1972 COUNTDOWN… #55 — #51

#55  ALICE COOPER — SCHOOL’S OUT

Alice Cooper’s fifth studio album built on the success of the two 1971 LPs that preceded it. In fact, on the back of the title-track-single, the album made it to #2 on the US Billboard chart (and #5 in Australia). The stable lineup of Alice (Vincent Furnier to his mum), Glen Buxton (lead guitar), Michael Bruce (rhythm), Dennis Dunaway (bass) and Neal Smith on drums were as tight and powerful a band as could be found anywhere at the time and they deliver throughout this LP. The striking (and controversial) cover was designed by Craig Braun. What’s so special about an image of a school desk with a lift-up lid, you ask? The fact, I answer, that the LP inside was accompanied by a pair of paper female underpants. Shock! Outrage! Corruption of Youth! Burn the record! Anyway, the underwear was discontinued because it was highly flammable, and presumably people with particularly hot buns were setting themselves alight. That must be why my secondhand copy doesn’t have the lingerie inclusion. Pity. Highlights: “School’s out”; “Public animal #9”. [Released 30 June 1972]

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#54  STEPHEN STILLS — MANASSAS

Sometimes it seems that Stephen Stills is the overlooked member of the famous Crosby Stills Nash and Young conglomerate. The singer-guitarist is a fine singer and versatile guitarist. He can do blues, country, ballads, rock… all of which are in evidence on his sprawling 1972 double album Manassas. It’s like a calling card, or perhaps more accurately, a dossier of work, that could be likened to the Stones Exile On Main Street. In fact, if you are a country music aficionado you might well have Manassas in your Top 10 for 1972. I’m not, but I love the variety and commitment of this. And I have a soft spot for sprawling double albums. Highlights: “Both of us (bound to lose)”; “Johnny’s garden”; “The love gangster”. [Released 12 April 1972]

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#53  GRATEFUL DEAD — EUROPE ’72

Since the early 1990s there have been so many archival live Grateful Dead albums it is utterly impossible for any but the most dedicated Deadheads to keep track of them, let alone own them all. Even during the band’s peak years, they released a swag of concert albums. Why? Because performing live was what the Dead did. Often. Long meandering tours full of long trippy concerts where long wandering extrapolations explored the inner and outer reaches of the band’s musicality.
Few rock bands have blended as many influences as the Grateful Dead. Rock, country, blues, folk, bluegrass, world, psychedelia (US version), even a swirl of jazz now and then. Most of this is heard in one of their definitive live albums—yes, even amongst the 150+ live albums, this one stands tall—the 1972 tour of Europe released that same year on triple vinyl and called, simply, Europe ’72. This entertaining, shambolic, exhilarating, melodic, grooving set would make a perfectly fine entry point to the Dead’s oeuvre. How can I be sure? Because it was mine, back in the early 1980s. The VC collection how holds almost forty Grateful Dead titles, so beware that if you try this warm, human and welcoming drug you may become hooked. Highlights: “He’s gone”; “China cat sunflower”. [Released 5 November 1972]

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#52  HERBIE MANN — PUSH PUSH

Full of great grooves, funky playing and switched on belief that jazz can be fun, Push Push is one of flautist Herbie Mann’s best (and most popular) LPs. Yet every time I pull it from the shelf I shudder… until I remember that this is not a vertical gatefold sleeve. If you think that a bit prissy, have a gander at the inside, where the meaning of the album title is abundantly clear. Not that I have any problem at all with some consensual rumpy pumpy, you understand. It’s just the vision of a naked Herbie that gives me the heebie jeebies.


Duane Allman guests throughout the record and turns in some fine solos. Richard Tee is a fabulous keyboard player and the rhythm section of Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr. is as superb as you’d expect (they anchored Booker T and the MGs). Highlights: “Push push”; “Spirit in the dark”. [Released 1971, so not eligible for this project but I’d already written and photographed before discovering the error in the VC spreadsheet, so let’s just pretend, OK?]

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#51  RASPBERRIES — FRESH RASPBERRIES

Eric Carmen’s Raspberries released their first two albums in 1972 (April and November) and boy, the choice was hard. The debut has the gold-plated power pop classic “Go all the way” but a couple of flaccid love songs where the energy drops right away. The sophomore effort, Fresh Raspberries, lacked the killer single to make it immortal but is more consistently entertaining. Of course, I could say “get both, dudes” but lists are about choices so, with apologies to my good friend JDB, I’m opting for the second album. Highlights: “I wanna be with you”; “Might as well”. [Released November 1972]

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41 comments

  1. You’d think it was just for the album cover but Herbie showed up at the Grammy’s that same way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Did he have his flute with him?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it was a piccolo.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Aircon set too cold, I imagine.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Hollywood was experiencing an unseasonable chill that day and no one could talk Herbie out of it.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. His next live album was called “Hold on, I’m comin’”.

              Just sayin’.

              Liked by 2 people

          2. Laughing out loud on the other side of the world…!

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Bruce, I so agree with you about that Herbie Mann album and cover. Hmm… might be time to re-acquire that LP. For the wife, I mean. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🤣 Thing is, Marty, it’s a really good Hairy Man–sorry, Herbie Mann–album!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. That Alice record looks awesome. Give Coop credit he was doing some impressive marketing back then.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Too right deKE. Theatre, hard rock, makeup, concept albums. It’s easy to forget how influential Vincent was. I’m reminded of the scene in Wayne’s World… 🙂

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  4. Great selection, as always, Bruce. But was your copy of Herbie Mann’s album with or without paper underpants?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh noooo! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse. That’s impossible to un-see, you blighter. 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Alice Cooper has a syndicated DJ spot in the states. My kids became quite fond of him. One day I mentioned of hand his first act as a rock star and the both said WHAT!?! They thought he was only a DJ.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How fascinating and amusing, Jeff. There are probably people out there who would have the same reaction with respect to Bob Dylan!

