Alice Cooper’s former drummer, Neal Smith, has released a retro pop album titled “Pop 85/95” with songs he wrote back in the day.
According to the press release, the songs and the general concept are “completely sexy and politically incorrect. They represent all the phases of a relationship, falling in love and being disappointed in a simpler past before the coronation, the political correctness and the disorder of the modern world “.
The inspiration for these songs was actually… Phil Collins who wrote several pop hits in his solo career. So, in the late 1980s, he recorded four of his songs, and one of them, “Secret Eyes,” led to the signing of a record deal with a newly formed company, Grudge Records. In fact, Smith and his former Alice Cooper Band bandmate, Dennis Dunaway, Blue Oyster Cult’s Joe Bouchard, Charlie Hune, who played with Ted Nugent, and guitarist Jay Jesse Johnson, formed Deadringer, who recorded an album in 1989, “Electrocution Of The Heart”, which contained “Secret Eyes”. The band’s tenure was very short, as was the story of the disbanded Grudge Records. Smith continued to work with guitarist Triple J and a few decades later retrieved from his archive material written between 1985 and 1995. With the help of two very good friends, Peter Catucci (bass) and Rick Tedesco (guitar), these songs are now being released for the first time.
“In the ’80s and ’90s, rap, hip-hop, pop and even rock music was being recorded with synthesized programmed drums. I understood that this was a new wave of recording percussion. But what I did not like was many of the synthesized drum tracks were being programmed by engineers and musicians who were not even drummers. Disappointed and inspired by that fact, I began a new phase of songwriting by programming synthesized drums on my recordings. The last eight songs on my new CD ‘Pop 85/95’ is a collection of songs I wrote from that era featuring synth drums I programmed myself”, says Smith.