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Alice Cooper

Classiks

Review by Gary Hill

You could say that there are enough Alice Cooper compilations out there. Here’s the thing, though. This one includes enough killer music that you can’t find elsewhere to make it worth having. The live cuts that make up the bulk of the latter portions of the set were only available in video format before. In addition, there’s a smoking cover Jimi Hendrix’ “Fire.” This is a CD that Cooper fanatics must have, but it’s one that the more casual fan will certainly appreciate, too.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Poison

Alice Cooper goes hair metal on this cut. It’s got some of the classic Cooper menace, but it’s a little too polished. It was a huge hit for Cooper, though.

Hey Stoopid
Featuring guest musicians Joe Satriani, Slash and Ozzy Osbourne, this is a fun metallic rocker. The piece is potent and quite catchy, and puts forth an anti drug message. "If you stick a needle in your arm, You bite the dust, you buy the farm."
Feed My Frankenstein
This hard rocking metallic cut features the guest work of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Nikki Sixx. The lyrics to this one are definitely just for fun.
Love's a Loaded Gun
A crunchy intro leads to a moody, balladic song with a powerful hook laden chorus. This is an anthemic rock ballad that shows off many definite classic Cooper tendencies.
Stolen Prayer
A mellow, balladic intro leads to a very straightforward rock ballad with a compelling chorus.
House of Fire
All you really have to do is listen to this cut to realize that it was co-written by Joan Jett. It really sounds a lot like her music. 
Lost in America
A straightforward rocker with tongue in cheek lyrics, this is a fun one. "I can't get a girl cause I ain't got a car, I can't get a car cause I ain't got a job, I can't get a job cause I ain't got a car, So I'm looking for a girl with a car and a job."
It's Me
This pretty acoustic guitar based ballad has very strong Cooper textures, ala Lace and Whiskey era.
Under My Wheels (Live)
Here we get a killer, raw live rendition of this Cooper classic. 
Billion Dollar Babies (Live)
Another smoking hot rendition of a classic Cooper cut from the band days, this is a great addition. 
I'm Eighteen (Live)
I’ve always loved this track and this live version is quite strong. 
No More Mr. Nice Guy (Live)
Here we get a harder edged take on another classic old school Cooper song. It’s a great tune, but I’m not blown away by this rendition. Sure, it’s a real rocker and has a cool instrumental break, but I think it lacks some of the charm of the original. 
Only Women Bleed (Live)
One of the classic Alice Cooper ballads, this is strong, but not my favorite version of the cut. 
School's Out (Live)
What can you say? This is the Alice Cooper classic and a hard rocking anthem. They give us a smoking hot rendition here.
Fire
Alice Cooper and the band cover Jimi Hendrix and this is a real screamer.
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