Consistent is the word for Alice Cooper with this tremendous new release chock full of classics like “Is It My Body”, “Be My Love”, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, “Vengeance is Mine” and even album tracks like “Killer” which original Cooper aficionados find so appealing.
For those who remember the television show “Rock Concert” where Alice Cooper did a superb Bloodrock-ish version of “I’m 18” to open the program, it was one of those iconic televised moments, as classic a moment in 70s TV rock as David Bowie on the Midnight Special. It did come out on a terrific double lp bootleg followed a couple of years later by Warner Brothers single l.p. release The Alice Cooper Show (Live) which featured the Dick Wagner/Steve Hunter band from Lou Reed’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal and it’s quick follow-up, Lou Reed Live.
Now with the dawn of the DVD you’ve got multiple releases from major rockers who are still out there kicking, artists like Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson and Alice, pros who keep touring the world and build new fans while keeping their loyal followings happy. Shout Factory! recently put the Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper Live 1973 – Billion Dollars Baby Tour out on DVD which makes this tremendous effort on the Bigger Picture DVD label a wonderful chance to a/b the two eras – classic Cooper and Alice today.
Where the Warner Brothers 70s single lp release wasn’t enough for the fans (not when J. Geils Band, Humble Pie, Joe Cocker, Peter Frampton and even Bob friggin’ Seger got double discs out to their rabid fans) it still had a bevy of hits -“Under My Wheels”, “Eighteen”, “Only Women Bleed”, “Sick Things”. the quintessential “Is It My Body”, “I Never Cry”, “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Devil’s Food/The Black Widow”, “You and Me”, the medley of. I Love The Dead/ Go To Hell/ Wish You Were Here and “Schools Out”.
This project takes the concept where it should’ve gone 35 years ago – “The Ballad Of Dwight Frye” in all its gory glory, superb camera work, Alice right down to business with no nonsense, and a solid band that – while it doesn’t have the sloppy fun of the original Alice Cooper Group (a la the good old days of The Rolling Stones) or the machine-like menace of Hunter/Wagner, it is what Alice needs for the new millennium. This is a terrific double disc set with the audio on a disc separate from the DVD and it should be a very satisfying fix for those who like keeping track of Alice’s escapades.
Highly recommended. Happy Halloween.
P.S. For more fun read my review of Alice Cooper’s double DVD disc from 2000 BRUTALLY LIVE on a variety of sites on the web.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.