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View Full Version : Grandaddy Rock Wars...Alice Cooper vs. KISS



mark t
09-18-2006, 11:20 PM
Well, here it is. This is the grandaddy of them all. One is Alice Cooper, accused of mass mental cruelty...the other is KISS, godfathers of makeup in rock n' roll.

How do you plead?

I've got to go with Alice. I love Alice. I don't care how many shit albums he puts out, the man is the man, and that's it. He did Black Widow. He did Billion dollar Babies. And he did Halo of Flies.

Fuck KISS.

Adam C
09-18-2006, 11:36 PM
I'm seeing Alice live next week!

Zane C.
09-19-2006, 12:09 AM
Well, here it is. This is the grandaddy of them all. One is Alice Cooper, accused of mass mental cruelty...the other is KISS, godfathers of makeup in rock n' roll.

How do you plead?

I've got to go with Alice. I love Alice. I don't care how many shit albums he puts out, the man is the man, and that's it. He did Black Widow. He did Billion dollar Babies. And he did Halo of Flies.

Fuck KISS.

Seconded, mark. Alice is THE MAN. Seen him live last year, and I wasn't disappointed. He's still making decent music all these years later, and music with some intelligence, no less. Not that KISS ever made smart music, just good 'ol rock n' roll, which is just fine, but I think it's Gene Simmons' constant shilling of KISS merchandise that bugs me the most. However, they DO have some great songs. It's still Alice all the way, though.

Zane C.
09-19-2006, 12:10 AM
I'm seeing Alice live next week!

I guarantee you will not be disappointed, Adam. He puts on a great show.

Randy Thomas G
09-19-2006, 01:04 AM
Alice Cooper has written some great tunes and had a solid band at one point. Kiss has, and always will be, metal for people who don't like metal. :eek:

Kristian R
09-19-2006, 02:38 AM
Kiss really do suck compared to The Coop.

John G.
09-19-2006, 07:38 AM
This is the most lopsided poll yet... the string of albums from Love it to Death to Billion Dollar Babies are absolutely perfect.

mark t
09-19-2006, 07:53 AM
This is the most lopsided poll yet... the string of albums from Love it to Death to Billion Dollar Babies are absolutely perfect.


I don't know.....I've found that the majority of people that I know are as divided on this topic as they are on Elvis vs. the Beatles. They usually love one, and hate the other. The results should be interesting.

I agree though, that string of albums is brilliant.

Bill Pissott
09-19-2006, 08:14 AM
Kiss!

John G.
09-19-2006, 08:18 AM
I've really got to get some Kiss albums... the early ones at least.

Chad Haden
09-19-2006, 08:48 AM
Cooper's opening for the Stones on the 29th, that's gonna be a badass show

Matt A
09-19-2006, 10:43 AM
What you must take into consideration here is how both of these acts faired in the '80's. I'm of the opinion that Paul Stanley could do no wrong in the '80's and wrote alot of KISS' best material then. Gene...not so much. However, Alice couldn't buy a decent song in that era. "Hey Stoopid" (which is '91, I know. Doesn't matter.) is so fucking bad it...I...fuck. Seriously wretched.

Easy Action thru Alice Cooper Goes to Hell I'll give you but from that point on it was shit after shit after shit. And Alice now is an even bigger asshole than Gene Simmons, which is saying something.

David Huber
09-19-2006, 10:49 AM
I was in the KISS Army and had a complete set of KISS trading cards, so you know where my vote went.

Mike Brown
09-19-2006, 11:04 AM
I was a Huge Kiss fan as a young'un. When Kiss are good, they're pretty good. When AC is good, he's fucking great. Alice all the way.

Matt A
09-19-2006, 11:10 AM
I was a Huge Kiss fan as a young'un. When Kiss are good, they're pretty good. When AC is good, he's fucking great. Alice all the way.

But his complete suckiness post-1979 negates most of that greatness. He couldn't keep it up. And he's a dick.

