By Emily Duff
As we approach Halloween, I decided it was necessary to discuss the artist whose tracks make the perfect Halloween playlist. For me, no cheesy playlist is complete without Alice Cooper - whether you want an element of spookiness to bring October to life or the perfect track to accompany your road trip, his groovy rhythms and haunting lyricism is perfect. Alice Cooper is always my go-to and as it’s halloween I thought it best to focus on the Alice Cooper tracks that make or break a halloween party soundtrack.
In order of worst to best (although all four are great), I’ll have to start with 'I Love The Dead'. Firstly, what's striking about this Cooper track is its more chilled out vibes. While still being a head-bangger with his use of killer - pun intended - guitar, the majority of the track is slow and haunting rather than Cooper’s usual use of pushing horror in your face. With less of a focus on heavy guitar and drum, creepy lyrics like, “The bluing flesh for me to hold”, take centre stage and allow a listener to truly squirm at his disturbing imagery. However, the addition of piano makes this track groovy so don’t be too fearful of the gore.
Following on, 'Welcome To My Nightmare', the title track of his 1975 album of the same name, is another chilled out but typically eerie Cooper track. Using the backing band of Lou Reed, this track has a very ‘70s feel to it with funky bass riffs in the chorus that get your hips moving instantly. Starting similarly slow to 'I Love The Dead', super funky guitar melodies take over towards the end of the track after listening to Cooper whisper, “I think you’re gonna like it”, in your ear. Use of trumpets and saxophone and piano create a contrapuntal and intense sound that freaks out a listener in a different way to 'I Love The Dead' as the sound effects of unidentifiable but presumably monster noises take focus over freaky lyrics.
Then the classic, 'Poison'. Released on his album 'Trash' in 1989, this single was Cooper’s first top ten single since 1977 and for a very good reason. Opening with a synthy guitar, the track then immediately breaks into the classic Cooper rock and roll riffs we’re used to hearing. With a sneaky silent moment beforehand the chorus is given an intensity before the famous, “I wanna taste you but your lips are venomous poison”.
My personal Halloween favourite, 'Feed My Frankenstein', embodies the cheesy spookiness we all need. Opening with a dialogue between Cooper and his Frankenstein monster, the track then goes into detail to make it as outlandish as possible. I don’t think this track needs much explaining as it’s a halloween classic but make sure to add it to your party playlists immediately.
One of the most successful and influential ‘70s rock-horror artists, to me, Alice Cooper embodies Halloween. With relatable singles like 'I’m Eighteen' and his spooky tracks discussed in this article, Alice Cooper has well deservingly managed to remain relevant and interesting for decades. As part of your spooky movie marathon I would definitely recommend 'Dark Shadows'. A cheesy Tim Burton plot but with the classic Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter cast. Fun fact: Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper also went on to form Hollywood Vampires in 2015.
If you'd like to find out more about what Alice Cooper is up to nowadays, the links to all his socials are below via the icons: