School's Out (song)

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"School's Out"
7" single
Single by Alice Cooper
from the album School's Out
B-side"Gutter Cat"
ReleasedMay 1972
Format45"
GenreHard rock, heavy metal, proto-punk, glam rock
Length3:27
LabelWarner Bros.
Writer(s)
Producer(s)Bob Ezrin
Alice Cooper singles chronology
"Be My Lover"
(1972)
"School's Out"
(1972)
"Elected"
(1972)

"It's Me"
(1994)

"School's Out (Live)"
(1997)

"Brutal Planet"
(2000)
 
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"School's Out"
7" single
Single by Alice Cooper
from the album School's Out
B-side"Gutter Cat"
ReleasedMay 1972
Format45"
GenreHard rock, heavy metal, proto-punk, glam rock
Length3:27
LabelWarner Bros.
Writer(s)
Producer(s)Bob Ezrin
Alice Cooper singles chronology
"Be My Lover"
(1972)
"School's Out"
(1972)
"Elected"
(1972)

"It's Me"
(1994)

"School's Out (Live)"
(1997)

"Brutal Planet"
(2000)

"School's Out", also known as "School's Out for Summer" is a 1972 title track single released on Alice Cooper's fifth album.

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 admitted that guitarist Glen Buxton, was the one who 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."

"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. In Canada, the single went to #3 on the RPM Top Singles Chart[2] following the album reaching #1.[3] 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 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.

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[4] and the song appeared on the TV show American Idol in 2010.

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."

Usage in popular media[edit]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.

Cover versions[edit]

Daphne and Celeste version[edit]

"School's Out"
Single by Daphne and Celeste
from the album We Didn't Say That!
ReleasedAugust 21, 2000 (US)
FormatCD single
Recorded1999
GenrePop, pop rap
Length3:23
LabelPhantom Sound/Visi
Daphne and Celeste singles chronology
"U.G.L.Y."
(2000)
"School's Out"
(2000)

Female pop duo Daphne and Celeste released a cover of the song in 2000. The chorus is based on Alice Cooper's hit of the same name, and some other elements of that song have been retained, although much of the song is "original", in a pop rap style. 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, "Camp Song", is the only non-album D&C track available.

Track listing
  1. "School's Out"
  2. "The Camp Song"
  3. "School's Out" (Gridlock Mix)
  4. "School's Out" (video)
"School's Out"
Single by Gwar
from the album Beyond Hell
Released2006
FormatPromo CD, digital single
Recorded2006
GenreCrossover thrash
Length3:23
LabelDRT Entertainment
Producer(s)Devin Townsend & Cory Smoot
Gwar singles chronology
"A Soundtrack to Kill Yourself To"
(1997)
"School's Out"
(2006)

Gwar version[edit]

"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[edit]

Chart Performance[edit]

Chart (1972)Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[8]7
Canadian RPM Top Singles Chart[2]3
Germany Singles Chart[9]5
UK Singles Chart[10]1
Austrian Singles Chart[11]12
Norwegian Singles Chart[12]6
Ireland Singles Chart[13]2
Dutch Singles Chart[14]9
Australian Singles Chart[15]22

References[edit]

  1. ^ Originally stated May 4, 2008; clarified as just a joke on June 3, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ "spreadit.org music". Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ "Glee Songs Report Card - Season 3 Episode 18 - Choke". Top40.about.com. January 7, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Les Savy Fav covers "School's Out" by Alice Cooper on a yacht". Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Alice Cooper - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles" Allmusic. Retrieved on August 10, 2009."
  9. ^ ""German Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" musicline.de. Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  10. ^ Rice, Jo; Tim Rice, Paul Gambaccini and 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. ^ ""Austrian Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Austriancharts.at. Retrieved on August 10, 2009."
  12. ^ ""Norwegian Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  13. ^ ""Irish Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" irishcharts.com. Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  14. ^ ""Dutch Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  15. ^ ""Go-Set Singles Chart Page with "School's Out" Peak Position"" Retrieved on November 5, 2009.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Puppy Love" by Donny Osmond
UK Singles Chart number one single
August 12, 1972 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"You Wear It Well" by Rod Stewart