Alice Cooper started off as a band led by singer Vincent Damon Furnier, who later became known as Alice Cooper himself. Alice Cooper pioneered a theatrical, sometimes violent, but always entertaining form of heavy metal that became known as shock rock. The group created a stage show that featured electric chair, fake blood, a huge boa constrictor, and a guillotine where the make-up clad Furnier would seemingly cut off his own head. Alice Cooper released their first album, "Pretties for You," in 1969. "Easy Action" followed early in 1970, yet neither were the heavy shock rock that the band would become known for, instead they were steeped in psychedelic rock. It was Bob Ezrin (who also worked with Kiss and Pink Floyd) that helped the band to shape themselves into the classic heavy metal band. Alice Cooper were a huge attraction in the 70's but lost momentum as the 80's rolled in churning out a bunch of new wave crap. Cooper made a successful comeback in the late 80's, as a series of pop/metal bands paid musical homage to his classic early records and concerts. "Constrictor," released in 1986,was Alice's return to his hard rock roots and began his comeback, but it was 1989's "Trash" that returned Cooper to the spotlight.
Alice Cooper-Pretties For You (Enigma) 1969
1. Titanic Overture (1:12)
Some interesting facts:
1. "Mr. & Misdemeanor"
"Easy Action" is the second studio album by the Alice Cooper band and was originally released on Frank Zappa's Straight Records in June 1970. The album did not achieve much success for the band. The album title comes from a line in the musical film West Side Story, which was one of the band’s favorite films and would again be revisited in future recording. "Easy Action" is similar to the band’s previous debut album “Pretties For You" and is pretty much made up of the same psychedelic/progressive blues rock as their first album, not unlike early Pink Floyd, a band that most people would not associate with Alice Cooper.
"Love It To Death" was a transition album where the Alice Cooper band was morphing from the psychedelia of the past to the shock-rock that they would become known for. After two albums that were commercial failures, "Love It To Death" was the album that brought the Alice Cooper band into the mainstream. Much credit is generally given to producer Bob Ezrin, who helped clean up the band's sound and infused the songs with fresh ideas and helping the band to become more commercially accessible.
Tesla recorded a cover of "Is It My Body on their "Reel to Reel" CD.
This is a classic Alice Cooper (the band) disc. Producer Bob Ezrin, who also produced the band's breakthrough album "Love it To Death," twists the knobs on "Killer" as well and helps produce one of the finest albums in the rock 'n roll history. Ezrin really was to Alice Cooper what George Martin was to the Beatles. No less than three of these eight songs made it onto the first Alice Cooper "Greatest Hits". "Desperado" was a song in tribute to Jim Morrison and is one of the discs highlights along with "Under My Wheels", "Be My Lover" and the epic "Halo of Flies." "You Drive Me Nervous" and "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" actually sounded a bit more like the band's early garage-rock. Dennis Dunaway just tears it up on the bass on this disc. In reading some history on the band, it seems that Dennis may have shined more than other members on this album because he was the only band members at the time that wasn't wasted 24/7, so Ezrin was really able to use his talents. Most of the material on "Killer", however was written by guitarists Glen Buxton and Michael Bruce, with Alice contributing the vocal melodies and lyrics. I also think that Ezrin had a large hand in shaping these songs as well. Cool cover art and band photo.
Star Star has covered "Nervous" on their "The Love Drag Years" album.
"School's Out" put the Alice Cooper group on the map because of the timeless classic title track. This track became the band's highest charting single ever. The rest of the album is excellent as well, however. The music is much less "psychedelic" than anything they had released up to this point and was more compositionally complex. Songs like "Gutter Cast vs. the Jets/Street Fight" and "My Stars" are just as memorable as the title track and yet are, to me, more interesting. Overall, "School's Out" is one of the best albums to be released by the 1970's Alice Cooper group. The original album cover opened like a desk revealing the innards of the graffiti riddled school desk. Unfortunately the artwork in the CD reissue does not echo any of these effects that were lost with the age of vinyl. The CD does include a short bio of the band.
