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Generation Landslide (Billion Dollar Babies, 1973)

“Generation Landslide” Lyrics:

Please clean the plate, dear
The Lord above can see ya
Don’t you know people are starving in Korea?
Alcohol and razor blades and poison and needles
Kindergarten people – they used ’em, the need ’em
Over-indulging machines were their children
There wasn’t a way down on Earth here to cool ’em
’Cause they look just like humans at Kresge’s and Woolworths
But decadent brains were at work to destroy
Brats in battalions were ruling the streets
Sayin’ generation landslide closed the gap between ’em

And I laugh to myself at the men and the ladies
Who never conceived of us billion dollar babies
La da da dada

Militant mothers hidin’ in the basement
Using pots and pans as their shields and their helmets
Molotov milk bottles heaved from pink high chairs
While Mothers’ limp burned, with certificate papers
Dad gets his allowance from his sonny, the dealer
Who’s pubic to the world but involved in high finance
Sister’s out ’til five doing banker’s son’s hours
But she owns a Maserati that’s a gift from his father
Stopped at full speed at one hundred miles per hour
The Colgate invisible shield finally got ’em

And I laugh to myself at every man and the ladies
Who never conceived of us billion dollar babies
La da da dada

Billion Dollar Babies, Alice Cooper’s sixth studio album, was released in 1973. The LP hit #1 on the charts in both the US and UK. Bob Ezrin, once again, produced the record and also played keyboards on some tracks as well.

The album’s songs deal with a wide range of topics and provide a solid follow-up to their previous LP, School’s Out. After expecting a drop-off, critics and naysayers were now starting to take notice. Alice Cooper was not going anywhere; they were here to stay.

“…when we followed up with Billion Dollar Babies, all the critics were saying, “You know what? This is the best album I’ve heard all year.” All of a sudden, even the musicians, who were always, “So what Alice Cooper?!,” they were now going, “Hey, these guys are good.” To me, that was important.” – Alice Cooper

Billion Dollar Babies, filled with hits, is a staple in many record collections – not just for Alice Cooper fans but also for music fans in general. The record and subsequent tour also provided glimpses into the future of what Alice Cooper and Hard Rock fans would come to expect from them, and other Hard Rock acts for years to come.

“Generation Landslide,” the 2nd track on side B of the LP, is about generational degradation and disintegration – at least from a children-versus-elders mentality.

Please clean your plate, dear; the Lord above can see ya
Don’t you know people are starving in Korea?
Alcohol and razor blades and poison and needles
Kindergarten people, they used ’em they need ’em
The over-indulgent machines were their children
There wasn’t a way down on Earth here to cool ’em

Militant mothers, hiding in the basement
Using pots and pans as their shields and their helmets
Molotov milk bottles heaved from pink high-chairs
While mothers limp burned, with certificate papers
Dad gets allowance from his sonny, the dealer
Who’s pubic to the world, but involved in high finance
Sister’s out ’til five doing banker’s son’s hours
But she owns a Maserati, that’s a gift from his father

There’s a tongue-in-cheek message found wrapped within these lines. It’s interesting how each generation sees the next – often forgetting their own flaws and shortcomings while focusing primarily on the next in line (or those that came before).

Instead, it would seem more prosperous for us to seek wisdom from those who came before while learning to listen to the young  – valuing their insight and knowledge as well.

A mutual narrative and notion are that someone else is to blame for the state of the world. That somehow, our generation, our race, our nation, our “whatever other label you’d like to list here” isn’t responsible for the current collapse of moral standards.

However, what’s interesting is humanity’s blindness – our inability to see that sin and separation from God is our main enemy – not young or old, not one another. Instead, it’s our refusal to accept the Master’s plan and the fact that we are His Creation.

In short, humankind is doing its best to draft its own design – apart from the One that created us. How often do we stop to think about history – how it continually repeats itself? Does the world ever really try to fix the broken narrative of humanity and sin? Or does it double down on circumstances – going all-in with its own set of rules and beliefs?

It would seem “Generation Landslide” is less about the deterioration of morality and more about the fact that sin stays the same yet takes on a new vessel – a new disguise, and we continually fall for the bait – trapped in sin’s snare.

If this is the case, where is the Hope? How do we change? What, who, and where are the answers?

“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. John 16:5-15

We’ve been given the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us. We know Christ through His Spirit. The tasks of His Spirit are 1) convicting the world of its sin and calling it to repentance, 2) revealing the standard of God’s righteousness to those who believe in Him, and 3) demonstrate God’s judgment over Satan.

The presence of the Holy Spirit is incredibly Good News for all of us. Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, and ultimately the gift of His Spirit have given us all the tools we need. The heavy lifting has been done. In turn, we’ve been called to Love.

Introducing others to Christ through His Love allows them to come to know Him in Spirit. The same Spirit that guides and directs us will also guide and lead them if and when they choose.

