Alice Cooper

ARTICLE ABOUT Alice Cooper FROM SOUNDS, September 20, 1975

Mr. Barton was not convinced by Cooper going it alone. Quite an interesting perspective in this one.
Read on!

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Alice`s pantomime

Concert review by Geoff Barton

“Well, …. it`s surrealist, innit?” remarked the girl sitting in front of us, eyes open wide, staring at the impressive Empire Pool stage.
Alice has obviously spared no expense for this show: two tall, translucent grey pillars with a thick beam lying on top of them, like a futuristic version of Stonehenge, dominated the platform. In between them was a bed of twisted metal, beside them an over-large toy box, behind them provision had been made for a band. Surrealist indeed.
The Heavy Metal Kids got the evening off to a raucous start: front man Gary Holton was as obnoxious as ever, tripping over periodically and telling his year-old jokes (“We`re gonna play a dancin` number now, but seein` as you`re sittin` down rub your asses on the seats”) The Kids were brash and loud, but didn`t try quite hard enough to win over the crowd. No encore.
Alice took to the stage after a long interval and, tugging at his red leotard, cavorting gormlessly around to tunultous cheers, snarled out the appropriate opening lines to `Welcome To My Nightmare`.
It soon became clear, however, that what should have been the ultimate fusion of rock and theatrical excess was in fact no more than a rather lewd pantomime.
Alice, taking the lead role in this epic, has well and truly discarded his malevolent, blood-lusting `Killer` image and now reminds you of a demented Jack minus his beanstalk.
He plays the frightened little boy, plagued by rotten dreams: he`s taunted by groups of superbly acrobatic dancers, he cowers, crawls, sits cross-legged in front of the toy box and enjoys a Punch and Judy show – in all, a rather embarrassing role.
He acts a vengeful Peter Pan figure who slashes with a sword, kicks around a limp female dummy, is attacked by bulbous spiders and decapitates a blundering cyclops – theatrical overkill, at times laughable and mostly less than convincing.

This was Alice`s trip. If nothing else, it served to tax his abominable voice and reveal to one and all that he has the absolute minimum of stage presence. He should never really have gone it so completely alone.
Alice`s musically excellent band were demoted to mere backing musicians. They were lined up at the back of the stage and could generate little excitement because of their seemingly minor roles (except for the Steve Hunter/Dick Wagner guitar duel, one of the highspots of the evening). Alice had to carry the whole show – and he just failed to pull it off.
It was all precisely timed and choreographed: a combination of live and filmed action, where dancers would leap from and into a cinema screen was quite impeccable – even though it wasn`t rock and roll. Many were all too easily impressed by the effects – the biggest cheer of the evening arose when a giant spider`s web was hoisted up from wisps of dry ice and not when, for example, Alice sang `No More Mr Nice Guy` or `Department Of Youth`.
Even when the theatricals were over and the band played straight rock and roll for the encore, it was strictly anti-climatic. I believe solos were played, though the only clear view I had was of the keyboard player`s head.
“I expected something a little more spectacular,” said the same girl at the end of the concert. I wouldn`t necessarily agree with that – but I do believe that Alice should save shows like this for Broadway and at the same time carefully assess his position in the leading role.

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The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.
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ARTICLE ABOUT Alice Cooper FROM SOUNDS, September 6, 1975

Just as Kiss did some years later, taking off their make-up and revealing who they were, so did Alice by being very open and honest about the fact that Alice Cooper was just a character made up for stage. By doing this some of the magic disappeared for both. Not that I don`t love Kiss or Alice just as much, but I think there is a certain element that got lost when they suddenly became “ordinary” people.
Anyway, a good article, so read on!

