Of all the obscure albums in his catalogue, ‘Zipper Catches Skin’ might be Alice Cooper’s most forgotten effort of all.
Written by: King Of Sunset Town
ARTIST: Alice Cooper
ALBUM: Zipper Catches Skin
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: 9 23719-1
CD REISSUE: Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Alice Cooper- vocals * Dick Wagner – guitar * Mike Pinera – guitar * Erik Scott – bass * Jan Uvena – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Zorro’s Ascent * 02 Make That Money (Scrooge’s Song) * 03 I Am The Future * 04 No Baloney Homosapiens * 05 Adaptable (Anything For You) * 06 I Like Girls * 07 Remarkably Insincere * 08 Tag, You’re It * 09 I Better Be Good * 10 I’m Alive
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Of all the obscure albums in his catalogue, ‘Zipper Catches Skin’ might be Alice Cooper’s most forgotten effort of all. Some years back his 1983 follow up ‘Da Da’ was reviewed here and accurately captured the strange tangents Cooper was taking during the early 80’s, all of them a far cry from his legendary 70’s work.
Starting with 1980’s ‘Flush The Fashion,’ Cooper delved into new wave and sub-punk territory, with tracks routinely under three minutes. 1981’s ‘Special Forces’ was even more off the wall and bizarre, his lyrics and themes even more mystifying than anything before.
Apparently Cooper had developed a heavy drug habit and relapsed back into alcohol use, which would seem to make sense given the content. By the time of this album he was so out of it, he barely recalls recording it. Things were so out of hand Dick Wagner left the band halfway through recording. From the cover to the music, it’s an odd listen, but one that grew on me after giving it a decent chance.
‘Zorro’s Ascent’ can only be described as avant-garde, the riffs galloping in some type of Spanish style rhythm along with peculiar lyrics about Zorro himself. The more traditional hard rock of ‘Make That Money (Scrooges Song)’ is more appealing, the chorus and riffs on the pummeling side and recalling the best of Cooper from the 70’s.
‘I Am The Future’ is the most remembered song off the album, being the title track from the infamous 1982 film ‘Class Of 1984.’ It’s one of the best tracks Cooper’s ever produced, ominous and bleak, with sinister overtones among the vocals and music. It suited the nihilistic film perfectly and is easily the standout song here.
‘No Baloney Homosapiens’ is another offbeat cut, seen from the vantage point of Aliens observing humans. Musically it’s engaging, sounding a touch like Blue Oyster Cult, but again containing a chorus that’s instantly memorable. On the new wave side is ‘Adaptable (Anything For You)’ with its upbeat tempo and made for radio hook. An underrated track, the riffs here give the song an added edge, a gem sadly lost in the Alice Cooper shuffle. ‘I Like Girls’ and ‘Remarkably Insincere’ blend into one track, both being rock and roll inclined, although the latter has a punk vibe and is noticeably heavier.
‘Tag, You’re It’ chugs along nicely, Cooper back to his graphic 70’s best amidst the serial killer lyrics. ‘I Better Be Good’ returns to the new wave sound, slightly obnoxious in delivery and wearing a bit thin at this point. ‘I’m Alive’ isn’t too different, heavy without sounding like genuine hard rock and keeping with the punchy hooks and delivery.
A consistent album for the most part, with a few weaker tracks as mentioned. Amazingly it failed to chart altogether, showing just how badly Cooper had faded in the mainstream. Then again the album wasn’t very marketable and disappeared without trace as Cooper didn’t tour behind it. From what I gather none of the songs have been played live and it’s as if it never existed. Plenty to like however and proving even at his lowest ebb, Cooper could still deliver when needed.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)