Grave Digger covered "School's Out" on their 'Witch Hunter' CD.
One of Alice Cooper's finest studio efforts thanks in part to producer Bob Ezrin who helped the band shape and refine their sound. However, bassist Dennis Dunaway makes his presence very known on this album as well. Unfortunately, due to some of the band members growing dependency on chemicals/alcohol, Ezrin brought in guitarists Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter to fill in on some tracks. Despite this, Ezrin managed to maintain that raw, eerie Alice Cooper feel, while capturing a more commercial appeal.
Alice Cooper - Muscle of Love (Warner Bros.) 1973
1. "Big Apple Dreamin'
I've always liked this album, but most reviews I have read seem to imply that 'Muscle of Love' was a disappointment at the time of it's release. This may be partially why this album was the last for the original Alice Cooper group. What's odd about all this is that the album actually was certified gold and was a top ten success. Part of the problem may have been that long time produced Bob Ezrin was not on board for this project. Another problem may have been the lack of a clear theme as in past albums like 'School's Out' and 'Billion Dollar Babies.' Still, as I said, I really like this disc and I think it was just a misunderstood and underrated album. From the Led Zeppelin inspired opening, through classics like the title tracks, "Teenage Lament '74" and album closer "Woman Machine" the whole album is quite coherent and enjoyable. One other interesting, but useless facts: "Man With the Golden Gun" was written for the James Bond movie of the same name, but rejected.
1. "I'm Eighteen"
I'm not really big on greatest hits collections, but this one is an especially good listen, gathering tracks from Alice Cooper-the band circa 1970-1974. "Greatest Hits" also has superb cover art, which is unfortunately lost a bit in the smaller CD format. "Greatest Hits" marked the end of an era for Alice Cooper, as it was the last release for the classic line-up of the Alice Cooper band. From here on out Alice Cooper would be a solo artist.
Alice Cooper - Welcome to My Nightmare (Atlantic) 1975
In 1974, Alice Cooper the band broke up and gave way to Alice Cooper the solo aritist. Alice enlisted Bob Ezrin once again, to help him release one of his best, and most well known, works "Welcome to My Nightmare." This album was written to tie specifically into Alice's bizarre, theatrical stage show making "Welcome to My Nightmare" the most twisted Alice Cooper album. "Cold Ethyl" is a foul song in the truest sense, describing a sexual affair with a corpse. (A theme which would become popular in death metal circles in years to come.) Other songs, like the incredible title track and the top ten hit "Only Woman Bleed" are much less disturbing yet retain the eerie sense that Alice was known for. Perhaps the most interesting song is the epic "Years Ago/Steven," that describes the world through the eyes of a psychopath with the mind of a very twisted child. The king of shock rock reigned in 1975 and this disc proves it. Alice at the height of his career! This disc is still in print and available just about everywhere.
Alice Cooper - Lace & Whiskey (Warner Bros.) 1977
1. "It's Hot Tonight"
This disc spawned the hit "You And Me" but did little else. As has been told before, Alice was in the height of alcoholism at this point in his career. He seemed to be desperately trying to separate himself from the shock rock image that he had spent such a long time trying to build. I suppose he desired to be taken more seriously as an artist and musician. Despite this, most reviews slammed this disc and the album didn't do as well as was expected. As with most Alice Cooper releases, however, I grew up listening to them, so there is a nostalgic attachment for me. Even so, I would never put this disc on the same level as the awesome discs he did as the Alice Cooper group or even "Welcome to My Nightmare." The album is suppose to be a concept album of sorts where he plays private investigator Maurice Escargot and the character was based on Alice's love of film noir of the 30's and 40's.
