July 31, 2018

20,000 Vinyl LPs 142: Debbie Harry - KooKoo

vinyl LP front cover 
Cover Concept, Painting – H. R. Giger
album cover photo by Brian Aris 
photo of album cover by Styrous®

Thirty-seven years ago, on July 31, 1981, Debbie Harry released her debut solo album Koo Koo in the U. K. It had already been released four days earlier in the U. S. by Chrysalis Records.    

Koo Koo is one of those albums whose cover art snagged me immediately! The photograph by Brian Aris then rendered by H. R. Giger, who had designed the creature for the sci-fi/horror film, Alien, two years earlier, was a knock-out. How could it not! This entry is more about the album cover than the music!   


vinyl LP back cover 
Cover Concept – H. R. Giger
photo of album back cover by Styrous®


Giger created several variations of the cover (another of which is seen on the album's inner sleeve) in what Harry described as a combination of punk, acupuncture (Giger link below) and sci-fi


 
sleeve concept, painting – H. R. Giger
photo of inner sleeve by Styrous®
 

Harry stated that the album title came to her after she saw Giger's completed work, and although she had misgivings about the conceptual ideas behind the artwork (as she did not identify either the album or herself as "punk"), she was suitably impressed to use it anyway.
         
    
sleeve concept – H. R. Giger
photo of inner sleeve by Styrous®


For the promotion of KooKoo, Chrysalis Records planned to display large posters of the album cover in various stations of the London Underground. However, officials deemed the image of Harry with metal skewers going through her face and neck to be too disturbing.           


 








sleeve concept, painting – H. R. Giger
detail photo of inner sleeve by Styrous®


I have four favorites from this album, The Jam Was Moving, Chrome, Inner City Spillover and Oasis; of the four, Oasis is my favorite.    




Promo videos were made for the tracks Backfired and Now I Know You Know, both directed by Giger and filmed at his studio in Switzerland.Backfired featured a dark-haired Harry dancing superimposed over a backdrop of Giger's distinctive artwork, with Giger himself appearing in a semi-translucent face mask. Now I Know You Know featured Harry in a long black wig and a form-fitting bodysuit painted with Giger's unusual artwork, dancing around in a small set furnished with Giger's "bio-mechanical" design work (link to videos below).      




KooKoo was one of three albums to be (co)written and produced by record producer, Nile Rodgers, and Bernard Edwards, of Chic, in 1981, the other two being the Chic fifth album, Take It Off and I Love My Lady, by Johnny Mathis, which remains unreleased.                




Two singles were released from the album: Backfired, which peaked at #24 in Australia, #32 in the UK and #43 in the US in August 1981, and The Jam Was Moving which reached #82 in the US but failed to chart in the UK or Australia.       

A third single, Chrome, was only released in some parts of Europe and also failed to chart. Another track, Jump Jump, was only released as a single in Peru.       

Chrome was the flip/B-side of The Jam Was Moving only being issued in Germany as a single and in the USA as a 12" promotional single only.


vinyl LP inner sleeve back detail
sleeve concept – H. R. Giger
detail photo of inner sleeve by Styrous®
  
KooKoo showcased the early fusion of funk, rock and dance music that would become the trademark of Rodgers and Edwards, and this style would later be evident on albums such as Let's Dance, by David Bowie, Notorious, by Duran Duran, The Power Station self-titled debut album, and the Robert Palmer album, Riptide.    


vinyl LP inner sleeve back detail
sleeve concept – H. R. Giger
detail photo of inner sleeve by Styrous®


Backing vocals were provided by Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale of Devo; they are credited as Spud and Pud Devo.             
     
"Spud and Pud Devo" 
vinyl LP back cover  detail
Cover Concept – H. R. Giger
detail photo of album back cover by Styrous®
 





KooKoo reached #6 in the UK and stayed in the charts for seven weeks, being certified "Silver" by the BPI for sales in excess of 60,000 copies. The album reached #25 in the US and was certified "Gold" by the RIAA for shipments in excess of 500,000 copies.             


