Rock Chronology #172: I’m Eighteen


“I’m Eighteen”, Alice Cooper, 1970.

And so it begins.

Based on what I’ve played so far in 1970 you might think that music in general was becoming softer and more about Folk Rock. What was really happening wass that music was becoming more polarized. Folk Rock was becoming softer and was spawning “Soft Rock”. At the same time Hard Rock was becoming harder and spawning “Heavy Metal”. These first heavy bands had a darker tone compared to the psychedelic hippie stuff of the 60’s. While Heavy Metal band, Black Sabbath, was starting to get noticed in the UK, this band, Alice Cooper was getting noticed in the US.

In 1970 Alice Cooper referred the whole band. The lead singer at the time was Vincent Furnier, and he would eventually take the name Alice Cooper as his own in 1975. But in 1970 they were all Alice Cooper. They liked the name because it was such a normal sounding name and yet they were known for doing shocking things on stage. On their first big tour they would do mock fights and torture scenes on stage and they would end with their lead singer getting “executed” with an electric chair.

The band scored their first real hit with this song, which was originally just called “Eighteen”. It was released in 1970 and it eventually peaked at #21 on the singles chart in 1971. This just happened to be the same year that the 26th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed which gave eighteen-year-olds the right to vote.

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