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Constrictor


After the relative lack of success of the early 80s albums Alice attempted a comeback in 1986 based on the back of the 'hair metal' influenced 'Constrictor' which featured the first appearance of Kane 'Rambo' Roberts, the body building guitarist who co-wrote the new songs. While the album wasn't a big hit, the tour that supported it was, with Alice selling out shows all over the world and concluding with a massive show headlining the Reading Festival, England's biggest rock festival at the time. Alice Cooper's return to the top had begun.


September 1986

  • Teenage Frankenstein (Cooper, Roberts) [3:36]
  • Give It Up (Cooper, Roberts) [4:12]
  • Thrill My Gorilla (Cooper, Roberts) [2:55]
  • Life And Death Of The Party (Cooper, Roberts) [3:40]
  • Simple Disobedience (Cooper, Roberts) [3:29]
  • The World Needs Guts (Cooper, Roberts) [3:57]
  • Trick Bag (Cooper, Roberts, Wagener) [4:12]
  • Crawlin'(Cooper, Roberts) [3:18]
  • Great American Success Story (Cooper, Roberts, Hills) [3:30]
  • He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask) (Cooper, Roberts, Kelly) [3:44]

iTunes

Musicians

  • Kane Roberts - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, Drums
  • David Rosenberg - Drums
  • Donnie Kisselbach - Bass
  • Kip W(r)inger - Bass
  • Paul Delph - Keyboards, Backing Vocals ('He's Back')
  • Tom Kelly - Backing Vocals ('He's Back')
  • Beau Hill - Backing Vocals

Sleeve Notes

Produced by Beau Hill and Michael Wagener ('He's Back')

Engineer: Stephen Bebben

Recorded at Atlantic Studios, New York and Amigo Studios, Los Angeles ('He's Back')

Mixed by Michael Wagener

Assisted by Garth Richardson

The Album

Alice and Dee SniderDuring the build up to this album, Alice was rumoured to be working on an album called 'Welcome To My Nightmare II' and was reported to be working on songs with guitarist Andy McCoy of Scandinavian band Hanoi Rocks. Photographs even surfaced of the two together. In the end the material never surfaced.

Alice also found time to record 'Be Cruel To Your School' with Twisted Sister for their 'Come Out And Play' album.

...During pre-production of 'Constrictor', Alice, Kane, Neal Smith and Dennis Dunaway banged out a couple songs-not really produced-more like a live rehearsal just done in one afternoon. I listened to the songs again when we first started working on the box and they weren't really complete enough to be included.
(Renfield, August 1996)

"The All-American Success Story" was originally intended as part of the Rodney Dangerfield movie "Back to School" at the request of MCA but in the end wasn't used.

A working title for 'Constrictor' was 'Awake For The Snake'.

The original version of 'He's Back' featured the lyric over the music that became 'Trick Bag'. The music was changed as the producers of the film 'Friday 13th VI' considered the original music to be too heavy. This original version is now available on the boxset.

The live version of 'Billion Dollar Babies' that was the b-side of the 'He's Back' single is taken from the "Paris TV Special 81". It is wrongly stated as "Live 1976". They have just added the audience.(just like "Generation Landslide" on 'Special Forces')
(Renfield, October 1995)

'He's Back' was a huge hit in Sweden and was done on all ['Raise Your Fist', 'Trash', 'Hey Stoopid' and almost always ever since] those [Swedish] tours.
(Renfield, February 1996)

A 12" Promo dance remix of 'He`s Back' exists but this has nothing to do with Alice or MCA records.

From Oct 1987's Concert Shots Magazine:

CS: Here's kind of a sticky one: The first thing I noticed about Constrictor was that the lyrics were printed on the back of the album. Did you do that intentionally to comply with the PMRC?

