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Alice Cooper - School's Out (Hammersmith Odeon 2009)

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School's Out on Wikipedia
"School's Out"
Alice Cooper School's out 45.jpgCover of the 1972 US single
Single by Alice Cooper
from the album School's Out
B-side"Gutter Cat"
ReleasedApril 26, 1972 (1972-04-26)
Format7-inch single
LabelWarner Bros.
  • Alice Cooper
  • Michael Bruce
  • Glen Buxton
  • Dennis Dunaway
  • Neal Smith
Producer(s)Bob Ezrin
Alice Cooper singles chronology

"School's Out" is a 1972 song first recorded as the title track single of Alice Cooper's fifth album and written by the Alice Cooper band: Cooper, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith.


  • 1 Inspiration and writing
  • 2 Release and reception
  • 3 Usage in popular media
  • 4 Cover versions
    • 4.1 Daphne and Celeste version
    • 4.2 Gwar version
    • 4.3 Other covers
  • 5 Chart performance
    • 5.1 Weekly singles charts
    • 5.2 Year-end charts
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Inspiration and writing

Cooper has said he was inspired to write the song when answering the question, "What's the greatest three minutes of your life?". Cooper said: "There's two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you're just getting ready to open the presents. The greed factor is right there. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you're sitting there and it's like a slow fuse burning. I said, 'If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it's going to be so big.'"

Cooper has also said it was inspired by a line from a Bowery Boys movie. On his radio show, "Nights with Alice Cooper", he joked that the main riff of the song was inspired by a song by Miles Davis.[1] Cooper said that guitarist Glen Buxton created the song's opening riff.

The lyrics of "School's Out" indicate that not only is the school year ended for summer vacation, but ended forever, and that the school itself has been blown up. It incorporates the childhood rhyme, "No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks" into its lyrics. It also featured children contributing some of the vocals. "Innocence" in the lyric "...and we got no innocence" is frequently changed in concert to "intelligence" and sometimes replaced with "etiquette." The song appropriately ends with a school bell sound that fades out.

Later performances saw Alice Cooper incorporate parts of the first verse in "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2", a song by Pink Floyd (also about school, and produced by Bob Ezrin) into "School's Out."

Release and reception

"School's Out" became Alice Cooper's first major hit single, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart and propelling the album to #2 on the Billboard 200 pop albums chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 75 song for 1972.[2] In Canada, the single went to #3 on the RPM Top Singles Chart[3] following the album reaching #1.[4] In Britain, the song went to #1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in August 1972. It also marked the first time that Alice Cooper became regarded as more than just a theatrical novelty act.

The single version of the song is a slightly sped-up mono mix of the album version with one major difference — the "turn-off" effect used upon the school bell and sound effects at the end of the album version is not used on the single version, allowing the school bell and effects to simply fade out.

Some radio stations banned the song from their airwaves, stating that the song gave the students a negative impression of rebelliousness against childhood education. Teachers, parents, principals, counselors, and psychologists also shunned that song and demanded several radio stations to ban the song from ever being played on the air.

In 2004, "School's Out" was ranked #319 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2009 it was named the 35th best hard rock song of all time by VH1[5] and the song appeared on the TV show American Idol in 2010. The Guardian placed it as number 3 on its list of "The 20 best glam-rock songs of all time."[6]

Usage in popular media

The song has been used in movies including Scream, Dazed and Confused, Rock 'n' Roll High School and I Love You, Beth Cooper.

In 2004, the song was also used in a Staples television commercial for the back to school retail period in which Alice appeared as himself.[7] A young girl with black hair, obviously disappointed that school is starting soon, says, "I thought you said 'School's out forever.'" Alice (who's pushing a shopping cart full of her school supplies) replies, "No, no, no ... the song goes, 'School's out for summer.' Nice try though." The song was also used in a 2009 Arby's commercial.

The title of the 1992 Degrassi movie, School's Out, comes from this song.

In 2012, the song was featured in musical TV series Glee, episode "Choke" (aired on May 1), in its third season. The song was performed by Mark Salling as his character Puck.[8]

The Simpsons episode "Kamp Krusty" had an excerpt of the song's refrain used during Bart's dream sequence with the destruction of Springfield Elementary on its last day of school before summer vacation, and in the episode I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can, Principal Skinner sings his own version - "School's back in session, let's begin our lesson!"

The fictional music group Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song at the beginning of their VHS Alvin and the Chipmunks - School's Out for Summer. The lyric "School's been blown to pieces" was changed to "School's ancient history".

Cooper performs the song as the closing act of his episode of The Muppet Show where he dances with various large Muppet monsters who gleefully act out his lyrics, including causing numerous explosions. The song was also performed in the finale of the ninth season of American Idol by Idol contestants and Cooper himself.

The live version from Classicks is featured as downloadable content in Rock Band 3.

Daphne and Celeste version

"School's Out"
Single by Daphne and Celeste
from the album We Didn't Say That!
ReleasedAugust 21, 2000 (US)
  • CD single
  • cassette single
LabelPhantom Sound/Visi
  • Alice Cooper
  • Michael Bruce
  • Glen Buxton
  • Dennis Dunaway
  • Neal Smith
Daphne and Celeste singles chronology

Pop duo Daphne and Celeste released a cover of the song in 2000, although much of this cover is original, in a pop-rap style. The chorus is based on that in Alice Cooper's version, and some other elements of it have been retained as well. The single is remixed from the version released on their album We Didn't Say That!, removing a prominent synthesizer line from the chorus among other, more minor changes. The B-side, "The Camp Song", was the only non-album D&C song available until the release of their fourth single almost 15 years later.

