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Alice Cooper’s “Trash” Gets Another Look From Hear No Evil, Cherry Red

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Alice Cooper - TrashThere’s always something slightly disingenuous about the term “comeback album” – especially when an artist has never really left.  Such was the case with Alice Cooper’s 1989 Epic Records release Trash.  But one certainly sees why the expression would be used to describe Trash.  Alice Cooper’s eighteenth studio release, it became his first Top 20 album in the U.S. since 1975’s epochal Welcome to My Nightmare, his biggest-ever U.K. success with a No. 2 peak, and contained his first U.S. Top 10 hit single since 1977’s atypically pretty “You and Me.”  Now, Trash is back on an expanded and remastered CD from Cherry Red’s Hear No Evil label.

Since the Atlantic label release Welcome to My Nightmare – the former Vincent Furnier’s first album as Alice Cooper, solo artist, and the eighth Alice Cooper album (previous LPs referred to his band’s name) – Cooper had spent most of his career on Atlantic sister label Warner Bros.  After 1983’s DaDa, Cooper retreated to battle his own sobriety issues, and he returned clean with a new MCA deal for 1986’s Constrictor and 1987’s Raise Your Fist and Yell.  For his Epic debut with Trash, Cooper hit upon the notion of teaming with songwriter Desmond Child.  As Alice reveals in the new liner notes by Malcolm Dome, he was inspired by what Child had accomplished with other bands who were likely inspired by Alice Cooper: “Suddenly there were all these bands like Bon Jovi [who] were putting on big shows again.  The glam and the glitz was back in rock.  They had big sets and big songs which were anthems.  Sure, they had cool images but also lots of guitar, and I totally got what was going on.  Why?  Because it was effectively a return to what I had been doing in the seventies.”  Child, a veteran who had worked with KISS, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi, seemed the perfect choice.  But according to Alice, he had no idea who the older rock star was!

With explanations out of the way, Cooper and Child embarked on the writing of Trash, sharing credits on nine of the album’s ten songs.  Other familiar songwriters were brought in, too, from Bruce Roberts to Diane Warren.  But “Poison” – the album’s eventual smash hit single that revitalized Cooper’s career – was a Cooper/Child co-write with guitarist John McCurry, and the first song they completed together!  Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora also joined in on the songwriting sessions for “Hell Is Living without You,” while Child brought in “House of Fire,” which he had written with Joan Jett.  Cooper finished the song, and it’s since become a live staple.  One wonders if the title of the album’s “This Maniac’s in Love with You” was inspired by Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “This Guy’s in Love with You,” as the multi-faceted Cooper has long counted himself among the duo’s fans.

Much as Child was unaware of Alice Cooper, Alice claims to have been unaware that Child was also a producer.  He tested out his collaborator on a couple of tracks, commencing with “Poison.”  The results were to both men’s liking, and Child went on to produce the entire album.  As for “Poison,” it reached No. 7 in the U.S. and No. 2 in the U.K.!  After the jump: more on this expanded edition of Trash, including the full track listing, order links and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 13, 2014 at 10:40

Posted in Alice Cooper, News, Reissues

Hello Hooray: Audio Fidelity Preps SACDs for Alice Cooper, Peter, Paul and Mary, Yes’ Jon Anderson and Heart

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Olias of Sunhillow SACDThis February, the Audio Fidelity label continues to grow its collection of stereo hybrid SACDs with four new releases that touch upon classic rock, progressive rock, and vintage folk.

