An undiscovered gem - to the non-explorers out there. | Reviewer: Mick | 9/30/2006

Alma Mater ("the school or college one has attended")

I live in the UK, and I never knew what an Alma Mater was until I heard this song (and even then I had to look it up - Alma Mater, that is). This was in the mid-seventies - when I used to listen to my older brother's LPs when he was out.

So, why does Alma Mater mean so much to me? Well...

The sound of rain, a jangling, melancholy guitar, and Alice pouring out his heart (as though down a long distance telephone line) because he's leaving his high school, and his friends. (It's a subtle contrast to the anarchy of School's Out, and the anectdotal lyrics sound heartfelt (the high school in the song, Cortez, was, apparently, Alice's own)).

I was in the midst of secondary school at the time (and the shehanigans that went with it) so perhaps that's why it cloys. Whatever the reason, I never tire of hearing it; Alma Mater is a song that brings a tear to my eye AND lifts me. What else does that? Wonderful.


"Rain is falling, down my cheek, searching for the sea..."

Shakespeare, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Tennyson, eat your heart out.


Most people know of Alice Cooper via the 'School's Out' single , but (since it came out in the 70's - when times were hard and singles were affordable but LP's were not) have probably never heard the album. ?

If you are one of these unfortunates, go get it. Buy it. Steal it. Swap your mother for it. It is (in my opinion) one of the masterpieces of raw, innovative music that only the 70s seemed to have had the balls to produce.

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