Constrictor (album)

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Constrictor
Acconst.jpg
Studio album by Alice Cooper
ReleasedSeptember 22, 1986
Recorded1985-1986
GenreGlam metal, hard rock, heavy metal
Length37:07
LabelMCA
ProducerBeau Hill
Alice Cooper chronology
DaDa
(1983)
Constrictor
(1986)
Raise Your Fist and Yell
(1987)
Singles from Constrictor
  1. "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)"
    Released: October 1986
  2. "Teenage Frankenstein"
    Released: April 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]

Constrictor is the sixteenth studio album by rock musician Alice Cooper released on September 22, 1986. After a hiatus from the music industry after the release of DaDa, Cooper remained in seclusion for three years. He starred in Monster Dog, a horror film for which he wrote two songs. He also guest starred on the Twisted Sister track "Be Chrool to Your Scuel". Constrictor was Alice Cooper's first album to feature Kane Roberts on guitar, Kip Winger on bass, who would later gain great fame with his own band, Winger and the only one to feature David Rosenberg on drums.

Cooper sought the aid of heavy metal guitarist Kane Roberts for the album, which resulted in a sound Cooper had never tapped into before. Constrictor exposed a whole new generation of teens to the original shock rocker, returning him to the charts at number 59 after his previous two releases Zipper Catches Skin and DaDa had entirely failed to crack the Top 200.[2] For all intents and purposes, Constrictor was the first "normal" album Cooper had released in nearly eight years, since his records following From the Inside were seen as largely experimental.

The horror series Friday the 13th teamed up with Cooper during this time to produce the theme song for its latest film. The song “He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” was written for Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and went on to become a #1 hit in Sweden. Also featured in the film were Constrictor’s “Teenage Frankenstein” and “Hard Rock Summer,” which did not end up on the album.

The track “The Great American Success Story” was apparently intended as the theme song to the Rodney Dangerfield film Back to School, but was not actually used.

The demo of “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” was totally different from the final album version. A reworked version of the “He's Back” demo landed on the album as “Trick Bag” instead. The version of “He’s Back” that was featured in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives was remixed from the album version.

Constrictor also led to one of the most successful tours of the late 1980s, “The Nightmare Returns” tour. Three songs from the album, “Teenage Frankenstein”, “Give It Up” and “The World Needs Guts” were regularly performed on this tour.[3] However, as with all Cooper live songs since Lace and Whiskey, these songs failed to remain in the setlist during subsequent tours. “Teenage Frankenstein” was also played on the tour supporting the follow-up Raise Your Fist and Yell album and occasionally during the 2001 “Descent into Dragontown” tour,[4] whilst “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” was played occasionally in the late 1980s and the early 2000s before becoming a frequent part of the setlist on the “Raise the Dead” tour, and “The World Needs Guts” is played a regular part of 2017 and 2018 shows, to showcase guitar player Nita Strauss mastery of tapping.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Alice Cooper and Kane Roberts, except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Teenage Frankenstein" 3:40
2."Give It Up" 4:13
3."Thrill My Gorilla" 2:56
4."Life and Death of the Party" 3:45
5."Simple Disobedience" 3:30
6."The World Needs Guts" 3:59
7."Trick Bag"Cooper, Roberts, Michael Wagener4:18
8."Crawlin'"Cooper, Roberts,3:22
9."The Great American Success Story"Cooper, Roberts, Beau Hill3:38
10."He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)"Cooper, Roberts, Kelly3:49

Personnel[edit]

Technical
  • Michael Wagener - production, mixing
  • Stephen Benben - engineering
  • Ira McLaughlin - assistant engineering
  • Garth Richardson - assistant mixing
  • Mike Reese - mastering
  • Anita Bourne - production coordination

Charts[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
position
US Billboard Top Pop Albums 59

References[edit]