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GREATEST HITS ALBUM REVIEW
Released in 1974 on Warner Bros Records. Produced by Bob Ezrin, except tracks 1 & 2 poduced by Ezrin and Jack Richardson and tracks 11 & 12 by Richardson and Jack Douglas.
Alice Cooper- Lead & Backing Vocals; Harmonica
Michael Bruce - Rhythm Guitars on all tracks; Lead Guitars on tracks 7 thru 12; Keyboards
Glen Buxton - Lead Guitars on first six tracks; Guitar riffs on track 8
Dennis Dunaway - Bass Guitar
Neal Smith - Drums
This greatest hits album is for the band Alice Cooper, not for the singer Alice Cooper's solo career
The first two albums that the Alice Cooper Group put out in 1969 and 1970 are not represented on this greatest hits package, as they were a very different sounding band on those two LPs. The first album, Pretties For You, was more a psychedelic thing, and then their second album, Easy Action, perhaps a step up from that with the start of Glam Rock. But neither of those two LPs sold well, nor did they yield any true hits for the band. Still, the rocking "Return of the Spiders" from Easy Action, would had fit on here fine.
It wasn't until the release of the third Cooper LP, Love it to Death, when they had producer Bob Ezrin on board, did they finally find their real sound, that being hard rock and early metal, and that is what at least half of this greatest hits album covers. Yet not all of the tunes on here are hard rock, even if that is what the band is most remembered for.
You will find all kinds of fine songs on this album, with the first two coming from Love it to Death. "I'm 18", which gets the LP rolling, was the group's first hit and it captured the true feeling of being a male teen - a boy trapped in a man's body, as many males think this way of themselves while in their late teens. The next number that follows, "Is It My Body", is perhaps the only real non-hit song on the album and as for picking a second song off of Love it to Death, why not "Caught In A Dream" instead? But still, "Is It My Body" is an excellent song. After that, tracks 3 through 10 are all pure tens, starting with the excellent "Desperado", a very un-Cooper band sounding song about a bounty hunter; then "Under My Wheels", one of rock's early metal greats; and that's folllowed by the Stones sounding "Be My Lover", perhaps one of the best songs recorded by the band. All three of these tunes comes off of the Killer LP.
Then it's back to metal music with the hit single "School's Out", featuring one of rock's greatest guitar riffs ever played, courtesy of Glen Buxton. "School's Out" is the only song found here from the album of the same name, and sadly for the band, it was the last album that Buxton would really be a part of. Michael Bruce, who was the band's main songwriter, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist, also had to take over most of the lead guitar parts from Buxton after School's Out (along with help from Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner), after Buxton became too sick to play on the last two albums that the band released. What a fantastic job Bruce ended up doing, too!
The Cooper band rarely played covers, and only one, "Hello Hooray ", shows up on here. On this song Alice once again shows everybody that he is one hell of a singer. "Elected" is a pure rock 'n roll number, as is the radio favorite 'No More Mr. Nice Guy", and then the last of the four songs taken from Billion Dollar Babies, that being its title song, is pure hard rock, in part thanks to the hard drumming of Neil Smith, and the great guitar riffs from Bruce, Hunter and Wagner.
This greatest hits LP closes out with two songs from the band's last album, Muscle of Love, with "Teenage Lament '74", almost an updated version of "I'm 18", but sounding unusual for an Alice Cooper song with its female vocal harmonies coming on strong, would you believe that's actually Liza Minnelli and The Pointer Sisters singing? Yep!
The final song on here is "Muscle of Love", very fitting, as this really is the last song most fans of the Alice Cooper Group think of, as in terms of the band's swan song. This album is a great way to learn a bit about the old AC band, no question!
- Keno, 2006
To listen to some soundclips from ALICE COOPER'S GREATEST HITS, or to purchase it, click on: Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits
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