ALICE COOPER “Flush The Fashion” /Ltd. LP/

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  • Price in bonus-scraps: 239

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First re-release of the twelfth full-length studio album by legendary American New Wave/Pop Rock singer.
Musically, the album was a drastic change of style for Cooper, leaning towards a New Wave influence. After several self-indulgent albums in the late '70s ("Lace And Whiskey", "From The Inside"), Alice Cooper decided to reinvent himself as a New Waver for 1980's "Flush The Fashion". As a result of a hooking up with Cars' producer Roy Thomas Baker, the sound is glossier; Baker also replaced the gritty guitar riffs that served as the basis for past Cooper Rock compositions with icy synthesizers. Alice wrote most of these songs in conjunction with Elton John's longtime guitarist, Davey Johnstone, and his future keyboardist, Fred Mandel. This unusual combination results in an album that can best be described as The Best of The Cars sung by Alice Cooper (with just a dose of Huey Lewis & The News). As distinctly dissimilar from Alice's past work as such a thing sounds, the formula pays off for the first half of the album; the jangly guitars and prominent synth lines of "Talk Talk" and "Clones (We're All)" suggest that Alice could have a future here. His vocals might be unusually clean and the songs might be surprisingly friendly, but Alice is a true chameleon; he wears many colors and he wears them well, for the most part.
His classic Gothic Horror image of the 70's was replaced with stripped-down clothes, an uncomfortably clean-cut Alice Cooper sporting fully-tamed hair, a noticeable absence of makeup, and a lot less Alice than we're used to seeing.
1980 was not a good year for Alice, as evidenced by his corpse-like stare and fractured sense of self. He had no real band to speak of, and was fighting a losing battle with his career; the strong themes of missing identity in these songs offer insight into his mindset. It was a start of Cooper's "Blackout albums". It was around this time that Cooper relapsed into alcoholism, and his subsequent early-'80s releases ("Special Forces", "Zipper Catches Skin", "Dada") became more unpredictable and more uncharacteristic of the expected Alice Cooper direction and sound.
As an Alice Cooper album, "Flush The Fashion" makes no sense whatsoever. As an artifact of the New Wave tide that rose to prominence around that time, it sounds very dated, but not altogether kitschy; reasonably old-fashioned, but not drowned by being shackled to a fleeting point in time. A few gems like "Pain" still have charm, and after some time to assimilate it, the album isn't all that bad.
The best-known song of the album ended up being the cover "Clones (We're All)", which was in turn covered by the Smashing Pumpkins for their 1995 box set "The Aeroplane Flies High". Other highlights include the stately sounds of "Pain", the brief album-opening "Talk Talk", and one of the album's few riff Rockers, "Grim Facts".
The lead single "Clones (We're All)" peaked at No. 40 on the U.S. Billboard Top 40.
"Flush The Fashion", for its occasional successes, runs out of life quickly and, likely because of his questionable involvement, poorly captures Alice's true spirit and personality. It stands more as a forgotten point of interest that hardcore fans might find appealing than anything else.
Limited Edition Green Swirl Vinyl.
Warner Bros. Records Inc./Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company, 1980/2018 (603497860753). Made in EU.


Tracklist:

Side One
1. Talk Talk (The Music Machine cover) 2:08
2. Clones (We're All)  3:04
3. Pain 4:06
4. Leather Boots 1:38
5. Aspirin Damage 2:56

Side Two
1. Nuclear Infected 2:15
2. Grim Facts 3:25
3. Model Citizen 2:39
4. Dance Yourself To Death 3:09
5. Headlines 3:18

Total playing time: 28:33 min.


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