|Alice Cooper is without a doubt one of the most influential showmen in the history of hard rock. Enough cannot be said about the man -- suffice to say that virtually every band who has ever adopted a horror/theatrical approach, from Marilyn Manson to King Diamond to too many others to mention, they all ultimately are influenced by Alice Cooper.
The band formed in Arizona in the late sixties, fronted by one Vincent Furnier, who had already started cultivating his controversial stage persona though he hadn't yet changed his name. They went through several names, among them the Earwigs, the Spiders, and the Nazz, before finally settling on Alice Cooper. While the exact origin of the name Alice Cooper is debatable (there seem to be numerous explanations), it's clear that the band adopted the name before Furnier did, instead of the other way around as one might expect. Finally properly christened, the band rose to worldwide stardom in a few short years, thanks to memorable anthems such as "I'm Eighteen", "Under My Wheels", "Billion Dollar Babies", and of course the anthem to end all anthems, "School's Out", combined with a highly controversial and unpredictable stage show. By 1973, though, the rest of the band had had enough, and thus Alice Cooper the band became Alice Cooper the solo artist, and his larger-than-life persona continued to grow.
Though still eminently recognizeable, by the mid-80's Alice Cooper's popularity had dwindled somewhat, with his albums being less memorable (does anyone remember anything about releases such as Dada or Zipper Catches Skin?), though his stage show still went down a storm. His recording output waned in the 90's, not unexpectedly, but just when one might have forgotten what he could do, along came 2000's Brutal Planet, a surprisingly heavy effort that showed Alice Cooper successfully combining his classic style with a modern approach. Nowadays he's less the outrageous personality though he's still in the public eye (among other things, he's well documented as a more than competant golfer). His legacy in the rock world is quite secure.
(Source: BNR Metal Pages, 15.4.2013)