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Alice Cooper

A Fistful of Alice

Review by Gary Hill

It has been said that this release is redundant because hard-core Alice Cooper fans already have a solid live album in The Alice Cooper Show. However, I find that this release is a a considerably better recording, and that the performance presented herein is superior to that one. Add into this the cameos by Rob Zombie, Slash and Sammy Hagar, and you have a fine album. Not only that, but over half of the songs here are songs that were not included in that older set anyway. The songs on here seem to be more full length versions (as opposed to what seem to be truncated performances on The Alice Cooper Show).

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
School's Out
Since pretty much anyone with a radio has heard the studio version of this song, there is not much that can be said about it, except that (featuring special guest Sammy Hagar(who contributes, among other things, a fairly tasty solo)) this is a very high energy scorching performance of this tune.
I'm 18
18 is certainly another Cooper Classic, and this is another great recording of a fairly faithful rendition.
Desperado
This is one of the Cooper tunes not on the aforementioned The Alice Cooper Show. This version is quite good, and definitely true to the original.
Lost In America
Since this song is from later years of Alice, it is also not on The Alice Cooper Show album. Much of recent Cooper music suffers from a certain sameness, and this song is no exception, but this is a good performance, nonetheless.
Teenage Lament '74
Again, a fine version of an older Cooper song that was not included on The Alice Cooper Show.
I Never Cry
Well, recorded and performed, although this one is also on The Alice Cooper Show, this is a very good version.
Poison
Poison is more recent, and therefore not on The Alice Cooper Show. I have never really liked this song, but this is a good performance of it. In fact hearing this version has caused my appreciation of this tune to grow. This rendition is not all that different from the studio recording, but perhaps the differing context helps.
Billion Dollar Babies
This track is another super-charged version, although, again, not differing much from the studio take.
Welcome to My Nightmare
It is amazing that this one did not make it onto The Alice Cooper Show, and a live version of Welcome To My Nightmare is certainly a must have for any Cooper fans, and as such definitely makes this album worth having.
Only Women Bleed
Featuring Slash on guitar, this is a very good rendition.
Feed My Frankenstein
Another of the newer Cooper tunes, therefore not on The Alice Cooper Show. This one really doesn`t suffer from that sameness that much of the newer Alice material does, and this performance (featuring a guest appearance by Rob Zombie) is good. Feed My Frankenstein is definitely a fun song.
Elected
Featuring guest appearances by Slash and Rob Zombie, this is a good, somewhat gritty, rendition of another song that did not make The Alice Cooper Show release.
Is Anyone Home
This is the solitary studio track on this release. Although it is not a really spectacular track, it is certainly worth several listenings. It seems as though it tries to bridge the gap between the newer and older Cooper styles.
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