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A teddy bear`s picnic with Alice

Martin Hayman talks to Stephen, the man behind the mask of Alice Cooper

If we looked at Alice Cooper as a latter-day Mr Bojangles he would probably be flattered. Fred Astaire would certainly be puzzled and the thousands of Cooper fiends would look askance at the connection: what sort of a snake is Ginger Rogers?
But if the all-singing, all-dancing and definitely showbiz Alice isn`t doing a contemporary version of blackface (exorcising through the medium of stage lampoon) the lurking chilly fears then I`ll trade in my hi-fidelity stereo system for a bag of golf clubs and sign myself Bing Crosby.
Meanwhile back at the headband conference, Alice, Mr Nice Guy, hangs out in a suite at the Savoy and, for the benefit of reporters` entrèes, takes in a little target practice with plastic spring guns shooting rubber-suckered darts with dubious accuracy. Acolytes range themselves in front of the shooting range – a number of Heineken cans perched in a row along the top of the TV, which is noiselessly flickering images of white-flannelled heroes on the green sward – and adopt a variety of shooting positions, from Widmark to Bronson.
Alice – for so his entourage describe him to a man, though Cooper is later to deny that such a person exists outside the confines of a stage – is smaller and slighter than you expect, and is wearing a pair of immaculate white trousers and, on his torso as well as, one presumes, the rest of his body, an almost insultingly healthy tan; though one remarks with satisfaction that his thin aquiline beak is just beginning to peel. Too many lingering hours on the links? one speculates.

MADNESS

Alice Cooper, unsurprisingly, is here on tour. In fact his sojourn at the Savoy is a mere break, for the European operation, campaign you might say, will have begun in Scandinavia by the time you read this. For a man who has just completed a 66 city tour of the US (which his record company dutifully reports was seen by one million and a quarter people) and is about to embark on a further 14, his affability is unflagging.
Particularly as he too confesses to the touring madness: “After about five shows I lose track of where I am I call up the roadies and ask `Where am I`? You get to a mentality where you don`t care what city you`re in, there`s always a Holiday Inn and a MacDonald`s. In Europe it`s different though. You learn to love it… or you get a nervous breakdown.” He laughs. It does not sound like the hysterical laugh of a man on the brink. “It`s a lot easier to get to love it. Breakdowns take too much time.”
He says his favourite stop on the route is going to be Munich, “just because it`s such a party town – I love it. And the girls there! And they do have Budweiser, too.” This is a reference to Alice`s favourite brand of beer, without which no interview with Alice would be completed. Rarely can one man have done so much to promote his favourite beverage; he surely must be to Budweiser what Rod Stewart is to football, or the Bay City Rollers to Tartan scarves.
A propos of football, Cooper reports that the game is really beginning to get a hold in America, and that newly sprung up leagues there have succeeded in attracting no less a talent than Pele as a professional coach. He had to confess himself – ah – stumped by cricket, though doubtless the TV watching which goes so agreeably in hotel rooms with a crate of chilled tubes might induce some understanding of this extraordinary form of competition. If it`s showbiz, Alice can dig it!
Still on the subject of beer: “You know, I never did a paid advertisement for Budweiser. But I`m a real beer drinker,” he says with a broad smile and a hint of confidentiality. “I wake up at 7 am and I have to have a Budweiser. It`s better than coffee. Actually I don`t drink beer to get drunk, I drink it as a habit. I drink Seagram`s whisky to get drunk. Beer just keeps you on a nice even keel.”

This all on a slightly ribbing note; when the serious word habit is murmured there is a hint of a cloud and, unsolicited: “I don`t do any drugs at all, just because I saw too many of my friends dying – Morrison and Hendrix were good friends of mine. If any good came of their deaths, it`s that people tended to move away from them.
“I used to sit around and get drunk with Morrison a lot. It`s too bad a talent like that was lost… he just wouldn`t take care of himself. If I drank a bottle of whisky he`d drink three.” Something like a death wish? “Mmm…
I think it shows up. He`d jump out of moving cars, never go to the doctor if he was sick. Everything about him was really original but he was always trying to destroy it. I don`t think he liked the responsibility of being a spokesman, though he was a natural.
“I think the whole culture is turning away from drugs. I`ve noticed that everybody is drinking a lot more. Maybe it isn`t bad, but it`s legal at least you don`t go to jail for drinking… unless you`re Keith Moon.
Alice chortles at the joke on his confrere and neatly ducks out of what was starting to look suspiciously like a bit of hobby-horse riding. The mention of Moony provokes recollections of his (Moon`s) party at LA, and how Peter Sellers had donned his `Pink Panther` persona Inspector Clouset. Alice chuckles with mirth at the idea of his pal Sellers muttering and bumbling his way through detection of the “guilty party”.
Alice says he`s a great fan of Sellers and the Pink Panther, which he had been to see soon after his stage accident: “I went to see it and I was laughing so hard I swear I had to turn away from the screen at least three times because it hurt me so much. It`s hard to laugh when you`ve got cracked ribs.”
On cue, Alice demonstrates one of the ribs which is sticking out at an odd angle from his bronzed torso. It was one of the six; he also sustained facial injuries in the accident at Vancouver necessitating 12 stitches, but they aren`t evident. The incident occurred when one of his stage props collapsed. It`s a point when Stephen (Alice`s persona for the `Nightmare` show) thrusts the dancers back into the “toybox”. The lid of the box collapsed, overbalancing Alice into the eight-foot orchestra pit, where he hit a photographer en route.
“It totally knocked me out. I just couldn`t focus on anything. But I went straight back on because I had so much adrenalin going. It was only when I realised that I couldn`t focus on anything that I thought I must have a concussion. You have super powers when you`ve got the adrenalin going.”