"Spud and Pud Devo" 
vinyl LP back cover  detail
Cover Concept – H. R. Giger
detail photo of album back cover by Styrous®





vinyl LP, side 1
photo by Styrous®








vinyl LP, side 2
photo by Styrous®




Tracklist:

Side 1:

A1 - Jump Jump, written by Chris Stein, Debbie Harry* - 4:02

A2 - The Jam Was Moving, written by Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers - 2:58

A3 - Chrome, written by   Chris Stein, Debbie Harry* - 4:16

A4 - Surrender, written by Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers - 3:36

A5 - Inner City Spillover, written by Chris Stein, Debbie Harry* - 5:02

Side 2:

B1 - Backfired, written by Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers - 4:52

B2 - Now I Know You Know, written by Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers - 5:31

B3 - Under Arrest, written by Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers, Chris Stein, Debbie Harry* - 2:56

B4 - Military Rap, written by Chris Stein, Debbie Harry* - 3:48

B5 - Oasis, written by Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers, Chris Stein, Debbie Harry* - 4:55

Personnel:    

Companies, etc.

    Phonographic Copyright (p) – Chrysalis Records
    Copyright (c) – Chrysalis Records
    Recorded At – Power Station
    Mixed At – Power Station
    Published By – Rare Blue Music, Inc.
    Published By – Easy Aire Music, Inc.
    Published By – Chic Music, Inc.
    Produced For – Chic Organization Ltd.
    Mastered At – Atlantic Studios

Credits:

    Art Direction – Peter Wagg
    Cover [Concept], Painting – H. R. Giger*
    Engineer – Bill Scheniman    Engineer [Second] – Jason Corsaro
    Liner Notes [Quote] – Poe*    Management – Alive Enterprises, Inc., Denny Vosburgh, Shep Gordon
    Mastered By – Dennis King
    Photography By – Brian Aris    Producer – Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers

Notes:

Issued with custom inner sleeve with additional image and credits. Some credits are marked with special characters ( ⃰, †, ⃰ ⃰) in the credit list on inner sleeve but no special character is associated to any track either in the tracklist (back cover, inner sleeve) or on labels.
℗ 1981 Chrysalis Records

On back of jacket:
Made in U.S.A.
℗ & © 1981 Chrysalis Records
On spine: Printed in U.S.A.
Barcode and Other Identifiers

    Barcode (Text): 0 7558-51347-1
    Barcode (Scanned): 075585134716
    Matrix / Runout (Label A): (CHR-1347-AS)
    Matrix / Runout (Label B): (CHR-1347-BS)
    Matrix / Runout (Runout side A variant 1): 15 CHR 1347-̶6̶ AS ⑥ SX ATLANTIC STUDIOS D.K. B
    Matrix / Runout (Runout side B variant 1): O CHR-1347-8 BS ATLANTIC STUDIOS D.K.
    Matrix / Runout (Runout side A variant 2): 15 CHR 1347-2[scratched]-AS ② SXT E4 ATLANTIC STUDIOS D.K.
    Matrix / Runout (Runout side B variant 2): IT CHR 1347-9 BS ATLANTIC STUDIOS D.K.
    Matrix / Runout (Runout side A variant 3): 15 CHR 1347 - ̷2̷ -AS ② A 3 ATLANTIC STUDIOS D.K.
    Matrix / Runout (Runout side A variant 3): 15 CHR - 1347 - ̷2̷ BS - ② ATLANTIC STUDIOS D.K. S A19
    Matrix / Runout (Runout side A variant 4): 15 CHR 1347-4[scratched]-AS 4(in a circle) ATLANTIC STUDIOS D.K.
    Matrix / Runout (Runout side B variant 4): 15 CHR 1347 - ̷5 -BS 5(in a circle) ATLANTIC STUDIOS D.K.
    Rights Society: ASCAP
    Rights Society: BMI

Debbie Harry* ‎– KooKoo
Label: Chrysalis ‎– CHR 1347
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 27 Jul 1981 in the U,S.
Released: 31 July 1981 in the U.K. 
Genre: Electronic, Rock, Funk / Soul
Style: Synth-pop, Disco

      
      
           

Viewfinder link:         
           
           
Net links:    
           
H. R. Geiger ~ Debbie Harry & acupuncture        
Diffuser ~ When Debbie Harry Went Solo with 'KooKoo'   
Rolling Stone ~ H.R. Giger’s Greatest Album Cover Art      
Sound Thread ~ KooKoo (1981) debut album    
Pop Matters ~ "Acufunkture" ~ Nile Rodgers Interview     
The Data Lounge ~    
      Why was Debbie Harry's 1981 solo album "KooKoo" such a disaster?
The Washington Post ~ On A 'KooKoo' Track          
          
YouTube links:
           
Jump Jump    
The Jam Was Moving       
Chrome         
Surrender
Inner City Spillover      
Backfired      
Now I Know You Know       
Under Arrest           
Military Rap          
Oasis         

   

sleeve concept, painting – H. R. Giger
photo of inner sleeve by Styrous®

   
     