Track listing
  1. "School's Out"
  2. "The Camp Song"
  3. "School's Out" (Gridlock Mix)
  4. "School's Out" (video)
"School's Out"
GWAR Schools Out.jpg
Single by Gwar
from the album Beyond Hell
FormatPromo CD, digital single
LabelDRT Entertainment
  • Alice Cooper
  • Michael Bruce
  • Glen Buxton
  • Dennis Dunaway
  • Neal Smith
Producer(s)Devin Townsend & Cory Smoot
Gwar singles chronology

Gwar version

"School's Out" was also covered by the band Gwar. It was the first release from their 2006 album Beyond Hell. It was released as a digital download through services such as iTunes and eMusic, and as a promotional CD sent to radio stations. The band has stated in several interviews that they had not intended on recording a cover song for Beyond Hell, but the record company insisted that they do a cover that might get some airplay, and would be accessible to a wider audience than their first choice for a single, "Eighth Lock".[citation needed]

Other covers

  • 45 Grave in 1984, on the single "School's Out"
  • Toyah on the album Minx in 1985
  • Grave Digger in 1985, on the album Witch Hunter
  • "Cretu and Thiers" in 1988, a single by Michael Cretu of Engima fame
  • The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
  • Demons and Wizards[citation needed]
  • Kirka in 1986, on the album R.O.C.K.
  • Krokus in 1986, on the album Change of Address
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1994 VHS and compilation cassette School's Out for Summer.
  • Bl'ast in 1987, on the EP School's Out (SST 124)
  • Soul Asylum in 1998 for the movie The Faculty
  • Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, Bob Kulick, Bob Daisley, Eric Singer and Paul Taylor in 1999 for the tribute album Humanary Stew: A Tribute to Alice Cooper
  • Sevendust on the "Licking Cream" single.
  • The Last Hard Men in 1996
  • Mr. Bumpy during Karaoke Café on Bump in the Night. The song was also sung briefly a few times by both Mr. Bumpy and The Boy in the episode "Not A Peep".
  • A-Teens in 2002, on the albums Pop 'til You Drop! and New Arrival - their version was a duet with Alice Cooper himself. To avoid any references to violence, and to also reflect the band's key audience, the line "School's blown to pieces" was changed to "I'm bored to pieces". The song was released as the B-Side of the single "Let Your Heart Do All the Talking".
  • Rob Zombie and Slash, live with Alice Cooper at the 2007 Scream Awards. Zombie has also performed a cover of the song during several dates on the Twins of Evil tour in 2012.
  • Jay Anderson Band in 2007, on the Laosy Lao LP
  • A cover of School's Out is a playable track in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
  • Emily Estefan. In 2008, Gloria Estefan's daughter Emily made a cover of this song for her mother's tour in Europe.
  • The Donnas in 2001, on the album The Donnas Turn 21 (Japanese bonus track)
  • Alien Sex Fiend on the album The Legendary Batcave Tapes
  • Foo Fighters performed the song as well as "I'm Eighteen" live with Alice Cooper at their 2011 show at the Milton Keynes Bowl.
  • Kesha covered it in Oslo and was joined by Alice Cooper during her performance.
  • New York City indie rock band Les Savy Fav performed a version of the song in July 2011 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover: Summer Break series.[9]
  • The cast of Glee covered the song in season 3 episode 18 "Choke", performed as a solo by Mark Salling as Noah 'Puck' Puckerman.
  • Most recently, Cooper himself covered the song with his supergroup The Hollywood Vampires on their debut album, released September 11, 2015. Like the original version, this new version features Dennis Dunaway on bass and Neal Smith on drums.


  1. ^ Originally stated May 4, 2008; clarified as just a joke on June 3, 2008.
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
  3. ^ a b "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ " music". Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  6. ^ Savage, Jon (February 1, 2013). "The 20 best glam-rock songs of all time". The Guardian. Retrieved February 5, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Staples Unveils Back-to-School Commercial Starring Alice Cooper; 'School's Out' - Or Is It - For Veteran Rocker in New Ad Campaign". Business Wire. July 8, 2004. 
  8. ^ "Glee Songs Report Card - Season 3 Episode 18 - Choke". January 7, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Les Savy Fav covers "School's Out" by Alice Cooper on a yacht". Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ Rice, Jo; Tim Rice; Paul Gambaccini; Mike Read (1979). The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (2nd ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 56. ISBN 0-900424-99-0. 
  11. ^ "Alice Cooper - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles" Allmusic. Retrieved on August 10, 2009."
  12. ^ ""German Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  13. ^ ""Austrian Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Retrieved on August 10, 2009."
  14. ^ ""Norwegian Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  15. ^ ""Irish Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  16. ^ ""Dutch Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  17. ^ ""Go-Set Singles Chart Page with "School's Out" Peak Position"" Retrieved on November 5, 2009.
  18. ^ "Top 100 1972 - UK Music Charts". Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  19. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1972/Top 100 Songs of 1972". Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  20. ^ [1]

External links

  • ""School's Out" Songfacts entry". 
  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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