This moody power ballad found the Alice Cooper group stretching out their shock rock sound into new territory. In the process, they created one of their most memorable tracks. The lyrics forsake the usual gruesome wit of an Alice Cooper song to create a grim and surprisingly serious portrait of a gunslinger. Although the title character is quite deadly, lines like "I'm a picture of ugly stories/I'm a killer and a clown" show he is not at peace with his evil nature. The most fascinating passage reveals that he is actually envious of his victims: "You're a notch and I'm a legend/You're at peace and I must hide." The music behind these lyrics is appropriately moody, mixing verses that quietly build intensity with a chorus that raises the proceedings to a peak level of drama. Alice Cooper's recording wraps "Desperado" in a cinematic arrangement that suits its melodramatic feel nicely: Spanish-styled guitar lines give the song an effective Western soundtrack-type opening, the rhythm section adds the right amount of hard-hitting dynamics on the choruses, and the sweeping Bob Ezrin string arrangement that is layered on near the end gives it a suitably grand finale. "Desperado" was probably a little too grim to become a hit, but its high quality merits its appearance on Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits album and it remains a favorite with hardcore Alice Cooper fans.