Originally Published: May 2001

Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies

Author: MP

In the late '60s, Alice Cooper sounded like snotty-nosed Zappa/Mothers wannabes playing at being The Beatles. They were probably the most ridiculed act in America. By 1973, the group's robust anthems and 'shock rock' stage shows had turned those rags into riches, but still suspicion remained. Did those mock executions and make-up merely mask a paucity of musical merit? On the evidence of 1972's School's Out (which could never live up to the single) and the unremarkable follow-up, the cynics were right. But what's most apparent in hindsight is the debt the band's so-so strut owed to The Who: No More Mr Nice Guy and Generation Landslide were virtually Townshend by numbers, and Alice's vocals owed a huge debt to Daltrey's hoary bark. A 14-track bonus disc, comprising an 11-track live show and three studio outtakes, might tempt inquisitive Marilyn Manson heritage seekers.