Metal Hammer

Originally Published: August 1987

News Report & Video Review

Alice Cooper and producer Michael Wagener began mixing Alice's new album recently at Amigo Studios in the valley. No title has been confirmed as yet, however sources say that one cut called 'Freedom' will be the only one considered for radio play in the states. The remainder of the album has been likened to a splatter movie on record, and we quote 'Totally gross'. Alice and his band are also playing at the Reading Festival at the end of this month.

'The Nightmare Returns'

by Harry Doherty

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Alice Cooper live shows in Britain last year were a highlight in what was overall quite a spectacular year. Cooper, however, showed that he could mix with the best with a show that had his trademark stamped all over it.

If I recall properly, it was a testament to overkill and gore, executed with maximum theatrical drama and left the audience thoroughly exhausted by the end.

It's a shame, then, that such a show should transfer so limply to video, and with this show in particular, stage sets and gimmicks that proved so exquisitely effective in the flesh, now look pretty ineffective when captured in the cold on screen.

It's all fairly exciting stuff, mind you, as Alice thrashes his way through the set, backed up by a band that is as tight as a ducks arse. He doesn't lack for good rock musicians.

However, it would have been much better had this show been actually taken into a proper film studio and shot that way, to ensure that each semblance of bluff was maintained. I guess that we'd be talking about high budgets if that were to be done, though, but at least the legend would have been preserved.

The music on this video is, of course, exellent, with Alice covering his entire catalogue and bring out such gems as 'School's Out', 'Welcome To My Nightmare', 'Elected', and Only Women Bleed'. I would have to say, though, that I preferred the band that played with him on the last original 'Nightmare' tour.

A video that fans will probably rush out to buy, but people who haven't seen the show and are checking Alice out through the medium of this live vid will be left wondering what all the fuss is about. To those, I'd say, get your tickets for the Reading Festival now and check Alice out, in the flesh.