One Track Mind: Alice Cooper, “Elected” (1972)

This is a music site so you can relax, because we’re not going to be spouting off political views. That said, it hadn’t escaped even us music obsessives that there’s a quadrennial grand exercise of democracy going on today. But for guys like us, it’s gotta be set to song.

On this day I’m thinking of a song I recall from almost forty years ago. When I first heard “Elected” by Alice Cooper, I thought he was singing “I wanna be a lefty,” and being so young I further thought he was saying he wanted to be left-handed (like me), not liberal. But back then I didn’t understand politics at all. Nowadays, I’m still struggling to understand it.

I do however, as I did then, understand that this is a cool bangin’ hard rock number with a real song construction of more than three chords, like a lot of Alice Cooper’s songs back then with his original band. With their music at that time often outrageous, bombastic and a little over the top, it made a lot of sense to pair it up with a plea for votes, dontcha think?

They even made a video for this song, and for this being made about nine years before MTV, it’s a slickly produced affair. Vincent Furnier (Cooper) plays the candidate with charisma promising “we’ll all gonna rock to the rules that I make.” Later on we see him literally awash in cash, his campaign being run by a monkey and Cooper riding off in his Rolls giving the middle finger salute.

Fiction in 1972 or reality in 2012? Some days, I’m not sure if the difference is all that great. But “Elected” sure is.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is a CPA and mid-level data analyst for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

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