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Happily for the customers this was the 63rd show of the tour so there were few who got the abbreviated version. All credit to Cooper for keeping the show on the road despite the injuries: “All we had to do was re-schedule the show so that I wasn`t on as long as I should be. But also when you`ve got broken ribs you can`t hit the notes. But after a week of rest it was OK.”
It also meant the deletion of some of the more risky, or should I say spectacular parts of the show such as when the nine-foot cyclops picks Alice up and hurls him bodily across the stage. This was more complex than might appear, for the whole show is tightly produced by choreographer David Winters and re-arrangement of any part affects cues for the action.
“The whole show is programmed like a musical, not a rock show,” says Alice. “I would hate to say rock opera, because it`s a musical. The whole idea is of Alice playing a character called Stephen. I`m not actually Alice Cooper, it`s just a stage persona.”
Alice explained that the theme of the show was this nasty, bratty kid-brother called Stephen waking up in the middle of the night to find that his teddy bear had turned into a cyclops and his toy-box disgorged by monsters.
“Everything that he`s very familiar with turns into a nightmare in front of him.”
The production is filled with clever props, including a piece of back-projected film which features Stephen, pursued by monsters, rushing headlong toward the stage. At the point the film image disappears Alice emerges from a concealed trapdoor on the stage (in person) leaving the monsters to beat helplessly at the celluloid barrier. All rather “Alice through the Looking Glass”-ish, but it calls for impeccable timing and unwavering discipline on the part of musicians and dancers; and also of course sizeable funds – the “magic screen” device represents 45,000 dollars` worth alone.
Alice Cooper – we`re talking about the real Mr Nice Guy and golfer now – believes in the showbiz production through and through. “I really believe that rock and roll should go into that level,” he says. “At seven dollars, why should an audience just go and see a rock band play? It`s much better to produce it visually. As far as I`m concerned I don`t care how much it costs as long as the audience get their money`s worth. Why not do a Barnum and Bailey? I wouldn`t feel right in pair of Levi`s.
Cooper is certainly putting his mouth where his money is, for the American tour was an unprecedented success and, so they say, sold out LA`s 18,000 capacity Forum in a phenomenal 17 minutes. It`s the attitude that`s  all-important, he thinks: “I never go on and think, here goes, I hope you`ll enjoy it. I like to really take hold of them – it`s almost a sexual thing. I think people like the sensationalism.

