On this album, compiled by former Meat Loaf sideman and one-time Cooper touring guitarist Bob Kulick, members of metal's biggest bands pay tribute to the artist formerly known as Vincent Furnier. New life is breathed into Cooper's classic tunes as hardheads such as Alice in Chains ' Mike Inez, the Who's Roger Daltry, Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, and Slash rework (and add their own distinctive licks to) "No More Mr. Nice Guy," "Billion Dollar Babies," and the anthem for graduating seniors everywhere, "Schools Out." The most unexpected contribution, however, comes from former Deep Purple bassist Glen Hughes, who after spending most of the '90s off the radar screen, wrings out a wickedly dramatic version of "Only Women Bleed," Cooper's dark paean to feminism.
Collects five of his original albums, in card LP replica sleeves. Features "Billion Dollar Babies" (1973), "Muscle Of Love" (1973), "Welcome To My Nightmare" (1975), "Alice Cooper Goes To Hell" (1976) and "The Alice Cooper Show : Live" (1977).
With the future of the original Alice Cooper band in doubt by mid-1974 (they would soon break up for good with Alice going solo), Warner Bros. decided to issue a best-of compilation entitled Greatest Hits. If you're a newcomer to Alice, this 12-track compilation is a must-hear – all the selections are exceptional. While many have chosen to focus primarily on Cooper's theatrics over the years, the original bandmembers were indeed supreme rock songwriters; such anthems as "I'm Eighteen," "Under My Wheels," "School's Out," and "No More Mr. Nice Guy" are unquestionably among the finest hard rock tracks of all time. And the other selections prove to be just as strong – "Is It My Body," "Desperado," "Be My Lover," "Elected," "Billion Dollar Babies," and "Muscle of Love" are all outstanding as well. The only criticism of the original release is that the collection overlooked the band's key album tracks never issued as singles.
With Billion Dollar Babies, Alice Cooper refined the raw grit of their earlier work in favor of a slightly more polished sound (courtesy of super-producer Bob Ezrin), resulting in a mega-hit album that reached the top of the U.S. album charts. Song for song, Billion Dollar Babies is probably the original Alice Cooper group's finest and strongest. Such tracks as "Hello Hooray," the lethal stomp of the title track, the defiant "Elected" (a rewrite of an earlier song, "Reflected"), and the poison-laced pop candy of "No More Mr. Nice Guy" remain among Cooper's greatest achievements. Also included are a pair of perennial concert standards – the disturbing necrophilia ditty "I Love the Dead" and the chilling macabre of "Sick Things" – as well as such strong, lesser-known selections as "Raped and Freezin'," "Unfinished Sweet," and perhaps Cooper's most overlooked gem, "Generation Landslide."
School's Out catapulted Alice Cooper into the hard rock stratosphere, largely due to its timeless, all-time classic title track. But while the song became Alice's highest-charting single ever (reaching number seven on the U.S. charts) and recalled the brash, three-and-a-half-minute garage rock of yore, the majority of the album signaled a more complex compositional directional for the band. Unlike Cooper's previous releases (Love It to Death, Killer), which contained several instantly identifiable hard rock classics, School's Out appears to be a concept album, and aside from the aforementioned title track anthem, few of the other tracks have ever popped up in concert.
Alice Cooper wasted little time following up the breakthrough success of Love It to Death with another album released the same year, Killer. Again, producer Bob Ezrin was on board and helps the group solidify their heavy rock (yet wide-ranging) style even further. The band's stage show dealt with the macabre, and such disturbing tracks as "Dead Babies" and the title track fit in perfectly. Other songs were even more exceptional, such as the perennial barnstorming concert standard "Under My Wheels," the melodic yet gritty "Be My Lover," and the tribute to their fallen friend Jim Morrison, "Desperado."
This extensive collection gathers together four volumes of demos, live performances, interviews, and other ephemeral material from the earliest phases of Detroit shock-glam legends Alice Cooper, and even traces their roots before the band as most know it came to be. The collection begins with the stompy garage psych number "No Price Tag" from Vincent Furnier's pre-AC 1966 band Spiders. Early demos from 1969's Pretties for You album follow, as do radio spots and raw live recordings from the earliest eras of the band, including an 11-minute organ-drone version of "I'm Eighteen," introduced as "a brand-new song" and sounding more like some bastardized take on the Doors than the three-minute confused coming-of-age rocker that wound up on 1971's Love It to Death album…
Alice Cooper's third album, Love It to Death, can be pinpointed as the release when everything began to come together for the band. Their first couple of albums (Pretties for You and Easy Action) were both largely psychedelic/acid rock affairs and bore little comparison to the band's eventual rip-roaring, teenage-anthem direction. The main reason for the quintet's change was that the eventually legendary producer Bob Ezrin was on board for the first time and helped the Coopers focus their songwriting and sound, while they also perfected their trashy, violent, and theatrical stage show and image. One of the band's most instantly identifiable anthems, "I'm Eighteen," was what made the album a hit, as well as another classic, "Is It My Body." But like Alice Cooper's other albums from the early '70s, it was an incredibly consistent listen from beginning to end.