An interesting fact:
Not a bad concert disc, albeit a bit too short. Alice sounds a bit zoned on this one, perhaps a bit too wasted to be recording. If I am not mistaken this was about the time that he was so strung out on alcohol that he had to go into the hospital to recover. Despite the fact that the original band excelled in a live setting, a live album from that era was never issued; "The Alice Cooper Show" turned out to be the first live release which featured none of the original band members. The performances were taken from a pair of shows at the Aladdin Hotel in Nevada. I found two copies of this brand new for $1.99 each, so I snagged both of them and traded the other one.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I found this CD in the bargain bins for a mere 99¢ BRAND NEW!!! Ya gotta love these chain stores who charge $17.99 for some dime-a-dozen, pop piece of crap, but throw out a bonified classic for under a buck!
Alice performed the Beatles song "Because" in the movie Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band around this time as well. The movies was terrible and tarnished the reputation of most of the artists involved, with the exception of Aerosmith and Alice, who were both portrayed as villains.
Alice Cooper - Flush the Fashion (Warner Bros.) 1980
1. "Talk Talk"
It's 1980 and Alice Cooper decides he is no longer going to be the king of shock rock, but rather he is going to reinvent himself as a new waver. (Sure glad he got over that!) So, Alice hooks up with The Cars producer Roy Thomas Baker to put out this synth led rock n' roll album. The truth of the matter is, a lot of the big 1970's hard rock and heavy metal band suffered from identity crisis in the early 80's with many bands adopting styles that were popular at the time, basically seeing the need to stay relevant. As such, I suppose I should hate this disc, but I do not. My only defense is pure nostalgia as I use to own this on vinyl as a kid. Really though, despite the fact that this disc sounds so unlike Alice Cooper, it actually has a plethora of good songs and ton of undeniable hooks. There is even the token hard rocker in "Grim Facts." "Flush the Fashion" is one short "full length" album clocking in at under 30 min.
An odd mixture of 80's synth-pop and semi-heavy 70's hard rock. Somehow Alice missed the boat completely here. While most his fans were off following the NWOBHM explosion, Alice was off exploring the new wave fad, yet mixing in some of his trademark sound. I'm sure much of that had to do with record labels, executive decisions, producers, etc., but I am sure it also had to do with the fact that Alice had fallen deep into alcoholism at this time. There are a few standout cuts on this disc, like "Skeletons in the Closet" and new version of one of Alice's most underrated songs "Generation Landslide". The song is listed as being recorded live, but most likely was a studio song with crowd noise added in. Also, resident rocker "Who do You Think We Are" isn't bad. "Seven & Seven Is" was written Arthur Lee and was originally recorded by Love in 1966. "Special Forces" is not one of Alice's finest moments, but I still enjoy listening to it from time time and am certainly happy to have it in my collection.
Alice Cooper - Zipper Catches Skin (Warner Bros.) 1982
1. "Zorro's Ascent"
Yet another hard to find Alice Cooper platter. Apparently all these old albums were only re-released in Europe. Darn, why do they get all the good music. Well, thanks be to good friends from across the sea and to the internet for making these imports available to us crazy Americans. Anyhow, "Zipper Catches Skin" still has Alice in his new wave/hard rock mode, although his warped sense of humor is still apparent. Just take a look at the song title of track ten or even the title of the album. I must also say that this album does rock a bit harder than 1980's "Flush the Fashion." I'm pretty sure that this disc helped to alienate Alice even further from his fans, not necessarily because of the music, but because Alice is pictured with short greased back hair and he is dressed in a white collar shirt and tie. Yikes! Still, if you grew up with this music, as I did, it remains a classic nonetheless.
