Monday 9 September 2013

Spotlight: Alice Cooper – The Strange Case Of Alice Cooper Live 1979 * The Madhouse Rock Tour (released 2012 Shout! Factory)

Kind of new to DVD is the re-release of what first appeared on VHS tape back in the day; Alice Cooper – The Strange Case Of Alice Cooper Live 1979 * The Madhouse Rock Tour. The album being supported on this tour is Coop’s ’78 studio album From The Inside, inspired by Alice Cooper’s (the person…FYI: before Alice went solo a whole band led by the songwriting talents of Michael Bruce use to be called Alice Cooper) stay in a New York Sanitarium and the people he encountered there. It’s one of the BEST concept albums Alice has done throughout solo his career. Matter of fact most of Alice’s best solo albums are ones that tell a story. 

Kicking alcohol isn’t the prettiest one. I been there and done it myself. Helping Alice with the lyrics on this project is Bernie Taupin, the man whose words made Elton John a star.
The Band: Touring wise it's the Nightmare band without Dick Wagner. All solid musicians!! Alice is smart to have always surround himself with talent. The personal on the Madhouse Rock Tour was:  Alice Cooper – Vocals / Davey Johnstone – Guitar / Steve Hunter – Guitar / Pentti “Whitey” Glan – Drums / Fred Mandel – Keyboards / and Prakash John on dancers which include Alice’s wife Sheryl, and a shit load of roadies to help take apart and reassemble what is more like a Broadway performance then it is a regular rock n’ roll show.

The Songs: While researching I read on the World Wide Web that two compositions are missing from the actual concert that took place on April 9th of 1979. Recorded live in San Diego, California, U.S.A., two songs were omitted for the video (VHS at the time); All Strapped Up (an unreleased instrumental) and Dead Babies (original Alice Cooper). Besides that, the whole performance is here. Besides the music that always was a foundation with Cooper, the stage show is one to sit back and be truly entertained. This all includes the dancing whiskey bottles. Even more mesmerizing is viewing Alice sitting on a drum riser and interacting with them.

Track Listing: 1. Intro (film showing whiskey being bottled in a plant setting) / 2. From The Inside / 3. Serious / 4. Nurse Rozetta / 5. The Quiet Room / 6. I Never Cry / 7. Devil's Food / 8. Welcome To My Nightmare / 9. Billion Dollar Babies / 10. Only Women Bleed / 11. No More Mr. Nice Guy / 12. I'm Eighteen / 14. The Black Widow / 15. Wish I Was Born in Beverly Hills / 16. Ballad Of Dwight Fry / 18. Go to Hell / 19. How You Gonna See Me Now / 20. Inmates (We're All Crazy) / 21. School's Out -- traditional Cooper long version with Alice introducing each touring band member and them doing a solo – is most EXCELLENT, and worth the price of the DVD all by itself.

So, here's what Uncle G recommends. If possible, try to listen to the studio From The Inside, and then watch The Strange Case Of Alice Cooper. Time wise, to experience the both like that you would be devoting less then two hours. I promise…it’s an experience worth doing. And to those of us whose played From The Inside hundreds of times and seen the film, The Strange Case Of Alice Cooper, more then once…invite some friends over and together all enjoy this unique rock n’ roll presentation.

Oh…and the Cyclops…voice sound familiar? It’s legendary movie actor, Mister Vincent Price. Now how cool is that?

Gary Brown
American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio Dot EU

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