A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music

2001 – Part 4.3: Alice Cooper – Dragontown

Alice Cooper did really well between the difficult periods of 1993 and 2003 for rock artists. It didn’t matter what kind of music came out, the Alice Cooper brand was known for doing things different. The 70’s output alone is very diverse. The experimental early 80’s period, although not commercially successful, introduced new wave sounds into the mix. His stage shows bordered on the horror and macabre, with a lot of theatre thrown in. And one thing I do know as a fan of the horror genre, you don’t just stop being a fan.

Then “Trash” came out with its slick “hair metal” production and Alice was really back. His stage shows got even more extravagant and he hasn’t looked back since.

“Hey Stoopid”, the concept album “The Last Temptation” and “Brutal Planet” which told us we are all going to die, continued his brand in the 90’s.

And then there is “Dragontown” was released in 2001.

The band is Alice Cooper on Vocals, Ryan Roxie on Guitar and Greg Smith on Bass.

The studio session Guitar players are Wayne Swinny from the band Saliva and Tim Pierce who did a lot of session work and can be heard doing guitar on songs like “Runaway” from Bon Jovi, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” from Crowded House, “Iris” from Goo Goo Dolls and “Black Or White” from Michael Jackson.

Producer Bob Marlette plays about every string related instrument like Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Keyboards and String Arrangements.

Sid Riggs is on Keyboards and programming and Kenny Aronoff on Drums.

Backing Vocals are provided by Teddy Andreadis, Eric Dover, Calico Cooper and Gionvanna Morana.

If the first two names of the backing vocalists look familiar, they should, as Teddy has done a lot of work with G’n’R and Dover was the singer in Slash’s Snakepit. And the third backing vocalist is Alice Cooper himself, making an appearance as Calico.

All tracks are written by Alice Cooper and producer Bob Marlette.

Triggerman

The sound is definitely on that industrial hard rock style that bands like White Zombie, Coal Chamber and Orgy did.

But in its essence, it’s still a rock song.

Just listen to the Chorus, its 60’s pop. And the ending is in the vein of “Paradise City”.

I am always out of sight
A shadow in the mist
I don’t need no alibi, cos
I don’t exist

Lyrically, it’s about a nobody, a person ignored by society, a person who doesn’t exist, but when that trigger is pulled, they do exist.

Deeper

A very heavy and down tuned chugging riff opens the song. The Pre-Chorus is haunting, with the symphonic Church sermon like voices.

Down and down and down we go
We’re in a deadly spin

Dragontown

An ominous like Intro begins it.

Then Alice starts his vocal melodies.

Well, here you are
Lying bleeding on a grimy street
See the broken glass sparkling darkly
As it cuts your feet

So descriptive.

The Pre Chorus is heavy and I like the vocal melody when Alice is singing, “come on, I’ve got something to show you”.

And the Chorus tells the story of how anyone can disappear in “Dragontown”.

This song is as good as any “metal” song released during this period.

Sex, Death and Money

This cut could have been on a Rod Zombie album. And the Alice sarcasm is back as by the end of the song, we are all going to fry because of our lack of morality.

Sex, death and money, sonny
Makes this wicked world go round
Sex, death and money
It’s the Gospel here in Dragontown

Amen to that.

Fantasy Man

You just want to squeeze my masculinity
Why can’t you leave it alone

It feels like a cut from “Hey Stoopid”, a mixture between “Hurricane Years” and “Feed My Frankenstein”.

Somewhere in the Jungle

From reading the lyrics, you get the idea that somewhere in the jungle the devil is laughing, as an African genocide takes place, making even the wild animals run away from the madness and slaughter while the million bodies are piled on top of each other, arms and legs, feet and hands.

It’s heavy like Ozzy’s “My Jekyll Doesn’t Hide”.

Disgraceland

Downtuned 12-bar blues. That’s what this song is.

An Elvis Presley inspired verse, which also reminds me of a cross between Johnny Cash, Chris Issak and George Thorogood.

And Alice is doing a commentary on the absurdity of how the greatest rock ‘n’ roll hero of all time died on a toilet.

Sister Sara

How low can a guitar go?

In this song, very low.

And like “Sister Mary” in Operation Mindcrime, “Sister Sara” is in a bit of trouble. While “Sister Mary” had issues with an terrorist organisation controlling sleeper cells, “Sister Sara” gets caught with the Bishop and many other cardinal sins to feed her habit.

