Do You Remember: Alice Cooper’s ‘Trash’


Photo from Spotify

Mike Singer, Music Manager

We are back for the monthly “Do You Remember” series, this time, let’s look at Alice Cooper’s 1989 record.

Before we start, let’s set the scene real quick. Coming off 1987’s “Raise Your Fist and Yell,” it wasn’t one of the best Alice Cooper records under his belt, and in the long run, it only peaked at the No. 73 position on the Billboard 200 charts… ouch.

Two years later, Alice Cooper decided to jump back into the studio and try to make a record that would topple the one that came before.

This is one of Alice’s best records ever. I would put this record up there with some of his best from the ‘70’s like “School’s Out,” and “Billion Dollar Babies.”

The entire record is under an hour, clocking in at just 40 minutes of rock and roll.

On this record, the legendary Desmond Child has songwriting credits on nine out of the 10 songs on the record. For those who aren’t familiar with Child, he has helped pen some of rock’s biggest songs like “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” by Kiss, “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” by Aerosmith, and “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi. You aren’t likely to miss with Child helping write your songs it’s safe to say and with a handful of their songs, they did not miss at all. In fact they brought a few classic Alice Cooper songs to his discography.

On top of Child writing songs, Alice has all different types of rock and roll superstars appearing on songs. First off, everyone in Aerosmith minus Brad Whitford appears on the record, most notably Steven Tyler appearing on track five, “Only My Heart Talkin’.” Jon Bon Jovi also makes an appearance along with Kip Winger of Winger who appears on track 10, “I’m Your Gun.”

The very first song off the record is an instant hit and an Alice Cooper classic. The record starts off with “Poison.” See, do I need to say more about the song? It’s a great song and one of Alice’s top hits ever, it’s right up there with “School’s Out,” and “I’m Eighteen.”

There is a lot of variety of songs on this record, everyone can find something that they like. Track two, “Spark In the Dark” is a hard rock, classic 80’s tune while track five, “Only My Heart Talkin’” which features Tyler, is a love ballad that really pulls at the heartstrings.

One of my favorite songs off the entire record is song six, “Bed Of Nails.” The song was written by Cooper Child, former guitarist for Cooper, Kane Roberts, and Diane Warren who went on to write for some of rock’s biggest icons like Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and helped pen “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.

What I love most about this song is that the riff matches Alice’s voice perfectly and the speed of the song separates it from the rest of the songs on the tracklist all in all, I hope this song is incorporated into their setlist more.

The next song, track seven, “This Maniac’s In Love with You,” is a pretty catchy toon with a catchy chorus with the same name and it’s an overall fun song that helps break up the hard rock music and the rest of the record.

The last few songs on the record are pretty cool, the title track “Trash,” “Hell Is Living Without You,” and “I’m Your Gun,” aren’t my favorite songs off the record but it’s better to have pretty good songs than downright horrible ones and it’s better that they don’t have filler songs that take up space from songs that deserve to be there.

This record, according to Apple Music “lifted Alice Cooper back into the international rock ’n’ roll conversation,” and they are absolutely right. The music scene was rapidly changing around Alice. Bands like Motley Crue, Cinderella and even Kiss were making great records and selling out arenas while Alice Cooper was left behind.

“Trash,” was the right comeback record for Alice Cooper. An awesome video to accompany “Poison” was released and the single reached the No. 7 position while the entire record reached the No. 20 position in the United States.

There is nothing to hate about this record, overall it’s a really great and solid record that has become one of my favorite metal records from the ‘80’s and it almost breathed new life into Alice’s career, this might even be why he is still touring and selling out venues across the world.

For bands that are interested in making a solid metal record, this record should be one of the albums that they listen to. Alice Cooper brought it with this record and everyone should go back and listen to it.