(1991) Alice Cooper – Hey Stoopid: Anniversary Special

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We (should) all know and love Alice Cooper by now! Starting his career way back in the ’60s as a teenager, Vincent Fornier has shaped the world of rock and heavy metal with his unique shock rock style and great music. The 1991 release, “Hey Stoopid,” boasts a great number of Alice Cooper favorites, such as the title track, “Feed My Frankenstein,” among others, so today, on the album’s 30th anniversary (dang!), we’re taking a look back on this album in full.

“Hey Stoopid” begins with its title track, opening on what sounds like a chanting stadium crowd, it then opens into a hooky song as Uncle Alice reminds us that the world is hard, but that we shouldn’t be stupid by sticking needles in our arms or putting bullets in our heads. This track has a bit of a tough love message, but coupled by its upbeat, positive sound, as well as its anthemic and catchy chorus, it’s no wonder this is a common favorite and a good empowerment anthem in its own way. Moving immediately into a slower pace, the album then gives listeners yet another one of my personal favorite Alice Cooper songs, “Love’s a Loaded Gun.” This opens with a sad and sexy guitar riff, while the lyrics tell an emotional story of heartbreak. The acoustic guitar backed by big synths, only to add the electric guitar in afterwards, makes for an emotional and beautiful song.

Now, it wouldn’t be an Alice Cooper album without a great deal of innuendo, which is found in many songs throughout, such as the catchy, rockin’ “Snakebite,” which stands out for its rougher sound and nice soloing, while “Burning Our Bed” is a slow and sad but somewhat basic ballad that works well for ballad fans but could slow the album down a bit too much for fans of the higher energy material. “Dangerous Tonight” begins with organ lines before the guitar kicks in, but ultimately is a bit of a filler track on the album, being a decent track but not a stand-out.

Another one of the greatest ballads perhaps ever released by Alice Cooper, however, is the extremely melancholic and emotional “Might as Well Be on Mars,” which could be the ultimate ’90s ballad, not only for its echoey guitars and passionate chorus, but the sheer sorrow of the heartbroken feeling in the vocals and lyrics. This is a stark contrast next to the truly naughty sexuality of “Feed My Frankenstein,” another big hit about sex that follows. If Alice Cooper was known for something, it’s shocking performances and songs about sex, but this one about feeding the monstrous libido is my personal favorite, as it’s so deep, dark, and dirty, founded on the wonderfully funky bass line and built upon by a great solo and a very sleazy singing style.

The album slows down the excitement a bit at this point, as “Hurricane Years” opens on a lively, feel-good note, with a straightforward rockin’ feel but again, is a bit of a filler track, while “Little By Little,” has a slicker feeling and is likely referencing sex once again. It has a catchy singalong chorus but also doesn’t stand on its own very well. “Die for You” opens on slow dual-guitars, when piano and vocals take over and we get another fairly pleasant ballad-y track.

The album then winds up with “Dirty Dreams” and “Wind-Up Toy,” with the former being another peppy, upbeat track about sex that’s actually pretty catchy because of its slightly bluesy guitars, but I could see getting a bit old on heavy repetition. An intro that sounds like a music box getting interrupted by something horrendous opens up the latter, which has a lot of dramatic ambience in the soundscape, with a lot of strange sounds that create that traditional “horror” sound in much of Alice Cooper‘s music, though the chorus is a little lackluster. It’s not the hard-hitting closer you might hope for, but it certainly acts as something a little bit different to finish this album up, especially with the creepy words spoken at the end.

So it’s been 30 years since “Hey Stoopid” came out and while the hits from this album still hold up as having some of the best tracks Alice Cooper has released. As was the norm back in the ’90s, however, albums were mainly divided into singles and filler. While half of the album is some of the strongest material to come from this band, it seems like you can only write so many songs about sex and heartbreak before they begin to get old. As such, if you’re into Alice Cooper but you haven’t browsed his discography, this is a solid album to start from to find some great tracks and see what type of horror rock tracks will tickle your fancy.

Tracklist

  1. Hey Stoopid
  2. Love’s a Loaded Gun
  3. Snakebite
  4. Burning Our Bed
  5. Dangerous Tonight
  6. Might as Well Be on Mars
  7. Feed My Frankenstein
  8. Hurricane Years
  9. Little by Little
  10. Die for You
  11. Dirty Dreams
  12. Wind-Up Toy

Line-Up

Alice Cooper (Vincent Fornier) – vocals, harmonica

Stef Burns – guitar

Hugh McDonald – bass

Mickey Curry – drums

Label

Bearsville Studios

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