Jon Anderson‘s debut solo album Olias Of Sunhillow was released in the summer of 1976 and climbed the charts to the U.S. Top 50 as well as to an even more impressive No. 8 in Anderson’s U.K. home.  The Yes frontman and multi-instrumentalist utilized a variety of synthesizers, tape loops, unexpected instruments and sound effects to create the album inspired by Roger Dean’s cover artwork for Yes’ 1972 album Fragile as well as the rich literary world of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Anderson’s Olias is named for the titular character, an architect who designs a spacecraft on which the aliens of Sunhillow can travel to a new land.  Audio Fidelity describes the cosmic concept album as showcasing “Anderson’s uncommon gifts for melody and harmony as well as for songwriting. Together with arrangements that veer from the rustic to sci-fi, the music appears to travel through Earth and Space, incarnating the elements of the material and ethereal worlds. The scope of the music is cinematic, freely pursuing concepts to every corner of its vision and fashioning an experience that is as breathtaking for its range as it is for its depth.”  The SACD package replicates the original artwork by artist David Fairbrother Roe.  Kevin Gray has remastered the album at Cohearant Audio.

Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar SACDShock rockers supreme Alice Cooper delivered one of the band’s all-time classics with 1973’s U.S. and U.K. chart-topping Billion Dollar Babies.  Alice’s sixth studio album, the platinum-selling LP produced by Bob Ezrin yielded four Billboard Hot 100 hits including “Elected”, “Hello Hooray,” “Billion Dollar Babies” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy.”  After the album was released, the band embarked on a tour which reportedly broke U.S. box office records previously held by the Rolling Stones despite not meeting revenue projections.  Magician James Randi designed special effects for the spectacularly horrific production.  Building on the success of the previous year’s School’s Out, Billion Dollar Babies (with its songs about everything from dentistry to necrophilia) was the perfect vehicle for Cooper’s hard rock theatre to come alive – or dead.  Audio Fidelity’s SACD edition has been remastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering.

Hit the jump for a look at what’s coming from Heart and Peter, Paul and Mary!  Plus: pre-order links and track listings! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 24, 2014 at 09:53

Release Round-Up: Week of December 4

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Complete Johnny CashJohnny Cash, The Complete Columbia Collection (Columbia/Legacy)

Perhaps the biggest box set of the quarter (maybe the whole year?), this 63-disc set collects all of The Man in Black’s Columbia albums from The Fabulous Johnny Cash (1959) to Live at Madison Square Garden (recorded in 1969 and released in 2002), plus an expansion of the Sun album Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar (1957) and two discs of non-LP singles and other odds and ends.  Here’s Joe’s review of the whole set!   (Amazon U.S. / U.K.)

Mellon Collie deluxeSmashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Deluxe Edition (Virgin/EMI)

“Tonight, Tonight” (or today, today) is the day to get the latest Smashing Pumpkins catalogue project: four discs (three CDs and a DVD) of bonus material appended to the original double LP! (Amazon U.S. / U.K.) A triple-vinyl remaster of the original album is also available (Amazon U.S. / U.K.), as is a basic remaster of the album on two discs. (Amazon U.S. / U.K.)

The Who Studio AlbumsThe Who, The Studio Albums (Geffen/UMe)

Every one of The Who’s 11 main albums, newly remastered and replicated for vinyl. (Amazon U.S. / U.K.)

KISS Casablanca SinglesKISS, The Casablanca Singles 1974-1982 (Mercury/Casablanca/UMe)

Every A and B-side from KISS’ Casablanca years, replicated on CD (Amazon U.S. / U.K.) and, allegedly, vinyl singles, though we’ve never found a retail link for that version, outside of an outsize expensive link from Universal itself.

The Slider 40th Anniversary BoxT. Rex, The Slider: 40th Anniversary Edition Box Set (Edsel)

A super-deluxe take on T. Rex’s iconic LP, featuring the original album remastered by Tony Visconti, two discs of B-sides, demos and outtakes, a DVD, two books, a vinyl LP and three 7″ singles. (Amazon U.K. / U.S.)

Mary Wells Something NewMary Wells, Something New: Motown Lost & Found (Hip-O Select/Motown)

Two discs of rare and unreleased Mary Wells tunes from the fabled Motown vaults! (Amazon U.S. / U.K.)

