Alice Cooper

3-27-12          Alice Cooper

Singer Sarah Vaughn born 1924, film maker Quentin Tarantino born 1963; I own a Sarah Vaughn CD (“Millennium Collection”).

I was never a giant Alice Cooper fan, but recently, I did re-buy 4 of his better albums as SHM-CD’s from Japan, with brand new 2011 mastering!

  1. Love It To Death (1971)
  2. Killer (1972)
  3. School’s Out (1972)
  4. Billion Dollar Babies (1973)

I first heard Alice Cooper on a Warner / Reprise “loss leader’ sampler record; alas, I don’t remember which one – or what song it was.  I knew that Alice Cooper had been involved with Frank Zappa, but that didn’t translate into sales, as far as I was concerned.  It wasn’t easy to find the first two albums (“Easy Action” and “Pretties For You”) at the time.

What lead me to buy “Love It To Death” was seeing the Alice Cooper band perform “Black Juju” on TV, likely in the summer of 1971 (“Midsummer Rock”, anybody?) – and a different Warner / Reprise sampler had “Be My Lover” on it.  I did not buy LP’s for “Killer”, “School’s Out” or “Billion Dollar Babies” upon their original release…I had moved on.

But in the CD age, I came back to these titles.  Though not quite “classic rock”, all four of the above mentioned albums are reasonably good, fairly easy to listen to and understand etc.  And, of course, when the Japanese decided to re-master them, they also made perfect replications of the original packaging!

That’s right, “School’s Out” comes with miniature panties; “Killer” has a miniature 1972 calendar; and “Billion Dollar Babies” comes with the punch-out cover and a mini dollar bill!  Not sure how many of Alice’s albums that Warner Japan re-mastered, but I bet they re-pro’d all of the original packaging for all that they did.

I am a little bit aware that quite a few fans doubted Alice, once the original band was ‘dismissed’.  I hadn’t realized that it has been essentially the same band throughout all four of these records; I now realize that’s probably why I continue to gravitate towards these four.

I never had the opportunity to see Alice Cooper play live, but I did once fly to Portland, OR with him on a jet from Burbank to PDX!

So, check these four titles out – if you have no idea what I’m talking about.  If you already know what these four Alice Cooper albums are, then be aware that they have been re-mastered in Japan, and made available with all original packaging.

This entry was posted in 1971, 1972, 1973, Listening, Record Collecting, Zappa and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Alice Cooper

  1. postpunkmonk says:

    Against all odds, I have seen Alice Cooper… fairly recently on a trip to Ohio, about 10 or so years ago! I live to tell the tale!

  2. Ron Kane says:

    And I ate at his restaurant in Phoenix, AZ!

  3. Brian Ware says:

    Well, those are certainly the four to own. I had original LPs for all and played them to death back in the day. I did see them in 1972 for the “Killer” tour. It was an outdoor show that got rained out, but rescheduled the next afternoon!! Certainly the spectacle and theatrics weren’t as exciting in broad daylight, but the band was very good. Opening act was Dr. John The Night Tripper. Interesting that Alice and Dr. John were both inducted to the R&R Hall Of Fame together last year.

  4. Bob Gaulke says:

    I think Magazine cribbed a lot of their sonic template from these records…

  5. ronkanefiles says:

    Really? Bob, can you site some specific things you think Howard & Co. copped from Alice C?

  6. Bob Gaulke says:

    Well, I think just the generally “gothic-baroque” arrangements, spiraling guitar figures, and prog stops and starts contrasted against a snarling vocal style must have made some kind of impression. You connect that with his admitted teenaged-Dylan worship and you’ve got most of the ingredients right there. Just add Manchester :).

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