BRAINLESS

“When I first came over here people thought I was the devil incarnate. The rumours that preceded me were so diabolical they almost scared me! They understand now that the Alice Cooper thing was total showbiz – it`s fun. Nobody should ever take Alice seriously as a horror show. He was always a fun ghoul.”
Al`s taste for the bizarre was fostered from an early age when he used to see old Bela Lugosi movies which, he says “used to scare me out of my pants”. But it`s healthy enough he reckons; balance in all things. “For every John Denver you have to have an Alice Cooper, for every Elton John you have to have a David Bowie.
“So many people think that rock and rollers are brainless idiots with loud guitars, but if you want to make rock and roll showbiz then it can be. I think the audience love that. Rock and roll can`t just stay in the same place for ever – I`m so glad Elton has got into that. Everybody`s gonna have to get into it sooner or later. People just won`t have that old stuff any more.
“The difference between a star and a superstar is that the superstar can not only sell his music but sell himself visually as well – though the audience sometimes do love to see the artist blow it. On the `Billion Dollar Baby` tour for example we had a show where everything fell apart. I was stuck in the guillotine without a microphone. That night the audience just laughed, and I realised the only way to play it was slapstick.”
So we`re invited to notice the wink behind the mask of terror? “As much as a character Alice is an attitude,” says Cooper. “He`s a brat, the kid that puts the tack on your chair, a bratty little brother – but everybody likes Alice. I like Alice. I like being Alice – once a night. But when I get off the stage, that`s when I leave him behind. I never become Alice off-stage. I would get into trouble, he`s got such an arrogant attitude, he thinks he can get away with anything.
“When I first created Alice I thought I had to play him out. I wore black leather and drank about a bottle of whisky a day and got into fights in bars.
“But now I put the eye make-up on and become Alice, but as soon as I come off I take off the make-up and stop being Alice. I remember one time this guy who must have weighed 240 pounds came on stage, crazy-drunk, and I – or rather Alice – got hold of him and threw him about 10 feet across the stage. He looked really surprised that this skinny little punk did it. But it was Alice that did it. Like a character inside me.
“But Alice has toned down a lot now. He`s more directed than before, he`s not as crazy as he used to be. I used to do anything for sensation, but now we direct the energy.”
Before leaving, I venture that, if showbiz ever palls, or if the public move on to more and more grandiose spectacles, Alice could always become a golf pro (he has a handicap of nine).
“Yes,” he returns, quite seriously, “I`d like that.”

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The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Kansas and Argent FROM BILLBOARD, March 15, 1975

I thought that these record reviews from Billboard would be fun to share with you. It is especially interesting to read these because of their recommendations to dealers. You`ll see what I mean.
Read on and enjoy!

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Record reviews

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DAVID BOWIE-Young Americans, RCA APL 1-0998.

David Bowie is back with his latest musical look, this time an excursion into the land of soul. It works well. The key here is that Bowie’s sophisticated soul sound (with strings, big arrangements and lots of soulful backup voices) does not sound the least bit put on. He sounds as at home here as he has in all his other musical changes, and in parts, more so. The vocals do not sound nearly as strained as they have on some of his more raucous rockers, nor do they sound as camp. Guest artists John Lennon, Willy Weeks, Andy Newmark and Jean Millington add a fine touch to the set, which should not only endear Bowie even more to his current fans but should open up an entirely new avenue of fans for him. Expect soul play on this set, for he is truly handling the music, not copying. Some non-soul oriented cuts are also included.
Best cuts: “Young Americans,” “Fascination,” “Right,” “Across The Universe,” “Can You Hear Me.”
Dealers: Bowie is one of the major superstars in pop. All you have to do is display the set.

Alice

ALICE COOPER-Welcome To My Nightmare, Atlantic SD 18130.

Solo set from Alice is by far the best musical project he has yet undertaken. LP is soundtrack to upcoming TV special, and is vastly different in parts from his group efforts, but similar enough to retain old fans. Fine use of horns and strong arrangements throughout, as well as the powerful metallic sound (Dick Wagner on guitar) and razor sharp vocals Alice is associated with. More universally appealing than previous LPs, with the vocals simply better than on recent LPs, the arrangements more interesting and sophisticated and the package more commercial. There’s a John Lennon type song here that is beautifully arranged and sung, some material reminiscent of “School’s Out,” and a variety of other things. Alice has always been recognized as a masterful rocker, but we see here there is far more to him than that. He proves himself able to handle many kinds of music, though the rock is still dominant. A truly superb effort.
Best cuts: “Devil’s Food,” “Some Folks,” “Only Women Bleed” (the Lennon styled cut), “Department Of Youth” (like “School’s Out “), “Cold Ethyl.” “Steven” (a truly frightening piece of rock theater), “Escape.”
Dealers: First new product in over a year from this superstar, and he and his group are set for an 80-city world tour this spring.

Kansas

KANSAS-Song For America, Kirshner PZ 33385 (CBS).

