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Billion Dollar Babies


Alice Cooper's most successful album of the 70s, 'Billion Dollar Babies' is classic Alice from start to finish and features many songs that went on to be stage favourites.


25th February 1973


The Deluxe edition double CD now from Amazon

DVD-A Edition from Amazon
Standard Edition from Amazon


iTunes
  • Hello Hooray (Kempf) [4:14]
  • Raped and Freezin' (Bruce, Cooper) [3:15]
  • Elected (Cooper, Smith, Dunaway, Bruce, Buxton) [4:05]
  • Billion Dollar Babies (Cooper, Bruce, Reggie) [3:39]
  • Unfinished Sweet (Cooper, Bruce, Smith) [6:17]
  • No More Mister Nice Guy (Bruce, Cooper) [3:05]
  • Generation Landslide (Cooper, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith, Buxton) [4:31]
  • Sick Things (Ezrin, Cooper, Bruce) [4:18]
  • Mary-Ann (Bruce, Cooper) [2:19]
  • I Love The Dead - (Ezrin, Cooper, (Wagner)) [5:08]

The bonus/live tracks on the Remastered CD are:

  • Hello Hooray (Houston `73) [3:04]
  • Billion Dollar Babies (Houston `73) [3:47]
  • Elected (Houston `73) [2:28]
  • I`m Eighteen (Houston `73) [4:50]
  • Raped and Freezin' (Houston `73) [3:14]
  • No More Mr Nice Guy (Houston `73) [3:07]
  • My Stars (Houston `73) [7:32]
  • Unfinished Sweet (Dallas `73) [6:01]
  • Sick Things (Houston `73) [3:16]
  • Dead Babies (Houston `73) [2:59]
  • I Love The Dead (Houston `73) [4:48]
  • Coal Black Model T (an early version of Slick Black Limo) [4:28]
  • Son Of Billion Dollar Babies (Generation Landslide Outtake) [3:45]
  • Slick Black Limousine [4:26]

Musicians

  • Alice Cooper - Vocals and Harmonica
  • Neal Smith - Drums and Vocals
  • Dennis Dunaway - Bass and Vocals
  • Glen Buxton - Lead Guitar ('possibly only on Generation Landslide' but he did the orgasmic vocals on 'I Love The Dead')
  • Michael Bruce - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Piano and Organ
  • Bob Ezrin - Keyboards
  • Mick Mashbir - Guitar
  • Dick Wagner - Guitar on 'I Love The Dead' (Reggie Vincent says Dick also played lead on Hello Hurray)
  • Steve Hunter - Guitar on 'I Love The Dead', guitar at the end of 'Generation Landslide', Guitar at teh end of 'Sick Things'.
  • Donovan Leitch - Vocals on 'Billion Dollar Babies'
  • Reggie Vincent - Percussion on Elected, Guitar on Billion Dollar Babies, Elected, Raped And Freezin and No More Mr Nice Guy

Sleeve Notes

Produced By Bob Ezrin for Nimbus 9 Productions

Known Releases

Country

Format

Number

Date

Chart

Label

Notes

USA

LP

BS 2685

1/73

Warner Bros (Dark Green label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, rounded cover

USA

LP

BS 2685

1/73

Warner Bros (White label Promo)

Gatefold with Radio Info, Inner sleeve

USA

LP

BS4 2685

1/73

Warner Bros (Palm Tree label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold (slightly different), Inner Sleeve, rounded cover, Quadraphonic version
Also seems to be available without the extras and rounded corners.

USA

LP

WB56013
/BS 2685

 

Warner Bros (Palm Tree label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Grey Inner Sleeve, No rounded cover

USA

LP

BS 2685

1/73

Warner Bros (Dark Green label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, rounded cover

USA

Cass

?

1/73

Warner Bros

USA

8track

Y8K8 56013

1/73

Warner Bros

USA

real2real

?

