Alice Cooper- Vocals
Glen Buxton- Lead Guitar
Michael Bruce- Rhythm Guitar, Piano, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals on Below Your Means and Beautiful Flyaway
Dennis Dunaway- Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Neal Smith- Drums. Backing Vocals
Easy Action is the second album from the band called Alice Cooper, before their fearless leader became the actual individual named Alice Cooper. So, to clear up any possible confusion, this is a record from a band named Alice Cooper. Alice Cooper himself was still Vincent Furnier at the making of this album. He would become the famous Alice Cooper a bit later on. Got it?
Much like their debut record, Pretties For You, Easy Action didn’t get much love from either the critics or the general public. It was considered a record with somewhat of a psychedelic flavor to it in certain spots, but this album is a bit heavier than the debut, with elements of hard rock and garage rock. There would be some hints of what was to become the signature shock rock sound that made Alice Cooper, the man, so popular in the years to come. This album veers away from the the more psychedelic sound of Pretties For You.
The first track, Mr. & Misdemeanor(an interesting play on words) is a good song, and opens the album up as a potentially interesting record, but as a whole it kind of falls short. The next song Shoe Salesman is very pleasing, smooth flowing in parts, and I can hear a touch of Beatles throughout. The influences from certain bands are apparent throughout both this record and the debut. I can tell that the band took bits and pieces from some of the more popular bands of the era, such as The Doors, and used it to get that psychedelic sound which would eventually fall to the wayside, to make room for a more heavier musical experience later on. I reviewed both this record and the debut because it falls within the realm of late sixties psychedelia. This, however, would not be the sound that they would find success with, and after Easy Action a much harder sound would emerge, as stated before.
The song Return Of The Spiders is not one of my favorites on this record. However, flashes of the sound of Alice Cooper, the man, is hinted at during this one. His voice is getting primed and ready for what is to become a string of pretty impressive shock rock records, that will make him an icon in this genre.
Michael Bruce will take on the lead vocals on Below Your Means, and Beautiful Flyaway. Both songs are pretty good, with some great guitar work, especially on Below Your Means, but the vocals seem a bit off from the rest of the record, which is all Alice(Vincent) on vocals on other songs on the album. Though not all that memorable, the vocals sung by Bruce are passable.
The final song Lay Down And Die, Goodbye starts off with Tom Smothers of Smothers Brothers fame in the late sixties, exhorting people to “turn him off” if you don’t like he was saying, dealing with censorship. From there the song gets a bit chaotic and loud, and the Alice Cooper of the future starts to take shape. Out with the psychedelia, in with the shock! Even though Alice Cooper only dabbled in psychedelic rock in the first two albums, they were acceptable, and in parts, really, really good.