Love It to Death

Love It to Death

Forget the fancifully named lead singer (born Vincent Furnier), the live show's horror-movie trappings, even the Budweiser and golf of later years. Love It to Death was where sloppy rocker Cooper tightened up and took his place as hard-rock hero for a new generation that wasn't sure if love was all you needed. (Teen philosophy circa 1971: "When you see me with a smile on my face/Then you'll know I'm a mental case.") At his best dispensing single-length chunks of post-garage catchiness ("Eighteen," the hit here, was only the first of many), he also reveled in long theatrical pieces ("The Ballad of Dwight Frye") and outright silliness. The album ends with a cover of a tune by Rolf "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" Harris.

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