Every Woman Has a Name

An acoustic guitar arpeggio riff starts it off and Alice tells the story how dreams of youth are taken away by the cold hard and unforgiven world we live in.

I Just Wanna Be God

A bone crunching intro riff starts it off reminding me of Godsmack, Monster Magnet, Mudvayne, Static X and I like it.

And there’s a killer solo as well.

It’s Much Too Late

Then this one kicks in, more Country Rock and totally out of leftfield.

Alice is in his demented “Steven” character voice.

The road to hell is littered
with nice guys with good intentions
But once you’re there, you’re there

The Sentinel

And the album is rounded out by another dose of massive industrial downtuned riffs.

I am the sentinel
I want the world to know
I’m sending you all to hell
I’m tired and I’m wired here to blow

Amen. The countdown has begun.

While none of the songs became concert staples, the album did what it needed to do. Get Alice Cooper on the road.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Rammstein – Paris

I own no Rammstein records. All of my listening experiences from em is via burnt CD’s from ex band members, YouTube and Spotify. Recently streaming services can be added to that list as they have a few concert videos of the band showing.

But.

For a person who doesn’t own any of their music, a band I was in between 2000 and 2005 used to cover “Du Hast” from Rammstein. And if I could get my hands on a ticket, I would go to watch em live.

So in which category do I fit in. I’m a fan, who hasn’t spent a cent on the band.

And who can forget their comeback song circa 2009 with the “Pussy” porno video clip.

So when I saw this concert on Amazon Prime I was interested to check it out.

The concert film was actually released on 19 May 2017. So I’m late to watching it.

And the concerts used for the footage are even older, filmed entirely on 6 and 7 March 2012 in Paris.

Every show was filmed with 30 cameras in front of 17,000 people. And i was surprised how big they are, so I looked at live returns for concerts and Rammstein is up there, with the big acts.

Their 2019 Europe Stadium Tour grossed 116.66 million Euro’s from 31 shows. Each show had an average attendance of 41,715 people.

The whole start of the concert is like a ritual. A funeral march. Almost scary.

Remember those movies scenes when people are clothed in black, holding a candle and leading/taking someone to their sacrifice. Well that’s how Rammstein begins their concert.

They walk out into the audience from a side door and make their way to a bridge which connects the main stage to a smaller stage in the middle of the GA floor attendees.

And once they plug in and play, you get to see how massive their live show is.

Apart from the normal fire and pyro which most bands do, they also wear suits which produces pyro and Fire.

Fire also comes out from under the stage so you don’t want to be standing in the wrong place.

Fire comes out from the microphone stands. From flame thrower guns. From face masks they wear. Pyro also comes from props they hold.

And they have steam jets all over the stage and under the stage. Plus massive industrial fans.

Their riffs are head banging and bone crunching. I have no idea what they are singing about but I couldn’t take my eyes from the TV.

Vocalist Till Lindemann is unsettling in appearance and stage presence, demented and looking like he escaped from an asylum

In the “Mein Teil” (My Part) song, Lindemann comes out all bloody and looking like he decapicated someone, which is fitting for a song dubbed “The Cannibal Song”.

The keyboard player Christian Lorenz is walking on a treadmill as he plays. It looks bizarre but it works.

There’s a fake cock which Lindemann produces in the song “Buck Dich” which means “Bend Over” and it starts squirting piss all over the audience. Even the drummer gets a mouthful of fake piss.

“Mein Herz brennt” (“My heart burns”) has an excellent Kashmir like groove.

In “Engel (Angel)”, Lindemann is wearing Angel wings that spit fire and pyro.

I didn’t understand a word, but the music was excellent and the theatrics/stage show was massive.

Du. Du hast.

It can mean you hate or you have depending on context. So you’ll either hate Rammstein or you’ll need their controversy. The fact they never conformed and did an English vocal album shows their resilience and mentality. And it didn’t stop them from filling arenas all over the world.

And Till Lindemann. Wow.

So unsettling in appearance. And man, doesn’t he know how to push buttons. He said in an interview on the “Metal Evolution” episodes, he doesn’t know what else to do to shock people anymore on stage, except kill someone.

Du. Du hast.

Standard