I think it’s a safe bet to state, everyone who is a fan of metal music and horror flicks, knows about and who Alice Cooper is once deemed the ‘Shock King’ in the 70s, who influenced so many in multiple disciplines of arts from other musicians to filmmakers and artists in general. After all, the Man got released from School’s Out to going insane with “From the Inside” and even ventured to hell with “Goes to Hell”, he’s been everywhere and successfully converted his bloodstream to alcohol and yet survived, however things started to wane for him in the mid-eighties. He had two albums Constrictor and Raise Your Fist And Yell, that slid further down into obscurity with many audiences aside from his core and those found in the horror genre, when 1989 come about Alice decide he wanted to reclaim his rightful place, after his career spanned many more years than some were together at that point and with others they pumped out constant radio hits. Therefore he decides with a new signing to Epic records, he wanted some commercial success, he teams with maestro Desmond Child (Bon Jovi, Aerosmith), and aimed for the charts and brought plenty of talent to capture a new generation of listeners while still embracing his loyalists. Then on July 25, 1989, Trash was released with the lead off track “Poison,” earning him his first Top 10 hit in over a decade, which lead to a successful tour; that allowed to mix a new theatrical show, featuring classic songs and reestablishing him with the masses. It is just one more reason why I wanted to do a retro review of his album, and another perk of being the editor of The Horror Times.

First, having listened repeatedly to all of Alice’s albums, knowing the lyrics to so many of them, songwriting is stronger and more consistent, on the “Trash” album, which has many artists working on the project all in thanks to hitmaker Desmond Child. Therefore, first the track and single, ‘Poison’, is the best song, showing its devilish fangs, freshy sharpened for new and old school fans.

Next comes ‘Spark In The Dark’ which clearly informs anyone what this this track announces, and the vocals work to hook the listener.  While Cooper and Child wrote many of the tracks they recovered assistance  from others such on ‘House Of Fire’, with Joan Jett, it all creates a hard rocking song. One cannot deny Alice, always a special knack for creating ballads (the first of two on the album), and this time with distinct vocals of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler’ on ‘Only My Heart Talkin’, which works unbelievably well.

The songs ‘Bed of Nails’; ‘This Maniac’s In Love With You’; ‘Trash’ and ‘I’m Your Gun’. contain a return to sleazy lyrics and innuendoes, but the musicianship like the other songs, works extremely well, Cooper now a solo artist but with a backing band. ‘Trash’ actually has Jon Bon Jovi in backing vocals, and many state the song sounds similar to Bon Jovi’s ‘Social Disease’. The other ballad is ‘Hell Is Living Without You’ with both Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora assisting in the writing , before leading to a raucous sex-driven track entitled ‘I’m Your Gun’ that has Kip Winger in the backing vocals but leans more to a hard-rocking song.

Track Listing:

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

The album is not with flaws and it might appeal to some of the old-school Cooper band, however, the release was successful and did what it need for Alice, getting him back in the mainstream and forefront with incredible results, the chorus works and the artistic style still shines through, all the commercial spry for radio airplay.

Baron’s Rating: 4.5/5

Alice Cooper Links: