1989 release from Epic Records.
Alice Cooper – Vocals. John McCurry – Vocals. Hugh McDonald – Bass. Alan St. John – Keyboard. Bobby Chouinard – Drums.
Artist location: California, USA.
4 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Spark In The Dark.
- House Of Fire.
- Why Trust You.
- Only My Heart Talkin’.
- Bed Of Nails.
- This Maniac’s In Love With You.
- Hell Is Living Without You.
- I’m Your Gun.
- Cold Ethyl (live. Japanese bonus track)
- Ballad Of Dwight Fry (live. Japanese bonus track.
- Only My Heart Talkin’ (radio edit. Japanese bonus track).
- I Got A Line On You (Japanese bonus track).
Fans of the original shock rocker Alice Cooper are typically divided into two camps. Those who think that his hey day were back with his albums such as ‘School’s Out‘, ‘Billion Dollar Babies‘ and ‘Welcome To My Nightmare‘. These fans have pretty much shunned his albums like ‘Constrictor‘, ‘Raise Your First And Yell‘, ‘Trash‘ and ‘Hey Stoopid‘, which saw him taking his sound in a much more commercial sounding way and leaving behind basically everything that had made him the infamous character he was.
And then in camp two we have the fans who didn’t really care for the Coop prior to one of those latter records, and most of the time it started, and often ends, with this record, ‘Trash‘.
I fall into the second group of people. Sure, the band had some good songs on some of the early records, but they were few and far between in my opinion and even ‘Constrictor‘ and ‘Raise Your Fist And Yell‘ only each contained a few tracks I really enjoyed.
It wasn’t until 1989 when Cooper teamed up with the incredible Desmond Child and released this record that I really sat up and paid attention to his music. This album was different. ‘Trash‘ was finally a record from him that I could get behind and enjoy as it had that hair metal sound that I love to it and not the oddness that had been Alice’s earlier stuff. This record was extremely commercial and radio friendly and after hearing the first single, ‘Poison‘, I was hooked. And then I heard that Child was involved and there was a track co-written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora on the album and both of them appear on two tracks as well. Well, as you all are well aware of my love for those guys, that was all I needed to purchase this record.
By this point bassist Kip Winger and guitarist Kane Roberts had both already left the band and on this record we have well known guitarist and writer John McCurry who has been on many many albums over the years including Cher’s two best albums, ‘Cher‘ and ‘Heart Of Stone‘, and Kane Roberts’ excellent ‘Saints And Sinners‘ record. And on bass is Hugh McDonald (Bon Jovi).
There are several guests that appear here as well. As mentioned, both Jon and Richie are on the record. Jon provides some vocals on the title track and Richie is featured on guitar, and the two of them on backing vocals, on ‘Hell Is Living Without You‘, a song that they co-wrote with Cooper and Child
Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) helps out with some vocals on ‘Only My Heart Talkin’‘, Kane Roberts makes an appearance with his axe on ‘Bed Of Nails‘, a track that he had a hand in writing as well. Ex-bandmate Kip Winger plays bass on ‘I’m Your Gun‘. Two of Tyler’s bandmates show up as well with Joe Perry contributing his guitar on the Joan Jett co-written track ‘House Of Fire‘, and Tom Hamilton offers his talents on bass on the title track. Steve Lukather (Toto) also plays some guitar on ‘Hell Is Living Without You‘.
This is by and far my favorite Alice Cooper record, though his next album, ‘Hey Stoopid‘, had some excellent songs on it as well, including one of my favorite Cooper songs, ‘Love’s A Loaded Gun‘. I am apparently not alone in thinking this is the best album as, one, it has become one of the best-selling records of Alice’s lengthy career, and two, this was a special request for me to review from one of my readers as it is their favorite album of Coop as well.
I finally got the opportunity to see Alice live two years ago when he was opening for Motely Crue on their farewell tour. Not only did he put on a hell of a show but he blew the Crue out of the water. Sixty-eight years old, thirteen years older than Vince Neil, and Alice Cooper can still out sing and outperform the Crue frontman. Seeing him live made me have much more appreciation for him. Very entertaining stage show as well.
There is nothing on the album that I necessarily dislike, though there are a couple of tracks, ‘Only My Heart Talkin’‘ and ‘I’m Your Gun‘, that would certainly not top my list of great songs.
However tracks like the rocking ‘Poison‘, the hard hitting ‘Why Trust You‘ and the excellent ballad ‘Hell Is Living Without You‘ are just a few prime examples of how great this album can be. For me this represents the absolute best of Alice Cooper and if you are a fan of bands like Bon Jovi and other such bands of that era that Desmond Child was such an intregal part of back in the 80’s then this is record will likely be your cup of tea. This is as hair metal as Alice ever got, and I love it.
‘Spark In The Dark’. ‘
House Of Fire’.
‘Why Trust You’.
‘Bed Of Nails’.
‘Hell Is Living Without You’.