Alice Cooper - DaDa (Warner Bros.) 1982
1. "DaDa" (4:45)
"Da Da" is another Bob Ezrin/Alice Cooper production. Once again, I'm not sure if my review is mostly based on nostalgia or fact, because most reviews I have read on this disc are lukewarm at best. However, back in '82, I was just happy that Alice was shedding the new wave sound and returning to his former self, albeit only slightly. The opening title track, although far from the metal, punk and hard rock of the past, is perhaps the most eerie track Alice has ever done. I'll bet having this track playing on a dark night when you're all alone would freak most people out. However, track two picks up with a more pop oriented song. Somehow this track combines the Alice of the 70's with his more recent 80's artsy sound. Others, like "Dyslexia" have the same sound, combining the Ezrin sounds of "Welcome to My Nightmare" with the more 80's sounds of "Flush the Fashion." Still other tracks, like "Former Lee Warmer," capture the 'monster movie' sound that Alice is known for. "Scarlet and Sheba" even seems to give a hint of some of what was to come in Alice's mid 80's comeback. I actually really dig the Arabian flare this song has. Of course with Ezrin writing much of the material with Alice the hooks are there regardless of style. As with past discs, Cooper's humor is in place. Just check out the lyrics to the aforementioned "Dyslexia" or "I Love America." This theme would be echoed some years later on "The Last Temptation." For some reason "DaDa" is almost impossible to find. I finally secured this copy from a friend in Norway.
The cover features a portion of the Salvadore Dali painting 'The Slave Market with Disappearing Bust of Voltaire' (1940).
Alice Cooper - Constrictor (MCA) 1986
This was the big Alice comeback album. The disc shuns all the recent experimental stuff going for a more straight forward hard rock/heavy metal sound. His comeback was big and this album sold well. Alice was once again filling up the big stadiums with bands like Vinnie Vincent Invasion and Frehley's Comet opening for him. "Give It Up" is a catchy party rocker, "Simple Disobedience" is a cool anthem of teenage rebellion, "Teenage Frankenstein" is an excellent commercial heavy metal number, "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)" is the theme song from the movie Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and is the worst song on the disc. Despite the cover art, this album is no where near as dark or controversial as the 1970's Alice. The song writing and even the lyrics are more of the pop metal variety. This particular CD is available everywhere relatively cheap. I picked up this copy for $6.99 new. Thought I'd better snag it before it becomes yet another CD to disappear into the "rare and out of print" category.
Around this same time Alice Cooper did some guest vocals on Twisted Sister s song "Be Chrool To Your Scuel."
Alice Cooper - Raise Your Fist and Yell (MCA) 1987
In 1986, Alice Cooper was able to launch a full-fledged comeback with "Constrictor" so while the iron was still hot Alice released "Raise Your Fist and Yell." This disc is much darker returning to the topics that Alice loved in his early years, rebellion and death. If I am not mistaken, "Freedom" was the big hit off this album. "Chop, Chop, Chop" and "Roses on White Lace" seem reminiscent of Cooper's "Welcome to My Nightmare" days. Favorite track, however is "Prince of Darkness," a song that that seems to be about the Biblical account of the devil. What Alice managed to do on this release was capture the past while seeming to sound new and contemporary. "Raise Your Fist and Yell" recording lineup included Kane Roberts on guitar, Ken Mary (House of Lords/Giuffria) on drums, and Kip Winger on bass, keys and background vocals. For some odd reason, this disc is out of print in the U.S., but is available in just about every other country so copies tend to be somewhat easy to find.
Icarus Witch has covered "Roses on White Lace".
Alice Cooper-Trash (Epic) 1989
Alice attempts another big comeback CD in the late 80's, and once again it worked for him and even produced a single "Poison" that charted. To be honest, however, I don't care as much about this disc as some of the less popular discs from the late 70's and early 80's. This sounds more like some pop metal band with Alice doing vocals, which sometimes works ("Poison", "Trash") and sometimes doesn't ("Bed of Nails"). I don't know, I think it has alot to do with Desmond Child producing and writing, 'cause this sounds more like a Bon Jovi album than an Alice Cooper album. Some of these songs are even written by Bon Jovi ("Hell Is Living Without You" -BonJovi/Child/Cooper/Sambora). I suppose I feel sort of lukewarm about "Trash." It's not bad at all, but not really one of my favorites either. I do really like "Poison" and "Trash", but overall, this is one of the least listened to CDs in my Alice Cooper collection. Cool cover art.