            
Styrous® ~ July 21, 2018        
         
          











Debbie Harry aka Blondie articles/mentions

~   
Debbie Harry - KooKoo     
     
mentions:           
Divine ~ A transformative performer      
High Society & Grace Kelly             
Wollensak 3M 8050A ~ 8-Track recorder  
     
    
      

Heart of Glass video shoot











July 30, 2018

1,001 LaserDiscs 3: Alice Cooper Trashes the World LaserDisc

     front cover
   
   
photos by 

      

     
Alice Cooper Trashes the World is a live concert video by Alice Cooper. The concert was filmed in Birmingham, England, in December 1989, during Cooper's tour in support of his commercially successful album Trash.      
           

     back cover

Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier on February 4, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan. He is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over fifty years. His stage shows feature guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers alike to be "The Godfather of Shock Rock". He has drawn equally from horror films, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock people. Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, new wave, glam metal, and industrial rock.        


     back cover details


Originating in Phoenix, Arizona, in the late 1960s after he moved from Detroit, Michigan, "Alice Cooper" was originally a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and Neal Smith on drums. They called the group, Nazz, but in 1968, the band learned that Todd Rundgren (link below) also had a band called Nazz, and found themselves in need of another stage name. Furnier also believed that the group needed a gimmick to succeed, and that other bands were not exploiting the showmanship potential of the stage. The legend is that the name "Alice Cooper" came from a session with a Ouija board, largely chosen because it sounded innocuous and wholesome, in humorous contrast to the band's image and music. However, in an interview with Mark Radcliffe on the Radcliffe and Maconie show on BBC Radio 2 on 30 November 2009, Alice described the incident with the ouija board as an urban legend: "We literally got that whole story about the witch thing the way you guys got it. It was like just pure urban legend. I heard about the witch thing probably the same day you did, but it was a great story. "Alice Cooper" was a character on Mayberry R.F.D. (played by Alice Ghostley) at the time (I like the legend better!).



The original Alice Cooper band released its first album, Pretties for You, in 1969. It was produced by Frank Zappa (link below) on Straight Records. Pretties was a critical and commercial failure, briefly appearing on the Billboard Top 200, and none of its songs have ever been played live by Cooper since the release of the band's breakthrough album Love It to Death.        
  





Alice Cooper's "shock rock" reputation apparently developed almost by accident at first. An unrehearsed stage routine involving Cooper, a feather pillow, and a live chicken garnered attention from the press; the band decided to capitalize on the tabloid sensationalism, creating in the process a new subgenre, shock rock. Cooper claims that the infamous "Chicken Incident" at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival concert in September 1969 was an accident. A chicken somehow made its way onto the stage into the feathers of a feather pillow they would open during Cooper's performance, and not having any experience around farm animals, Cooper presumed that, because the chicken had wings, it would be able to fly. He picked it up and threw it out over the crowd, expecting it to fly away. The chicken instead plummeted into the first few rows occupied by wheelchair users, who reportedly proceeded to tear the bird to pieces. The next day the incident made the front page of national newspapers, and Zappa phoned Cooper and asked if the story, which reported that he had bitten off the chicken's head and drunk its blood on stage, was true. Cooper denied the rumor, whereupon Zappa told him, "Well, whatever you do, don't tell anyone you didn't do it.         





Despite the publicity from the chicken incident, the band's second album, Easy Action, produced by David Briggs and released in June 1970, fared even worse than its predecessor, entirely failing to dent the Billboard Top 200. Around this time, fed up with Californians' indifference to their act, they relocated to Pontiac, Michigan, where their bizarre stage act was much better received by Midwestern crowds accustomed to the proto punk styles of local bands such as the Stooges and the MC5. Despite this, Cooper still managed to receive a cream pie in the face when performing at the Cincinnati Pop Festival. Michigan would remain their steady home base until 1972. "L.A. just didn’t get it," Cooper stated. "They were all on the wrong drug for us. They were on acid and we were basically drinking beer. We fit much more in Detroit than we did anywhere else."     

Alice Cooper appeared at the Woodstock-esque Strawberry Fields Festival near Toronto, Ontario, in August 1970. The band's mix of glam and increasingly violent stage theatrics stood out in stark contrast to the bearded, denim-clad hippie bands of the time. As Cooper himself stated: "We were into fun, sex, death and money when everybody was into peace and love. We wanted to see what was next. It turned out we were next, and we drove a stake through the heart of the Love Generation."  
        




