Coming off such conceptual, theatrical, sleazy hard rock records as the massively successful School's Out (1972) and Billion Dollar Babies (1973), the Alice Cooper group decided that their next release would be more along the lines of their earlier, more straightforward work (à la Love It to Death). While Muscle of Love was a gold-certified Top Ten success, it performed below expectations (their previous two albums peaked at number two and number one, respectively) and would unfortunately prove to be the original Alice Cooper band's last studio album together…
The Alice Cooper Show is a live album by Alice Cooper, released by Warner Bros. in December 1977. It was recorded live in Las Vegas at the Aladdin Hotel on August 19 and 20, 1977, during Cooper's "King of the Silver Screen" United States tour. The TV special Alice Cooper and Friends featured live footage from that tour.
Alice Cooper's third album, Love It to Death, can be pinpointed as the release when everything began to come together for the band. Their first couple of albums (Pretties for You and Easy Action) were both largely psychedelic/acid rock affairs and bore little comparison to the band's eventual rip-roaring, teenage-anthem direction. The main reason for the quintet's change was that the eventually legendary producer Bob Ezrin was on board for the first time and helped the Coopers focus their songwriting and sound, while they also perfected their trashy, violent, and theatrical stage show and image. One of the band's most instantly identifiable anthems, "I'm Eighteen," was what made the album a hit, as well as another classic, "Is It My Body." But like Alice Cooper's other albums from the early '70s, it was an incredibly consistent listen from beginning to end.
The score to the 1999 telefilm Alice in Wonderland was composed by Richard Hartley and features the original songs performed by the all-star cast, which includes Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Short, George Wendt, Gene Wilder, Peter Ustinov, Ben Kingsley and Christopher Lloyd. A nice souvenir for fans of this production.
Weighing in at 15 CDs, The Studio Albums 1969-1983 is a hefty box set but, at $85, it is relatively affordable considering that it contains everything Alice Cooper – both the band and the man – recorded at Straight and Warner. Whatever bonus material attached to CD reissues over the years has been stripped away – nothing from the 2001 deluxe edition of Billion Dollar Babies, then – and there are no new remasters of the albums, but this set isn't bare bones. The mini-LP replicas contain a few inserts carried over from the vinyl and, more importantly, those early Straight Records are present, which is good because they were out of print for a while. Not everything here is great – he did have a rough patch in the late '70s and early '80s – but it's all interesting, and it's especially nice to be able to get the entire catalog so easily and cheaply.