Contact Us

Why the Alice Cooper Band Fell Apart After ‘Muscle of Love’

Alice Cooper had been around since the late ’60s, making a name for themselves by keeping away from the era’s conventions. Their attack was comprised of gritty rock ‘n’ roll dressed up vaudeville style and spat back at their expanding audiences. Even though their namesake frontman was the centerpiece of the band, Alice Cooper were a band. But all that changed following the Nov. 20, 1973 release of Muscle of Love.

By 1973, Alice Cooper had become a household name, Hollywood punch line and a general topic of conversation. Hits like “I’m Eighteen,” “School’s Out” and “Elected” had put them there. But the cracks were starting to show. The records leading up to Muscle of Love — Love It to Death, Killer, School’s Out and Billion Dollar Babies — were unbeatable. Then came Muscle of Love, which struggled to keep one step ahead.

It all kicks off with the fairly pedestrian stomp of “Big Apple Dreamin,”‘ which strips away the band’s trademark sound, favoring instead a pseudo-funk riff. In theory, it’s great that the group would want to mix things up a bit, but once Cooper begins to sing, it doesn’t even sound like the classic band.

Still, things get back on track with the very next cut, “Never Been Sold,” a riff-heavy hard-rock tune rooted in their familiar style, with the addition of horns and a throat-grabbing guitar solo leadng the charge. It’s followed by one of the band’s most underrated songs, the dreamlike “Hard Hearted Alice,” and “Crazy Little Child,” which steps into something close to Dixieland jazz.

Muscle of Love continues along this path, with songs like the gritty rocker “Working Up a Sweat” and the title track, the album’s most Alice-like cut. There’s also “The Man With the Golden Gun,” written for the James Bond movie but rejected in favor of Lulu’s song. Meanwhile, “Teenage Lament ’74” coasts into soul territory, and the album-closing “Woman Machine” is another funk-based rocker that ends the LP on a rather underwhelming note.

Little surprise that the band hit a detour not long after the album’s release. Within a year, the Alice Cooper group would break up, and the singer kept the name for himself, embarking on a solo career that would get him back on the charts and into concert arenas. Most of the rest of the band formed Billion Dollar Babies, who released one album, “Battle Axe,” before calling it quits. A famous review of Muscle of Love from back in the day asked, “Has success spoiled Alice Cooper?” In retrospect, all signs point to yes.

See Alice Cooper and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’70s

You Think You Know Alice Cooper?

Next: Top 10 Alice Cooper Songs

Best of Kool 101.7

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KOOL Gang quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KOOL Gang contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.