68. halo of flies

“The fourth Alice Cooper album, the one known as Killer, is as fine a slice of epic rock spectacle as the early 1970s delivered, and they delivered a lot. I distinctly remember the first time I heard it, at my friend Malcolm’s, who immediately went out and bought it when the news hit about a kid a few suburbs over who’d hung himself trying to imitate the ‘hanging trick’ pictured on the calendar found inside. The newspapers were all over it for a while. Fourteen year old boy kills himself because of Alice Cooper. Which, of course, is as deep as any adult ever went when it came to Alice. The pictures. Their loss, because there was nothing shallow about the music. Creepy, dynamic, erupting with grotesque passion and cool … particularly Halo of Flies. Apparently, it’s about espionage. Halo of Flies being an evil outfit working deep networks of counter-intelligence-terrorism-revenge-extortion-perversion, and thus they must be smashed. And our man Alice and his crowd of weirdoes are up to the task, whatever it takes, even a little Rogers + Hammerstein if needs be. Would’ve made a helluva movie.” (Philip Random)

488. Hard Hearted Alice

I’ve said it before, I’ll no doubt say it again. The last Alice Cooper album anybody needs to own is Muscle of Love, because it’s the last one featuring the Group: Mike Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and a guy named Alice (who sang lead, sometimes wore dresses, and was known to smash baby dolls to pieces). Past that, it would just be Alice (and whoever) going increasingly showbiz and irrelevant. But Muscle of Love – that’s an entirely okay collection. Less conceptual than previous offerings, and perhaps a little more civilized, it nevertheless shows an outfit that knows how to craft relevant rock music. With Hard Hearted Alice a comparatively ethereal offering (albeit sinister) about life on the road apparently.

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