Pretties for You

Pretties for You
Alice Cooper - Pretties for You.jpg
Studio album by
Released June 25, 1969[1]
Recorded 1968-69
Studio Whitney Studios, Los Angeles[2]
Genre
Length 38:10
Label Straight
Producer
Alice Cooper chronology
Pretties for You
(1969)
Easy Action
(1970)
Singles from Pretties for You
  1. "Reflected"
    Released: May 19, 1969

Pretties for You is the debut studio album by American rock band Alice Cooper, released on June 25, 1969 by Straight Records. At this time, the name "Alice Cooper" referred to the band and not its lead singer Vincent Furnier. The album has a psychedelic flavor to it; the group had yet to develop the more concise hard rock sound that they would become famous for. Most of the tracks feature unusual time signatures and arrangements, jarring syncopation, expressive dynamics, sound effects, and an eclectic range of music influences. A few songs, such as "Levity Ball", show the influence of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, with whom the band hung out during the British group's U.S. tour.[7] Alice Cooper guitarist Glen Buxton stated he could listen to Barrett's guitar playing for hours on end.[8]

The artwork for this album is a painting by Edward Beardsley.[9] It was originally hanging on the wall of the living room in Frank Zappa's house,[10] and his wife Gail Zappa stated that it was later stolen from them.[11]

Pretties for You was a critical and commercial failure, only briefly appearing on the Billboard Top 200, and none of its songs have ever been played live by Cooper since the release of the band's breakthrough album Love It to Death.[12] The song "Reflected", Alice Cooper's first single, was later rewritten as "Elected", which features on their 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies.

Production

According to Alice Cooper's band manager Shep Gordon, when recording at Whitney Studios in Burbank, Frank Zappa left his brother in charge of recording while Zappa left the studio. Zappa returned later that day and informed them the album was finished, having only recorded the band rehearsing. Gordon states that there was no producer during recording, that the band had no complete songs written, that Zappa "didn't spend 5 minutes in the studio" and never asked to hear their material, and that the band's debut album was made up entirely of that rehearsal recording, aside from the live recording of "Levity Ball".[13]

Track listing

All songs written by Alice Cooper, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith.

Side one
  1. "Titanic Overture" – 1:12
  2. "10 Minutes Before the Worm" – 1:39
  3. "Sing Low, Sweet Cheerio" – 5:42
  4. "Today Mueller" – 1:48
  5. "Living" – 3:12
  6. "Fields of Regret" – 5:44
Side two
  1. "No Longer Umpire" – 2:02
  2. "Levity Ball" – 4:39
  3. "B.B. on Mars" – 1:17
  4. "Reflected" – 3:17
  5. "Apple Bush" – 3:08
  6. "Earwigs to Eternity" – 1:19
  7. "Changing Arranging" – 3:03

Reception

Lester Bangs of Rolling Stone felt that there were no "[hints] of life, spontaneity, joy, rage, or any kind of authentic passion or conviction". However, he stated that "within the context of [Alice Cooper's] self-imposed limitations, the album is listenable". He concluded the review by saying that "Alice Cooper's music is, for this reviewer at any rate, totally dispensable".[14]

Legacy

AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine feels that the album "was an earnest but flawed stab at psychedelia that occasionally caught fire".[15]

Live covers

On November 8, 2015, the entire record was performed live at The Stone in NYC as part of Nick Didkovsky's residency there.[16] Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway and Cindy Smith Dunaway were in attendance. Dennis Dunaway joined the band for "Nobody Likes Me" as an encore, a song that was originally slated to be on the record.

Personnel

Alice Cooper band

Charts

Year Chart Position
1969 Billboard Pop Albums 193

References

  1. ^ Alice Cooper Box Set
  2. ^ "Hot Rats: Notes & Comments". globalia.net. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Doyle Greene (17 February 2016). Rock, Counterculture and the Avant-Garde, 1966-1970: How the Beatles, Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground Defined an Era. McFarland. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-4766-2403-7.
  4. ^ a b Love It to Death at AllMusic. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  5. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 224. ISBN 9781843531050.
  6. ^ Pearson, Paul (August 8, 2007). "Alice Cooper, Love It to Death". PopMatters. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Liner notes to The Life and Death of Alice Cooper box set, p. 62.
  8. ^ Palmerston, Sean (August 10, 2011). "Alice Cooper – Old School 1964-1974". Hellbound.ca. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  9. ^ "Pretties For You". Sickthingsuk.co.uk. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  10. ^ "LIFE: Musician Frank Zappa (R) w. parents (L–R... - Hosted by Google". Images.google.com. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Re: Questions about Alice Master Tapes". Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  12. ^ Alice Cooper Tour Archive
  13. ^ "Episode 758 - Shep Gordon". WTF with Marc Maron Podcast. November 10, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  14. ^ Bangs, Lester (July 12, 1969). "Records". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (37): 36–37. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  15. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Pretties for You - Alice Cooper at AllMusic. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  16. ^ "Pretties For You LIVE". didkovsky.com. Retrieved July 6, 2016.

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