1/73

Warner Bros

USA

CD

WB 2685.2

10/90

Warner Bros

USA

Cass

WB 2685.4

10/90

Warner Bros

USA

CD

 

 

 

Rhino/Warners

2CD Deluxe edition

USA

CD

 

 

 

Rhino/Warners

2CD Deluxe edition
Promo Acetate with black and white printed coverS

USA

LP

 

3/10

 

 

180 gm Reissue

USA SACD AFZ 170 2/14   Audio Fidelity Hybred SACD Remaster with Billion Dollar Bill
Mini LP Box

UK

Cass

K456013

3/73

Warner Bros

UK

LP

K56013

3/73

Warner Bros (Green label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, rounded cover

UK

LP

K56013

?

Warner Bros (Beige/white label)

No Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, Square cover. Back cover has credits

UK

CD

 

 

 

Rhino/Warner Bros

2CD Deluxe Edition

Argentina LP 50140781     Music Hall Gatefold Promo
Argentina LP 50140781     Warner Bros (Tree Label) Gatefold

Australia

LP

BS-2685

3/73

4

Warner Bros (Green label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, rounded cover

Australia

LP

?

?

Warner Bros (Bone label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, rounded cover

Australia

CD

WAR 26852

90

Warner Bros

Columbia

LP

?

?

 

 

 

France

LP

56013

3/73

Warner Bros (Green label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, rounded cover

France

LP

56013

3/73

Warner Bros (German GEMA label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, rounded cover

France

LP

K56013

?

Warner Bros (Green label)

Normal single LP cover

Germany

LP

WB-56013

3/73

Warner Bros (Green label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, rounded cover

Germany

LP

WB-56013(?)

Warner Bros (Palm Tree label)

Wallet sleeve, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve

Germany

CD

WEA 927269-2

8/89

Warner Bros

Germany

Cass

WEA 927269-4

8/89

Warner Bros

Germany

Cass

 

 

Warner Bros

White label promo

Germany

CD

8122-79791-2

 

 

Rhino/Warner Bros

2CD Deluxe Edition

Japan

LP

P-8322W

3/73

Warner Bros (Green Label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, Second Insert in Japanese, obi, rounded cover

Japan

CD

WPCP 3491

9/97

Warner Bros

Forever Young Series with obi

Japan CD   2011   Warner Bros Mini-lp format in box.

South Africa

LP

BS-2685

3/73

Warner Bros

Gatefold cover

Canada

LP

BS-2685

?

Warner Bros (olive label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, rounded cover

Canada

LP

BS-2685

?

Warner Bros (Palm Tree label)

Gatefold sleeve

Canada

CD

WARN CD 02685

10/97

Warner Bros

Argentina

LP

WB 14078

?

Warner Bros (Palm Tree Label)

Gatefold cover, Spanish And English Titles
Yellow Writing on spine

Argentina

LP

WB 14078

?

Warner Bros (Palm Tree Label)

Gatefold cover, Spanish And English Titles
Orange Writing on spine

Argentina

LP

MH 14078

?

Warner Bros (White Label)

Promo
Gatefold cover, Spanish And English Titles
Orange Writing on spine

Brazil

LP

WBLP 5.040

73

Warner Bros (Green Label)

Dollar Bill

Greece

LP

 

73

 

Warner Bros

 

Israel

LP

?

?

Warner Bros (Dark Green Label)

Dollar Bill, Different Back Cover

Malaysia

LP

BS 2685

?

? Red Label

Different cover shows band from B$B photo shoot

Mexican

LP

GX01-600

73

 

Warner Bros (gold label)

All text in Spanish

New Zealand

LP

?

?

Warner Bros (Dark Green Label)

Gatefold, Inner Sleeve

New Zealand

LP

?

?

Warner Bros (Palm Tree Label)

Gatefold

Peru

LP

WBR 2685

73

 

manufactured in Peru by "El Virrey" Industrias Musicales S.A. for WB
Red label

Gatefold Sleeve
Promo

Philippines

LP

?

