|ALICE COOPER - EASY ACTION (1970, 2012) [MP3320]|
|ALICE COOPER - EASY ACTION (1970, 2012) [MP3320].torrent|
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I used to treat Easy Action as a massive stepdown from Pretties For You and thought of it as the third-worst Alice Cooper album ever. Time heals all wounds though, and today, I definitely like it and find it the best of the two early experimental? records primarily because it tones down some of the pseudo-experimental ideas of its predecessor and brings in more hard-rock elements. Now, I don?t have any sort of bias against experimental music (I love avant-garde when done well with a clear vision), but you got to admit that the band members were not meant to play avant-garde, and I firmly believe that a band ambitiously playing its strengths is better than a band trying to be something they?re not.
Mind you, this album still has a few, err, adventurous? songs that really bug me. Both of the jams on here ( Below Your Means? and Lay Down And Die, Goodbye?) pretty much suck, and I detest jams with the DDD disease: dumb, directionless, and disgusting. I understand that these were important stepping stones for the shattering epics on Killer, but at this point, I would rather them not try to do a psychedelic jam when it is obviously not their strong suit. Unfortunately, that isn?t the only mishap. They blew it on Still No Air? too, turning what would have been a fine song into an ugly, dissonant mess. The thing that infuriates me the most is the fact that this easily could have been a solid 10 without those three songs, but they take up half the album, forcing me to take off 2 points leaving this record with a weak 8.
Which is a goddamn shame because the other half of the material is amazingly good Not that I am surprised about its quality, Pretties For You had songs like Refelcted? and Fields Of Regret? that showed genuine songwriting talent. All they had to do now was refine those skills and influences. In fact, this may be the perfect place to figure out where the classic Cooper style came from because it is easier to pick apart the influences of their sound in its embryonic stage, and damn, there?s more Floyd influence than I thought Just hear how Barrettesque the guitar tone and song structure of Mr. and Misdemeanor? is Seems like they could make good use of those lame Barrett imitations after all. At the same time, we can see the boys being fairly inventive, adding in Britpop/music-hall influences along with debuting the signature Cooper snarl. The delightful Beautiful Flyaway? also shows some of that music-hall influence with a bit of classical sprinkled in, and the foundation they build here would be implemented into both School?s Out and the operatic? section of Love It To Death. Even the humor and funny lyricism of Alice Cooper are falling in place (probably influenced by Zappa) with Refrigerator Heaven?, containing funny lyrics about?actually, I don?t know if it is about being a fridge or being inside a fridge but either way, it?s hilarious Return Of The Spiders? is even better, containing a satirical parody on horror films/genres ( Knock knock I said, who's there/Well, it's me the reaching hand and I?m coming after you ) with some terrific guitar and drum work.
Funny, the best song on here is soft-rock song, Shoe Salesman?, not only because it is one of the most gorgeous soft-rock songs I?ve ever heard but also because it features one of the few times that Alice Cooper is this meditative and personal. I remember hearing this song for the first time and being amazed at how much this one touched my heart. Those ethereal guitar tones soar high in the sky like clouds, and the acoustic and electric interplay is wonderful, giving the song a gentle feel but still quite a bit of edge. Cooper the man is greatly responsible for the success of the song, putting more sincere soul and passion into the vocals than the majority of soft-rock bands at the time. And this masterpiece flopped? The American public should be ashamed that they let Karen Carpenter sell more than this song Whatever it be, I believe this is one of the band?s greatest songs and one of those special times where the band shows their true self. If you are going to hear a single song from this band?s 1969-1970 period, it should be this one.
Many fans completely disregard this portion of Alice their history, saying it is derivative, unnecessarily experimental, and inessential. I certainly disagree with this perspective, finding both albums in this period enjoyable and much better than the trashy hair metal garbage Cooper would be doing in the late 80s. Along with that, there is no way the band and solo career could have reached such magnificent heights without the experimentalism of their first two albums. Remember, great bands are ones that can digest many disparate ideas and fuse them into something otherworldly. On Pretties For You, the band was trying things out and absorbing the influence of their idols, and on Easy Action, they learned how to refine those influences into songs that work. Sure, not every song is successful, but you know what? I respect their bravery. Few bands would ever be ambitious enough to take such dangerous risks so early on, and while it wasn?t great in the short-run, their hard work won out in the long-run as they became one of the greatest bands in history. Remember kids, it is better to try, fail, and improve than try nothing and achieve little, and it is these types of things that justify Alice Cooper?s high rating on my site, as a band, and as a solo artist. So let?s all be open-minded and pay homage to this period of the band?s history, the one that made the Alice Cooper we know and love today possible.
Mr. And Misdemeanor 3:20
Shoe Salesman 2:33
Still No Air 2:30
Below Your Means 6:50
Return Of The Spiders (For Gene Vincent) 4:25
Laughing At Me 2:16
Refrigerator Heaven 2:17
Beautiful Flyaway 3:00
Lay Down And Die, Goodbye 7:00
Bass, Vocals Dennis Dunaway
Drums, Vocals Neal Smith
Lead Guitar Glen Buxton
Rhythm Guitar Michael Bruce
Vocals Alice Cooper
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