Alice Cooper-Hey Stoopid (Epic) 1991
1. "Hey Stoopid"
Slick pop metal that is very unlike the Alice Cooper of old. "Feed My Frankenstein" is an amusing song as is the title track, but overall this is just not up to the standards of "Schools Out," "Billion Dollar Babies," "Killer" or my all time favorite Alice disc "Welcome to My Nightmare." The album features a host of well known artists including Joe Satriani, Steve Via, Vinnie Moore, Ozzy Osbourne and members of Motley Crue, Guns n Roses, and Zodiac Mindwarp. Picked this one up for $2.99.
Alice Cooper - The Last Temptation (Epic) 1994
"Last Temptation" is a wonderful album that leaves behind the hair metal Alice used to refuel himself and returns to the more dramatic, theatrical rock he was known for. "Last Temptation" is a concept album based on Alice's own life and his ultimate return to Christianity. Though the album still has a few goofy songs like , "Lost in America" the rest of the album boasts more originality and creativity than anything off of "Hey Stoopid" or "Trash." "Last Temptation" is one of the best concept albums since Queensryche's "Operation: Mindcrime." A comic book based on the same story as that of the album was released to coincide with the CD
Favorite line from this album: "I paid to see the freaks, some finger-licking, chicken-eating geeks..." from "Freak Show"
Alice Cooper - Classicks (Epic) 1995
1. "Poison" (4:29)
Yet another in a long string of 'best of' albums from Alice, only this one features mostly studio material from 'Trash', 'Hey Stoopid' and 'The Last Temptation'. However, if you're gonna put out another compilation, this is the way to do it. "Classicks" includes several stellar, classic live cuts and one studio rarity in the Jimi Hendrix cover "Fire". The live tracks were recorded in Burmingham, England and feature extraordinary guitarist Al Pitreli, most known for his work with Savatage.
Alice Cooper - A Fistful of Alice (Guardian) 1997
1. "School's Out"
A great live offering from Alice Cooper, one that simply blows to pieces Alice's first official live offering "The Alice Cooper Show." The track listing, besides having some newer material, features much of the same material, only played with so much more energy and conviction. It's quite obvious that Alice has a new view of life than he did back then, which is probably due to the fact that he is now a Christian. Of note, the song titled "Welcome to My Nightmare" starts off with "Steven" before going into the actual song Welcome to my Nightmare." Also of note, Dokken/Winger guitarist Reb Beach is the guitarist for much of this album, although Slash plays lead guitar on "Lost in America," "Elected" and "Only Women Bleed." Nice insert as well, with loads of live shots of Alice and his host of guest musicians. "Is Anyone Home" is a new studio cut which is an added bonus.
1. "School's Out" (4:22)
2. "I'm Eighteen" (3:47)
3. "Desperado" (4:11)
4. "Lost In America" (4:15)
5. "Teenage Lament '74" (3:28)
6. "I Never Cry" (3:54)
7. "Poison" (4:51)
8. "Billion Dollar Babies" (3:21)
9. "Welcome To My Nightmare" (4:54)
10. "Only Women Bleed" (6:55)
11. "Feed My Frankenstein" (4:29)
12. "Elected" (5:14)
13. "Is Anyone Home" -studio (4:12)
"Live At Cabo Wabo '96" is the European version of the American CD, "A Fistful of Alice" (also pictured above). This album was recorded live at Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo club in Cabo San Lucus, Mexico on June 12, 1996. This set includes notable guest appearances from Rob Zombie (on "Elected" and "Feed My Frankenstein"), Slash (playing lead guitar on "Lost In America", "Only Women Bleed" and "Elected") and Sammy Hagar, who plays lead guitar on "School's Out"! However, Dokken/Winger guitarist Reb Beach is the guitarist for much of this album.