In autumn 1970, the Alice Cooper group teamed with producer Bob Ezrin for the recording of their third album, Love It to Death. This was the final album in their Straight Records contract and the band's last chance to create a hit. That first success came with the single I'm Eighteen, released in November 1970, which reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1971. Not long after the album's release in January 1971, Warner Bros. Records purchased Alice Cooper's contract from Straight and re-issued the album, giving the group a higher level of promotion.        

Love It proved to be their breakthrough album, reaching number 35 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album charts. It would be the first of eleven Alice Cooper group and solo albums produced by Ezrin, who is widely seen as being pivotal in helping to create and develop the band's definitive sound.    
       
 


The group's 1971 Love It tour featured a stage show involving mock fights and gothic torture modes being imposed on Cooper, climaxing in a staged execution by electric chair, with the band sporting tight, sequined, color-contrasting glam rock-style costumes made by prominent rock-fashion designer Cindy Dunaway (sister of band member Neal Smith, and wife of band member Dennis Dunaway). Cooper's androgynous stage role had developed to present a villainous side, portraying a potential threat to modern society. The success of the band's single and album, and their tour of 1971, which included their first tour of Europe (audience members reportedly included Elton John and a pre-Ziggy David Bowie), provided enough encouragement for Warner Bros. to offer the band a new multi-album contract.      
           
        


Their follow-up album Killer, released in late 1971, continued the commercial success of Love It to Death and included further single success with Under My Wheels, Be My Lover in early 1972, and Halo of Flies, which became a Top 10 hit in the Netherlands in 1972. Thematically, Killer expanded on the villainous side of Cooper's androgynous stage role, with its music becoming the soundtrack to the group's morality-based stage show, which by then featured a boa constrictor hugging Cooper on-stage, the murderous axe chopping of bloodied baby dolls, and execution by hanging at the gallows.        

For me, Killer was their absolutely best album. There is not a single song on the album that I do not like (link below).    
    


The summer of 1972 saw the release of the single School's Out. It went Top 10 in the USA and to number 1 in the UK, and remains a staple on classic rock radio to this day. The album School's Out reached No. 2 on the US charts and sold over a million copies. 

With Cooper's on-stage androgynous persona completely replaced with brattiness and machismo, the band solidified their success with subsequent tours in the United States and Europe, and won over devoted fans in droves while at the same time horrifying parents and outraging the social establishment. In the United Kingdom, Mary Whitehouse, a Christian morality campaigner, persuaded the BBC to ban the video for School's Out, although her campaign did not prevent the single also reaching number one in the UK. Cooper sent her a bunch of flowers in gratitude for the publicity. Meanwhile, British Labour Member of Parliament Leo Abse petitioned Home Secretary Reginald Maudling to have the group banned altogether from performing in the country.                    






In February 1973, Billion Dollar Babies was released worldwide and became the band's most commercially successful album, reaching No. 1 in both the US and UK. Elected, a late-1972 Top 10 UK hit from the album, which inspired one of the first MTV-style story-line promo videos ever made for a song (three years before Queen's promotional video for Bohemian Rhapsody), was followed by two more UK Top 10 singles, Hello Hooray and No More Mr. Nice Guy, the latter of which was the last UK single from the album; it reached No. 25 in the US. The title track, featuring guest vocals by Donovan, was also a US hit single.             

Their 1973 US tour broke box-office records previously set by the Rolling Stones and raised rock theatrics to new heights; the multi-level stage show by then featured numerous special effects, including Billion Dollar Bills, decapitated baby dolls and mannequins, a dental psychosis scene complete with dancing teeth, and the ultimate execution prop and highlight of the show: the guillotine. The guillotine and other stage effects were designed for the band by magician James Randi, who appeared on stage during some of the shows as executioner. The Alice Cooper group had now reached its peak and it was among the most visible and successful acts in the industry.     




Muscle of Love, released at the end of 1973, was to be the last studio album from the classic lineup, and marked Alice Cooper's last UK Top 20 single of the 1970s with Teenage Lament '74. An unsolicited theme song was recorded for the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun, but a different song of the same name by Lulu was chosen instead. By 1974, the Muscle of Love album still had not matched the top-charting success of its predecessor, and the band began to have constant disagreements. For various reasons, the members agreed to take what was expected to be a temporary hiatus. "Everyone decided they needed a rest from one another", said manager Shep Gordon at the time. "A lot of pressure had built up, but it's nothing that can't be dealt with. Everybody still gets together and talks."        