Johnny Mathis - So NiceJohnny Mathis, So Nice/Johnny Mathis Sings / John Hatford, Aero-Plane/Morning Bugle: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings / The Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 26–4/26/69 Electric Theater, Chicago, IL 4/27/69 Labor Temple Minneapolis, MN / Gene Harris, Gene Harris/The Three Sounds/Gene Harris of The Three Sounds / Bobbi Humphrey, Dig This / Jeremy Steig, Wayfaring Stranger (Real Gone)

Real Gone’s December slate includes the last of the Johnny Mathis/Mercury two-fers, another Dick’s Pick reissue and three Blue Note selections reissued on the resurrected Dusty Groove imprint! (Head here for pre-order links on all these sets.)

Prodigy Fat of the Land 15The Prodigy, The Fat of the Land: 15th Anniversary Edition (XL)

The Prodigy’s breakthrough album remastered and expanded with Added Fat, an EP of new remixes of tracks like “Firestarter,” “Breathe” and “Smack My Bitch Up.” (Amazon U.S. / U.K.) That EP is available separately on vinyl (Amazon U.S. / U.K.), as is a vinyl reissue of the original LP (Amazon U.S.).

Alice Cooper Old School 2Alice Cooper, Old School 1964-1974 (Bigger Picture)

Remember this box set? This is a condensed version – just CDs, no vinyl or extra swag. (Amazon U.S. / U.K.)

Hooters 3ferThe Hooters, Nervous Night/One Way Home/Zig Zag (BGO)

All three of The Hooters’ Columbia albums on one handy two-disc set. (Amazon U.K. / U.S.)

And here are some vinyl reissues for your enjoyment!

Love, Forever Changes (180 Gram) (Elektra/Rhino)

The Moody Blues, Days of Future Passed (180 Gram) (Friday Music)

Linda Ronstadt, Heart Like a Wheel (RockBeat)

Sade, Promise (180 Gram) (Audio Fidelity)

Release Round-Up: Week of June 28

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Queen, News of the World / Jazz / The Game / Flash Gordon / Hot Space: Deluxe Editions (Island/UMC)

The next wave of Queen remasters are out this Monday in England. If you don’t want to get them as imports, you’ll have to wait until September to get these as domestic reissues – by which point I’d imagine the third wave will be out in the U.K. (Official site)

Alice Cooper, Old School 1964-1974 (Bigger Picture)

This desk-sized box includes not pencils, not books, not black eyeliner, but four CDs of unreleased rarities from Alice Cooper’s early years, along with some vinyl goodies and extra swag. (Official site)

Teena Marie, Lady T: Expanded Edition / Irons in the Fire: Expanded Edition / First Class Love: Rare Tee (Hip-o Select/Motown)

The Ivory Queen of Soul is honored with expansions of her second and third Motown LPs plus a double-disc set of unreleased tracks (originally issued as a smaller-scale digital set). (Hip-o Select: Lady T, Irons, Rare Tee)

Alicia Keys, Songs in A Minor: Deluxe and Collector’s Editions (J/Legacy)

To mark ten(!) years since Alicia Keys’ first album was released, it’s been expanded with a host of vault material (and in the case of the collector’s edition, a new documentary). The original album has also been pressed on vinyl, too. (Official site)

The Left Banke, Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina / The Left Banke Too (Sundazed)

Two long-out-of-print albums by The Left Banke, newly reissued on CD and vinyl (Sundazed: Walk Away CD, LP; Too CD, LP; CD bundle, LP bundle, CD and LP bundle)

The Doobie Brothers, Live at The Greek Theatre 1982: Farewell Tour (Eagle Rock)

A CD (or DVD – not both, sadly) set of The Doobies’ last tour before Michael McDonald went full-on solo, featuring guest appearances by a handful of former members. (Eagle Rock: CD, DVD)

Deep Purple, Phoenix Rising (Eagle Rock)

A treasure from the vault – documentary footage of the band’s live tour in 1975 – and all the rock and roll insanity that followed. (Eagle Rock: CD/DVD, Blu-Ray)

Various Artists, The Best of Soul Train Live (Time-Life)