Live At Cabo Wabo '96 is a great live offering from Alice, one that simply blows to pieces his first official live offering "The Alice Cooper Show." The track listing here, besides having a few newer songs, features much of the same material as on "The Alice Cooper Show", only played with so much more energy and conviction. It's quite obvious that Alice has a new view of life than he did back then, which is probably due to the fact that he is now alcohol free and a confessing Christian. Also, Alice's band is as tight as can be. Even with all the guest musicians, the performance was spotless. "Is Anyone Home" is a new studio cut which is an added bonus. (Thanks Kmorg)
Alice Cooper-The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper (Warner/Rhino) 1999
Second killer disc in a row for Alice. This one is darker and much heavier than "The Last Temptation." Eric Singer (ex-Kiss/Badlands) is the drummer this time 'round. These last two discs totally annihilate any of Alice's 1980's offerings. Alice's lyrics, while being as disturbing as anything he has written in the past, seem to focus more on real life situations rather than fantasy. Alice comments on a variety of social issues including guns and violence in schools, bigotry, famine, etc. Probably the most disturbing song, which seems to be about a mass murderer is "Pick Up the Bones." Too bad the world will probably dismiss him as a relic because he still has plenty to offer, both musically and lyrically.
from a reader:
As has been the case with the last three Alice platters, the CDs have dominated my CD player for a long time and become a frequent player. Why? Alice, along with a team of professional songwriters, come up with some phenomenal hooks. Also, Alice's lyrical themes have become of much interest to me. He still manages to write disturbing themes yet with a message that is more socially and spiritually conscious. Overall, I'd say that 'DragonTown' is at least as good as 'Brutal Planet' and certainly one of his finest overall.
I have read numerous prerelease reviews of this album stating that Alice is following yet another trend, following the growing Detroit garage-rock scene and bands like The White Stripes, The Strokes and The Vines. Alice himself has said that these bands have inspired him. Perhaps all this is true, but wasn't Alice one of the originators of this sound? Didn't Alice help start the scene along with the Stooges, the Amboy Dukes, MC5, etc. in the late 60's/early 70's? Apparently these bands inspired Alice to return to a sound that he invented. As such, it's not that he is following another trend, but that he truly is returning to his roots. Even with a modern rock producer like Mudrock, who has produced bands like Godsmack and Powerman 5000, Alice's sound, style and charisma still shine through, keeping him from sounding like a follower of the garbage that Mudrock usually produces. Perhaps tracks like "Man of the Year" have a bit of that atrocious pop-punk sound, however, this is not the case overall. On his last few albums Alice has most certainly gone for a modern heavy metal sound, echoing his followers like Rob Zombie, much to the dismay of some fans. However, at the young age of 55, Alice is now revisiting 70's; the days of simple, fun rock 'n' roll. He is once again writing old school anthems that are reminiscent of his most popular Alice Cooper-the band works; "School's Out", "Killer" and "Love It To Death". "The Eyes of Alice Cooper" certainly does bring back Alice's garage band mentality, something that disappeared when Alice became a solo artist with "Welcome to my Nightmare." The one exception is perhaps "This House is Haunted" which sounds like something that would have fit perfectly on the "Welcome to My Nightmare." This song has that eerie quality that Alice is the master of. "Detroit City" is a rocker that pays homage to the aforementioned Detroit bands that put the city on the map. According to Alice, "I wanted to do an ode to Detroit City because I was born there and my kind of music is that kind of music. It's about Iggy Pop, MC5 and Ted Nugent and everything like that." Alice's bizarre humor is still very much in tact. No where is this more apparent than in the ballad "The Song that Didn't Rhyme." When the drums came in off time, I laughed out loud. It's actually pretty amazing how Alice can give off such an array of emotion on one disc, from haunting to serious to humorous. Perhaps I am just an Alice Cooper die hard, but it seems to me that no matter what Alice does, I seem to find something enjoyable about it. That is certainly the case here as well. Perhaps this one isn't as heavy as his last few discs, nor as immediately catchy as some of his late 80's heavy metal discs, but it's still an enjoyable disc and sounds like vintage Alice Cooper. That's really all that matters.