The group whose debut LP caught a lot of people by surprise with strong sales offers a much stronger effort this time around, mixing the kind of synthesizer oriented /harmonic vocal sounds that characterize groups like Yes with some more standard sounding blues-oriented rock and a touch of country added to both, courtesy of an electric violin. The long, electronic cuts lend themselves best to FM exposure. The mix of electronics and more familiar rock is a clever one which should broaden the base appeal of the band, and while there are touches of several other groups here, the set is undoubtedably the property of Kansas.
Best cuts: “Song For America,” “Lamplight Symphony,” “Lonely Street,” “The Devil Game.”
Dealers: Band built a loyal and strong following with first effort and this is a musically superior set. Expect this to be a big album.

Argent

ARGENT-Circus, Epic PE 33422 (CBS).

Back within several months of their charted live LP, veteran British rockers change format a bit and move from the metallic rock they are best known for to a concept type LP that is dominated by Rod Argent’s work on a variety of keyboard instruments and solo and harmony vocals that dart in and out of long instrumental solos. A general feeling of “flow” throughout the LP featured by the Yes school of bands. The change for Argent works well, for they are skilled musicians and vocalists, and the concept is present without being overbearing. Set should surprise fans, but will not alienate them. Several ballads help break up the LP’s general focus. FM should be the launching pad here.
Best cuts: “Highwire,” “Trapeze,” “Shine On Sunshine,” “Clown.”
Dealers: Another band with a strong following. You might want to display this with first solo effort of departed guitarist Russ Ballard, also on Epic.

ARTICLE ABOUT The A-Z of Heavy Metal FROM SOUNDS (Part 2), April 26, 1975

Here I continue what I started in my last post. Hope you enjoy it. These are the bands that mattered in 1975 when they spoke about “heavy metal”. I guess most people don`t call many of these bands “metal” in 2019.
Read on!

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Rock from `eavy to `umble or
The Sounds A – Z of Heavy Metal

Compiled by Pete Makowski and Geoff Barton

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Babe Ruth

`Eek! `Screech!` Closely followed by a dull `clung!`

Bachman Turner Overdrive

Heavy Duty Rock. It all started when Randy Bachman left top selling Canadian band Guess Who. He wrote their hits (e.g `American Woman`) and eventually decided to try his hand at solo albums and producing. He got together with another ex-Guess Who member Chad Allen and his brother Rob Bachman to record an album `Brave Belt`. Reprise were interested in the product but wanted a band to go on the road and sell it. So C. F. Turner was added on bass to complete a roadworthy line up. Allen dropped out of the band before the release of the Belt`s second album, another Bachman, Timmy, joined on guitar. They recorded their third album and left Reprise to join Mercury, Brave Belt III became Bachman Turner Overdrive. After two moderately successful albums Timmy left to produce and was replaced by Great Vancouver guitarist Blair Thornton. Things began happening and by the time of the release of their third album – `Not Fragile` – they were big business. Their popularity has even spread here (You Ain`t Seen Nothin` Yet`, `Roll Down The Highway`). Their music combines all the excitement of the world`s leading rock bands, packaged neatly into one tight commercial bundle.

Bad Company

Probably one of today`s most popular `commercial` rock and roll bands. They`ve hit the jackpot from the start with their single `Can`t Get Enough Of Your Love` and album `Bad Co` and second time round their album `Straight Shooter` is selling well. Stable mates to those `eavy boys Zeppelin, Bad Co is half of Free, Paul Rodgers (vocals) and Simon Kirke (drums) – the others Paul Kossoff (unemployed) and Andy Fraser (new band just formed) – plus Mick Ralphs (guitar) ex-Mott, and former King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell.

Jeff Beck

Beck can be as vicious as the heftiest of metallurgists, soft as a pigeon`s tail feather, depending on his mood, or his band, of the moment. Compare `Cause We`ve Ended Now As Lovers` with the savagery of his playing on the likes of `Plynth` (on Cosa Nostra Beck-Ola`) and see what I mean. Neither the Yardbirds (in which Beck replaced Eric Clapton) nor the brilliant Beck Group with Stewart, Wood and Waller was exactly heavy metal, but both were vital influences on the bands that made up the first division, first generation of the emerging muscular metal groups. Beck later joined Beck, Bogert, Appice, and joined the ranks of those who had followed on the lead of the old Beck bands. As usual, the results were sometimes spectacular, sometimes very ordinary. Beck quickly outgrew his desire to out-heavy the opposition, and moved on to more melodic and intricate music.

