Originally Published: September 07, 1974
Alice Cooper: "Greatest Hits" (Warner Bros. K 56043)
The band are as significant to seventies rock era as The Who were in the sixties. The overgrown teenage rebel from Detroit who could identify with the generation of that era. Their music was aggressive, filled with violent innuendoes, maybe overstated in places, but definitely shit hot rock and roll. Alice presented something people like Iggy Stooge and other attempted but miserably failed. While Iggy had the violent performance and outrageousness he lacked in vocals, material and competent musicians. Alice was all these and much more. This album goes back to the band's first hit "I'm Eighteen" which at the time was heralded as the new teenage anthem and apart from his earlier and instantly forgettable recordings with Bizarre, is probably Alice Cooper's most raw recording. Even today "Love It To Death" is one of the finest rock albums that was ever recorded. This track is a fine opener for the album and is closely followed by "Under My Wheels", a single that has recently been re-released but should have scored the charts first time round. Side one closes with "School's Out", the single that broke in Britain and led him onto mass success. The production is perfect and it brings over the aggressiveness of the band, their music was as theatrical as their performances. "Billion Dollar Babies" was another incredible song in which Alice sings along with that ol' 'cosmic wheel' Donovan. It brings out the musical strength of the band and showed that Alice was nowhere near finished. "Teenage Lament '74" was Cooper's most interesting and unpredictable single. this can also be said for their last album "Muscle Of Love" and it will be interesting to see what follows. Does this album indicate the end of the Alice Cooper we know and fear? Have Alice Cooper gone respectable? I don't think so and I hope not. For people who are unfamiliar with the band's music, this album is an excellent compilation and well packaged at that. Other tracks on the album are: "Is It My Body", "Desperado", "Be My Lover", "Hello Hurray", Elected", No More Mr Nice Guy", and "Muscle Of Love". - P.M.