Alice Cooper released their first album, Pretties for You, in 1969. Easy Action followed early in 1970, yet it failed to chart. The group's reputation in Los Angeles was slowly shrinking, so the band moved to Furnier's hometown of Detroit. For the next year, the group refined their bizarre stage show. Late in 1970, the group's contract was transferred to Straight's distributor Warner Bros., and they began recording their third album with producer Bob Ezrin.
For his first solo album, Cooper hired Lou Reed's backing band from Rock 'N' Roll Animal -- guitarists Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, bassist Prakash John, keyboardist Joseph Chrowski, and drummer Penti Glan -- as his supporting group. Welcome to My Nightmare, Alice Cooper's first solo album, was released in the spring of 1975. The record wasn't a great departure from his previous work, and it became a Top Ten hit in America, launching the hit acoustic ballad "Only Women Bleed"; its success put an end to any idea of reconvening Alice Cooper the band. Its follow-up, 1976's Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, was another hit, going gold in the U.S. After Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, Cooper's career began to slip, partially due to changing trends and partially due to his alcoholism. Cooper entered rehabilitation in 1978, writing an album about his treatment called From the Inside (1978) with Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist. During the early '80s, Cooper continued to release albums and tour, yet he was no longer as popular as he was during his early-'70s heyday.
Cooper made a successful comeback in the late '80s, sparked by his appearances in horror films and a series of pop-metal bands that paid musical homage to his classic early records and concerts. Constrictor, released in 1986, began his comeback, but it was 1989's Trash that returned Cooper to the spotlight. Produced by the proven hitmaker Desmond Child, Trash featured guest appearances by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and most of Aerosmith; the record became a Top Ten hit in Britain and peaked at number 20 in the U.S., going platinum. "Poison," a mid-tempo rocker featured on the album, became Cooper's first Top Ten single since 1977. After the release of Trash, he continued to star in the occasional film, tour, and record, although he wasn't able to retain the audience recaptured with Trash. Still, 1991's Hey Stoopid and 1994's The Last Temptation were generally solid, professional efforts which helped Cooper settle into a comfortable cult status without damaging the critical goodwill surrounding his '70s output. After a live album, 1997's Fistful of Alice, Cooper returned on the smaller Spitfire label in 2000 with Brutal Planet and Dragontown a year later. The Eyes of Alice Cooper appeared in 2003 and found Alice and company playing a more stripped-down brand of near-garage rock. Dirty Diamonds from 2005 was nearly as raw and hit the streets around the same time Alice premiered his syndicated radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Gui