?

Warner Bros/Seven Arts(Dark Green Label)

Lyrics on back cover

Russia

LP

00689

73

Yellow Label

Titles in English and Russian

Singapore

LP

S40396

?

Warner Bros(Green label)

Different Cover
Different Dollar Bill
With Song Titles on back

South Africa

LP

?

?

Warner Bros (Green Label)

Wallet sleeve, Dollar Bill, Gatefold, Inner Sleeve, rounded cover

Spain

LP

?

?

Warner Bros (Green Label)

Songs titles in Spanish and English

Spain

LP

?

?

Warner Bros (Palm Tree Label)

Some songs titles in Spanish and English

Spain

LP

?

?

Warner Bros (White Label)

Back Cover has Photos on it

Taiwan

LP

?

?

Blue and Silver Label

Different Cover

Taiwan

LP

FL-2325

?

First Record red and silver label

Single sleeve with some Chinese writing
The label is maroon with the song titles (some spelled wrong) with other Chinese writing

Thailand

LP

?

?

Orange Label

Different Cover

Uruguay

LP

?

?

Pink Labels

Yugoslavia

LP

56013

73

Warner Bros/Suzy (Light Green Label)

Slightly different front cover, different back cover

The Cover

The baby in the cover pictures was a girl by the name of Lola Pfeiffer. She was the daughter of Carolyn Pfeiffer who handled Alice's PR in the UK. The baby died a few years later from a disease.

David Bailey took the photographs for 'Billion Dollar Babies'. He is one of the most famous photographers in the world.

The band ran into problems with some of the photos on the sleeve. There is a law in the US which requires FBI approval on reproduction of photos of United States currency. Dennis Dunaway tells a story about the photo shoot. Apparently the band borrowed exactly one million dollars for the shoot and sent it down in an armored car with their own security. When the money was counted up at the end of the shoot, $10 dollars was missing and he says "Glen just couldn`t resist" although others say it was eventually found in a light fitting.

The Album

Rolf Kempf, who wrote 'Hello Hooray', is a Canadian songwriter. The song was originally performed by Judy Collins.

Legend has it that it was Rolling Stone [Magazine] that inspired Alice to write "No More Mr. Nice Guy"
(Renfield, April 1996)

In 'Elected', where did the announcer breaks come from? Were they actual campaign announcements or was the effect created by someone specifically for the song. If so, who provides the radio man's voice?

Good question. This is addressed in the Circus bio. When they came up with the idea to record an announcer, they wanted to get the actual guy. Check it out: Walter Winchell (1897-1972). Irreverent, opinionated, controversial, and audacious -- all these describe the radio personality of newspaper columnist Walter Wenches. Whether they loved him or hated him, millions of people listened to his 15-minute broadcasts from New York City on Sunday nights from 1932 until the early 1950s. After he left radio he was the unseen narrator of the television series The Untouchables from 1959 until 1963. Above all, Winchell was a New Yorker: he knew the city, its personalities, its theater, its clubs, and its crime as well as anyone could. Winchell's rapid-fire delivery of news items opened with the tapping of telegraph keys and "Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all ships at sea, let's go to press -- FLASH!" In 1965 he retired to Los Angeles, Calif., where he died on Feb. 20, 1972. Interestingly, they went to go hire him for the album and found out he was dead. Check out the date he died. Right around the same time 'Elected' was recorded.
(Renfield, October 1996)

Alice has stated that 'Mary Ann' was written about infamous UK moral crusader Mary Whitehouse. But it was originally rather different:
"The song "Maryanne" was originally written as a Vietnam protest song! The lyrics went something like this:"Uncle Sam, I'm really sad about you, indeed I am, I just can't be around you, Uncle Sam I thought you were...a man."
(Michael Bruce on the phone to a Sickthing, March 1997)

'Elected' had its roots in 'Reflected' on 'Pretties For You'.

