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Cooper wrote this song about the reaction of friends and family toward his over-the-top stage persona. The maniac he plays on stage goes over well with his audiences, but the folks in his mother's church groups were unsure how to handle it and were uncomfortable talking about it. This song was the shock rocker's declaration that the "gloves are off," and he's no longer going to apologize for his wild-man stage antics, as there are many worse things that he could be doing with his life.
The upbeat Pop/Rock anthem boasts an irresistible sing-along chorus that helped its chart fortunes.
Cooper co-wrote this song with Michael Bruce, who was a member of the original Alice Cooper Group. Bruce played guitar, keyboards and contributed vocals as a band member. He was also the group's chief songwriter and wrote or co-wrote many of their most-recognized songs, including "School's Out," "Under My Wheels," "I'm Eighteen," "Ballad of Dwight Fry," "Be My Lover," "Desperado" and "Billion Dollar Babies."
The lineup on this track was Cooper (vocals), Glen Buxton (lead guitar), Michael Bruce (rhythm guitar), Dennis Dunaway (bass) and Neal Smith (drums). In our interview with Smith
, he explained that this song came at a time when the band was burnishing their Shock Rock for greater appeal. "'No More Mr. Nice Guy' is a good combination between the dark side and the commercial side," he said.
This was the third single from Billion Dollar Babies, the sixth studio album by Alice Cooper (the name of both the singer and the band at the time). This was the band's most commercially successful album. It topped the album charts in both the United States and the UK, and also made the Top 10 in Australia, Austria and Canada.
The album was produced by Bob Ezrin, who has produced many albums for Cooper - both the Alice Cooper band and his solo LPs. With this album, Ezrin aimed for a more polished sound, but the tracks still have Cooper's signature Hard Rock flavor. Ezrin was one of the most commercially successful and acclaimed producers of the 1970s. Highlights in his career include his production work for Pink Floyd's groundbreaking album The Wall and KISS's multi-platinum Destroyer. Other notable albums he's produced for Cooper include Welcome to My Nightmare, School's Out, Love It To Death and Lace and Whiskey. Cooper has described Ezrin as "our George Martin."
Pat Boone pulled off an ironic cover of this song for his album In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, released in 1997. The Thrash Metal band Megadeth recorded a more sincere version for the 1989 horror film Shocker, which was later included on the band's EP Hidden Treasures in 1995.
This was featured in the 1993 movie Dazed and Confused during a scene where the school seniors (one of which was played by Ben Affleck) paddle a freshman per tradition. It was an appropriate choice, as the movie was set in 1976. When this scene was spoofed in the 2005 Family Guy episode "Jungle Love," the song was also used. The song also appears in the 2011 episode of The Simpsons titled "Love Is a Many Strangled Thing."
In 2010, Cooper rerecorded the song for the popular video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
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