Mike Brown
09-19-2006, 11:24 AM
But his complete suckiness post-1979 negates most of that greatness. He couldn't keep it up. And he's a dick.

Yeah, but when did Love Gun come out? And how good was it, really?

Matt A
09-19-2006, 11:55 AM
Love Gun? 1977. ANd it was really, really good. Title track. "Christine 16". "Almost Human". "Shock Me" Not a bad cut on the entire album (except maybe "Then She Kissed Me" but that's 1,000 times better than anything on Constrictor.)

Mike Brown
09-19-2006, 12:23 PM
Love Gun? 1977. ANd it was really, really good. Title track. "Christine 16". "Almost Human". "Shock Me" Not a bad cut on the entire album (except maybe "Then She Kissed Me" but that's 1,000 times better than anything on Constrictor.)


1977 vs. 1979. Alice wins.

Matt A
09-19-2006, 12:28 PM
1977 vs. 1979. Alice wins.

Nope. Dynasty came out in '79 and it rules. It rules I tell you.

Jonathan Douglas
09-19-2006, 12:47 PM
Man, that's like choosing between your kids, or your parents, or your pets. I really don't know, I like them both equally but in terms of musical variety/artistically, I'll have to go with Alice. I don't know where Kiss are at the moment, but Alice seems to be on the right track musically, a good track anyway. I'd like to see him experiment even more, maybe go unplugged next, or something.

mark t
09-19-2006, 12:54 PM
Love Gun? 1977. ANd it was really, really good. Title track. "Christine 16". "Almost Human". "Shock Me" Not a bad cut on the entire album (except maybe "Then She Kissed Me" but that's 1,000 times better than anything on Constrictor.)


Constrictor had TRICK BAG, and that song fuckin' rules. I'll concede on the rest of the album, but TRICK BAG is awesome.

Matt A
09-19-2006, 01:28 PM
Confession time: I've never even heard Constrictor so I'm talkin' out my ass. Upload this "Trick Bag" please.

Mike Brown
09-19-2006, 01:42 PM
Nope. Dynasty came out in '79 and it rules. It rules I tell you.

I've got Dynasty and I know better. Besides, if you have to repeat something, that means it just ain't true.

John G.
09-19-2006, 02:44 PM
I wrote a review for Constrictor a while back on Amazon... Here it is for no other reason that I'm lazy to spent too much time writing about that album again...

CONSTRICTOR is the kind of album that you pull out of your collection every once in a while when you're in the mood for something different (or, in my case, if you've listened to KILLER and BILLION DOLLAR BABIES one too many times). Either that, or you're a long-suffering Alice Cooper fan who loved his work in the early 70s but stuck with him all the way throughout his David-Bowie phase into the late 80s.... or, you're a masochist.

While I'm not a huge fan of 80s pop metal, there were occasionally bands that transcended their trappings and managed to craft some pretty decent music... Def Leppard is a great example. On this album, Alice Cooper shows that he's also capable of rising above the superficial production and write some pretty worthwhile tunes. Unfortunately, the songwriting here is fairly hit-or-miss.

Songs like "Give it Up" or "Great American Success Story" are certainly upbeat numbers, but they're hopelessly dated and particularly uninspired. Cooper used to be a daring artist who wasn't afraid to take chances, and these songs are pretty safe by anyone's standards. The album's creative nadir, both musically and lyrically, is the hopelessly inept "Thrill My Gorilla," which is about as bad as it sounds.

That being said, there are some successes to be had here. "Teenage Frankenstein" may not match up to Cooper's earlier odes to teen angst, but it's fairly catchy and certainly listenable. The charming "Life and Death of the Party" has a very good chorus, and "World Needs Guts" is aggressive enough to merit attention. Compared to some of the other lifeless dirges on this album, these shine.

