Ersatz title songs of albums #3

Go ask Alice

Elvis CostelloHere are more ersatz title songs of albums. They are not the actual title songs. But because they contain the title in the lyrics, they are ersatz title songs.

There are, I’ve now discovered, LOTS of these. Expect, over the course of the year, several more of these lists.

Closing Time  – The Cardigans. Album: Life. Lyrics: “It’s closing time, and a well-known fact Is that life is very short.”
03.45: No Sleep  – The Cardigans. Album: Long Gone Before Daylight. Lyrics: “The comfort of fireflies Long gone before daylight.”
Holy Love  – The Cardigans. Album: SUPER EXTRA GRAVITY. Lyrics: “Love makes me feel the super extra gravity of God.”

Invocation, and Benediction – Carpenters. Album: Offering, their 1969 debut album which was reissued as “Ticket to Ride”. Lyrics: “Nothing can impair the perfect love I bring In a simple offering” and “Through the song we sing an offering.”
I Can Dream, Can’t I – Carpenters. Album: Horizon. Lyrics: “As we eye the blue horizon’s bend”

Chasing What’s Already Gone – Mary Chapin Carpenter. Album: Ashes and Roses. Lyrics: “It’s ashes and roses and time that burns When you’re chasing what’s already gone”

A Different Kind Of Love Song – Cher. Album: Living Proof Lyrics: “We have living proof There is some kind of light that flows through everything”
I Walk Alone – Cher. Album: Closer To The Truth. Lyrics: “And there’s an anger as I get closer to the truth.”

Vincent Furnier

Del Gato – Gene Clark and Carla Olson. Album: So Rebellious A Lover. Lyrics: “So rebellious a lover Don Juan as my cover

Washington Bullets – the Clash. Album: Sandinista! Lyrics: “With no Washington bullets what else could he do? Sandinista.” Whoever put this on a list ONLY noted the album title. No group, no song. Fortunately, I bought this LP when it was brand new.

Minotaur – Clutch. Album: Strange Cousins From The West. Lyrics: “Strange cousins from the West Overstay their welcome.”

Long Way To Go – Alice Cooper. Album: Love it to death. Lyrics: “I guess I love it. I love it to death.”
Freedom – Alice Cooper. Album: Raise Your Fist And Yell. Lyrics: “Freedom, raise your fist and yell”
Who Do You Think We Are – Alice Cooper. Album: Special Forces. Lyrics: “Who do you think we are, Special forces in an armoured car.”
I Better Be Good – Alice Cooper. Album: Zipper Catches Skin: Lyrics: “If zipper grabs skin.” [Close enough]

Talk On Corners – the Corrs. Album: Talk On Corners. Lyrics: “And her friends they talk on corners.”
Give Me A Reason – the Corrs. Album: In Blue. Lyrics: “It’s not romantic here in blue. Swimming, swimming in blue.”

Declan MacManus

The Greatest Thing – Elvis Costello and The Attractions. Album: Punch the Clock. Lyrics: “Punch the clock and in time you’ll get pulled apart.”
Crawling To The U.S.A. – Elvis Costello. album: Taking Liberties. Lyrics: “She said, ‘I catch you taking liberties and they do not impress me.'”
Brilliant Mistake – Elvis Costello. Album: King Of America. Lyrics: “He thought he was the King of America.”
Uncomplicated – Elvis Costello. Album: Blood and Chocolate. Lyrics: “Blood and chocolate. I hope you`re satisfied what you have done.”
Favourite Hour – Elvis Costello. Album: Brutal Youth. Lyrics: “Now there’s a tragic waste of brutal youth.”
I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea – Elvis Costello and the Attractions. Album: This Year’s Model. Lyrics: ” Capital punishment, she’s last year’s model.” [Close enough]                                                                                                                  Alison – Elvis Costello. Album: My Aim Is True. Lyrics: “Oh, Alison, my aim is true.”                                                                                                                                            I own King of America and Brutal Youth on CD, and a number of early albums on vinyl.

High Life – Counting Crows. Album: This Desert Life. Lyrics: “But oh, this desert life, this high life. Here at the dying end of the day.”

Lots more!

Music throwback: Alice Cooper turns 70

In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Alice Cooper, as an artist, absolutely fascinates me. This Godfather of Shock Rock, born Vincent Damon Furnier, has done shows that utilize “guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, and dueling swords.”

The shtick seems to have developed from a need for his band to stand out. His makeup was inspired by Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and other performers. “Furnier adopted the band’s name as his own name in the 1970s and began a solo career with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare.”

Yet he is “known for his sociable and witty personality offstage, with The Rolling Stone Album Guide calling him the world’s most ‘beloved heavy metal entertainer.'” You see that in this interview just after his good friend Glen Campbell died. He was also friends with Groucho Marx, and got pied by his good buddy Soupy Sales.

At some point after getting sober in the late 1970s, he became a born-again Christian, interesting since he was raised by a preacher. He married Sheryl Cooper on March 3, 1976 and they had three children together: Calico Cooper, Dash, and Sonora Rose.” He has replaced his addition to alcohol with a near addiction to golf.

Over the years, he’s made his art mainstream, showing up in everything from the game show Hollywood Squares to the Muppet Show to the movie Wayne’s World.

I suppose I’m less interested in his body of work, though I do enjoy the anthemic quality of those early hits. In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Still, I’ll have to record and watch him playing King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar – Live! on April 1 – Easter Sunday! -on NBC.

Listen to (chart action on US Billboard charts):

Eighteen, #21 in 1971

School’s Out, #7 in 1972

Elected, #26 in 1972

No More Mr. Nice Guy, #25 in 1973

His birthday will be February 4.

Rock Hall QUESTION

I saw the film Afterglow on Presidents Day weekend of 1998, and Somewhere by Tom Waits was particularly affecting.


“Neil Diamond and Alice Cooper are among the musicians who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Tom Waits, Darlene Love, and Dr. John will also join the class of 2011… Other honorees will include Jac Holzman, Leon Russell, and Art Rupe.”

Those nominees who were not chosen for induction this year were Bon Jovi, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J. Laura Nyro, Joe Tex, Chic, Donovan, J. Geils Band, Donna Summer, and Chuck Willis.

And I remember in the early days of the Rock Hall, which I visited in May of 1998 – they had tributes to recently deceased Carls, Wilson, and Perkins – that I was actually excited who got in. And now it’s, “Meh.”

Whereas I still care about the Baseball Hall of Fame, and to a lesser degree, the Football Hall of Fame. (I need to get to Canton someday.)

Maybe it’s because the notion of “merit” in the rock hall seems even fuzzier; it’s not strictly commercial appeal, for certain. One can argue the inclusion or exclusion of sports figures in their respective halls. But the music selections seem more arbitrary.

What do you think? And what is your favorite song by the inductees, if any? Here are mine:
Alice Cooper-School’s Out
Neil Diamond- Thank the Lord for the Night Time
Dr. John- Right Place, Wrong Time
Darlene Love- Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)
Leon Russell- Roll Over, Beethoven
Tom Waits- Somewhere [From West Side Story], used as the outro to the 1997 movie Afterglow; I saw that film on Presidents Day weekend of 1998, and the song was particularly affecting.