When Alice Cooper’s Famous Friends Helped Out on ‘Hey Stoopid’
The success of Alice Cooper's single "Poison" helped make 1989's Trash his biggest seller in more than a decade. He looked to stack the odds in his favor for the follow-up, Hey Stoopid, on July 2, 1991.
This started with his selection of Peter Collins, producer of Rush's Power Windows and Hold Your Fire in the late '80s, to oversee things. Cooper wasn't sure at first whether Collins was the right man, he later told Hard N' Heavy.
"He is British and very polite [compared to] working with Bob Ezrin, who's really aggressive in the studio and has thrown me out of my own sessions at times," Cooper said. "Peter is just so polite ... but he's all over the place. He's great. Peter has had me singing so hard that at the end [of some sessions], my throat was bleeding."
Cooper then enlisted the likes of Desmond Child and Jim Vallance to help co-write some of the material featured on Hey Stoopid, while calling up some of his pals to make guest appearances on the record.
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Another Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne sang backing vocals on the album's title track, which also boasted Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash as well as virtuoso Joe Satriani. Of all the stars making appearances on Hey Stoopid, Satriani was the most prolific, appearing on a total of five of the record's 12 cuts.
Despite the packed guest list, Hey Stoopid was crafted as a deliberate throwback. "I think the thing that makes this album sound a little 70's-ish," Cooper said in 1991, "is that we took chord patterns that we used in Love It to Death and re-worked some of those chord patterns."
Reviews were generally positive, highlighting the anthemic title track, hard-driving "Little By Little" and "Snakebite" and ballads like "Burning Our Bed." Unfortunately for Cooper, lightning didn't strike twice. Hey Stoopid ended up stalling at No. 47 position, while the title track only made it as far as No. 78 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Still, this remains one of Cooper’s higher-profile releases. Hear No Evil Recordings released an expanded edition of Hey Stoopid in September 2013 that added three new bonus tracks.
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