That being said, there's one complete winner here makes this album worth owning, and that's "He's Back," the song written for FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6. Here, Cooper stops trying to pander to the cliches at the time and really runs wild with them... the song's got an menacingly dark synth-beat, the vocals lines are about as catchy as you can imagine and delivered with an understated madness that's easy to miss. This is the only song on the album that really captures Alice Cooper's deranged sense of humor and it proves that even up to the late 80s, he was a vital (and underrated) musician.

Perhaps I've been a bit too hard on the album... it's just when compared to earlier Cooper albums, and even his other solo works, this one doesn't really compare. That being said, I still own the thing on CD so that says something.

mark t
09-19-2006, 02:50 PM
That being said, there's one complete winner here makes this album worth owning, and that's "He's Back," the song written for FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6. Here, Cooper stops trying to pander to the cliches at the time and really runs wild with them... the song's got an menacingly dark synth-beat, the vocals lines are about as catchy as you can imagine and delivered with an understated madness that's easy to miss. This is the only song on the album that really captures Alice Cooper's deranged sense of humor and it proves that even up to the late 80s, he was a vital (and underrated) musician.




I liked your review, John. I particularly like He's Back, especially the version found on the box set that has the same lyrics, but done to the music of Trick Bag.

Alice's albums in the 80's early 90's yielded some pretty horrible tripe, but you can usually find a couple of worthwhile songs. I really like, for example, the thematic ending of Raise Your Fist and Yell, with "Chop Chop Chop, Gail, and Roses on White Lace". There are a couple of good tunes on Hey Stoopid, even if it is the lamest title ever, and the title song blows dead goats. "Spark In The Dark" from Trash is almost a return to the classic Alice, and has some great sleazy production.

Sorry for the derail. :o

John G.
09-19-2006, 02:59 PM
Thanks, and no need to apologize... if you ask me, the more discussion about the Coop, the better.

Ian Jane
09-19-2006, 03:20 PM
But his complete suckiness post-1979 negates most of that greatness. He couldn't keep it up. And he's a dick.

I have to agree with you on this. Aside from maybe three or four songs out of the last twenty to thirty years, it's all been pretty bad, the most recent album specifically. I love the early stuff, but man he fell so far from grace that I've got to go with Kiss.

Sorry Mark.

Mike Brown
09-19-2006, 03:31 PM
Anybody been to Alice Cooper's Town in Phoenix, and if so, is it worth the drive from Scottsdale? I'll be there in Oct.

Matt A
09-19-2006, 03:49 PM
We had one here in Denver that lasted about 3 months. I never went but a hot chick came into my work when they opened and gave me a pint glass which I still have.

It's baseball themed. One more reason to vote for KISS.

Ian Jane
09-19-2006, 04:07 PM
Anybody been to Alice Cooper's Town in Phoenix, and if so, is it worth the drive from Scottsdale? I'll be there in Oct.

A friend of mine went there and she got me a pair of Alice Cooper boxer shorts which I still have.

Mike Brown
09-19-2006, 04:33 PM
We had one here in Denver that lasted about 3 months. I never went but a hot chick came into my work when they opened and gave me a pint glass which I still have.

It's baseball themed. One more reason to vote for KISS.

Not a good sign I guess, and the baseball thing, eh....

I wasn't aware it was a chain.

Mike Brown
09-19-2006, 04:34 PM
A friend of mine went there and she got me a pair of Alice Cooper boxer shorts which I still have.

I'll bet those RUKE!

Fess up though, would you rather have Starchild boxers, and if you did, would you admit it?

Mike Howlett
09-19-2006, 04:39 PM
Just because I saw the Coop in '73 (my first concert), I'll go with Alice. But this poll is the most difficult one yet.

Ian Jane
09-19-2006, 05:44 PM
I'll bet those RUKE!

Fess up though, would you rather have Starchild boxers, and if you did, would you admit it?

Yes I would, because as cool as AC boxer's are, these too are baseball themed. They have the eye make up over a diamond.

Adam C
09-19-2006, 07:14 PM
Kiss is the kind of band that you grow out of. I really liked them when I was like 14 or 15 but now I can't listen to anything past the "Hotter Than Hell" album. I'll turn up "Heaven's On Fire" or some of the other so bad they're good Kiss songs occasionally.

