A Cocaine Fueled, New Wave Inspired, Rocked Out Masterpiece!
1982 proved to be an interesting musical year for Alice Cooper. With a new found love for cocaine and new wave music, Cooper went into the studio to make his most punked out, no holds barred albums yet!
Aside from Dada, Zipper Catches Skin is one of Cooper‘s most underrated albums to date. Filled with classic tracks from beginning to the end, it’s astounding as to why this album is missed in the history of rock and roll. What happened on the road to this albums release and what makes it such an underrated and dare I say, iconic record?
Unfortunately there’s not too much of a background story with the recording of Zipper Catches Skin. Much like with Dada and Special Forces, Alice doesn’t even recall writing, recording, or touring these albums. With many in the Cooper camp venturing into the project with high hopes, it wasn’t long until it became (as guitarist Dick Wagner stated) “a drug induced nightmare“. Cooper apparently had a curtain behind the vocal recording booth where he kept his crack pipe on a stool and the rest of the group along with Cooper would take hits in between takes.
Cooper‘s record label Warner Bros. had also basically given up on their legendary shock rock artist at this point. Promotion for the album was slim to none with the Coop giving a few interviews along with a commercial to spread word about the record. The song “I Am The Future” was also featured in the film Class of 1984, but the film was a cinematic failure at the time.
How bout them songs though? As bassist Erik Scott stated, the album “was meant to be lean, stripped down, and low on frills. Punkish and bratty.” That’s exactly what Zipper Catches Skin is, no frills and punkish. The record is filled with garage rock songs mixed with cynical humor, sarcastic biting lyrics, and even a special guest appearance by the Waitresses‘ singer Patty Donahue.
The songs really speak for themselves though. Tracks such as “Make That Money (Scrooge’s Song)” and “Zorro’s Ascent” visit the fictional characters that helped create the iconic Alice Cooper while “I Am The Future” and “No Baloney Homosapiens” take on the more new wave sound that he was experimenting with.
Make That Money (Scrooge’s Song):
I Am The Future:
A more Don Juan side of his personalities comes out with the songs “Adaptable (Anything For You)“, “I Like Girls” (featuring Patty Donahue), and “Remarkably Insincere” where Cooper takes us on a roller coaster ride through love and love lost.
Adaptable (Anything For You):
Meanwhile, classic Alice Cooper takes over on the track “Tag, You’re It” where he portray’s a director taking an unlucky heroine through her terrifying scene’s in a fictional horror movie. Or is it?
Tag, You’re It:
Zipper Catches Skin is a great rock album that deserves more praise than it rarely sees. As a hidden gem even among Alice Cooper fans, this album is filled to the brim with simple and in your face rock songs that the Coop performed even in his younger days. Maybe the album needs a second life though? So why not perform some of the songs live? I guarantee tunes like “I Better Be Good” and “I’m Alive (That Was The Day My Dead Pet Returned To Save My Life)” would make the audiences go nuts. Maybe one day this record will get the same respect as Killers or Trash. You can sit back and check the entire album below. Enjoy!