual snide fashion had a photo of him recording the video for "Seven and Seven Is" with a "Forgotten, but not Gone: Alice Cooper records a new video. And the world yawns"- and did not find out years after the fact he had slipped again) and am quite happy he is still healthy, happy and active.
So, SPECIAL FORCES is probably the bastard child of the 80's quartet and certainly not a favorite, but it's still better than its reputation and I feel it's worth picking up, but it won't get as much play as other LP's. ***
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Re: The Alice Cooper album of the Day: SPECIAL FORCES

Post by Desperado22 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:11 pm

One of the albums that I've never been able to get into.
I love the track 'Who Do You Think We Are', but nothing else from this album has ever grown on me. I consider it to be in the bottom 2 of Alice albums.

Not terrible, but most of it just doesn't do anything for me. Listening to it now, most of it isn't really that bad. It's just much weaker than most of his other albums.
'Don't Talk Old To Me' is a pretty good track too.
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Re: The Alice Cooper album of the Day: SPECIAL FORCES

Post by Lucius Morthem » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:42 pm

I Really love Special Forces, WOuld love to hear it Re-worked!

PS: You're A Movie is about gral Patton!

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Re: The Alice Cooper album of the Day: SPECIAL FORCES

Post by cooperrocks » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:45 am

My second favorite of the early 80's albums behind Dada.

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Re: The Alice Cooper album of the Day: SPECIAL FORCES

Post by GailsFriend » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:53 am

My favorite song by far....always, since 1982, has been: Prettiest Cop On The Block. I love the album as a whole. When I had it as an LP....which side did I play more? Hmmmmmm....Side 1.....but, Side Two always had You're A Movie and Vicious Rumours which were fantastic. Occasionally, I have heard "You Want It, You Got it" on the radio......In my view, this is part of the "Fantastic Four" of Alice: Flush, Special, Zipper & Dada. Must have....especially for that beautiful picture on the front cover.
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Re: The Alice Cooper album of the Day: SPECIAL FORCES

Post by scotty » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:49 pm

bought it the day it came out-I had only been into alice for a year or so,and it was maddening because if I recall this album got pushed back by a few months! I like it,not anywhere near a classic,but he tried! more funny than anything,this one.

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Re: The Alice Cooper album of the Day: SPECIAL FORCES

Post by Model Citizen » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:17 am

I love Special Forces. Not quite as brilliant as its predecessor, but excellent nonetheless. Honestly, I think the only real throwaways for me are the faux live track and Seven & Seven Is. I adore this era. Though it may possibly have been a period of desperation or awkward reinvention, I think the "new" Alice was great & I wish he would have stayed the course longer. There were some fantastic lyrics in those first two albums. Lots of biting social commentary & caustic wit.

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Re: The Alice Cooper album of the Day: SPECIAL FORCES

Post by recoop » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:05 am

30 years on Im still conflicted about this album. Like the energy although it seems darkly negative overall. You're a movie in my mind always seemed to be inspired by Ronald Reagan getting in the white house and a more Hawk like military stance-(I called him Ronald Ray Gun at the time as he seemed liked a comic book character).. I think the "tired of being pushed around" line on Who do you etc is inspired by issues like the 1980? iran hostage crisis..so there is soem topical stuff with a dash of mockery in t he album...He wasn't well and I think the line between Alice the character and the man (aka Vince) had got blurred again.. as he seemed to be taking the Alice character way to seriosuly in interviews/tv appearances at that time
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