I’ve been on a Soul Train kick lately, and it excites me to see this compilation of a handful of live performances on the long-running show get an official CD release. (Amazon)

Buddy Guy with Junior Wells and Junior Mance, Buddy and The Juniors (Hip-o Select/Verve)

The U.S. CD debut of this loose, laid-back record from the Blue Thumb catalogue. (Hip-o Select)

Paul McCartney, Run Devil Run (MPL/Concord)

Not nearly as expansive as the last McCartney reissues – this one’s just a straight-up remaster. (Official site)

School’s Out, Alice Cooper Box is In

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We’ve got less than a month until the new Alice Cooper mega box set starts shipping, so now’s as good a time as any to take a look at the track list for the set.

As previously reported, Old School 1964-1974 encompasses four CDs and a vinyl LP and single, each of which chronicles Vincent Furnier’s time as the frontman for Alice Cooper, the band which gave him his stage name. (Beginning in 1975 with Welcome to My Nightmare, Cooper’s albums were largely solo efforts.) Only about three of these tracks have been released before – one by Furnier’s high school band The Spiders (which also featured Alice Cooper members Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce and Dennis Dunaway), and a reproduced vinyl single by The Nazz, which was The Spiders’ line-up with drummer Neal Smith. (The Nazz would later change their name to Alice Cooper.)

The majority of the CDs consist of vintage live material (chief among them a show from the Killer tour in 1971, also reproduced on vinyl), demos, outtakes and radio ads. There’s also a bonus CD of Cooper’s memories of the band’s early days and a 64-page hardcover yearbook, packed with rare photos and other swag in a desk-shaped box.

You can enroll with Old School through Alice’s official website (orders ship June 20) and hit the jump for discographical info. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 31, 2011 at 10:48

Posted in Alice Cooper, Box Sets, News

Alice Cooper Readies Mega-Box Set

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Only a day after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Alice Cooper is prepping a massive collectible for fans: a four-CD/one-DVD/double-vinyl box set capturing the band’s early shock rock years.

There are only some preliminary details about Old School 1964-1974, but here’s what we can tell you. It’s going to feature, across its four CDs, demos, live takes, spoken-word material and vintage advertisements; demos from the  School’s Out and Muscle of Love sessions are specifically mentioned, along with a live show from the Killer Tour in 1971. A DVD promises three hours of never-before-seen footage, while two vinyl discs provide the aforementioned Killer show of 1971 and a reproduction of Very Record S-001, a 1967 single by The Nazz (not to be confused with Todd Rundgren-fronted Nazz), which would shortly change its name to none other than Alice Cooper.

And like any good mega-box set nowadays, there’s plenty of enclosed swag, namely a 64-page hardback book featuring rare photos and liner notes by metal journalist Lonn Friend and a folder featuring reproductions of set lists, ticket stubs, tour programs and more. And, rather ingeniously, the whole thing is packed in a 12″ case shaped like a school desk.

The link in the second paragraph will take you to the pre-order page; it’ll be out in June. More details, including a full track list, will be posted as soon as they’re known.

Written by Mike Duquette

March 15, 2011 at 11:54

Posted in Alice Cooper, Box Sets, News

Rock Hall Gets It Right

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its inductees earlier this evening, and the results are actually quite exciting.

The artists inducted are Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love and Tom Waits. Leon Russell is getting the Award for Musical Excellence (formerly known as the Sidemen category) while the Ahmet Ertegun Award will go to Jac Holzman (founder of Elektra Records) and Art Rupe (founder of Specialty Records, the label that gave us Little Richard and “Tutti Frutti”).

Much of the press will go to Diamond finally receiving the credit he deserves as a rock artist, but this class – all consisting of solid performers from the 1960s and 1970s – is a bright one for fans of classic rock and roll. Let’s hope these accolades get the major labels to honor those artists with some nice reissues or box sets. (Here is a good place to start!)

The induction ceremony will air live on Fuse from New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria on March 14.

Written by Mike Duquette

December 14, 2010 at 21:35