From the Inside

From the Inside

In 1978, Alice Cooper famously checked into an alcohol-treatment center and then documented his experiences here. By the album’s end, you can’t tell if Cooper was exploiting himself in the name of alcohol or if alcohol was exploiting itself in the name of Alice Cooper. It works either way, because Cooper’s a master at drinking his own character into grisly scenarios, especially on “Inmates (We’re All Crazy).” The interior dialog between Cooper and Marcy Levy in “Millie and Billie” is as creepily comedic as anything on TV’s Dexter and Breaking Bad, while “Jackknife Johnny” features an early reference to a treatment center meth addict. “I Wish I Was Born in Beverly Hills” could’ve foreshadowed Lindsay Lohan’s tomfooleries, and “How You Gonna See Me Now” is a tender and unironic Top 20 ballad to Cooper's wife, Cheryl, about his fear of sobriety. Dark lullabies and power riffs pervade, and purposely overwrought arrangements suggest a Broadway musical adaptation. The album boasts mid-’70s stars, with drummer Jim Keltner (John Lennon, Bob Dylan), Davey Johnstone (Elton John), and lyricist Bernie Taupin among them.

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