Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"School's Out" (1972)

51. Alice Cooper, "School's Out" (June 24, 1972, #7)

I suppose that for most of the '70s this pretty much represented summer, plain and simple and that's that. It was on the radio, it was here. Get out the shorts. A decade or so of that. Early on, this also came off a little dangerous somehow, a bit menacing or juvenile delinquent, all of that due of course to the creepy Alice Cooper image. But when you listened close, the juvenile that it's full of is on the level of school kids: "We got no class / And we got no principles / And we got no innocence / We can't even think of a line that rhymes." Oh yes they di-id, and the June chant of "no more pencils no more books" too. Twice. And clanging school bells pealing and the excited cries of youngsters in hallways erupting tell the story too. Plus, the best part, the rock band rave-up has a roguish swagger and raw driving force that is entirely charming, talking about salutes and marching and so forth. Alice Cooper's voice is the raw wound that has always served him well, leading the charge, and he's got his hands on a real live wire with this "school's out" business, which let's face it, who doesn't that get the blood pumping for, with the possible exception of parents. The thing just soars on the chorus as he and some big guitar licks playin' fool let it rip on top of a martial attack from the rhythm section. This was presumably the moment when adolescents eager for the releases of summer and hot weather lost all control and started up a whole dancing mayhem. Except I'm not sure exactly how much dancing mayhem that actual adolescents actually do. I remember keggers, for example. But you get the idea.

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