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Hard Hearted Alice (Muscle of Love, 1973)

“Hard Hearted Alice” Lyrics:

Life
Coast to coast
White hot as a ghost
When you live
In a countdown

Time
Is free as a jailbird
At least that’s what I heard
When you live
In a hideout

Love
Comes cheap at a swap meet
It all comes so dirt cheap
When you live
In a bedroom

Love
Cuts deep as a razor
But that ain’t amazin’
When you live
In a cancer

Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah

Mind
Gets scrambled like eggs
Get bruised and erased
When you live
In a brainstorm

Noise
Seems logically right
Ringing ears in the night
When you live
In an airport

Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah

Hard hearted Alice
Is what we want to be
Hard hearted Alice
Is what you want to see

Hard hearted Alice
Is what we want to be
Hard hearted Alice
Is what you want to see

Muscle of Love, released on November 20, 1973, was the last album recorded by Alice Cooper (as a band). The album was certified gold less than a month after its release, yet the proverbial writing was on the wall. It was apparent Muscle of Love would be the band’s last LP together.

I could tell that the band was starting to fade. Either we needed to rest, or we needed to take time off…Unfortunately, we didn’t.” – Alice Cooper

Winding up at the #10 spot on the Billboard Pop Albums chart, the record delivers notable tracks such as: “Never Been Sold Before,” “Muscle of Love,” “Man With The Golden Gun,” and “Teenage Lament ’74”. That being said, Muscle of Love was a solid Rock album.

Hard Hearted Alice” is an exciting track and this week’s focus. The song starts slow (a bit groggy or dreamy to the ear) and matches the lyrical content perfectly. As the song picks up steam, the listener almost feels swept into a concert setting, and the crowd getting what they want – a show filled with high energy and “hard-hearted” antics.

The track covers life on the road in biographical detail. The time it takes. The connections made. The scrambled mind and noises that lead to exhaustion. However, it also carries with it a deeper double meaning.

I think (the song) was really about the band – I think my intuition was telling me that the band was breaking up.” – Michael Bruce, song co-writer and original Alice Cooper guitarist

Bruce was right. With members unwilling to agree and some wanting to branch out independently, Alice Cooper was slowly but surely falling apart. The band denied claims of a breakup, but they would perform their last concert as a band in the summer of 1974.

Various “band” meetings took place during Alice’s “Welcome To My Nightmare” solo tour in 1975, but it didn’t take long for them to realize that “Alice Cooper” was now a solo act.

Live coast to coast
White hot as a ghost
When you live in a countdown

Time is free as a jailbird
At least that’s what I heard
When you live in a hideout

Love comes cheap at a swapmeet
It all comes so dirt cheap
When you live in a bedroom

There are many ways to deduce the song “Hard Hearted Alice.” From one perspective, we find pure exhaustion. After going non-stop for several years, it seems the drugs & alcohol, steady pressure to succeed, life on the road, etc., had finally caught up to them.

Hard hearted Alice
Is what we want to be
Hard hearted Alice
Is what you want to see

Another perspective finds the band straining to continue “doing what they do.” Did they really want to be the villains of Rock & Roll? Is that their true nature? Are they just playing roles that they think the fans want them to play? Are they becoming something they are not – just for the sake of the show?

Finally, the last perspective relates more to humanity in general – not only the Alice Cooper Group. It focuses on the actual heart. Not the physical blood-pumping organ but the combination of both spirit and soul – the genuine person behind the mask and façade we present to the world.

While the song itself doesn’t claim that Alice or any other band members have become hard-hearted, it does allow us to see how they, or anyone, could quickly become hardened by the everyday mundane tasks required of humanity.

Such responsibilities can soon become the breeding ground for the “enemies of the heart.” So that is where our focus lies in this week’s post.

In Andy Stanley’s book, “Enemies of the Heart,” Stanley focuses on four key emotions that can bind us and hinder us from fully walking with God. Those four emotions are Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy.

These four emotions can ultimately lead to a hardened heart. So let’s take a closer look at those emotions and ways to avoid them.

Guilt.
While there’s an absolute need to confess our sins and our past actions before moving forward in our Faith, the actual emotion of guilt can lead us straight into a trap. Trapped into a submissive state, we find ourselves attached to our sins and the enemy.

Walking around smitten by the things Christ has already claimed victory over, we detach ourselves from Him and others. Yet, our Savior willingly gave His life to remove all condemnation from those who call Him Lord (Romans 8:1).

Carrying remorse for the actions of our past gives ownership of our spirit and soul to those transgressions. But we belong to our Creator. We are His to mold and use according to His Will.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

Read that verse again. Christ asks nothing more of us.

Do we realize how powerful that is? We have been made righteous through Him. We are made guiltless through His bloodshed, His death, and His resurrection. He has given us freedom – breaking the bonds and chains sin once held. It is vitally important that we understand that.

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-17

It’s much easier to see what the present and future hold once we’ve let go of our past. We must work on laying our guilt aside and accepting Christ’s love and forgiveness. We must not allow the enemy to imprison us. He’s the one that’s trapped. We are free.