With Cooper I can enjoy pretty much all his catalog. His 70s stuff is pretty much excellent. His latter stuff can be kind of spotty sure but I still listen to it. I'm in the minority of Alice fans in that I like albums like "Dada" and "Flush The Fashion."

Horace Cordier
09-19-2006, 08:00 PM
I'm a huge fan of KISS with the original line-up and I'll even defend "Creatures Of The Night" as a kick ass album, but after that it got pretty damn ugly. Some good pop metal songs here and there but for the most part it was just KISS chasing the MOTLEY CRUE/POISON bandwagon and I found a lot of it unoriginal and bad. They also did an absolutely HORRENDOUS grunge influenced album called "Carnival Of Souls" that makes Alice's worst record look like "Who's Next".

So its Alice. I have also never heard that he is a dick - I know he is a Christian and slightly conservative but he was very nice when he signed my box set a few years ago. I had some friends of my family that lived in the same NYC apartment building in the 70's as Alice and they said he was very friendly.

All that said, you couldn't pay me enough to eat in one of those Cooperstown joints. I hate baseball AND chain eateries. :D

Ian Miller
09-19-2006, 08:05 PM
The lack of love for PRETTIES FOR YOU is distressing.

I refuse to vote!

mark t
09-19-2006, 09:12 PM
I have to agree with you on this. Aside from maybe three or four songs out of the last twenty to thirty years, it's all been pretty bad, the most recent album specifically. I love the early stuff, but man he fell so far from grace that I've got to go with Kiss.

Sorry Mark.


Yeah, cause KISS didn't deviate from the plan? You know what? YOU are in the Psycho Circus. Welcome to the show.

You are now dead to me.

Kristian R
09-19-2006, 10:23 PM
Wow, I have never heard such crazy talk from Ian Jane before. KISS peaked on Destroyer and then quickly charted course for the Island of Suck after Love Gun. Alice peaked on Billion Dollar Babies and then put out nine more good albums until DaDa after which he gave up the bottle and most of his musical talent with it. And even then, most of his album since have had at least a couple of decent tracks to still warrant their existance. I can't say the same for KISS.

Ian Jane
09-19-2006, 10:26 PM
I actually like a good portion of Kiss' 80s output and even some of their 90s stuff. I can't say that about a lot of Alice's stuff. I'd like to be able to, because his 70s shit is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. But I can't. Even if I still wear his baseball underwear.

Horace Cordier
09-19-2006, 10:34 PM
The lack of love for PRETTIES FOR YOU is distressing.

I refuse to vote!

Wuss. :D

I love that stuff. Who dissed "Pretties" or "Easy Action"? Alice's psychedelic pop phase was extremely cool!

Kristian R
09-19-2006, 10:38 PM
I prefer Easy Action to Pretties, but it is still worthy.

Ian Miller
09-19-2006, 10:40 PM
EASY has been mentioned, which is cool. PRETTIES has not (until now), which is not cool.

Who's a wuss? OK!


http://www.appleson.com/Dave%20Carson%20Photos/Alice%20Cooper%20pat119b.jpg


Just because I only LOVE the first three KISS studio LP's and ALIVE, after that, it ain't the same for me.

Satisfied, Ace?

Horace Cordier
09-19-2006, 10:44 PM
Awwww, Evil Ian, ya big sweetie.

Gimme a hug (just don't crush my ribs). :D

Ian Miller
09-19-2006, 10:55 PM
I just noticed that the true genius of the original Coop band (Mike Bruce) can be seen on Farfisa in that pic. Awesomeness.

Mike Brown
09-20-2006, 08:58 AM
I just wish Pretties and Action had been recorded better.

mark t
09-20-2006, 09:05 AM
I just wish Pretties and Action had been recorded better.


