Gutter Cat vs. The Jets
Public Animal #9
The title track is such an entrenched radio and graduation classic that it throws off balance everything put in its way. Yet in 1972, Alice Cooper was still technically a group and not the sole province of its lead singer Vincent Furnier, and the band’s collaborative spirit can be heard throughout. School’s Out became the group’s best-selling album to date, yet its title track aside, none of the other tunes were so immediately accessible. Instead, following in the success of Love It To Death and Killer, the group decided to stretch their creative reach to include an eclectic mix of Broadway, jazz and progressive rock orchestration. Less hard rock than its predecessors, its tunes remain among the most subtle and inventive in the band’s catalog. “Gutter Cats Vs. the Jets” and the instrumental “Grande Finale” have Broadway stars in their eyes, while “My Stars” is a piano-based epic that anticipates the Springsteen/ Meatloaf teen anthems of the future. “Blue Turk” aims for decadent nightclub jazz, while “Alma Mater” is a freaky, modernist tune with a cool, grainy lead vocal. Quite a variety of unexpected things going on here.