Bedlam

`Is Bedlam the new Cream` asked one music paper, well not quite, but Bedlam did revive a thrashing rock sound that was reminiscent of the late Sixties into a 70s package – a definite British sound that never quite made it. The band was formed by ex-Jeff Beck drummer Cozy Powell who along with Dave Ball (guitar), his brother Dennis (bass) and singer Frank Aiello produced one album.

Black Oak Arkansas

The blond and bleached Jim Dandy Mangrum and Arkansan cohorts are the epitome of American raunch and roll. The band started about 13 years ago when they acquired their first bits of equipment from local schools, `they just got off probation a couple of years ago. Their success is the result of solid roadwork and an exciting live performance. On record they seem to lack that certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Their new guitarist, 20 year old So` Bean, could put a change to that.

Black Sabbath

Highly popular, originally black magic, now big league metal band, Sabbath are currently slightly more mature in approach than they were say, with their first three albums. `Warning` a track on their first album produced by Roger Bain is definitely recommended. Had a hit with `Paranoid`. Currently hibernating.

Black Widow

Came out at the same time as Black Sabbath but never quite made it. Their music was in the same genre and they took the whole Black Magic thing one step further by culminating the show with a mock sacrifice featuring chief witch Alex Sanders and his wife. Got a lot of scandal press coverage.

Blue Cheer

Probably the closest thing to a critic`s idea of a Heavy Metal band. This powerhouse trio were an American interpretation of the Cream and the Yardbirds? Their weapon was volume, energy and simplicity and in `67 they pioneered a style which has remained with us ever since. Their rendition of Cochran`s `Summertime Blues` was a Heavy Metal anthem, a classic, those bombastic powerchords, throbbing bass blues and battering percussion sent the message home. The original line up featured Paul Whaley (drums), Dick Peterson (bass) and Leigh Stephens (guitar). Stephens left the band to record some solo albums and was replaced by Randy Holden, this also marked the end of the band for most people. They never bettered their first two efforts `Vincibus Eruptium` and `Outside Inside`.

Blue Oyster Cult

Probably the most competent of recent American heavy bands. Undeniably derivative, the B. O`Cult are nevertheless great fun. Surrealist lyrics and Buck Dharma`s sizzling guitar are the two things that strike you immediately. Their current `On Your Feet Or On Your Knees` double album is the best live rock effort for years.

Edgar Broughton Band

From the Midlands, and regarded as outcasts even in their family life, `Them Broughtons` started a rock and roll band. They got famous for benefits and free gigs, for the People`s Music, for endless versions of tunes like `Out Demons Out` and `Freedom`, and they gathered an audience that included some of the most loyal and relentless head-shakers and shoulder-joggers known to the British concert hall. In some ways they were close to the Third World War kind of thing – Preachin` revolution if not violence – and they`ve had their share of busts and court cases. These days they`re more into mime and theatre than the star right heads – down – and – people`s – boogie number but the WEEMEENIT set is still strong and faithful.

Brownsville Station

“We`re just aiming for that great E chord in the sky”, says the Station`s outspoken guitarist / vocalist Cub Koda. It seems this bombshell trio found it. Their music is raucous punk rock, tight, jam-free. They scored with their teenage anthem `Smoking In The Boys Room` which also sold well here. Henry `H-Bomb` Weck (drums) and Michael Lutz (bass) completed the trio. So far they`ve had two hit albums in the States – `Yeah` and `School Punks`.

Budgie

Loud three-piece Welsh band, first formed in 1968 when bassist Burke Shelley met one-time drummer Ray Phillips in a record shop. Their first album, released in July 1971, was produced by Roger Bain. Guitarist Tony Bourge pumps out a good bludgeoning riff, their numbers `Breadfan` and `Whisky River` are as good metal as you`ll hear anywhere. Phillips (now in a band called Woman) was replaced by Pete Boot (who has since joined Sweaty Betty) and the band`s current drummer is a guy called Steve Williams. Their fourth album `In For The Kill` just made the album charts last year. Their repertoire also includes numbers with eccentric titles: `Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman`, `A Crash Course In Brain Surgery` for example. Great stuff.

