|alice cooper 1971|
photograph by Pete Turner
Written by rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, "Be My Lover" is a great story song, a snippet of what could have been any day in any member of the band's life. Heralded with a riff more than a little reminiscent of "Sweet Jane," the immaculately phrased lyric is introduced across thirty seconds before the rest of the band kicks in:
She struts into the room / well, I don't know her / but with a magnifying glance / I just sort of look her over / we have a drink or two / well, maybe three / and then suddenly / she starts telling me her life story...
The chorus itself is hooky as can be but the genius lies in the simple storytelling of the individual verses. Again, it's a Lou Reed-style stream of consciousness but without any of the heavy, sardonic irony. The bridge following the chorus is pure genius and then we're treated to the best damn lines in Cooper's entire discography:
I told her that I came / from Detroit City / and I played guitar / in a long-haired rock and roll band / she asked me why / the singer's name was Alice / I said listen, baby / you really wouldn't understand...
Add in a big, exaggerated show tune ending and you have one hell of a great song.