Did Any Alice Cooper Songs Become No. 1 Hits in the United States?
Alice Cooper wrote some of the most famous shock rock songs from the classic rock era. However, not every popular artist releases a No. 1 hit. Here’s a look at his most successful songs and whether any of them hit No. 1.
How Joan Jett & the Blackhearts helped inspire one of Alice Cooper’s most famous songs
Cooper released songs that reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100: “You and Me,” “School’s Out,” and “Poison.” “You and Me” reached No. 9 while “School’s Out” and “Poison” reached No. 7. “School’s Out” stayed on the chart for 13 weeks while “Poison” stayed on the chart for 19 weeks.
During an interview with MaxMusicTV, Cooper discussed the origin of “Poison.” In the 1980s, he was heavily impressed by the work songwriter Desmond Child did with bands like Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. He singled out Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ “I Hate Myself for Loving You” as a song written by Child that really impressed him. He approached Child wanting to create a track that had a sound similar to his previous work, only sexier and darker. Child and Cooper took three days to write “Poison” for his album Trash.
What Desmond Child thought of when he was writing Alice Cooper’s ‘Poison’
Child told Ryan Roxie he was thinking of The Phantom of the Opera while writing “Poison.” It’s not clear if he was talking about the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical or another version of The Phantom of the Opera. Child wanted the song to sound like opera and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. They recorded the song on a little cassette tape which Child still owns. Child said this was one of the greatest musical moments ever.
Child was very impressed with Cooper. He praised Cooper as a great lyricist who understands his audience and doesn’t disappoint. Subsequently, he compared Cooper to other pop culture icons like Bela Lugosi, Marilyn Manson, and Ozzy Osbourne who harnessed the darker side of human nature and channeled it into their art.
How the world reacted to Alice Cooper’s ‘Poison’
While Child was impressed with Cooper, he still had some reservations. During a conversation with Max music TV, Cooper said Child was worried “Poison” was too edgy for the radio. However, it became an international hit. Cooper felt the song’s message was universal, as many people have fallen in love with people they think are bad for them — just like the protagonist of “Poison.” In addition, Cooper said he heard “Poison” is a popular song at strip clubs — though he insisted he’d never been inside one.
“Poison” was a hit and so was its parent album, Trash. Trash reached No. 20 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 43 weeks. It didn’t perform as well as Cooper’s classic concept album Billion Dollar Babies, which reached No. 1 and stayed on the chart for 50 weeks. While Trash wasn’t Coopers most successful album, it contained his most successful hit.