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CREAM 

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Cactus

Beck, Bogert and Appice without Beck? Cactus were probably what Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice got together to flex their muscles before the formation of BB&A. Featuring Rusty Day (vocals), Jim McCarthy (guitar), they released three albums in this form between 1970 and 1972 then split. Another Cactus without the original core of the band (ie Appice and Bogert) appeared on the scene, which seemed a pointless excercise.

Climax Chicago

Out of the blues boom came a thousand bands, each one aping the city blues of America and few of them making big waves. Foghat were one (see below) and the Climax Chicago Blues Band, with the influences inherent in the name, were another. They played a lot here around 69/70, didn`t get very far, and eventually made a more than respectable living in America – easing off the blues pedal and doing that boogie-metal thing a bit more. Hence they dropped the `Blues Band` tag. It`s a familiar story.

Alice Cooper

Shockrock. The name was enough to confuse people. When Alice Cooper (alias Vincent Furnier) and his Detroit cronies (Glen Buxton, guitar, Michael Bruce, guitar, Dennis Dunaway, bass and Neal Smith, drums) appeared on the scene, no one was ready. They were so unpopular that their mass dejection inspired Frank Zappa to sign them onto his label – Straight. They released two albums, `Pretties For You` and `Easy Action` in `69, and they bombed miserably. It wasn`t until the band moved to Warners that they got the visuals of their act and the music together, this resulted with the classic `Love It To Death` album in `71, followed by US hit single `I`m Eighteen` which was proclaimed a contemporary to `My Generation`. Their show progressed from mere hangings to simulated mutilations as the years progressed, their music became more theatrical. They scored in this country with `School`s Out` in `72, followed by `Elected`. The band peaked with `Billion Dollar Babies` in `73 and retired from touring, and a year later they released `Muscle Of Love` which was the first album to receive mass appraisal on a musical level by the press. Again they remained static for a year, Cooper has returned with Lou Reed`s former band backing him and a new album and show (`Welcome To My Nightmare`). The rest of the original band, whose future with Cooper is still not definite, are in the process of recording solo ventures. Cooper`s antics have lost their initial controversial appeal. Although it`s equally theatrical, somehow it seems oddly normal in this day and age.

Cream

They came along at just the right time, they were (almost) the first, and they were magnificent. Three musicians from jazz, rock and R&B backgrounds who called themselves, and were, the Cream – the first genuine `supergroup`. In 1966 they came wailing out of nowhere with Jack Bruce howling `I Feel Free` and Eric Clapton doing things on the fretboard that most people figured was sleight of hand, while Ginger Baker`s restrained thunder provided an indespensable bottom. All of a sudden those twelve bar clichès were as viable as yesterday`s papers, and everyone craned their necks to see how long Cream could fly. It was 1966 the dawn of Flower-Power, `Revolver` had warped a good few minds and paved the way for further psychedelic excess, San Francisco was the new Liverpool, and Dylan had disappeared, for the time being at least. An audience and a generation of performers had grown through pop and wanted something more challenging. Cream gave it them in no uncertain terms. At the critical moment when pop was beginning to take itself seriously and call itself rock, along came three musical colossi, as it then seemed, who asserted without need of proof that you could play rock with all the passion and technical skill of any other music, and still create riotous excitement. Hendrix as an instrumentalist and Pete Townshend, for a while, were the only other people even in the running. Clapton, a blues purist until Hendrix opened his ears to flash and pyrotechnics, blossomed in Cream: on the old blues classics he wrought wondrous changes, and on Brown and Bruce`s originals he positively went into orbit. Bruce had a fluid lyrical bass style and a voice like a chilling gale. Baker, in the best performances he has given before or since, could even make a cowbell speak. `Fresh Cream` their first album, and the electrifying impact of their live performances revolutionised rock. They set the trend for extended soloing, which is fully explored in the live half of their double album `Wheels Of Fire`. A second album `Disraeli Gears` had appeared meanwhile containing classics such as the haunting `Strange Brew` and `Tales Of Brave Ulysses`. Tours of Britain and America followed and unanimous critical and commercial success. Then in 1969 always plagued by internal dissent, they broke up; Clapton to go to the abortive Blind Faith and then solo. Baker also to Blind Faith, then his ill-fated Airforce, and Africa for a long while before returning with the Baker-Gurvitz Army: Jack Bruce to various jazz outfits, and solo work again with poet Pete Brown`s lyrics, before a brief spell with Mountain`s Leslie West and Corky Laing, and now of course his new group with Carla Bley and Mick Taylor. For a while the Cream mantle fell upon Mountain who ploughed the Cream furrow until it was a highway. But Mountain were not alone; Cream made changes in rock that ensured it would never be the same again.

