(October 21, 1995)
Originally Published: October 21, 1995
Author: Steve Beebee
(Epic 480845 2)
When this sort of thing happens, the words "contractual obligation" spring to mind. There is no real point in releasing this compilation album, as it certainly doesn't offer an accurate representation of Alice Cooper's star-studded career. It's very tempting to assume that Cooper is nearing the end of his career, but still has one or two LPs left in his contract to fulfil. In these circumstances, a record company might chose to release or re-release just about anything in their vaults to get the aging artist off their backs.
Which isn't to say that 'Classicks' is a bad album. taking everything from 1989's 'Trash', Cooper's major comeback album, to 1994's 'The Last Temptation', Cooper's major for-fuck's-sake-can-I-retire-now album, 'Classicks' is basically a best of the modern-day Alice. Older classics are represented by six live recordings, all taken from the relatively recent 'Trashes The World' tour.
Purists may baulk at the idea of the best of Alice Cooper being represented by tracks like 'Poison' and 'Hey Stoopid', but the younger generation that breathed life into the Coop's decaying legacy will disagree. With the help of Desmond Child and a frightening array of Hollywood buddies, Cooper did a far better job than most of his peers. 'Poison' don't forget, got to Number Two in the charts, and it wasn't bad either!
After the artistic disaster of 'The Last Temptation', Cooper's fire was finally on the wane. Fans can only hope that this living legend will be allowed to rest in peace.