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A change of record label to Spitfire brought sonething of a comeback and a change of style to a heavier, more industrial metal sound. Far heavier then anything he had previously released (bar the X-files soundtrack song which was really a Rob Zombie creation), it was almost unversally well received and now considered a benchmark release for Alice.


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Also available in a double pack with `The Essential.."
This pack version usually includes 'Can't Sleep...'
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  1. Brutal Planet (Cooper/Marlette) [4:39]
  2. Wicked Young Man (Cooper/Marlette) [3:50]
  3. Sanctuary (Cooper/Marlette) [4:00]
  4. Blow Me A Kiss (Cooper/Marlette/Ezrin) [3:18]
  5. Eat Some More (Cooper/Marlette) [4:35]
  6. Pick Up The Bones (Cooper/Marlette) [5:15]
  7. Pessi-Mystic (Cooper/Marlette/Nelson) [4:56]
  8. Gimme (Cooper/Marlette) [4:46]
  9. It's The Little Things (Cooper/Marlette) [4:11]
  10. Take It Like A Woman (Cooper/Marlette) [4:12]
  11. Cold Machines (Cooper/Marlette) [4:18]

There was a Japanese/Australian bonus track called 'Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me' (Cooper/Marlette/Blake/Wilson) [4:09].

A few months after the original release Spitfire released a 'Tour Edition' in Europe which featured the following additional tracks (the live tracks are taken from 'Brutally Live'):

  1. It's The Little Things (Live) [5:19]
  2. Wicked Young Man (Live) [3:32]
  3. Poison (Live} [4:52]
  4. My Generation (Live) [1:32]
  5. Total Rock Rockumentary (Radio Show) [35:48]

 

Sleeve Notes

Produced by Bob Marlette

Executive Producer: Bob Ezrin

Cover Design: Kane Roberts

Musicians

Ryan Roxie - Guitars
Phil X - Guitars
China - Guitars
Bob Marlette - Bass
Eric Singer - Drums

Press Release

ALICE COOPER - Alice Gets Brutal
Special Report by Martin Popoff
Alice Cooper's new album Brutal Planet is due out on Spitfire Records in June. Produced by Bob Marlette and featuring Alice, Bob, Ryan Roxie and ex-Kiss, longtime Alice drummer Eric Singer, Brutal Planet is a concept album of "social fiction".

The man behind Alice gives us this exclusive on the lyrical thrust of the new record. "The last thing that I had written was The Last Temptation, which again was very novelistic, almost Something Wicked This Way Comes, and before that, I've always tried to write in concepts. And I said, you know, I've never really written anything science fiction, and I wanted this one to be in the form of a futuristic novel. So Brutal Planet is basically what this planet is going to turn into. And I have to go not by what I feel. I'm very optimistic. Alice is very pessimistic. I have to write the way Alice would think. He thinks we're flying toward a brick wall at 100 miles per hour. And he kind of would like to be there and see what happens at the end. This is Alice's state of the world address, a future state of the world address. But I like the fact that a lot of these things he sees are things that are going on now. In that sense it's not really science fiction but social fiction, or put another way, future horror. "

On the record's moral tone, Alice offers the following. "I think that's always there. I don't think you have to look for it, I think it's always there. I think there is always a moral level to everything. No matter what it is, there is morality, whether it's Frankenstein or Dracula, there is always a moral, good and evil. And I think this evil here on Brutal Planet is just man destroying the place and likely not fixing the damage."

Musically, the album is traditional yet uncompromisingly high-fidelity hard music, recorded digitally (a first for Alice), but as Alice laughs, with no patience for flagrant modern industrial elements, "with an all-human cast. For me, technology takes the heart out of everything. Any time you make life easier for man, it suddenly takes the heart out of it. When I hear techno music, I hear music that is basically a machine's idea of music. I hear pulse but no heart. So it is an artificial pulse coming from an artificial place. In other words, when you hear a real drummer play, he makes mistakes. He has timing mistakes. I would personally rather hear that than a perfectly controlled machine that doesn't know how to make mistakes. Expect to hear good hard rock with solid songs."

Our preview listen of the record detected a Sabbath vibe, or a reach back into the classic metal of Alice's pioneering hardware from the '70s. "Sure, that's fine. I think that when you have to create a basis for an album, you have to find some common ground musically, you know? And I think my kind of music will always be hard rock. I'm never going togo techno or country. You know, my roots are in The Yardbirds. We used to listen to everything from The Yardbirds to Stockhausen. It will always be a very 4/4 kind of beat, it will always be right on the money, with driving drums. I don't pretend to be anything other than a hard rock writer, but because I think that's what I'm best at. I do get to weave strange little stories around that kind of writing though, and I do try to get it as quirky as possible, but if you really strip it down to what it is, it's bass, drums and guitars driving hard rock. Some people might call that heavy metal, but it's just good riff rock. That's what it is."

