Alice Cooper Biography
Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier, February 4, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan), is a rock singer and musician whose career spans five decades. He is often referred to as the founder of shock rock due to his gory, theatrical performances. Cooper's music influenced many later musicians and helped shape the sound of punk rock and early heavy metal. The original Alice Cooper band played mostly theatrical garage rock with glam rock image. Since the beginning of Cooper's solo career in 1974, he has experimented with many different musical styles including art rock, hard rock, new wave, psychedelic rock, disco, hair metal and industrial metal. In recent years Cooper has returned more to his garage rock roots. The original Alice Cooper group started in March 1964 as The Earwigs who were a beatles cover band. After a couple of name changes, they settled on Alice Cooper in 1968 and the group was known for their theatrical and shocking garage rock. The group wore heavy make-up and womens clothes and they were the first shock rock band ever. Alice Cooper was originally the name of the band. Under this name, they released several albums before the band dissolved and Vincent Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper, thus making Alice a solo artist instead of a band. It wasn't until the Alice Cooper band's 3rd album, Love It to Death, that the band started getting attention, mostly due to the single "Eighteen". Popularity rose with each subsequent release through to 1974, particularly with 1973's release of "Billion Dollar Babies". 1974 saw the last 'Alice the Band' release, with Muscle of Love. It was during this year that Vincent changed his name to Alice. Alice would go on to release his first solo album, and most successful album to date, in 1975. The album was Welcome to My Nightmare. The stage show for this tour required four months of rehearsals before the tour actually started. Battles with alcoholism would then lead to time spent in medical centers, as well as changes in his musical style. By 1980, Alice had gone from rock to doing a couple albums that could only best be classified as new wave-influenced. After over a decade of having a new release every year, the release streak would end in 1983 with the overlooked album, DaDa. With alcoholism taking a toll, and his wife filing for divorce (reconciled in '84), and doctors saying he was severely malnourished and close to death, he once again got treatment for alcoholism. This time it worked out, and Alice remains sober to this day. The 3 years following DaDa would be uneventful, with Alice only rarely making appearances. It wasn't until '86 that he made a real return to music, and this time with a much harder style that resulted in Constrictor, followed by similarly-styled Raise Your Fist and Yell in '87. Those albums showed the world he was back, but on a very low level as rock radio was moving on to bands like Bon Jovi and Poison. This would change in 1989 when Alice would release the multi-platinum album Trash, which rode hard on hit single "Poison" and a few other singles breaking the top 40. He would follow this up with the similarly-styled Hey Stoopid. But another 3 years would pass before his next release, The Last Temptation in 1994. The Last Temptation saw him shed the "hair metal" sound of the previous 2 albums, providing a straight-forward rock album with a storyline that was adapted as a 3-part graphic novel series as well. It would be 6 years of regular touring, along with some live releases, compilations, and a 4-disc box set before Alice would return to the studio. With yet another label change, Alice would release his hardest rocking album to date in 2000, Brutal Planet, with follow-up Dragontown having the same theme. Not content to stick to one style for too long, Alice took another route after that with the stripped-down releases The Eyes of Alice Cooper in 2003 and Dirty Diamonds in 2005. For The Eyes, Alice insisted on one-take recordings for the songs, giving the album more of a garage rock sound. Dirty Diamonds was recorded similarly, though he allowed for more cleanup. His latest release was "Live in Montreux", a DVD with accompanying CD in 2006, which included a full show from the Dirty Diamonds tour recorded in 2005. Alice continues to do his international radio show "Nights With Alice Cooper" which airs every weeknight. He also does a daily radio show for British station "Planet Rock" called "Breakfast With Alice" which runs from 6am to 8am. Throughout his career he has made some guest appearances in television shows, like in 'That 70's Show' he makes an appearance to the end where he plays 'Dungeons and Dragons' with people from the show. Alice continues to tour in 2008. As of May says the recording of his forthcoming album "Along Came a Spider" is over 75% complete and he is hoping for an August release, though that is a tentative date. The album is based on a fictional serial killer named Spider, who wraps his victims in a silk web. Every song is like a letter from Spider to the Police who are investigating him.