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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Brian presents Alice (Cooper) in Coverland

(Scott)-You know how I love these covers projects, and having attempted to create one or two I know how much of a challenge it is.....both Brian and Jonder are masters of the art, I doubt I will ever become such, but I sure do like them, and they are quite popular with the readers as well......this one covers a lot of the spectrum of the career of the one and only Alice Cooper......when I did a post on the band long ago, my feelings were then what they remain, that it is nearly impossible for someone in 2016 to understand how "shocking" their act was considered, unless you were there. My own grandmother (a long story there on its own) publicly said a prayer for my soul in church after she found I attended one of their shows......anyway, when all the gloss and glitter is stripped away, history declares them to be a fair-to-good hard rock singles band, playing sort of a Stonesy-MC5-ish type style. And, as a singles band, they/he are ripe for a covers project. Like the best in cover projects, this one avoids the carbon copy soundalikes and focuses on DOING SOMETHING with the song. This one is rocking as hell, REALLY some hard ass stuff on here.......and another winner. Thanks to Brian for the work on this one
As so often happens with these covers comps, sudden inspiration and having a day off of work made me create something. A remark on the Bond Covers post about Alice Cooper's "Man With The Golden Gun" got me listening to my pile of Alice again, and the thought hit me like it usually does: covers!

I want to state right out my opinion on old "Al". I consider myself a well-rounded fan of his music. I recognize the earliest two albums as bizarre psych rock, the albums released by the classic 70's lineup are premium hard rock (Killer especially), and his first few solo albums are intensely structured "rock as theater" records. But.... my gateway to Alice was his late 80's music. That's right: albums like ConstrictorRaise Your Fist And Yell, and the oh so easily dismissed Trash. There were hooks, and they rocked me. And c'mon, I was 12 when the video for "Poison" was released. It meant something....

Anyway, disclaimers aside, this comp rocks! I found more musical variety than I expected. I was just gonna replicate the 70's Greatest Hits album, but found many more covers, including almost all the songs on Killer and Billion Dollar Babies. There's even a few interesting covers of 80's Alice songs. And the players here go beyond the usual metal band suspects you'd expect. The runtime is around 100 mins, like most of my comps end up being, strangely enough.

Anthrax start things of with a cover of "I'm Eighteen", off of their debut album Fistful Of Metal. Next is the great Entombed, who dig into the descending chords of "Black Juju" to deliver a heavy, faithful version. When the dude screams "Wake up!!!", it's metal as hell! Then Sonic Youth cover "Is It My Body?"... Kim Gordon was always meant to coo those lyrics. Man, I'm a fan and I never knew they covered this song! It's a great find.

The Melvins cover of "The Ballad Of Dwight Fry" comes from their awesome 1991 Lysol album. Finnish glam rockers Hanoi Rocks deliver a great live cover of "Under My Wheels". Eighties rockabilly oddball Mojo Nixon does an acoustic version of "Be My Lover"; I like how the desk bell is used as a percussion instrument! Black metallers Impaled Nazarene turn "Halo Of Flies" into an appropriately evil sonic shitstorm. Goth rock band Kathedral (who later evolved into Electric Frankenstein) deliver an awesome cover of "Desperado", maybe my favorite on the whole comp.

Garage rockers The Chesterfield Kings turn "You Drive Me Nervous" into the audio equivalent of a middle finger. Great stuff. Heavy metallers Iced Earth deliver a moodily heavy "Dead Babies". (And hey peeps, go hit up Scott's post of Iced Earth from awhile ago. It took some work, and needs some DLs.) I chose German power metal band Grave Digger for their version of "School's Out". It's just preposterous in its rawking; I love it. Industrial artist Pig warp "Hello Hooray" pretty good. Sounds like KMFDM or Foetus. Not surprising, since the guy was in both groups.

There is an Alice Cooper tribute album called Humanary Stew. It's one of those records where a producer assembles different groups of rock artists. I selected three tracks from it. The first is a version of "Elected", featuring Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, and Steve Jones. Next is a cover of "No More Mr Nice Guy" with Slash, Mike Inez, Carmine Appice, and with Roger Daltrey on vocals! I think it's pretty damn awesome. And then there's a cover of "Billion Dollar Babies" featuring George Lynch (of Dokken) on guitar and Phil Lewis (of L.A. Guns) on vocals.

Theatrical L.A. metal band Lizzy Borden (who were always influenced by Alice) do a faithful take of "Generation Landslide". Italian horror metal band Death SS are a perfect choice for "I Love The Dead". Fireball Ministry deliver a snarling version of "Muscle Of Love". There are many groups called The Now, and I don't know which one this is, but that's a great cover of "Teenage Lament '74". Flush The Fashion was Alice's ill-advised attempt at New Wave, and long ago The Smashing Pumpkins covered "Clones (We're All)" from it. Prog metal project Warmen perform a great heavy cover of "Man Behind The Mask", Alice's song about Friday The 13th.
Virginia tech metal band Arsis cover "Roses On White Lace" with a nice blackish metal crust. A band called Shining (I don't know which one) tear into "Prince Of Darkness". And to close things out, we've got three covers by three very different ladies. "Only Women Bleed" was a big hit for Alice, and many people have covered it. I chose this gospel-tinged version by none other than eternal Etta James. "How You Gonna See Me Now?" is from Alice's post-booze album From The Inside. I selected this jazz vocal version of the song by Dutch singer Laura Fygi. Not what you'd expect. I wanted to end with a cover of "Poison" - my gateway Alice tune - so I picked this acoustic one by a YouTube singer named Cleo. Give this version a listen... I mean this track could be a hit now, really.

Alice In Coverland

1. Anthrax - I'm Eighteen
2. Entombed - Black Juju
3. Sonic Youth - Is It My Body?
4. The Melvins - Ballad of Dwight Fry
5. Hanoi Rocks - Under My Wheels
6. Mojo Nixon - Be My Lover
7. Impaled Nazarene - Halo Of Flies
8. Kathedral - Desperado
9. The Chesterfield Kings - You Drive Me Nervous
10. Iced Earth - Dead Babies
11. Grave Digger - School's Out
12. Pig - Hello Hooray
13. Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, Steve Jones - Elected 
14. George Lynch - Billion Dollar Babies
15. Slash, Mike Inez, Carmine Appice, and Roger Daltrey - No More Mr Nice Guy
16. Lizzy Borden - Generation Landslide  
17. Death SS - I Love The Dead
18. Fireball Ministry - Muscle Of Love                                        
19. The Now - Teenage Lament '74
20. Smashing Pumpkins - Clones (We're All)
21. Warmen - He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)
22. Arsis - Roses On White Lace
23. Shining - Prince Of Darkness
24. Etta James - Only Women Bleed
25. Laura Fygi - How You Gonna See Me Now
26. Cleo - Poison

The bonus link for this post is an album by a duo of 70's FM Radio/Comedy guys. Thanks to Fuji Puzzle Box for originally hosting the files. Funny shit. (Plus, there's an older comedy link that needs some love).





  2. Thank you! I've been a Coop fan since my oldest brother told me to stay away from him (up to that point, I thought he was a female folksinger with a strange snake fetish). One of my sisters started playing Killer and I was hooked. Looking forward to The Hollywood Vampires at Summerfest.