Anger.
With anger, we often find someone trapped in isolation – hurting, depressed, and (or) unwilling to forgive. At anger’s core, we find blame. But, there may also be a sense of entitlement attached to it – as if someone owes you something.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15

Once we start believing others owe us, we tend to be less forgiving towards them. Jesus warns us about forgiveness in the above-listed verses. He makes it crystal clear that forgiveness is a two-way street.

If we want forgiveness, we must be willing also to offer forgiveness. We can’t expect to benefit from being forgiven if we carry bitterness and anger towards others around us.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32

When we allow anger to consume us, we harden our hearts – refusing to allow the fruit of His Spirit to grow and dwell within our spirit. A life lived grudgingly towards others blocks us from fully experiencing His Love here on earth.

We must do our best to forgive others. It is only through the forgiveness of others that we, ourselves, will also be freed.

Greed.
The most challenging emotion to diagnose or recognize is Greed. We must stop and ask ourselves some tough questions. Are we greedy? Do we consume almost everything we earn or receive? Is there anything leftover?

For those of us in America, this is a TOUGH PILL to swallow. We often consume in mass quantities and give very little thought to conservation or giving. After all, we earned it, didn’t we? Don’t we deserve it?

When and if we do give, is it just enough to feel better about ourselves? Just to check off that “I’m a good person” box? These questions hit close to home, don’t they?

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:13-14

Giving, wanting, receiving, and needs are TOUGH discussion points. It might hurt to discuss such things. But let’s be honest with ourselves, in a world with so much to offer, what is it that we actually need? Are we working to fulfill our souls or only the flesh?

Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” – Luke 12:13-15

The basic needs of humanity AREN’T found in things, yet we amass oddities, trinkets, and commodities at an alarming rate. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people are motivated in 5 different ways: 1) Physiologically, 2) Safety, 3) Love and Belongingness, 4) Esteem, and 5) Self-actualization.

Apart from food, clothing, and shelter, there are no other necessities that can be purchased. So maybe it’s better to consider focusing on tuning out expensive ‘distractions’ and instead focus on leading a fulfilling, more engaged life. A life lived in a relationship with our Lord and doing His work.

BRIEF SIDE NOTE: We should notice and heed the examples of others that are wealthy yet know the true meaning of life. People with large amounts of wealth but recognize that “it doesn’t buy happiness.”

No one is claiming that being successful or having nice things is evil, but balancing life with Christ at the center is the key.

The testimonies of celebrities, millionaires, leaders of business, etc. that have prospered and some that haven’t prove that life is about more than possessions; we should be willing to learn from the successes and failures of others.

Jealousy.
The last emotion we find is jealousy or envy. An attitude or mindset that continually leaves you thinking, “the grass is greener on the other side.”

At the heart of this emotion, we find displacement or a trace of bitterness towards God. Instead of rejoicing in what we’ve been given or what God has created us to be, we end up focusing instead on what we don’t have or who we would rather be.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” – Proverbs 14:30

Ultimately, we end up wasting away – slowly dying on the inside. Rather than focusing on matters promised and offered to us, jealousy causes us to question God and His plan(s) – continually causing us to wonder “what if I had or was someone else” instead of “thank you for what I have and who You created me to be.

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet, but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”James 4:1-3

When we align our hearts with God, we find Him answering our prayers. The more we submit to His will, the more peace we find dwelling inside – His peace flowing internally through our spirit and soul.

We must work on aligning our hearts and thoughts with His will and nature instead of our own.

Wrapping this up, we find a great deal of personal strife attached to these emotions. We’ve mentioned many times before that life is a process. A good part of this process requires a reconditioning of the heart.

As we walk with Him, let us try not to get too hung up on our weaknesses but work on resolving them. Let us try to begin seeing others and ourselves as He sees us – as His creation.

Diligence and repetition are what form healthy habits. As we spend time in His Word, we will learn more about our Creator and who we become through Him.

We will begin to notice our hearts softening (Hebrews 4:12). We will start to see people in a different light (Acts 26:23). We start focusing less on ourselves and more on others (Philippians 2:3).

We begin to realize more and more what this life is all about – Loving God and Loving His People (our brothers and sisters) (Matthew 22:36-40).

In conclusion, many reviews and articles have been written about the album “Muscle of Love.” Many of those opinions focused on the sexual connotation and innuendo derived from the name, the photos, the individual songs, etc.

However, as you pull back the layers of this album and what the band members were experiencing, you find the album had less to do with sex and more to do with the heart.

As Alice Cooper (the band) came to an end, one can’t help but wonder what their hearts’ individually and collectively felt as they amicably went their separate ways.

As the years have passed, the original members have reunited many times to collaborate and celebrate their revolutionary contribution to the world of Rock. They were also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

Time has a way of curing a hardened heart and rectifying any guilt, anger, greed, and (or) jealousy, especially if we allow our Creator to lead the way towards and through the healing process. Unfortunately, however, time slips away quickly. Therefore, we must use it wisely.

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

Keep walkin’ in Faith and rockin’ with Alice!

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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