Originally Published: January 1990
The Beast Of Alice Cooper
With ALICE riding high in the charts again along with his new Desmond Child inspired material, Warner Brothers have seen fit to put out what clearly represents the best of the mans output from his early years with the label, and what an enjoyable nostalgia trip it is, I can tell you. All those teen anthems are here from the Seventies, and whilst they may sound dated in these days of perfect production, but they've retained all the gutter like charm that was so predominant when they first appeared.
Expanding on "Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits" that was released some years back, "The Beast..." includes all the COOPER-classics we know and love the man for. Yeah, of course "School's Out" is included, as well as live faves like "Under My Wheels" and "I'm Eighteen". In fact everyone of the mans all-time greats. "Billion Dollar Babies" and "Elected" sit happily alongside "Department Of Yoth" and "Teenage Lament '74", and then there's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "Hello Hurray" thrown in for good measure.
As with all compilations, then there's the personal quibbles. I'd much rather have seen the likes of "Go To Hell", "Devil's Food" or "Black Widow" included here in place of "Be My Lover" and "Desperado", but clearly he who decides at Warners thought better of such ideas. It would have been nice to see "For Britain Only", the single he released in this country alone in 1982, included, but as with much of his latter works (ie "Da Da", "Zipper Catches Skin" etc...) it has been ignored.
Whatever, such moans aside, this compilation does offer a very good selection of COOPER's material that spans a good decade ot the mans career, and includes almost all of the highlights that shot him to superstardom in the Seventies. Now the Trash-man may be hitting such heady hights once more, but I can't help feeling that the Beast was best. - Jerry Ewing
Excited? Moi...You bet! The great man to play the Marquee and boy was I fired up for this one. So too were the 800 odd people crammed into the confines of London's finest venue, some of whom had camped out all night. News of no support act only added to the thrill, the thought of ALICE strutting his stuff and tearing his way through a set overflowing with a host of classic COOPER being almost too much to bear. It all added up to a supposed night of orgasmic delight for any COOPER fan.
And what did we get? I'll tell you what we got. We got fifty minutes!! Fifty bloody minutes and one encore. That was what we got. Then there was the balcony, cordoned off for the likes of EUROPE, DONOVAN (??) and apparantly JIMMY PAGE to parade around away from the grubby clutches of fans, and the entrance hall cleared of everybody five minutes prior to show time to prevent any frenzied well-wisher harrassing timid ALICE. He probably didn't even want to be here anyway. At least that's the way it looked to me.
To be truthful what we actually got was good. We just didn't get enough of it. "Trash", "I'm Your Gun", "Spark In The Dark", "House Of Fire" and "Poison" from the newie all came across well, and of course we got "Billion Dollar Babies", "Eighteen", "No More Mr. Nice Guy", "Muscle Of Love", "School's Out" and "Under My Wheels", all of which drove the adoring crowd wild. Apart from the fact that he didn't say one bloody word to the audience, he did look good and it was a solid performance.
But when the house lights came up after just one encore I don't think many people could believe it. I stood in stunned silence. OK, so it was fifty spectacular minutes but I think everybody expected a little bit more, y'know. I just felt sorry for the poor sods who'd been queing for hours in the freezing cold. If he thinks he can get away with this at Wembley he's certainly got another thing coming, and if he tries this again I shall personally be deliving my ALICE COOPER collection to the man himself in tiny bits. - Jerry Ewing