June 12, 2006
Veteran music writer Dave Thompson will be contributing occasional reviews on hard-to-find rarities. Dave is the author of many well reviewed rock biographies, including the recent Virgin Books’ Red Hot Chili Peppers biography, works on The Cure and Kurt Cobain. He wrote Cream: The World’s First Supergroup which was published early last year. In the past, Dave has written for Live! Music Review and he is also a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q magazines. Below, Dave reviews Alice Cooper’s Studio Demos.
Studio Demos 1970-1973 [no label 2CD]
No location or dates. These are the demos for Love It To Death, Killer, Muscle of Love albums.VG-VG+ SBD stereo.
Without doubt the most significant Alice Cooper collection to have emerged in recent years, this 2CD set is precisely what it says on the label – demos for (or possibly out-takes from) four of the five albums that ensured the Cooper bandâ€™s megastardom between 1971-1973 – that is, Love It To Death, Killer, Schoolâ€™s Out and Muscle Of Love. (No Billion Dollar Babies. Shame!) And, from beginning to end, itâ€™s a fascinating listen, a secret snapshot into the gestation of some of the most influential American music of the year, littered with starkly alternate arrangements, some staggering reworkings and even a handful of previously unreleased songs.
Of the seven cuts from the Love It To Death sessions, “Fields Of Regret” surrenders a glimpse into the genesis of Killerâ€™s “Halo Of Flies”; from Killer itself, multiple takes of “You Drive Me Nervous” and a ten minute “Halo Of Flies” are punctuated by “Desert Night Thing,” realigning “Desperado” around completely different lyrics, but no less menace and moodiness. In fact, almost every performance across the first disc offers up something radically different to the familiar versions, be it the extra added whoops and whispers that percolate behind “Black Juju”; the markedly less frenetic arrangement that renders “You Drive Me Nervous” all but unrecognizable; or the completely over-the-top guitars that literally scythe through “Killer” itself.
Click here for the complete review.
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