Alice Cooper – Flush the Fashion
1980, Warner Bros. Records
1. “Talk Talk” (Sean Bonniwell)
2. “Clones (We’re All)” (David Carron)
4. “Leather Boots” (Geoff Westen)
5. “Aspirin Damage”
6. “Nuclear Infected” – 2:14
7. “Grim Facts” – 3:24
8. “Model Citizen” – 2:39
9. “Dance Yourself to Death”
Alice Cooper – Lead Vocals
Davey Johnstone – Guitar
Fred Mandel – Guitar, Keyboards
John Cooker Lopresti – Bass
Dennis Conway – Drums
Producer: Roy Thomas Baker
Flush the Fashion is the beginning of Alice’s new wave-inspired era, which would run for a few more albums. If new wave is the way Alice wanted to go, it only makes seems that he hooked up with Roy Thomas Baker for this album. Roy had already been having success in the genre with new wave icons The Cars. Too bad Ric Ocasek didn’t sit down and co-write some songs with Alice. While Lace and Whiskey and From the Inside are quirky classics in their own right, I can’t really say the same for Flush the Fashion.
Three of the songs here weren’t even written by Alice. “Talk Talk” was originally performed by ’60s garage rock band The Music Machine. I don’t mind this song at all but I think it’s an odd way to open the album. “Clones” and “Leather Boots” used outside writers and they are the two most “new wave” sounding tracks on the whole album. “Leather Boots” is not good at all, sounds like something Squeeze would’ve recorded, but “Clones” is actually enjoyable if you don’t mind new wave music and it is the most well-known song of the bunch.
There are two other tracks here that I like. “Pain” seems like an attempt to do something that might have belonged on Welcome to My Nightmare but it comes across more as a sign of what’s to come on 1983’s DaDa. The final track that I would consider to be of any value is “Grim Facts”. It’s the most straight-forward rocker out of the bunch and it’s a breath of fresh air on this album.
One thing about Alice Cooper is that he’s always willing to change with the times. While most of his songs generally have fallen under the broad genre of “rock”, he’s not afraid to get in there and experiment with different styles. While you can say that his willingness to try disco, soft rock and new wave music in the late 1970s/early 1980s hurt his career, it still produced a number of classic tunes and more than handful of guilty pleasures.
So, yes, Flush the Fashion delivers a few tracks worth seeking out but the album as a whole is Alice’s first dud as a solo artist. Even his new image falls flat as during the time of this album/tour he looked something like an old drag queen or schoolmarm.
Highlights: “Talk Talk”, “Clones (We’re All)”, “Pain”, “Grim Facts”