I don't know....when i hear something like, "Return of the Spiders", that muddy sound is really fitting. Although i've got to admit, the majority of my Cooper stuff is still on vinyl, so i'm not sure if the CDs are engineered poorly.

Mike Brown
09-20-2006, 09:08 AM
I don't know....when i hear something like, "Return of the Spiders", that muddy sound is really fitting. Although i've got to admit, the majority of my Cooper stuff is still on vinyl, so i'm not sure if the CDs are engineered poorly.

I've got the remasters of both, and if my memory serves me well, they don't improve much on the crappy cassettes I had 20 years ago.

Ian Miller
09-20-2006, 01:29 PM
I think EASY sounds pretty good (it's just the band that are sloppy, ha!), but PRETTIES is a total mess, which is precisely why I adore it. KILLER really crystalizes the ideas on those two LP's.

Matt A
09-20-2006, 01:43 PM
Dead Babies or Strange Ways?
Under My Wheels or Deuce?
Halo of Flies or Black Diamond?
School's Out or Detroit Rock City?
Hello Hooray or Shout it Out Loud?
I Love the Dead or Larger Than Life?
Caught in a Dream or Shock Me?

Ian Miller
09-20-2006, 01:53 PM
Mischevious pop-culture referencing and showtune-bravado or monolithic slab-rock worthy of 2001? There's room for both.

Kristian R
09-20-2006, 01:54 PM
If I remember my stories correctly, when The AC Group was in the studio recording Pretties they thought they were just rehearsing until the producer basically said OK we're done now. That goes a long way to explain the looseness of the first album.

Matt A
09-20-2006, 02:04 PM
Mischevious pop-culture referencing and showtune-bravado or monolithic slab-rock worthy of 2001? There's room for both.

That's the thing - pairing those songs like I did I just kept thinking "How do you choose?" They're all great. And then I thought, "Just how many tortas am I gonna have to buy Miller?"

jon bynum
09-21-2006, 02:47 AM
here I say this I remember alice cooper on the muppets in the seventies and also he is a likeable guy at this time in the seventies , also Kiss is the kind of band that will sing happy birthday to you and your kid if they find out at a concert ( happened to a friend of mine and his son) both are Gods of early rock and shock factors but Kiss is my favorite used to have all their records and some 8-tracks (remember those) and also my granddads brother is a big fan of Kiss .

Last but not least My favorite AC song is "only women bleed" really a good song!!!!

J Fresta
09-21-2006, 03:17 AM
this is strange to me...

Alice Cooper is by far my favorite artist in history. but for some reason when discussions break out about him...and it happens often... i just can't be apart of them. I guess it's one of those things were I can't ever complain or find anything wrong with ANYTHING he's ever recorded. it's all perfect in my eyes.

mark t
09-21-2006, 09:41 AM
this is strange to me...

Alice Cooper is by far my favorite artist in history. but for some reason when discussions break out about him...and it happens often... i just can't be apart of them. I guess it's one of those things were I can't ever complain or find anything wrong with ANYTHING he's ever recorded. it's all perfect in my eyes.


Nothing wrong with that, Jason....it makes you a fan of Alice. :) I definitely won't fault you for that.

BTW, I'm going to assume that this means you voted for Alice. ;)

Chuk H
09-21-2006, 03:59 PM
The Coop. ... without a doubt.

Let's face it. Both of these artists peaked in the 70s and mostly sucked after 1980 or so. That said, Alice Cooper's ( especially the original line-up) ovure is head and shoulders above KISS in so many ways...both in songwritting and musicianship. And I like KISS....at least through ALIVE 2 but the Coop will always be better quality music from that era. I really could care less about either's albums after 1980. At this point the only thing that matters is who can mount a better concert.

J Fresta
09-21-2006, 04:36 PM
Nothing wrong with that, Jason....it makes you a fan of Alice. :) I definitely won't fault you for that.

BTW, I'm going to assume that this means you voted for Alice. ;)


yep! :)


while I do love KISS.. i'm obsessed with Alice.