This “review” of one of the classic Cooper albums could have almost been written without listening to it. I`m not sure if Mr. Peacock did as most of the information he shares in this “review” could have been found freely and easily on the album cover and inlay sheet. But this was also Sounds review of this great album – here for you to digest and share or whatever… I`m off to Stockholm tomorrow – see you around next time!
Alice Cooper: “Billion Dollar Babies”
(Warner Brothers K56013).
By Steve Peacock
Like Pete Townshend once said, you can`t go wrong copying the Rolling Stones. Take a couple of tracks like “Raped And Freezin`” or “Generation Landslide” off this latest episode in the escapist melodrama of the Alice Cooper story, and you`ll see how it fits. Alice and the boys use that heavy r`n`b, the chunking guitars, and the voices well back in the mix approach that has made so many records great, add their own touches of all-American trash culture tune their images carefully to the violent fantasies of the teenage west and come up with a great album. “Roll out! Roll out with your American dream and its recruits… roll out your circus freaks and hula hoops” sings Alice on the opening cut “Hello Hooray”; “Brats in battalions were ruling the streets” is one of the lines in “Generation Landslide”, a classic kids-rule-the-world number; “Raped And Freezin`” concerns a young hitchin` guy who gets picked up, screwed, and left naked, alone and freezin` down in Mexico by “some old broad down from Santa Fe” who was no baby sitter; “Elected” has everything but the lead vocal (sing along, they`ve printed out the words), “Billion Dollar Babies” has Donovan, “Unfinished Sweet”, a dental horror tale – “he says my teeth are OK but my gums got to go” – ends up with More Mr. Nice Guy” concerns the traumas of a man you love to hate, “Sick Things” and “Mary-Ann” I won`t spoil for you by a giveaway, and “I Love The Dead” I`ll leave to your imaginations – it is as sick as the title suggests, and it`s a great number. Bob Ezrin`s production is snappy and clever, the melodrama heaves in and out, sometimes hinted, sometimes heavily to the for, and the whole thing is as effective as a really slickly made Hammer film, with the accent on the ham. The packaging is gaudy, brash, and designed with a neat sense of outrage – and I suppose that goes for the whole of the record. The ideal Alice Cooper album.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Darryl Way (Curved Air), Sounds staff analyse David Bowie, Nazareth, Steve Marriott, Average White Band, Elton John, Geordie, Status Quo, Slade, Stackridge, Peter Gabriel, Mike Heron, Jesse Winchester, Thin Lizzy.
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