Tuesday, September 06, 2005:

Blue Turk / Generation Landslide

Alice Cooper -- Blue Turk
Alice Cooper -- Generation Landslide
Alice Cooper's probably best known for his rock songs ("School's Out," "No More Mr. Nice Guy," "Welcome to My Nightmare"), but he's got an interesting body of work that's much more diverse than those tracks hint at. Lyrically, it tends towards the macabre, even perverse, and it's all a bit demented, but more endearingly than alarmingly so.

"Blue Turk" is a bluesy jazz number off School's Out, a satirical concept album about troubled schoolkids. It's a very odd track, like something out of a burlesque; the bass has a lazy funk to it that's matched with a wicked guitar line, trumpet, trombone, and what sounds like a harpischord. As you might expect, there's an extended instrumental section. At first I thought the track was just all right, maybe a bit too long, but the more I listened to it the more it seemed it was just right as is. As for what it's about--it seems to be a very snappy song about necrophilia ("You're so very picturesque; you're so very cold / It tastes like roses on your breath but graveyards in your soul.")

"Generation Landslide" is off Billion Dollar Babies, another concept album, this one largely about American decadence. The song reprises the title track in places, starting off with a bass slide and joined in with peppy, ringing acoustic guitar. The instrumental break, when the song gets to it, is between harmonica and guitar. In some of the vocal deliveries and in the general arrangement and the carefree feel to it, the song sounds remarkably like some of Perry Farrell's work; I wouldn't be surprised if he listed Alice Cooper as an influence.
[Amazon.com]: School's Out
[Amazon.com]: Billion Dollar Babies


'Blue Turk' is a small masterpiece of the simplistic-but-not-simple. The performances are without exception brilliant; especially, the singer we call Alice Cooper takes liberties with the standard Western chromatic scale that leave you feeling as though you've visited the most perverted brothel on Earth and emerged almost unscathed.

Thanks, anonymous. I knew that Alice Cooper sounded like a maniac singing (in a good way) but I couldn't put my finger on why.

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