Furnier had 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. To avoid legal complications over ownership of the group name, "Alice Cooper" had by then become the singer's new legal name. Speaking on the subject of Alice Cooper continuing as a solo project as opposed to the band it once was, Cooper stated in 1975, "It got very basically down to the fact that we had drawn as much as we could out of each other. After ten years, we got pretty dry together." Manager Gordon added, "What had started in a sense as a pipe-dream became an overwhelming burden".                          






Track listing

  1. "Trash"
  2. "Billion Dollar Babies"
  3. "I'm Eighteen"
  4. "I'm Your Gun"
  5. "Desperado"
  6. "House of Fire"
  7. "No More Mr. Nice Guy"
  8. "This Maniac's in Love with You"
  9. "Steven"
  10. "Welcome to My Nightmare"
  11. "Ballad of Dwight Fry"
  12. "Gutter Cats Vs The Jets"
  13. "Only Women Bleed"
  14. "I Love the Dead"
  15. "Poison"
  16. "Muscle of Love"
  17. "Spark in the Dark"
  18. "Bed of Nails"
  19. "School's Out"
  20. "Under My Wheels"
  21. End credits - "Only My Heart Talkin'"

The band

    

     
Viewfinder link:      
        
        
Net links:      
        
Alice Cooper website        
Nights with Alice Cooper          
Sick Things UK      
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ~ Alice Cooper           
        
YouTube links:      
        
Alice Cooper Trashes the World videos       
        
  

     
Alice Cooper Trashes the World LaserDisc is for sale on eBay 
     
     
   
     
    
Styrous® ~ Sunday, July 29, 2018       


     










     

Todd Rundgren articles/mentions

~     
     
Todd Rundgren radio show LP    
Alice Cooper Trashes the World     
     
        
    
     
     
         
    
       
       
    
     
        
    
Todd Rundgren - 1975
Congresgebouw, The Hague
October 12, 1975
photographer unknown       
       
           
         

~









July 29, 2018

Lucy Cadena-Jazzux ~ A woman out of time

~   
When Lucy Cedena-Jazzux died I was struck harder than anyone I have lost. Perhaps it's because I lost her twice in my life.         

In the late forties, Lucy and I lived together with her mother, Matilda, Matilda's lover, Lucy's sister, Celia, Lucy's brother, Ben, and my mother (link below). In addition there were Lady, a German Shepard, and Weasle, of indeterminate origin with a tail that curled completely into a circle.    

Lady was a giant dog that easily outweighed me by who knows how many pounds. But she was the gentlest dog I have ever known in my life.   

Weasle was the tiniest and meanest dog I have EVER known; he would bark, growl, snap at and attack ANYone, including me.     

The flaw with Lady was that she was deathly afraid of the sound of fireworks; she would begin violently shaking and cower in a corner when the Fourth of July came around. Lucy was fantastic; she would put Lady in the bathtub with cold water, gently stroke and sooth her and tell her everything was fine and gently calm her down.    

When Weasle attacked someone, Lucy would firmly say, "Weasle, shut up!", and he would go and sulk in a corner somewhere. Lucy rescued me from Weasle many times. 

Every image of her from that period in my mind is of her in Levi's. Boys and girls both wore them but the girls would also wear dresses or skirts; I have only one memory of her in a long full skirt.  
      
Her movements were not exactly lurching but more a femininely athletic move from one position to another; I've never seen anyone move the same way.         

Lucy and I lost contact with each other in the late forties; when you're 7 or 8 years old you go where your parents go. Over the years I thought of her often with great love and wonderful memories of that time with her.     

Lucy and I reconnected 60 years later when her brother, Ben (link below), died. It was amazing! It was as if no time had passed from the last time I'd seen her all those decades ago. Actually, when I first looked at her, I saw the Lucy of the forties in her Levi's. During the years after, we talked and recounted what had happened in our lives then and all the years since we'd seen each other. It is one of the most wonderful moments of my life. It was magic!   

It wasn't until after she died that I discovered she was an activist and involved in the labor rights movements of the seventies as well as Head Start. During her memorial, photos from her life were on a monitor, they included some from the 40's and 50's and the memories of Lucy, Lady and Weasle crashed into my mind.      

I say crashed because at that moment I realized the work she had done during the years we didn't see each other were a direct out put from back then. Her tender care of Lady and her iron will over Weasle, of course, it couldn't have been any other way with Lucy.    



Viewfinder links:      
          
Lucy Cadena-Jazzux      
Bernard E. Simonson, Jr.              
Christine K. Simonson           
          
Net link:      
          
The Press Democrat ~ Lucy Cadena-Jazzux obit         
            
          
        
        
Styrous® ~ Sunday, July 29, 2018