Alice Cooper - Dirty Diamonds (New West) 2005
1. "Woman Of Mass
When a new Alice Cooper CD comes out I am usually first in line on the day it is released. This year I was flat broke the week it came out, so I had to wait a few days to purchase it, which gave me some time to read some of the early reviews on the net. To my surprise most were not favorable. Well, I must be an Alice Cooper die-hard because I find this album to be extremely enjoyable. I can't understand all the negative reviews at all. "Dirty Diamond" continues where "Eyes of Alice Cooper" left off, leaving behind the heavy metal of "Dragontown" and "Brutal Planet" for the Detroit garage rock that Alice helped to create in the late 60's/early 70's. Alice is a world class entertainer, a good singer and he writes great, catchy hard rock music. This is very evident on "Dirty Diamonds." I have also been impressed by Alice's lyrics ever since the release of "The Last Temptation." Each CD has contained a mixture of pure lyrical fun, thoughtful, humorous social commentaries and some lyrics of an autobiographical nature as well. The same holds true for "Dirty Diamonds" "The Saga of Jesse Jane" made me laugh out loud, as did "Run Down the Devil." Actually "Run Down the Devil" is a great Coop song both lyrically and musically. For the most part, I think Coop is shooting to recapture the glory and sound of his 1970's classics. However, I don't think that "Dirty Diamonds" is quite up to par with most of those Alice Cooper Band classics. However, that doesn't make it a bad CD either. "Dirty Diamonds" is minimalist rock 'n' roll album with a raw, gritty, live sound and flashes of that eerie atmosphere that Alice is known for. For instance, "Six Hours" is a haunting companion to gems like "Only Women Bleed" and "Ballad of Dwight Frye". "Six Hours" also features an very cool guitar solo. Likewise, the distortion heavy title track reminds me of some of those heavier classics from "Love it to Death." Really the whole album is pretty solid and equally as enjoyable as anything Alice has released in the last few years, albeit no where near as heavy as some. Really the only song that doesn't quite work is the bonus track "Stand", which seems completely and totally out of place on this CD. Apparently, from what I have read, this duet with rapper Xzibit is not actually an Alice Cooper penned song but rather an odd couple pairing from the 2004 Athens Olympics soundtrack. The composers of this compilation apparently asked Alice and Xzibit to lend their voices to the song and Alice's record company felt it would help sales to include it here as a bonus track.
1. "Prologue/I Know
Where You Live" (4:22)
...and the nightmare continues! After two albums ("Eyes of Alice Cooper" and "Dirty Diamonds") in which Alice attempts to simplify his sound and move away from the heavier sounds of "Dragontown" and "Brutal Planet", Alice returns in '08 and releases the album many fans were hoping for. "Along Came A Spider" is Alice Cooper's 25th studio album and is a conceptual album with a classic Alice sound. With "Along Came the Spider" Alice keeps alive the Steven character who first showed up in "Welcome to My Nightmare" (1975). Alice is the king of creepy and disturbing stories and "Along Came A Spider" continues his legacy.
Musically, the album combines the classic sounds of that album with a slightly more modern sound and production. However, there is plenty of classic rock and roll here. The album opens up, after a short intro, with a song that sounds like classic Alice, the sinister "I Know Where You Live". "Vengeance is Mine" is a catchy hard rocker that could easily be the first single from the CD. Slash offers a smokin' solo in "Vengeance Is Mine". There is also the industrial tinged, pop rock of "Wake the Dead", the psychotic rock of "I'm Hungry", the disturbingly infectious "Wrapped in Silk", and two very well done ballads in "Killed By Love" and "Salvation". "Killed by Love" reminds me of such classics as "Only Women Bleed" and "How You Gonna See Me Know".
I can't understand how any longtime Alice Cooper fan wouldn't like this album. I can understand why they wouldn't like Dirty Diamonds. That album was an attempt to simplify and was highly influenced by bands like the White Stripes. Along Came A Spider returns Alice to the glory days of Welcome to my Nightmare. Classic Alice with a modern production and tons of hook.
Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare (Universal Music) 2011