The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper is a 4-CD box set by Alice Cooper. It includes select tracks from every studio album released up until then, plus many B-sides, unreleased songs, and other rarities. What made Alice Cooper a star? Sure, he had a tight, exciting band and some great songs that were as good as hard rock got in the early '70s, but he distinguished himself as a showman. By bringing shameless theatricality to rock & roll, he separated himself from the pack and became a superstar – the kind of person who is known for being himself more than for his achievements.
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.
Born John Barry Prendergast to a father who owned a cinema and a mother who played piano, all the elements were in place for John to develop his career as he did. Even when he had to do national service, he managed to secure a job as an army bandsman, so he managed to use that period to hone his craft. John first came to prominence via his recording of Hit and miss, which became the theme to the TV show Jukebox jury. Famous as his TV theme became, John's most famous hit is the James Bond theme. This particular compilation, as its title suggests, focuses on John's recordings for EMI. Many of these recordings date from the early to mid sixties, but there are a few from the nineties too. Most of the tracks are instrumentals, but there are also three Shirley Bassey tracks (Goldfinger, Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Diamonds are forever) and a Matt Monro track (Born free) in which John was involved. Two of the Shirley Bassey tracks are famous, but I'd not heard the other one before buying this CD. It was apparently intended as the theme for Thunderball but was dropped in favor of the Tom Jones song Thunderball. There are 25 tracks altogether and the CD comes with a nice booklet. By no means a definitive John Barry compilation, this does at least contain all those early sixties tracks that I particularly wanted and showcases John's versatility as a composer and arranger. Sadly, John died early in 2011 but his legacy in the history of cinematic music is assured.
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).