At this early stage, Alice Cooper hadn’t arrived on the scene yet, this was his second album and America hadn’t caught on yet.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Alice Cooper
ALBUM: Easy Action
LABEL: Straight Records
SERIAL: STS 1061
CD REISSUE: 1989, Rhino (USA), R2 70350
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Vincent Damien Furnier – lead vocals * Glen Buxton – lead guitar * Michael Bruce – rhythm guitar, piano, vocals * Dennis Dunaway – bass * Neal Smith – drums * David Briggs – piano, production
TRACK LISTING: 01 Mr. & Misdemeanor * 02 Shoe Salesman * 03 Still No Air * 04 Below Your Means * 05 Return Of The Spiders * 06 Laughing At Me * 07 Refrigerator Heaven * 08 Beautiful Flyaway * 09 Lay Down And Die, Goodbye
WEBLINKS: Site Link
To quote Alice Cooper: We wanted to see what was next. It turned out we were next, and we drove a stake through the heart of the Love Generation’. Agree to disagree since both this album and the 1969 debut ‘Pretties For You’ received very little attention at the time and as a matter of fact, ‘Easy Action’ never charted.
It was tough sledding for Alice Cooper, trying to make it in L.A. and signed to Frank Zappa‘s imprint of the weird – Straight Records didn’t help their cause. Critics hated them and even ‘Easy Action’ producer, Neil Young protege David Briggs called the bands music Psychedelic Shit’.
Following this record disillusioned and fed up with California, lead vocalist Vincent Furnier, who had yet to adopt Alice Cooper as his own name brought the band back to his boyhood home of Detroit to reorganize and plot their twisted vision for world domination.
Those looking for the classic Alice Cooper glam studded hard rock sound of ‘Killer’ and ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ should think twice before giving this platter a spin. Raw to the bone, MC5 garage land psychedelic with a touch of Mothers of Invention avant-garde madness is the order of the day here.
‘Mr. & Misdemeanor’ opens the album and it’s not too bad, probably the most Cooper-like cut here, but what to make of the country rock styled ‘Shoe Salesman’? Too much time in the el-Lay sun I imagine. ‘Still No Air’ is to put it mildly – bizarre and ‘Below Your Means’ with its ornate jazz-like guitar work would not sound out of place on a Gentle Giant album.
The Beatles influence, like many albums of this period makes an appearance on ‘Laughing At Me’ and ‘Beautiful Flyaway’ and while neither track comes within a kilometer of the Fab Four’s knack for a good tune. Counter both with the free rock/jazz mess of the closer ‘Lay Down And Die, Goodbye’ and they sound like pure genius.
Obviously the move to cold and depressing Detroit did the band some good, losing much of their acid rock ambitions in favor of catchy hard rock. The group’s follow-up and final album for Straight Records, 1971’s ‘Love It To Death’ put Alice Cooper on the map with the massive single ‘I’m Eighteen’ while the term ‘Shock Rock’ and Furnier’s wild stage antics were forever branded in the public’s consciousness.