Alice Cooper – DaDa [Remastered] (2009, Rhino Entertainment/Collectors’ Choice Music)
Original Release: 1983, Warner Bros. Records
1. “DaDa” … 4:45
2. “Enough’s Enough” … 4:19
3. “Former Lee Warmer” … 4:07
4. “No Man’s Land” … 3:51
5. “Dyslexia” … 4:25
6. “Scarlet and Sheba” … 5:18
7. “I Love America” … 3:50
8. “Fresh Blood” … 5:54
9. “Pass the Gun Around” … 5:46
Alice Cooper – Vocals
Dick Wagner – Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals
Prakash John – Bass
Richard Kolinka – Drums
John Anderson – Drums
Bob Ezrin – Percussion, Drums, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Graham Shaw – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Producer: Bob Ezrin
Is is “DaDa”, “Dada” or “Da Da”? I’ve seen it all three ways but prefer “DaDa”, which is the how the album cover seems to present it.
This is an album I’ve wanted for a long time. I believe it has been out of print for a numbers of years but it was re-released under Rhino’s Collectors’ Choice Music imprint in 2009. It’s a bare bones reissue that doesn’t even credit who did what on the album. Granted, this wasn’t exactly a best-selling album because no one was paying attention to Alice in 1983 anyway (the album didn’t chart) and those that were paying attention didn’t review the album too kindly. There are some liner notes giving a description of what was going on at the time of the making of this album. Other than that, the lyrics to the entire album are printed on ONE PAGE. You’d have to have a magnifying glass to read it!
The album is fantastic as far as I’m concerned and one of Alice’s best. It’s classic Alice to me and is full of the weird, creepy and humorous lyrics that Alice’s career was built upon.
Longtime Alice producer Bob Ezrin returned for what was Alice’s last hurrah on the Warner label, having not produced a studio album with Alice since 1977’s poorly received Lace and Whiskey and it pays off big. The few albums previous to this saw Alice getting too soft & sentimental and/or experimenting way too much with new wave sounds. Alice, Ezrin and guitarist Dick Wagner sat down and wrote the whole album together.
There’s a lot of variety on this release, as is the case with many of Alice’s albums. The most interesting is the extremely creepy “Da” which was written entirely by Ezrin. It sounds like the theme music to an early ’80s slasher movie. Then there’s the Middle Eastern influence of “Scarlet and Sheba”, the redneck anthem “I Love America”, the funky “Fresh Blood” and in the classic mold of unusual Alice Cooper ballads there’s “Former Lee Warmer”. Alice could shake new wave off entirely it seems though because “Dyslexia” fills the void. Overall, I really don’t see how anyone could not like this album. It has all the trademarks of a great Alice record: odd, campy, creepy and funny and features some of his best lyrics.
Not only was this album the end of Cooper’s deal with Warner Bros. but he also “retired” from the industry having gone back to the booze and checking himself into rehab again. He had just come out of rehab around the time work on this album was getting started and if I remember correctly, he one said he remembers nothing about the writing and recording of this album. Luckily for us, he resurfaced in 1986 with Constrictor.
According to the liner notes, the original album’s liner notes stated that “for the most part” a drum machine was used and live drums were only used for embellishment.
Picked it up at a used record store across the street from Michigan State University for only $5.