Summing up, Alice had this to say about the album's overriding philosophy. "If there is any poetry or philosophy, it's from C horror movies from China (laughs). Everybody's got their own philosophies and mine is coming from a certain place. And I didn't harp on where mine is coming from even though I think it seeps through. My job on this album is to portray a place and then just kind of pose the question, do we want to go there? And, you know, I think it's pretty obvious that we don't."

The Album

"Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me" was inspired by the Simpsons. In an episode explaining how Bart became the way he is there is a segment where Homer makes Bart a "Krusty" bed that looks very evil and sinister. Homer is of course pleased with himself while we see Bart sitting on the bed repeating the line..."Can't Sleep, Clown Will Eat Me".

A video for 'Gimme' was shot in London by director Simon Hilton, and features Alice both in and out of make-up giving a group of musicians everything they want only for them to turn into a boy-band and in one version, have they`re heads explode. The second single is said to be 'Take It Like A Woman' with 'Blow Me A Kiss' said to be a possible third despite the fact that promo`s for it were sent to radio around the time of the albums release.

The symbols under Alice`s eye on the album cover:

Pick Up The Bones"These aren't zodiacal symbols but astrological symbols for planets, at least the 3 last ones. I'm certainly no expert on astrology so take it as it comes. But I can't see the 2 first ones properly, ah the good old days of vinyl ;-) the third symbol is for an ascending node (a node being the point where the orbit of a planet crosses the ecliptic (suns orbit)... the next one is for Jupiter, and the last one (circle with a point in it) is for the sun, it is also the alchemical symbol for gold.
(Dragonlady, 16th June 2000)

A company spokeswomen from PlanetFX (Kane Roberts` company who did the cover) said that they had no specific meaning and they were just something that Kane added when he did the design.

In April 2007 'Brutal Planet' was reissued under the title of 'Pick Up The Bones - His Latter Recordings' (see left).

 

Known Releases

Country

Format

Number

Date

Chart

Label

Notes

USA

CD

5038-2

00

193

Spitfire

USA

CD

ADV-038

00

193

Spitfire

Promo

UK

CD

EAGCD115

00

Eagle Rock

Initial copies In Slip Case with poster

UK

CD

EDGTE115

00

Eagle Rock

Double CD with Bonus Disc featuring It's The Little Things (live) / Wicked Young Man (live) / Poison (live) / My Generation (live) / Total Rock Rockumentary / It's The Little Things (video)/Screen Save
Blue Tinted Slipcase

UK

CD

 

00

 

Eagle

CDr Acetate in colour cover
"Masterpiece Studio"

UK

CD

 

07

 

Recall

Double CD including Brutal Planet and Dragontown
Brutal Planet / Dragontown

Japan

CD

POCP 7492

00

With Bonus Track 'Can`t Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me'

Australia

CD

8573839032

00

With Bonus Track 'Can`t Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me'

Australia

CD

8122735532

00

Double pack with the 'Essential Alice Cooper' compilation

Germany

CD

EDGTE115

00

 

Eagle

2CD version As UK Version

Europe

CD

 

07

 

Music Sessions

Reissued as 'Pick Up The Bones - His Latter Recordings'
Pick Up The Bones

Germany

2CD

 

08

 

Eagle

Reissue in double format with 'Dragontown'
Pick Up The Bones

?

CD

 

2011

 

PID

Entitled "Shock Rock Early Days" this is simply 'Brutal Planet' under a new name and cover.
Pick Up The Bones

The Tour:

Band:

Ryan Roxie - Guitar
Pete Friesen - Guitar
Greg Smith - Bass
Eric Singer - Drums
Teddy `Zigzag` Andreadis - Keyboards(From Ryan`s Band Glamnation and Gun`s And Roses)

Show Directed by Robert Jess Roth






Setlist:

  1. Brutal Planet
  2. Gimme
  3. Go To Hell
  4. Blow Me A Kiss
  5. Eighteen
  6. Pick Up The Bones
  7. Feed My Frankenstein
  8. Wicked Young Man
  9. Dead Babies
  10. Ballad Of Dwight Fry
  11. I Love The Dead/Devil`s Food/Black Widow - Instrumental
  12. Drum Solo
  13. Dwight Fry Intro
  14. No More Mr Nice Guy
  15. It`s Hot Tonight
  16. Caught In A Dream
  17. It`s The Little Things - The first few shows has Guilty here instead.
  18. Poison
  19. Take It Like A Woman/Only Women Bleed
  20. You Drive Me Nervous
  21. Under My Wheels
  22. School`s Out
  23. Billion Dollar Babies
  24. My Generation
  25. Elected
  26. Brutal Planet Reprise

Full setlists for all shows can be found here

The Show

The stage is a post-apocalyptic landscape of wreckage including a car billowing smoke. On the left is the Frankenstein machine and to the right is a covered Guillotine. The monitors are covered with camouflage netting which also hangs from the lighting rig. Two TV`s (three at Hammersmith) show either static or strange video footage all through the show. There is a high platform to the left of the drum kit.