During the London sessions for 'Billion Dollar Babies', there was a famous 'superstar jam' session which featured the band with Keith Moon(drums), Rick Grech (bass), Marc Bolan (guitar), Donovan and Harry Nilsson(vocals).
Contrary to popular belief, none of the songs were Alice Cooper songs or soon-to-be Alice Cooper songs. It was the group of them just goofing around with songs and getting drunk (much to Bob Ezrin's disappointment, who had hoped to capture something useable on tape). Some of it is jamming to old standards (ex. Elvis tunes) with improvised and sometimes crude lyrical changes.
Is there any recording of that historical event?
Yes, but none of it is coherent enough to include on the box set.
(Renfield, September 1996)

Marc Bolan did not play on the record. One evening at the studio (Morgan Studios, Nov` 73) in London, he came by with Rick Gretch (Blind Faith). Mike Bruce and Dennis Dunaway had left for the day. I was waiting to do some overdubs. I asked Marc if he wanted to jam, and his eyes lit up. Neal was still here. I started playing a riff with a "Bang a Gong"( Marc's BIG hit) vibe. Rick Gretch picked up the bass and we were off. After about an hour Alice, Keith Moon and Harry Neilson showed up quite, shall we say, Happy! They started to sing along. Bob Ezrin got very excited. Super group jams were very big at that time. He had the tape rolling. Well Keith Moon started singing "I blew a dog"" . Ezrin freaked out and tossed everyone out. I have never been credited with starting that jam or even playing .. but there ya go.
(Mick Mashbir, June 1998)

The "drunken jam" is also mentioned in the book 'Marc Bolan:The Rise and Fall of a 20th Century Superstar' by Mark Paytress.
"...............Marc had begun sitting in on sessions with other musicians. A London jam with Alice Cooper the previous October featuring Nilsson, Keith Moon, Flo & Eddie and bassist Rick Grech was high spirited, but according to Alice, comprised little more than some 'old Elvis songs, and a half hour version of Coconuts - a dirty version'. None of it was releasable."

The second voice on 'Billion Dollar Babies' is Donovan. In concert, Michael Bruce sang Donovan's lines.

'No More Mr Nice Guy' was actually written around the time of 'Killer' but wasn`t considered in line with the theme for either that album or 'School`s Out'.

The main verse and structure of 'Sick Things' is remarkably similar to a piece of music used in the film 'IF..' featuring Clockwork Orange star Malcolm McDowell. The Choral piece is called "Sanctus" from "Missa Luba, An African Mass" and the backing and vocal line at one point are almost identical.

A promotional LP called Versierschijf Volume 1 was released on Scandecor records in 1973 in Holland and features an interview with the band around 72-73. One side has the interview and one side has the story of Alice Cooper in Dutch with funny (well, funny at the time) effects. The LP came with a poster and features an oversized label with a hole in the vinyl so you could hang the LP on the wall once you were finished listening to it (obviously Scandecor realized no one was going to listen to the LP twice). The intention was to release a series of Versierschijven, but this idea didn't quite make it and the Cooper one is the only one released.
(Freek Kinkelaar, Netherlands)

Billion Dollar Babies 2001 Reissue

This new addition of the album (Warner Archives/Rhino 8122-79791-2) featured deluxe packaging and a bonus disc of live tracks from the same shows as were recorded for 'Good To See You Again. Alice Cooper'.

It was also issued on DVD-Audio(also with some of the live tracks). The DVD version uses the original Quadraphonic mixes and has some extra features. These features will play on a DVD-Audio player only:

"Elected" music video - No big deal since we have this on Prime Cuts.

Audio Interview With Alice: "Hear Alice comment on the concept and making of the Billion Dollar Babies album, the tour, the politics of the time, the real Alice vs. the stage persona, and other revealing insights from the father of 'shock rock.'" - It would have been nice to hear this.

