When Alice Cooper’s Famous Friends Helped Out on ‘Hey Stoopid’
Led by the success of the single "Poison," Alice Cooper's 1989 album Trash was his biggest seller in more than a decade. He looked to stack the odds in his favor for the follow-up, Hey Stoopid, which was released July 2, 1991.
This started with his selection of Peter Collins, the producer of Rush's Power Windows and Hold Your Fire, to oversee the album. In a video interview with Hard N' Heavy, Cooper admitted initially not knowing whether Collins was the right man to oversee the project, saying, "When you first meet somebody, you don't know if they are going to be the right guy. He [Collins] is British and very polite, [compared to] working with Bob Ezrin who's really aggressive in the studio and has thrown me out of my own sessions at times. Peter is just so polite...but he's all over the place, he's great. Peter has had me singing so hard that at the end [of some sessions], my throat was bleeding."
Not only did Cooper enlist the likes of Desmond Child and Jim Vallance to help co-write some of the material featured on the album, he didn't hesitate to call up some of his pals to make guest appearances on the record. Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx guested on the single "Feed My Frankenstein," a song which Cooper told Spin he wanted to "be a Frankenstein," while Mick Mars lent his chops to "Die For You." Another Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne sang backing vocals on the album's title track, which also boasted Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash as well as guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani. Of all the guest stars making appearances on Hey Stoopid, Satriani was the most prolific, appearing on a total of five of the record's 12 cuts.
In a 1991 interview, Cooper said the music featured on Hey Stoopid was crafted as a deliberate throwback to the 70's. "I think the thing that makes this album sound a little 70's-ish is that we took chord patterns that we used in Love It to Death and re-worked some of those chord patterns."
From the anthemic title track and the hard-driving "Little By Little" and "Snakebite" to ballads like "Burning Our Bed," reviews for Hey Stoopid were generally positive. Ultimate Guitar deemed the record as being "more aggressive" than Trash, although AllMusic said the record would be of interest only to Cooper's most devoted followers.
Unfortunately for Cooper, lightning didn't necessarily strike twice. Hey Stoopid ended up stalling in the No. 47 position on the chart, while the title track only made it as far as No. 78 on the Billboard Hot 100, yet it remains one of Cooper’s higher-profile releases.
In September 2013, Hear No Evil Recordings reissued an expanded edition of the album that saw three bonus tracks added.
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