Co-produced by Cooper and his bassist at the time, Erik Scott, Zipper Catches Skin is musically known for its dry and energetic hard rock style, with pop punk and post-punk influences and less emphasis on hard riffs, carrying on a similar musical direction of the preceding Special Forces with sonically slicker and clearer results. Lyrically, Cooper employed a much stronger focus on comical sarcasm and on avoiding using clichéd subject matter. Erik Scott has stated the album “was meant to be lean, stripped down, and low on frills. Punkish and bratty.” However, although it saw the return of guitarist Dick Wagner to Cooper’s band, Zipper is generally not considered to be up to the same standard as his previous works.
Despite its first single “I Am the Future” being featured in the film Class of 1984 as its theme song, and The Waitresses’ Patty Donahue appearing on its other single “I Like Girls”, Zipper Catches Skin failed to chart in most countries, including in the US where it became Cooper’s first album to not dent the Billboard Top 200 since Easy Action. The album’s inconspicuous front cover, featuring just the album’s lyrics with a smear of blood rather than exploiting the vivid imagery suggestive of the album’s title, did not help the situation.
At the time, Cooper described Zipper Catches Skin as “totally kill. Real hardcore. The stuff that I do has always been a lot like that. In fact, I invented a couple of songs that were remakes of other songs, just for the purpose of attacking clichés. There are no clichés on this album, and I did that for a specific reason. Rock and roll right now is jammed with clichés.” Cooper described the photograph of him on the album’s back cover as “very Haggar slacks. I look good. I look like a GQ ad, only I’m zipping up my pants and you can see definite pain on my face."”
Dick Wagner, who left halfway through the recording sessions, described Zipper Catches Skin as “the off to the races speedy album” and a “drug induced nightmare”. Wagner later revealed in a segment of the Deleted Scenes on the 2014 documentary film Super Duper Alice Cooper that Alice was smoking crack cocaine at the time and had a curtain set up behind the recording mic with a stool on it where he kept his crack pipe; he and other members of the band would sneak behind the curtain to take hits in between recording takes.
Zipper Catches Skin is the second of three albums which Alice refers to as his “blackout” albums, the others being the preceding album, Special Forces, and the following album, DaDa, as he has no recollection of recording them, due to the substance abuse, although he did manage to film a TV advert intended to promote Zipper at the time. Cooper stated “I wrote them, recorded them and toured them and I don’t remember much of any of that”, though he actually toured only Special Forces. There was no tour to promote Zipper, and none of its songs have ever been played live.
|1.||"Zorro’s Ascent"||Alice Cooper, John Nitzinger, Billy Steele, Erik Scott||3:56|
|2.||"Make That Money (Scrooge’s Song)"||Cooper, Dick Wagner||3:30|
|3.||"I Am The Future" (From The Motion Picture Class of 1984)||Gary Osborne, Lalo Schifrin||3:29|
|4.||"No Baloney Homosapiens" (For Steve & E.T.)||Cooper, Wagner||5:06|
|5.||"Adaptable (Anything For You)"||Cooper, Steele, Scott||2:56|
|6.||"I Like Girls"||Cooper, Nitzinger, Scott||2:25|
|7.||"Remarkably Insincere"||Cooper, Nitzinger, Scott||2:07|
|8.||"Tag, You’re It"||Cooper, Nitzinger, Scott||2:54|
|9.||"I Better Be Good"||Cooper, Wagner, Scott||2:48|
|10.||"I'm Alive (That Was the Day My Dead Pet Returned to Save My Life)"||Cooper, Wagner, Scott||3:13|
- Alice Cooper – vocals, synthesizer
- Dick Wagner – guitar
- Mike Pinera – guitar
- Erik Scott – bass
- Jan Uvena – drums, percussion
- John Nitzinger – guitar
- Billy Steele – guitar
- Duane Hitchings – synthesizer
- Craig Krampf - percussion
- Frannie Golde, Joanne Harris, Flo & Eddie - vocals
- Patty Donahue - guest vocals and “sarcasm” on “I Like Girls”
- ↑ Guarisco, Donald A. "Zipper Catches Skin - Alice Cooper". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- ↑ SickthingsUK - Erik Scott interview - August 2005
- ↑ Hit Parader magazine – ‘Jokers Wild’ article – March 1983 issue
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 SickthingsUK – Dick Wagner interview “ October 2004
- ↑ YouTube - "Zipper Catches Skin" TV spot - 1982
- ↑ The Quietus - "Love And Poison, An Alice Cooper Interview" - November 2009
- ↑ Alice Cooper eChive - Tour Archives