Photo Gallery And Lyrics - I would love to see what photos are in there.

The packaging contains the same liner notes and photos as the remastered CD.

The bonus/live tracks on the CD are:

  • Hello Hooray (Houston `73)
  • Billion Dollar Babies (Houston `73)
  • Elected (Houston `73)
  • I`m Eighteen (Houston `73)
  • Raped and Freezin' (Houston `73)
  • No More Mr Nice Guy (Houston `73)
  • My Stars (Houston `73)
  • Unfinished Sweet (Dallas `73)
  • Sick Things (Houston `73)
  • Dead Babies (Houston `73)
  • I Love The Dead (Houston `73)
  • Coal Black Model T (a early version of Slick Black Limo)
  • Son Of Billion Dollar Babies (Generation Landslide Outtake)
  • Slick Black Limousine

(Venues are suggested, not definitive. These are not the exact same versions that are in the film. The film tracks appear to be 1 from Dallas, 2 from Houston, 3-9 from Dallas, 10-11 from Houston with the final School's Out and Under My Wheels(not on CD) from Dallas. The Nixon skit at the end of the movie is likely to have been filmed at Madison Square Garden)

It`s also worth mentioning that while many sources say Glen Buxton was unwell during the tour and was turned down in the live mix, three guitars are clearly heard during the remixed live disc.

The Tour

PosterThe 'Billion Dollar Babies' tour started out as a project called 'Alice At The Palace'. It was going to be a Broadway type production, choreographed by 'Follies' star Michael Bennet, at the Palace Theatre but the Palace pulled out. They changed the venue a 1700 seater Broadway Theatre for five day in mid-February 1972 but that was canceled too, according to Joe Greenberg, because too many ticket requests were received to make it feasible. He said that without any advertising, they had received 33,000 requests for tickets and couldn't guarantee security if irate fans descended on the Theatre. In the end the 'Billion Dollar Babies' US tour began instead. The 'Alice At The Palace' idea continued to be talked about for a few years to come but never happened.
(Source: Newspaper Report)

The tour didn't get outside of America but Alice did do a promotional trip in early '74 which included interviews on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test', Radio One, and Radio Luxembourg.

Nixon was portrayed by a famous Nixon look-a-like. He used the stage name 'Richard Dixon'.
(Renfield, July 1995)

Prairie Prince of the Tubes did the incredible artwork for the 'Billion Dollar Babies' tour poster.
(Renfield, March 1996)

The Leopard Boots

This was also the tour on which Alice wore those famous leopard skin boots.

Rock Scene - September 1973 (their typos):
..Especially on boys like Roger Manzeur (who will call himself Flash) and David Carter who are members of ZOOOM, a "glitter/teenybopper/top forty" band who idolize the likes of Alice . . . Bowie . . . all that. They were in silver from top to toe, and they're in Atlanta "getting it together" as it were. They made Alice a present of the most spectacularly grotesque pair of thigh high leopard skin six inch high heeled platform boots ever worn by man, woman or child. Alice if course, is THRILLED - he goes right into the bathroom of his suite (already crowded with people) to try them on with denims, and comes out smiling. "Aren't these HORRIBLE???", he grins, tremendously pleased. "These are STAGE. Tomorrow night for sure, ON STAGE with THESE boots!" Everyone smiles - the boots certainly are a splendid example of bad taste. Alice, all dressed up in his new footwear, is now ready to hit the local spot for some serious drinking. Limousines are collected, the entourage assembles, we are off to party.
The next night Alice gets ready in the dressing room of the Omni Arena. He applies black lipstick and fake blood to his white leotard and tights . . . smudging it in real good and then ripping his clothes in shreds here and there. "I refuse to go on unless my clothes are dirty," he says seriously. And of course, it is the Debut Of The Boots. Al Kooper comes in to say hello and stares at the boots. Alice practices walking around in them and stands next to Neil Smith. He is almost as tall as Neil. Almost.

