Alice Cooper – Schools Out

Loved this song as a student. I would make sure to fire it up on that last day in May and most of my friends would be shouting it. Cooper (Vincent Damon Furnier) wrote this song with his guitarist Michael Bruce. At the time, “Alice Cooper” was the name of the band, not just the lead singer, and all members contributed to their songwriting. Bruce also wrote the group’s songs “Caught In A Dream” and “Be My Lover,” and co-wrote “No More Mr. Nice Guy” with Cooper.

I’ve always liked Alice Cooper. He wasn’t just a show (uh…Kiss) he had some good hard rock and even pop music. I saw him open for the Rolling Stones in 2006 in Churchill Downs and I’m not saying he was better than the Stones but the sound was much better for his set. With his makeup…he doesn’t age.

The song peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the UK, and #3 in Canada in 1972.

From Songfacts

The title (and song) were inspired by a warning often said in Bowery Boys movies in which one of the characters declares to another, “School is out,” meaning “to wise up.” The Bowery Boys were characters featured in 48 movies that ran from 1946-1958. They were young tough guys in New York City who were always finding trouble. The movies ran on American TV throughout the ’60s and ’70s, eating up a lot of air time on independent stations. It was one of these TV viewings that Cooper saw. In the film, the character Sach (Huntz Hall) did something dumb, which prompted one of the other guys to say, “Hey, Sach, School’s Out!” Cooper like the way the phrase sounded and used it as the basis for this song.

This is a fixture at Cooper’s concerts. He says the difference between him and guys like Marilyn Manson is that he leaves the crowd in a good mood. His shows are meant to be fun, not depressing.

This was released in the summer of 1972, when school really was out. It’s since become an anthem for summer vacation.

This was Cooper’s biggest hit; it was especially popular in the UK where it topped the chart for three weeks. A concert staple, it is usually the last song he plays at his shows.

The chorus of children who sing on this was put together by producer Bob Ezrin. In 1979, Ezrin used another kid’s chorus when he produced “Another Brick In The Wall (part II)” for Pink Floyd. He liked the idea of hearing children’s voices on songs about school. In this song, they sing the children’s rhyme “No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks.”

In a 2008 Esquire interview, Cooper said: “When we did ‘School’s Out,’ I knew we had just done the national anthem. I’ve become the Francis Scott Key of the last day of school.”

The album opened like a school desk and contained a pair of paper panties. This is the kind of “added value” you just don’t get with CDs.

Soul Asylum covered this for the 1998 movie The Faculty.

Cooper recorded a new version of this with Swedish pop group The A-Teens in 2002. It was an odd pairing, but the A-Teens claimed Cooper did not scare them. Cooper said that was because they had never seen his stage show. The lyrics of the new version were altered from “School’s been blown to pieces” to “I’m bored to pieces.”

Cooper starred in a TV commercial for Staples where a young girl is forced to shop for school supplies while a Muzak version of this song plays. She looks at Cooper and says, “I thought you said School’s out forever.” He replies, “No, the song goes, ‘School’s out for summer. Nice try, though.” At this point, the real version of the song kicks in. 

On May 13, 2009, Cooper performed this song at the Arizona State University graduation ceremonies with his son Dash’s band, Runaway Phoenix. Alice wore his varsity letter sweater from Cortez High (Class of ’66) for the performance, which preceded a speech by US President Barack Obama. Cooper’s son Dash was attending the ASU journalism school.

This was slated for the 1992 film Wayne’s World, where Cooper was to perform it before meeting Wayne and Garth backstage. Shortly before filming began, Cooper’s manager Shep Gordon changed the playbook and told the film’s producers that Alice would be performing a new song instead: “Feed My Frankenstein.”

Schools Out

Well we got no choice
All the girls and boys
Makin’ all that noise
‘Cause they found new toys
Well we can’t salute ya can’t find a flag
If that don’t suit ya that’s a drag
School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils no more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks yeah
Well we got no class
And we got no principals
And we got no innocence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes
School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
My school’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils no more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks
Out for summer
Out till fall
We might not come back at all
School’s out forever
School’s out for summer
School’s out with fever
School’s out completely

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

18 thoughts on “Alice Cooper – Schools Out”

  1. Every kid loved that song back in the day! My brother had the album and played it a lot. Cooper played in my hometown about 10 years ago, and I believe came into a friend’s coffee shop before the show, but of course was the regular aging-golfer man, not the stage persona. Apparently was nice enough man.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great song Max. I hope you don’t mind that I added this to Song Lyric Sunday for you. In 1971 the song “I’m Eighteen” was always playing on my eight track while I was driving around, because I had just turned 18.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have heard it also. He seems like a fun guy…and smart…really wasn’t what his image was about. Thank you for commenting.

      Like

  3. This one came out near the same time as I’m 18 didn’t it, maybe a little before? I remember loving to sing that song on the last day of school. I also turned 18 when I’m 18 was popular. It doesn’t get much better than that. Oh, just an fyi, my “likes” won’t register at any blog after a firefox update earlier today but they will work in the notifications column at my blog. No clue what’s wrong but it’s extremely aggravating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. At the Classic Rock station I worked at, we had his syndicated show on at night. He had some great stories that he shared on that show. He is really very intelligent and it was great to be able to chat with him briefly on the phone when we brought his show to our station. Nice guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know he seems like a great guy…far from the image he projected.
      That is cool you got to chat with him. I look him up on youtube….he has some great Keith Moon stories when they hung out.

      Liked by 1 person

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