The show starts with large box being wheeled to stage center by two masked henchmen. They open the box to reveal the upper torso and head of 'The Controller' who introduces us to the Brutal Planet and warns the audience to 'Leave, before it`s too Late'.

 

The band launch into 'Brutal Planet' and Alice appears on the left platform in a wine red trenchcoat and holding a vicious looking staff. He moves down the stairs to stage center for the song. At three shows in the UK they used a new prop on this song. A giant version of the staff Alice first appears with. At the end of the song, Alice hits the staff onto the floor and it fires a firework. Unfortunately it only worked once and wasn`t that impressive so appears to have been dropped from the show.

'Go To Hell' features Alice`s daughter Calico as the Whipwoman who is kicked from the left platform by Alice.

'Eighteen' again features the Crutch.

'Pick Up The Bones' sees Alice with a pillowcase, searching the stage for bones that can been seen all over the place. The end of the song is chillingly effective with the last couple of lines said by Alice with no musical accompaniment and with white spots picking him out center stage while the sound of the wind is played through the P.A. Breathtaking.

'Feed My Frankenstein'. Alice picks up body parts and places them in the Frankenstein Machine.

'Wicked Young Man' and the Band and Alice march around the stage in time to the beat. Very effective.

Calico, as the nurse, appears from time to time, only to be chased or thrown into the car`s boot.

'Dead Babies'. The Baby carriage is pushed on stage and Alice acts as if it`s truly horrible and doesn`t really want to touch it. Finally he raises the baby up for all to see. It`s a two headed (one human, one wolf) mutant which proceeds to bite his finger so he throws it to the ground and spears it with the Samurai sword he stuck in the stage during 'Brutal Planet', holding it up on the sword for everyone to see.

Henchmen appear to tie Alice into the straightjacket for 'Ballad Of Dwight Fry' and the normal Nurse killing scene follows. (NOTE: This track was featured later in the set on the first few shows of the tour.) Then it`s off to the Guillotine.

After the Instrumental section and drums solo the nurse carries out Alice`s severed head and places it in the Frankenstein Machine. She pulls a switch and the machine fills with smoke (when it works!). Alice bursts out in Top Hat And Tails and into 'No More Mr Nice Guy'.

'It`s Hot Tonight' sees Alice in a gangster hat pretending to roll dice as if playing 'craps'.

'It`s The Little Things' is preceded by a monologue from Alice about things that bother him, usually finishing with a comment about someone in the front row wearing a Marilyn Manson/Kiss T-shirt. "It`s just the little things, that drive me wild!"

'Poison' opens with Alice in the Leather Jacket mimicking that album`s front cover pose.

'Take It Like A Woman' and 'Only Women Bleed' are segued together as Alice sings to the women at the front while sitting on an upturned Can.

'You Drive Me Nervous' see`s Alice moving around the stage shaking as if nervous.

'Under My Wheels' features the Ban introductions. These change a bit from night to night but in the UK Pete was from 'Waynes World' and The Almighty. Greg was either from Carpetworld, Teletubbies or "Waynes World - Non Speaking Role!" Eric from "Every band you`ve ever seen, and he`s finally found a good one!" Teddy from Toys-R-Us or "The pages of the National Enquirer" and Ryan, while playing T-Rex`s 'Get It On', is from Hollywood circa 1977!

'School`s out' has all the normal chaos of Balloons and Confetti.

'Billion Dollar Babies' features the usual sword and dollar bills and moves into a couple of verses of 'My Generation' with Alice and Ryan imitating the famous Pete Townsend guitar windmill thing. Alice is wearing a 'Brittany Wants Me' T-shirt. A reference to current teenage singer Brittany Spears. He turns round and on the back it says 'Dead!'

This leads straight into the finale of 'Elected' featuring the Presidents again, Clinton with cigar and no trousers arguing with his wife(Calico again) and them all falling to the floor fighting. The out comes the Flag* and a quick reprise of 'Brutal Planet' as Alice is dragged off the stage and the original Alice with trenchcoat from the beginning of the show reappears on the platform carrying the severed head. Very effective.

Show differences.

For the first few dates of the tour in Europe, 'Guilty' was played instead of 'It`s The Little Things'. But the end of the show was very different. During the 'Brutal Planet reprise' Alice reappears as the new Controller from the beginning of the show and has a short speech. Then 'Dwight Fry' is played on just an acoustic guitar with Alice bound in the straightjacket. When it gets to the 'I`ve got to get out of here' section, Alice is led off stage and never escapes. People who saw this said it was chillingly effective and no reason has yet been made for changing it to the current format.

Photos courtesy of Antony John and Triin Randlane.

Songs rehearsed for the tour but not so far performed completely included 'Luney Tunes', 'My Stars', 'I Love The Dead', 'Killer', 'Guilty' (played first few shows only), 'Sanctuary'.