Billion Dollar Babies Spring Tour 1973

In addition to the band members, the tour also featured:

The Billion Dollar Babies show featured a lavish stage set including it`s own stage which was 25ft high, weighed 8 tons and cost around $200,000 to build. It had several levels for the band to move around on including a huge staircase that lit up as Alice walked up and down it between the stage levels. Behind Neal's kit stood an Egyptian Sarcophagus which shot lasers during 'My Stars'.

The show opened naturally enough with 'Hello Hooray' with Alice appearing through the smoke in white tail coat, White ripped leotard and the famous leopard skin boots.

'18', 'Elected', 'Raped and Freezin'' and 'Billion Dollar Babies' followed in quick succession as Alice taunted the crowd from the front of the stage, seemingly reveling in the chaos in the audience as the crowd fought to get a better view.

'My Stars' saw Alice climbing up the steps to sing from behind Neal`s drum kit at the back of the stage, next to the Laser eyed Sarcophagus. Almost allowing himself a breather from the intensity at the front of the stage and maybe also letting the rest of the band members get a share of the spotlight.

Setlist

  • Hello Hooray
  • Billion Dollar Babies
  • Elected
  • I'm Eighteen
  • Raped and Freezin'
  • No More Mr. Nice Guy
  • My Stars
  • Unfinished Sweet
  • (Night on bald mountain-tape)
  • Sick Things
  • Dead Babies
  • I Love The Dead
  • (Night on bald mountain-tape)
  • School's Out
  • Under My Wheels
  • God Bless America - Kate Smith impersonator on tape



'Unfinished Sweet' saw the start of the real theatrics with Alice starting on a silver dentists table and Cindy Smith appearing dressed as a giant tooth which Alice proceeded to brush with a giant toothbrush before seeming to sexually assault the poor tooth. Returning to the table, The Amazing Randi appears dressed as a crazed dentist with a giant dentists drill and proceeds to use it on Alice who rows around in mock-agony. 'No More Mr Nice Guy' follows before the stage is plunged into darkness. Lasers cut through the smoke as Mussorsky's 'Night On Bald Mountain' blasted over the P.A. Strobe lights flashed as plastic body parts were placed around the stage by the road crew ready for part two of the show, piling the limbs and torsos up and using them to hit each other in some macabre nightmare.

Alice reappeared in black leather outfit with the Snake for 'Sick Things' before the slow bass intro to 'Dead Babies' raised the level again, Alice molesting dolls and torsos at the stage front to the open mouthed astonishment of the audience. He spat on them, caressed them. 'I Love The Dead' began with Alice as the cloth covered Guillotine was wheeled out with Randi as the hooded executioner. Alice placed his neck on the block (Michael Bruce continued singing while Alice mimed) and Randi pulled the rope, bringing down the blade to leave Alice twitching on the platform. The music switched to a tape as the band came down from there platforms and Randi pulled out the severed head and held it aloft. The Lights went out as 'Night On Bald Mountain' again echoed through the hall. Show over, Alice punished for his crimes.

Of course they were all back a few minutes later for 'School`s Out' with Alice in the now traditional top hat, tails and cane as balloons burst and fake money fell. He also had an armful of posters which which he teased the audience. Alice grew to fear this part of the show, always waiting for someone from the audience to grab him and pull him down. He talked to the audience though, goading them on to greater zeal and declaring the famous quote "You`re All Crazier Then I Am". And then it was over. Kate Smith`s version of 'God Bless America' played and the band took their bows. A some shows a Richard Nixon (Santa Claus on the Muscle Of Love Holiday Tour) walked on stage only to be beaten up by the band and carried off while still smiling and flashing peace signs.

(Report based on work by Andy Michael)

A film showing the show in all it`s glory was released as 'Good To See You again, Alice Cooper'.