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Billion Dollar Babies

First Ever Live Show - Flint 1977

Review by Gary Hill

After Alice Cooper the man and Alice Cooper the band parted ways, the members of the band formed Billion Dollar Babies. They only ever recorded one studio album - Battle Axe. This is a live recording of their very first show as Billion Dollar Babies. It features some killer new material along with plenty of Cooper classics. The performance is on fire. The only real complaint here is the recording quality. This was obviously recorded as an audience bootleg. As far as those type recordings go, the sound is not bad. Compared to most official recordings, though, it's rough around the edges and at times very audience heavy. Still, it's great to have a live record of this historic concert. The band was really on fire, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Miss You
Guitar leads this off here, and it builds upward from there. This rocker really does feel a lot like Alice Cooper.
Rock N Roll Radio
Another cool riff driven rocker, this has some good hooks and really rocks. This was a single and has a real single vibe to it.
Love Is Rather Blind
A bit meaner, there is a bit of a punky edge to this stomper.
Rock Me Slowly
Starting as a piano based ballad, this gets into more guitar rocking territory later. This has "hit record" written all over it. It's a great tune.
Alice Cooper Medley: No More Mr. Nice Guy/Neal Smith Solo/Elected/Eighteen/School's Out
This smoking hot Cooper medley works really well.
Battle Axe Suite: Ego Mania
There is some smoking hot guitar work on this killer cut. This instrumental really does feel like it could have come from the original era of Alice Cooper.
Battle Axe
A dramatic keyboard section opens this cut in a very progressive rock like mode. As the track starts to build out from there it still feels quite proggy. It definitely has elements of the theatric side of Alice Cooper. Yet, in so many ways this is a killer progressive cut, even as it powers upward to the more guitar driven stuff. This track is the real highlight of the set as far as I'm concerned.
Nights in Cracked Leather/Sudden Death/Winner
This opens with a dramatic symphonic fanfare that leans back to the olden days of heraldry. Audience chatter gets in the way of this a bit. After the four minute mark it shifts to a cool progressive rock styled arrangement to continue. Some of the keyboard based stuff as this continues makes me think of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. It is pure progressive rock really and quite bombastic. It's after the nine-minute mark before the first vocals of the track enter. It's still very much a prog rocking kind of jam.
Too Young
This is a straight-ahead glam rocker. It's solid, but a bit average after the last couple pieces. It does sound like old school Cooper, though.
Billion Dollar Babies
The song from which this band took it's name, they deliver a screaming hot live telling. This is crazed Cooper music of the hard rocking variety at its best. It always was a scorcher, and this live version upholds that tradition.
 
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