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Alice Cooper – School’s Out

Alice Cooper – School’s Out

‘School's Out’ is a song by American rock band Alice Cooper. It was first recorded as the title track of the band's fifth album. The song was released as the second single from the album on April 26, 1972. Generally regarded as Alice Cooper’s signature song, School’s Out became the band’s first major hit single, peaking at No, 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, No, 3 in Canadian, No. 2 in Ireland and topped the UK Singles Chart.

This success helped the album reach No. 2 on the Billboard 200 pop albums chart. Many have considered the success of School’s Out as the moment that Alice Cooper was finally regarded as more than just a ‘theatrical novelty act’.

Songwriters:   Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith
Producer:   Bob Ezrin
Label:   Warner Bros.

SOME INTERESTING FACTS

In many interviews, Alice Cooper has noted two sources of inspiration for both the title and the song’s theme:

  • Cooper often refers to the question "What's the greatest three minutes of your life?" as leading him to thinking "There's two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you're just getting ready to open the presents…The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you're sitting there and it's like a slow fuse burning. I said, 'If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it's going to be so big.'"
  • Additionally, Alice Cooper has referred to being inspired by an often-said line in the old Bowery Boys movies, of the late 40’s and 50’s. The main, tough guy characters would regularly declare “School is out,’ suggesting someone should ‘wise up’.

Original Alice Cooper lead guitarist, the late Glen Buxton was responsible for creating the song’s memorable opening riff. Alice Cooper remembers his band mate and high school friend as a “street punk,” who made up a riff that “actually went, nah nah nah, nah nah nah. It had a very bratty sound to it. And that's what I figured Alice should be. The brat who stands up and says, 'School's out!'"

Alice’s bratty theme is further enhanced by the lyrics, which suggest that not only has the school year ended, but that “school’s out forever’, even with the school blowing up at the end of the song. The inclusion of the traditional children’s rhyme, "No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks", into the song’s lyrics, significantly adds to the feeling of the song being an anthem for all school students finishing their time at school, which is appropriately completed with the well-known sound of a school bell ringing and fading out at the end of the song.

Producer, Bob Ezrin suggested the group of children singing the rhyme "No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks", adding to the genuine emotions that every kid has when finishing school. Ezrin relied on a local casting agency to help put together a small choir of children to sing with bratty voices. In the book ‘Bang Your Head’, Ezrin explained that he "had to explain to the parents why it was okay for this group of kids to sing with this group of completely twisted individuals," and that “the kids were scared to death, but I got them all to relax, and by the end of it, the kids were all laughing and giggling. They loved Alice." Bob Ezrin went on to re-apply the idea of a choir of children when he produced Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)’, which became the band’s only No. 1 single in 1980.

The original album cover for ‘School’s Out’ had the artwork of the top of a school desk and opened up like one. Inside was a pair of paper panties.

The song, School’s Out has been used in numerous movies, such as Scream, Dazed and Confused, Rock 'n' Roll High School, and I Love You, Beth Cooper. It was initially planned for the song to be performed by Alice Cooper in the 1992 movie, Wayne’s World. However, Cooper’s manager, Shep Gordon believed it would be better for Alice to utilize the movie to promote new song ‘Feed My Frankenstein’, which eventually was included in the movie.

 

SONG LYRICS

[Verse 1]
Well, we got no choice
All the girls and boys
Makin' all that noise
'Cause they found new toys
Well, we can't salute ya
Can't find a flag
If that don't suit ya, that's a drag
 
[Chorus]
School's out for summer
School's out forever
School's been blown to pieces
No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher's dirty looks
Yeah!
 
[Verse 2]
Well, we got no class
And we got no principles
And we got no innocence
We can't even think
Of a word that rhymes
 
[Chorus]
School's out for summer
School's out forever
My school's been blown to pieces
No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher's dirty looks
 
[Bridge]
Out for summer
Out 'til fall
We might not come back at all
 
[Outro]
School's out forever
School's out for summer
School's out with fever
School's out completely

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