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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: Frank Zappa, Gladys Knight, Women In Rock, Betty Wright, Steve Harley, Peter Frampton, Labelle, Peter Skellern, Ray Davies, Larry Uttal, Chris Spedding, Anne Murray, Sweet Sensation, Bernard Purdie, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Yes.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Alice Cooper FROM SOUNDS, March 1, 1975

Well, I will give it you straight: This is one of my favourite albums ever. I have played it so much that I`ve had a break from it for some years now. I almost overdosed on the sounds from this album. There is much to like here, but I would recommend playing “Steven” loud in a darkened rooom. What joy to listen to this – I think I need to play it again just because I`m writing this…
Read on!

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Necrophiliac nightmare boogie

Alice Cooper: `Welcome To My Nightmare` (Anchor 2011).

Record review by Pete Makowski

This is Alice`s soundtrack album… when you come to think of it, weren`t all his others? Mr Cooper has finally left the golf course to make a very welcome comeback to horrorock and rollsville. It`s strange, I wasn`t particularly enamoured by Cooper`s efforts on `Muscle Of Love` while a lot of people who were previously adverse to him went bananas over the album. Now with the arrival of this disc the same clan yell abuse when it touches the turntable. I think this is definitely Alice`s best offering yet. If you`ve never heard him before this is undoubtedly the one to get, it encapsulates all his previous ideas into one neat package – in fact Alice features a lot of his previous themes. This may be due to lack of ideas, but still the whole thing makes Alice sound fuller, more potent than ever before. A lot of credit must be given to the band backing him. Who could ask for a stronger line up than Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner (guitars), Johnny (Bee) Badanjek (drums), Jozef Chirowski (keyboards), Bob Ezrin (keyboards), Whitey Glan (drums), Tony Levin (bass)? A gathering of the finest session men who manage to inject a limitless amount of feel and excitement into Coopers work. Credit go to an assortment of writers, including Wagner, Ezrin (who also produced the album), Kim Fowley, and, of course, dear old Vinnie Furnier who spits and snarls those vocals with that lovable venomous fury as he takes you through his nightmare. The atmosphere is enhanced by a particularly powerful, maybe a bit corny, narrative from Vincent Price who is featured as the curator in `The Black Widow`.

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`Devil`s Food` has that same sinister phasing that can be found on `I Love The Dead`, although the necrophiliac boogie is reserved for `Cold Ethyl` on side two which features some searing guitar work from Steve Hunter. `Department Of Youth` is a tailor-made `Schools Out` type single that has a demented chorus line sung by Dave Ezrin and The Summerhill Children`s Choir. `Years Ago`, `Steven` and `The Awakening` is a trilogy (I think) about Steven going through phases of madness which still leaves you unsure whether he`s insane or not.
The final track `Escape` is almost Alice`s anthem and features those familiar screams of `I wanna get out of  here` that can also be heard on the `Love It To Death` album. The playing and arrangements are solid and consistent throughout, the only place this album falls short is in the lyrics which are a little corny at times. Apart from that, this platter confirms the return of the mascara-covered shock rocker. Now that I`ve heard the album I can`t wait to see the film!

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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: Joe Cocker, Argent, Paul McCartney, The Troggs, Chaka Khan, Lindisfarne, Rupert Holmes, Black Oak Arkansas, Labelle, Return To Forever, Arthur Lee, Flying Burrito Brothers, Glitter Band, Andy Fraser, John Entwistle, The Sound of Philly, Back Door, Ronnie Lane, ELO, Tom Paxton.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.