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”

13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:10-14

The judgment and scrutiny each generation places upon the ones that have come before and come after is foolishness. Paul points out that breaking even one commandment brings a person under condemnation. Everyone stands condemned – Law is the Ministry of Death. Christ took on the curse of the law through His death on the cross.

Our only requirement is acceptance of Him (Colossians 1:20-23). With that acceptance, we stand in faith, and by living in Faith, we receive the promise of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 61:1-3).

This may all seem complicated or hard to fathom. At times, we can overcomplicate what God’s Word is telling us. Through the explanation process,  we can lose sight of what it all really means.

“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

20 Moreover, the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so, grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:18-21

Simply put, we were born into Adam’s family line. We’ve reaped the results of sin. We inherited that – the guilt, the sinful nature, punishment, etc. However, we’ve been offered redemption through Christ. We’ve been allowed to trade judgment for forgiveness.

If we are not careful, we may find ourselves separated from God, looking at the law and commandments as a ladder to Him. Even worse, we may apply that same standard to others.

We must remember Christ is the one that lifts us to God. Bypassing that hypothetical ladder, the Holy Spirit places us in the presence of God. Once there, we find ourselves obeying Him – not out of necessity and not by our own strength, but instead, out of Love through His power and might.

Wrapping up this week’s post, it may seem like a lot to digest, but it’s actually pretty simple. We place unneeded and unwanted stress, expectations, and standards on others (and ourselves) when we focus on the law.

Instead, we must learn to look at one another through the eyes of Christ – through the eyes of Love.

That’s not to say we condone sin or promote bad behavior. Instead, we lovingly advise and help others in their journey. As they stumble and fall, we help lift them up and restore them – keeping in mind that we would hope for the same as we struggle (Galatians 6:1-10).

From generation to generation and person to person, we must remember that experiences may seem different, but they are ultimately the same. We walk this world with a target on our back.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. – Ephesians 6:12

Our enemy is evil and wants nothing more than to destroy us, but we, humanity (God’s creation), are family; we are not enemies. Let us work to lift and love one another in Christ (Matthew 22:36-40).

In conclusion, Billion Dollar Babies is easily one of the greatest LPs of all time. It’s obvious Alice and the band knew their audience and together could hone in on that demographic. Songs like “School’s Out,” “Generation Landslide,” “Teenage Lament ’74,” and so many others are primary examples.

Interestingly enough, the Alice Cooper experience, once a parent’s nightmare, has become a multi-generational adventure. Like many bands from that time period, folks of ALL ages can be found at their shows today.

Alice, himself, gets that, and he and his wife, Sheryl, understand the value of humanity – all walks, all ages, all people. If you have not taken any time to learn more about Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock, please do so (more information is listed below). Investing in the lives of future generations is paramount.

Interestingly enough, society, governments, and class systems often place worth on individuals based on their age and contribution to society. That system is NOT God’s system. Our Creator finds merit in all walks of life – EVERYONE!

Therefore, let us do our best to cherish inexperience, experience, and discovery. Let us walk together, ready to share, willing to hope, and eager to love. Let us see that ALL life is beautiful – a gift from above, and let us do our part to “close the gap between ‘em” (all of humanity) – remembering that Unity through diversity creates a solid front.

That’s it for this week, be well and catch you next Friday.

Until then, keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!

For more information about Alice’s Solid Rock Foundation, you can click the links below and learn more about them:

Solid Rock is a Christian, 501(c)(3), Arizona nonprofit corporation. The Board of Directors is made up of Christian men and women dedicated to SRF’s purpose.

Started by Alice Cooper and friend Chuck Savale along with an eight member board of directors, incorporated November of 1995.

Solid Rock’s primary goal is to honor Christ by helping to meet the spiritual, economical, physical, and social needs of teenagers and children within our community.

To honor Christ by providing a facility geared toward teenagers that will help them to negotiate through the turbulent adolescent years. The relationally trained Christian staff, of men and women, and the different venues will create an atmosphere which will make it a place where they “hang out”. “The Rock,” the name of the building, will be designed to be a flexible needs structure centered around music. Programs will focus around a multi-use concert hall, coffee house (kitchen/snack bar for concert & other events), indoor basketball/floor hockey court, rock climbing walls, sound room and recording studio, computer/reading/study rooms, game room.

Their goal is to make an everlasting difference in the lives of the teenagers and children they are dedicated to helping.

COME DISCOVER YOUR TALENT!

The Rock Teen Center inspires teens (12-20) to grow through music, dance and art. We provide vocational training in sound and recording, lighting and staging, video production, as well as a computer lab and a cool, supervised facility for the teens to engage with their peers. In a time where public schools are cutting funding for empowering programs like music, dance and art, The Rock cultivates a love of the arts to inspire and challenge teens to embrace artistic excellence and reach their full potential.

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?

If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:

"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at prayers@oceanfloorministries.com so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

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