Alice: I always do that. I can't think of one album that I've done where I didn't print the lyrics anywhere. The PMRC did come to us and they did say "We demand that you write these lyrics on the back." and I said "I insist on it. I have nothing to hide." We're on the top of their hit list anyway. They just released an article in New York saying we were definitely rated X. I said. "So, now are we allowed to come to your homes and rate the books that you read? Can we rate the novels that you read, because I'm sure we'll find some Jackie Collins novel [laughs]. We'll compare lyrics and see who's reading what!" The kids are a lot smarter than the parents give them credit for. So, the PMRC doesn't bother me at all. I think that the great thing about the PMRC is that they don't have a right to be. You know, this is America; they have a right to do anything they want to do. But I think when they get to the point of telling you that you're so stupid that you can't judge what to look at, or what to listen to, that sounds to me like a 1984 Big Brother. I don't like the idea of that. I think it's pretty insulting to the American public to have a senator's wife tell them what to listen to.




Randy Piper

Randy Piper, ex-guitarist of W.A.S.P. was announced as part of the touring band.

"Yeah I played with Alice for a while. I didn’t end up touring but I worked on the “Constrictor” album. But I really don’t think I had my shit together, it’s a long story. Blackie… Oh well I did not have any gear or my guitars. They have not come back from Japan and when they did Blackie kept all my shit, my amps and everything and made it really hard on me to do that thing with Alice. I was struggling borrowing fuck’n piece of junk from people you know what I mean. I really did not have my shit together. Kane Roberts and I did not gel together. We really didn’t get along. He’s a nice guy but I got along really good with Alice but I just did not have my shit together enough to go out on a tour. I just got back from Japan and went over to Germany for a month. I came back and said it’s time I start my own band."
(Randy Piper, April 2005 for RockEyes.com)

Randy Piper (ex-Wasp) was hired for the Nightmare Returns tour. He was fired for not being able to play his instrument during the first rehearsals.
(Renfield, August 1996)

Known Releases

Country

Format

Number

Date

Chart

Label

Notes

USA

LP

MCA-5769

10/86

59

MCA

Insert

USA

LP

MCA-5769

10/86

59

MCA

Insert
Promo

USA

Tape

MCA-5769

10/86

59

MCA

USA

CD

76732-5761-1

10/86

59

MCA

USA

CD

MSP 5761

1/95

MCA

USA

LP

Sterling Sound

31/03/86

 

 

Acetate with:
'The World Needs Guts'
'Back To School'
'Crawlin' (different mix to final LP)'
'Hard Rock Summer'
and the ultra rare track 'Nobody Moves'

UK

LP

MCF 3341

10/86

41

MCA

Insert

UK

Tape

MCFC 3341

10/86

41

MCA

UK

LP

MCFP 3341

10/86

41

MCA

Picture Disc

Australia

LP

MCA 5761-1

10/86

94

MCA (BMG)

Australia

CD

MCD 03341

95

BMG

Canada

LP

MCA 5761

10/86

MCA

Canada

CD

MCBBD 5761

10/97

MCA

Germany

CD

MCA 03341/7599-54253-2

7/91

MCA

Germany

Tape

MCA 03341/7599-54253-4

7/91

MCA

Mexican

LP

LCA-6548

86

 

MCA

Titles in English and Spanish

Japan

LP

P-13405

10/86

MCA

With Obi

Japan

LP

P-13405?

10/87

MCA

Picture Disc

Japan

CD

WVCM 21028

87

MCA

With Obi

The Tour: "The Nightmare Returns Tour"

Setlist:

  • Welcome to My Nightmare
  • Years Ago - Billion Dollar Babies
  • Years Ago - No More Mr. Nice Guy
  • Be My Lover
  • I'm Eighteen
  • The World Needs Guts
  • Give It Up
  • Cold Ethyl
  • Only Women Bleed
  • Go to Hell
  • Ballad of Dwight Fry
  • Teenage Frankenstein
  • Sick Things
  • I Love the Dead
  • School's Out
  • Elected
  • Under My Wheels