Pretties for You reached #110 on the Billboard charts, but it’s quirky style hadn’t set the world on fire like we – Alice Cooper - had hoped, so we collectively decided to write songs in a more relatable style.
Easy Action was recorded in a hurry, and had signs of our new direction but hadn’t had proper time to fully blossom.
We had a notorious reputation through our association with Frank Zappa, and by word of the “Chicken Incident” at the Rock and Roll Revival in Toronto, but something was missing - a hit single.
By the time Bob Ezrin saw us at Max's Kansas City in New York, Michael had already spearheaded the development of songs including "Caught in a Dream," “Ballad of Dwight Fry” and "I'm Eighteen." Neal had written “Hallowed Be My Name” and I had written "Black Juju" as a vehicle for making the Alice character more relatable.
As for a hit single, we knew that the majority of record-buyers were teenagers, so that was our target audience.
Glen, Michael, Neal, Alice, and I had become friends as high-school teens so we knew what we were talking about as we took turns singing improvised verses to the chords that Michael had come up with.
It took a while for us to hone the song into the stage arrangement that would convince a young wanna-be producer, Bob Ezrin, to help our managers, Joe and Shep, land us a major record deal. But with that done, the first thing Bob did was to help us trim the fat from our arrangement down to a concise AM friendly version that we recorded for the Love It To Death album at RCA Mid-Atlantic Studios in Chicago.
“I'm Eighteen" was released and soon became the most requested song in the history of CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The station’s powerful transmitter reached most of Canada and throughout mid-western America.
Years later, Disc Jockey Rosalee Trombley, known as "The Girl With The Golden Ear," told me that she started playing the song because she loved the lyrics. She could relate to them, and so could teens everywhere.
The group known as Alice Cooper was officially on the map.
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