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  6. Great picks. I’m mostly intrigued by the Herbie Mann album, and it’s certainly not because of the cover, though I admit it’s attention-grabbing. 🙂

    The thing is I don’t know this record (yet), but when I saw your description including Mann’s killer backing band, I pulled it up right away. I’m listening to it as I’m writing this clever comment.

    Sometimes all it takes is a few bars and you kind of know you’re gonna love it. That’s exactly what seems to be happening here.

    That cool groove of the opener draws you in right away. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s super, Christian. This was during Herbie’s best period (that started with ‘sibling’ album ‘Memphis Underground) and went to ‘London Underground’). Really glad it ‘hit’. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I have a lot of time for Manassas – ‘The Treasure’ is my favourite cut. Stills was amazing up to that point but fell away a bit after that.

    I found the Raspberries debut pretty two-paced – some great stuff and not so great, so I’d probably enjoy a more consistent record.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Do you rate the Stills-Young band LP Graham? I reckon that does both artists good service.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it’s the only studio LP credited to Young through til about 1983 that I’ve never heard! Title track is great though.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. (The title track is the best, but it’s pretty solid thourghout)

          Like

  8. It’s clear that I must have, at some point, confessed to you my undying love for The Raspberries’ “Please Go All The Way”!! As a 10-year old, I would practically swoon when it came on my transistor radio. Loved the opening chords, the harmonies, Eric Carmen’s voice. And despite all of that, I never explored their oeuvre beyond that single. Big fan of Manassas and share Aphoristical’s love of The Treasure. As a young kid, after hearing so much popular music that was about love and relationships and desire (Please Go All The Way, anyone?), I think School’s Out may have been one of the first that I heard that conveyed something else…not quite the sheer anarchy of punk, which would come a few years later, but a churlishness…a sung F**k you. And I *truly* guffawed at your cold aircon comment above. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s great, JDB. All of it. Yes, we’ve noted the glory of Go All The Way previously but that is no impediment to further swooning.
      Reckon you are spot on with Alice. Several of those early 70s LPs have lashings of punk attitude.
      Chuffed to have been co-instigator of a trans-pacific guffaw. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. There’s a band name for you: Trans-Pacific Guffaw. Have to mull over what their genre might be…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes. I’m thinking some kind of multi-cultural acoustic/folk outfit with Steve Martin and Billy Connelly on banjos performing songs by Tim Minchin.

          Liked by 2 people

  9. It is a rare find to get one of those with the panties. My copy does not have them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Research suggested it was only the initial run that included the ‘bonus’, John. One of my teenage peers had a copy, and I recall the garment being rather flimsy and impractical (seen from a clothing perspective) so perhaps many simply disintegrated in the wash of time.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It would scare me if anyone wore them as who knows where they had been.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. These lists are so fun. That Manassas album caused me to buy a turntable again and get the records out of boxes. Stills is underrated maybe because of his lack of consistency.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Excellent. Turntables thrive in lounge rooms.
      (Think you’re right about Stills. Also, some people are simply better collaborators than instigators).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Were the panties always that color? Or from fifty years languishing in a record bin.
    As for the Herbie Mann cover, well, certainly brings a different feel to the flute than James Galway or Jean-Pierre Rampal, offhand I don’t recall those guys posing that way. Also reminded me to toss the meat loaf in the back of the fridge that’s gone moldy, and shampoo the rugs in my apartment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like a busy morning of domestic chores, Robert. 😜
      Just in case you are considering manufacture, the ones I saw (at the time) were white paper with an elastic string at the waist. In my memory, the paper itself was like those paper doilies you used to see.
      Not having an original, and being of a perverse nature, I substituted a genuine pair of 1960s Speedos. Speedo was an iconic Australian swimwear brand that is still going.

      Like

      1. Oh sure, they sell Speedos here, for confident swimmers that actually know how to stay afloat. But I’m a baggy trunks guy, the kind that accumulate sand and seaweed in the pockets, and usually a non-waterproof wristwatch I forgot to leave with the cooler. Preferably plaid

        Liked by 2 people

        1. There’s a short story begging to be written, right there Robert. 😆

          Liked by 2 people

          1. “Drowned Men Don’t Wear Plaid” I’ll see if Steve Martin is available for the film version.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. That’s twice in this thread that Mr Martin has cropped up. Perhaps when he’s finished the second season of “Only murders in the building “?

              Liked by 2 people

  12. I prefer Herbie Mann’s follow-up LP to “Push “Push.” It was called “It’s OK, Folks, I Put my Clothes Back On” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sighs of relief were heard around the world, Rick. 🙂

      Like

  13. I turned down the offer of a ticket to see the Dead on the “Europe 72” tour as I had a university exam the following day. A year further on down the line I would have attended the concert & any exam could have gone on without me. The triple album was a wedding present in 1974 – good to receive something you would actually use.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such are the difficult choices of youth. The album was, I suppose, some compensation. Indeed, the Dead make absolutely splendid presents for any occasion.

      Like

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