“I’m Eighteen” is a song by rock band Alice Cooper, first released as a single in November 1970 backed with “Is It My Body”. It was the band’s first top-forty success—peaking at number 21—and convinced Warner Bros. that Alice Cooper had the commercial potential to release an album, and the song features on the band’s first major label release album Love It to Death (1971).
The anthemic song is driven by a lumbering, arpeggiated guitar riff and aggressive, raspy vocals. The lyrics tell of the angst and of being “in the middle” between youth and adulthood. It had begun as an eight-minute jam that young Canadian producer Bob Ezrin persuaded the band into tightening into a tight three-minute rocker.
The song was the band’s breakthrough, and left a considerable influnce on hard rock, punk, and heavy metal. Joey Ramone wrote his first song for the Ramones based on the chords to “I’m Eighteen”, and John Lydon auditioned for the Sex Pistols by miming to the song. Bands such as thrash metalers Anthrax have covered the song, and Kiss settled out of court for plagiarism of the song over the 1998 track “Dreamin'”.