Alice Cooper- Vocals and Harmonica
Neal Smith- Drums and Vocals
Dennis Dunaway- Bass Guitar and Vocals
Glen Buxton- Lead Guitar
Mike Bruce- Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Piano and Organ
Is this Alice Cooper, the person, or Alice Cooper, the band? Pretties For You is the debut release of Alice Cooper, the band, before Alice Cooper became Alice Cooper, the person. Get it? Got it? Alice was, at this point, Vincent Furnier, and would a little later on become the king of shock rock of whom we all know and love. At least I do. At this early stage of the band’s career, Alice Cooper was a bit more psychedelic than they would become at the height of their popularity. Though I feel that this is a good attempt at a debut record, the critics and the general public as a whole didn’t agree. The record was panned and only reached 193 on the charts, and it really deserved better in my opinion. It wasn’t a great record by any means, but for a debut, it sufficed.
Some of the songs on this debut album aren’t all that memorable, but the ones that are make up for it. Titanic Overture gets the album going pretty strong, but the second song, 10 Minutes Before the Worm, comes across as a jumbled mess in the beginning, before becoming more coherent a bit later on. The next song, Sing Low, Sweet Cheerio, brings in a nice psychedelic vibe. Not classic psych, but a good first attempt. This is how I sort of see the entire album, as I stated before. A good first attempt, though falling short of being great.
One of the best songs on the record is Living, a nice psychedelic song, pleasing to my aging ears. This track is my personal favorite on the record, and it is the most memorable, both lyrically and musically. It is catchy. The next song, Fields of Regret, is a taste of what Alice Cooper’s sound would become later on, and this is the signature sound that would eventually make them, or him, famous, depending how you choose to look at it. By the time that fame found the band, Alice had become Alice, the singular star of the shock rock world. Though members of his band were talented in their own right, Alice eventually became the main attraction. I mean Vincent as Alice. You get the picture.
Many of the songs on this record were very short, some well under two minutes, which to me gives the record a bit of a choppy feel, but as a whole it works out alright in the end. The second side of the record starts out with a chaotic mess called No Longer Umpire, another one of those noisy little cuts that is just over two minutes. But the next song, Levity Ball, starts out with just a hint of The Doors, and does sound quite like early Pink Floyd when Syd Barrett was with them, before he got the boot.
The first single off the record was called Reflected, and to me, there is a bit of Ramone’s I Wanna Be Sedated in parts. The Ramone’s came later, but the connection seems apparent to me. This is another one of the tracks that is quite memorable, and one that I put up there with Living as the best songs on the record. All in all, this was a good debut for a band and their leader that would eventually become huge. Shock rockers extraordinaire, but first would cut their chops on some pretty good late sixties psychedelic rock. It is worth a listen.