SickthingsUK: Alice's Seven Deadly

Alan Menken

Around 1998/1999 Alice was working on a project with Alan Menken, multiple Grammy Award-winning soundtrack composer of Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' amongst many others. It seems they got together via a mutual friend (presumably referring to Rob Roth) and were writing for a project known at the time only as 'The Seven Deadly", but later referred to as 'Alice Cooper's Deadly Seven'.

"We don't want to release what it's going to be," Coop says, "but trust me, Alan is not doing what he normally does. I'm doing the lyrics, he's doing the music. I can't tell you what it is," he chuckles gleefully. "It's too good."

Whether ideas from this project were incorporated into 'Brutal Planet' is speculation, but 'Gimme', 'Eat Some More' etc could be seen as sins so it's possible. However as Menken doesn't get any writing credits it's safe to assume the work they did together doesn't feature on any released Alice Cooper album.Amazingly Alice still refered to the project as late as 2016!

Over the years I've collected together every mention I've found about the project. Unfortunately after so long it seems unlikely the final result will ever be heard. However it's clear that demos were recorded, so maybe one day we'll get to hear them.

Around 1999 Alice told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the project was called 'Alice's Deadly Seven' and was based on the Seven Deadly Sins. "This is probably the strangest combination since Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello," Cooper said. "(It's) got my words and Alan's melodies and both of us collaborating on arrangements. It's basically three quarters written, and it won't be coming out for two years."

"Cooper has also written a couple of scripts, one of them a science fiction story called 'Spirits Rebellious', and he's collaborated with Walt Disney composer Alan Menken on a project tentatively called 'The Seven Deadly', based on the seven deadly sins."

Neil Gaiman did a live chat on the net for a Norwegian newspaper on 16th August 2000. This was one of the questions and his answer.

Do you have any contact with Alice lately?
"I haven't spoken to Alice in a while. Last time we spoke he sent me some demos of the new album he was working on with Alan Menken, 'SEVEN DEADLY', which had some of the best songwriting he's done in ages."

The Hot Button - May 1998!

Disney's top animated composer, Alan Menken, received an award from BMI this week and let it slip that he's working on a project with Alice Cooper. They are working on an animated version of Dracula in which the Count becomes famous for sucking blood, but then gets tired of having to live up to the rep after becoming a middle-aged vampire. Songs include: "Sucking The Love From You," "You May Live Forever, But Your Breath Still Stinks," "Death-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" and the film's love theme (to be recorded as a single by Puff Daddy in conjunction with Sting), "Every Pint You Take." Of course, I made all that up, except for the Alice Cooper collaboration. And who knows?

Boston Globe May 7th 1999

Cooper says what he's planned is another concept album collaboration with Bob Ezrin. (Ezrin produced Cooper's "Nightmare" as well as Pink Floyd's "The Wall," Lou Reed's "Berlin" and many others.) "It's a concept album," Cooper says, "pretty classically themed, called 'The Seven Deadly,' " as in the Seven Deadly Sins. "It's pretty much written and I'm working, actually, with Alan Menken, who wrote all the Disney stuff, 'The Little Mermaid' and all that."

Says Alice: "Somebody else put it together, Rob Ross who did 'The Beauty and the Beast.' And he's the biggest Alice Cooper fan of all time. Alan also did 'Little Shop of Horrors' so I'm thinking anybody who can write this stuff can write rock 'n' roll. So I sat down with the guy and everything the guy writes is a hit, and when he writes it with me it's really an adventure. He's used to working with Tim Rice and I'll come in with a lyric and he'll go 'That's cool, very experimental.' "

Jam: 30 April, 1999

Alice Cooper working on 'Deadly' musical
By JOHN SAKAMOTO
Executive Producer, JAM!
On the heels of his long-overdue box set comes news that the original shock-rocker, Alice Cooper, has written the songs for a new concept album with a most unlikely collaborator: Oscar-winner Alan Menken, best known for his work on Disney's "Little Mermaid" and "Beauty And The Beast".

"A friend of mine who directed "Beauty And The Beast" introduced me to Alan Menken, who did all the Disney stuff," Cooper is saying down the line from his home in sunny Phoenix, where he's cheerfully talking up his witty new four-CD retrospective, "The Life And Crimes Of Alice Cooper".

"And as kind of an odd thing, he said, 'Why don't you guys try to write something together?' I said, 'Sure. I've worked with everybody from Henry Mancini to Bon Jovi. We ended up writing something called 'Alice's Deadly Seven', which is like the Seven Deadly Sins, and it's really good, I'm really excited about it. I think it could be the next 'Welcome To My Nightmare'."

The 51-year-old Cooper describes "Alice's Deadly Seven" as "probably the most conceptual piece I've ever written as far as adhering to one subject and the characters recurring."

