Happy 40th: Alice Cooper, LACE AND WHISKEY
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Alice Cooper’s third album as a proper solo artist (as opposed to when he was fronting the band called Alice Cooper), but it’s also the 40th anniversary of the introduction of a character called Maurice Escargot.
Doesn’t ring a bell? He was a hard-boiled, heavy-drinking private eye who was likened by Cooper at the time as being along the lines of Inspector Clouseau, but he sounds more like Rigby Reardon, the character Steve Martin would go on the play in the 1982 film Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. For LACE AND WHISKEY, Cooper adopted the Maurice Escargot persona and took him through his paces during the course of the album’s 10 songs. It’s an album that certainly has its moments – the most notable being “You and Me,” which provided Cooper with a single that climbed all the way to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 – but it must be said, if only by Cooper himself, that LACE AND WHISKEY didn’t entirely play out as brilliantly as one might have hoped.
“I did those songs totally out of spite,” Cooper admitted to Creem Magazine a few years later. “I kept reading so many interviews and articles that I said I was never considered musical. I’ve been influenced by stage plays, musicals, TV themes and movie themes, but basically, I’m a rock ‘n’ roller.”
Spite or no spite, scoring a top-10 hit is nothing to sneeze at, and there are still some other solid tracks in the mix, including, “Damned If You Do,” “It’s Hot Tonight,” and “Road Rats.” Take a swig of LACE AND WHISKEY and hear it for yourself.