MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #677.378!
Susan Tyler Hitchcock
– Frankenstein: A Cultural History (W.W. Norton & Company) :: Not since Martin Tropp’s Mary Shelley’s
Monster: The Story of Frankenstein; and the Marcia Huyette illustrated edition of Leonard Wolf’s The Annotated
Frankenstein; and the Bernie Wrightson illustrated edition of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein;
has there been such an essential volume on the subject as this one. Not only does Hitchcock exhume every last bit of monster
minutia there is to find, she stitches it all up into a socio-political pop culture context that’s never dry and always
entertaining. Even if you think you know everything about the novel’s creation and its subsequent appearances on stage;
in print; on screen; in the courtroom; and beyond, you’ll find an additional wealth of fascinating facts harbored herein
that you never knew existed.
But in a book full of horrors, the most terrifying fact of all can be found
on page 263 wherein Hitch writes: “Alice Cooper disappeared from the music scene for more than a decade soon after his
1971 hit record Love It To Death. But he blasted back in 1986 with a new album, Teenage Frankenstein.”
These words she
speaks are true. After he released Love It To Death, the career of Alice Cooper went to Hell thanks to such back-to-back
blockbuster bombs as Killer (1971); School’s Out (1972); Billion Dollar Babies (1973); Muscle
Of Love (1973); and his worst selling album ever: the vastly unpopular, arena-emptying, delete bin denizen Welcome
To My Nightmare (1975). Good thing he recorded that comeback album Teenage Frankenstein, huh?
– Constrictor (MCA) :: Includes the hit single “Teenage Frankenstein.”
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Tim Curry – Fearless (A&M) :: And speaking of Frank N. Furters, what
an undisputed heavyweight champ this guy is. Graduating at the top of his class with an honors degree in summa
camp smartass from the Dean Martin “Who Gives A Shit?” school of music, he waxes three albums and then calls
it quits before the ennui sets in. Meanwhile, hailing from 1979, Curry’s second solo squib after Rocky Horror
is his undisputed dizbuster best in that contains all three of his urban mondo manifestos: “I Do The Rock” and
“Paradise Garage” and “Charge It.”
Never content to sing one note straight
when half a dozen bent ones will do, Curry proves that he’s the master of arch theatrical enunciation powered by a projected
to the cheap seats delivery. Which explains why, when he’s not busy quoting from Lou Reed or sniping off a series of
ad-libbed asides worthy of Ian Hunter, he’s happily hamming up his wittier than thou lyrics with an over the top scenery
chewing ethno dialect that makes David Lee Jagger’s neo-Negroid vocal affectations seem positively phoneticist by comparison.
who can successfully sell a fractured rhyme such as “I’ve always liked DiMaggio and Rockne’s pretty Knute,
you know?” with a straight face deserves a spot in your record collection.