The Second Disc

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Alice Cooper’s “Trash” Gets Another Look From Hear No Evil, Cherry Red

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Alice Cooper - TrashThere’s always something slightly disingenuous about the term “comeback album” – especially when an artist has never really left.  Such was the case with Alice Cooper’s 1989 Epic Records release Trash.  But one certainly sees why the expression would be used to describe Trash.  Alice Cooper’s eighteenth studio release, it became his first Top 20 album in the U.S. since 1975’s epochal Welcome to My Nightmare, his biggest-ever U.K. success with a No. 2 peak, and contained his first U.S. Top 10 hit single since 1977’s atypically pretty “You and Me.”  Now, Trash is back on an expanded and remastered CD from Cherry Red’s Hear No Evil label.

Since the Atlantic label release Welcome to My Nightmare – the former Vincent Furnier’s first album as Alice Cooper, solo artist, and the eighth Alice Cooper album (previous LPs referred to his band’s name) – Cooper had spent most of his career on Atlantic sister label Warner Bros.  After 1983’s DaDa, Cooper retreated to battle his own sobriety issues, and he returned clean with a new MCA deal for 1986’s Constrictor and 1987’s Raise Your Fist and Yell.  For his Epic debut with Trash, Cooper hit upon the notion of teaming with songwriter Desmond Child.  As Alice reveals in the new liner notes by Malcolm Dome, he was inspired by what Child had accomplished with other bands who were likely inspired by Alice Cooper: “Suddenly there were all these bands like Bon Jovi [who] were putting on big shows again.  The glam and the glitz was back in rock.  They had big sets and big songs which were anthems.  Sure, they had cool images but also lots of guitar, and I totally got what was going on.  Why?  Because it was effectively a return to what I had been doing in the seventies.”  Child, a veteran who had worked with KISS, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi, seemed the perfect choice.  But according to Alice, he had no idea who the older rock star was!

With explanations out of the way, Cooper and Child embarked on the writing of Trash, sharing credits on nine of the album’s ten songs.  Other familiar songwriters were brought in, too, from Bruce Roberts to Diane Warren.  But “Poison” – the album’s eventual smash hit single that revitalized Cooper’s career – was a Cooper/Child co-write with guitarist John McCurry, and the first song they completed together!  Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora also joined in on the songwriting sessions for “Hell Is Living without You,” while Child brought in “House of Fire,” which he had written with Joan Jett.  Cooper finished the song, and it’s since become a live staple.  One wonders if the title of the album’s “This Maniac’s in Love with You” was inspired by Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “This Guy’s in Love with You,” as the multi-faceted Cooper has long counted himself among the duo’s fans.

Much as Child was unaware of Alice Cooper, Alice claims to have been unaware that Child was also a producer.  He tested out his collaborator on a couple of tracks, commencing with “Poison.”  The results were to both men’s liking, and Child went on to produce the entire album.  As for “Poison,” it reached No. 7 in the U.S. and No. 2 in the U.K.!  After the jump: more on this expanded edition of Trash, including the full track listing, order links and more!

Trash features guest musicians, as well, including Steven Tyler on Cooper, Andrew Goldmark and Bruce Roberts’ “Only My Heart Talkin’,” Tyler’s Aerosmith bandmate Joe Perry on “House of Fire,” Jon Bon Jovi and Aerosmith’s Joey Kramer on “Trash,” and Richie Sambora and Steve Lukather on “Hell is Living Without You.”  The starry album, featuring Cooper’s trademark glam-horror-metal sound burnished with a contemporary sensibility just right for the cusp of the 1990s, earned a Top 20 placement on the Billboard 200 upon its July 1989 release.

Hear No Evil’s reissue adds the radio edit of “Only My Heart Talkin’” as well as Alice Cooper’s cover of Spirit’s “I Got a Line on You” (produced by Richie Zito) from 1988’s Iron Eagle II soundtrack.  (The original Japanese release of Trash included two live tracks which are not included here, “Cold Ethyl” and “The Ballad of Dwight Fry.”  A number of tracks recorded for the album still reportedly remain unreleased.  The new reissue, housed in a digipak, has been remastered by Andy Pearce, and its booklet contains numerous full-color images as well as Dome’s new liner notes.

Alice Cooper’s Trash is available now at the links below!

Alice Cooper, Trash (Epic EK 45137, 1989 – reissued Hear No Evil HNECD031, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Poison
  2. Spark in the Dark
  3. House of Fire
  4. Why Trust You
  5. Only My Heart Talkin’
  6. Bed of Nails
  7. This Maniac’s in Love with You
  8. Trash
  9. Hell is Living Without You
  10. I’m Your Gun
  11. Only My Heart Talkin’ (Radio Edit) (Epic single ESK 73268, 1990)
  12. I Got a Line on You (Epic single 34-08114, 1988)

Written by Joe Marchese

February 13, 2014 at 10:40

Posted in Alice Cooper, News, Reissues

3 Responses

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  1. 2 bonus tracks , is that it ? Why even bother if you aren’t going to do it properly , surely there are enough demos and live tracks floating around to make this worth while


    February 13, 2014 at 12:04

  2. Unfortunately Alice Cooper was never able to match the brilliance of Billion Dollar Babies. A few great songs and excursions into a variety of styles – new wave, punk, metal, comedy, stadium and balladeer doesn’t make for a consistent albums. A deluxe compilation for this period of Alice is all that is required. The full albums just don’t deliver the goods.

    Mr MacGoo

    February 13, 2014 at 12:20

  3. A 1987 Cincinnati concert by Alice was also broadcast live on FM radio, and has been the source of multiple fill-length bootlegs as well as seven officially release B-sides from this era (including the aforementioned “Cold Ethyl” and Dwight Fry”).


    February 17, 2014 at 12:59

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