"I don't know if it's gonna be a stage play, I don't know if it's gonna be a cartoon, I don't know if it's gonna be Alice's next theatre tour. All I know is that it's a real Alice Cooper project. And when (producer) Bob Ezrin gets a hold of it, he's gonna take it to the next level."

Also around 1999 Alice spoke to journalist Jim Sullivan:

Cooper says what's he's planned is another concept album collaboration with Bob Ezrin. "It's a concept album," Cooper says, "pretty classically themed, called 'The Seven Deadly,'" as in the Seven Deadly Sins. "It's pretty much written and I'm working, actually, with Alan Menken, who wrote all the Disney stuff, 'The Little Mermaid' and all that.
Somebody else put it together, Rob Ross who did 'The Beauty and the Beast,' and he's the biggest Alice Cooper fan of all time. Alan also did 'Little Shop of Horrors' so I'm thinking anybody who can write this stuff can write rock‘n'roll. So I sat down with the guy and everything the guy writes is a hit, and when he writes it with me it's really an adventure. He's used to working with Tim Rice and I'll come in with a lyric and he'll go 'That's cool, very experimental.' "

Aaardshock America November '99

"I'm also working on this other project. I'm working on a theatre production, together with Alan Menken (famous from Disney-productions) . It's already been written, but it'll be two years before the audience can hear and see it. We (Alan and me) still don't know what it's going to be. A cartoon, a musical, a play... Just wait and see. Bob Ezrin is going to do the production, by the way."

Black Sheep News June 2002

"And just to prove how normal Alice is - and maybe always was? - he recently completed an album with Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who has dished out such family-friendly fare as Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." The collaboration is called "Alice's Deadly 7." OK, it doesn't sound like Cooper has totally lost his spooky edge."

Business Wire May 6th 2003

ROBERT JESS ROTH -- Robert Jess Roth received a Tony Award nomination for his Broadway debut, "Beauty and the Beast," which is now in its ninth year on Broadway and the seventh-longest-running Broadway show in history. He has also received numerous nominations and awards from around the world for his direction, including the Jeff Award, the Ovation Award, the Dora Award and the Dramalogue Award. He has directed productions of "Beauty" the world over, including in London, where the show won the Olivier Award for Best Musical. He recently directed rock star Alice Cooper's Dragontown World Tour. He previously directed Cooper's hugely successful Brutal Planet Tour, and is collaborating with the singer and composer Alan Menken on a new album called "Deadly Seven."

At Horrorfind August 2003 when asked about this project Alice said it will be a Broadway play and that he'll be in it!

In a 2007 interview with from 'American Way', Menken filled talked about the 'Seven Deadly', making it sound even more interesting as 'Guns n'Roses are added to the picture:

"Alice Cooper and I started working years ago on a theatrical-concert idea that was the seven deadly sins according to Alice Cooper. It was called 'Alice's Deadly Seven'. It was a concept of Rob Roth, who directed the stage version of 'Beauty And The Beast' and 'Aida'. He and I have a Busby Berkeley project that has been pitched for years as a big Las Vegas–style production, and it may happen in the next couple of years. Rob brought Alice and me together. We got in a room and started working on this material. Alice wrote the lyrics, and I wrote the music. I did the demos, and we both sang parts of these. He would take my demos, and a couple of times, he came back with the demos he had done with members of 'Guns N' Roses'. It just never went any further. I think Alice is waiting until the record label he's working with is ready to really do this right. This is one of those old-fashioned, big, fat concept albums. One of these days, if we stay healthy and live long enough, we'll do it."

In 2012 BraveWords.com reported that a source had told them the project could finally be released:

In other news, there may be gem from Cooper's past that may see the light of day. 'The Deadly Seven' is a late 90's/early 2000's project and according to a BraveWords.com source, the "demos sound great. Very mid-70's 'Goes To Hell/Lace and Whiskey'."

In 2016 in the book "More Songwriters on Songwriting" by Paul Zollo Alice again talks about the project:

"I worked with Alan Menken on some stuff. We were writing a ballad for a project called 'Alice's Seven Deadly', based on the seven deadly sins. And we got to this ballad, and I said I wanted to write a love song, but I wanted it to be about food. About gluttony. The guy is singing, and you think he's singing to a girl, but he's singing to food. And it was the prettiest song. It was just a heartbreaker. And then you realise he's singing to this table of food. And I went, "That is brilliant". That works both ends. It works as a love song, or it can be about gluttony. So it was one of those moments. Working with Alan Menken was great. Every time he would play something I would go, "Wait - yeah, yeah!" and he'd say "No, how about this?" And I would say "Yeah - Wait!" He was so tuned into writing chords that make you go "Stop"", but then he would play one that is better. I could have written twenty songs with him that day, all ballads."