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Killer


Arguably THE classic Cooper album 'Killer' is crammed full of great songs from the rock'n'roll of 'Under My Wheels' to the epic horror of 'Killer' itself. Alice Cooper had arrived with 'Love It To Death' but on 'Killer' they were busy making themselves at home at the top of their game. Few bands were able to go from the basic garage rock of 'Be My Lover' to the grandeur of ''Killer' in the space of one album and pull off both with such style and originality. 'Halo Of Flies' is still rated as one of the most popular Alice Cooper songs ever by fans and the title track, when performed live with the gruesome gallows sequence, was jawdropping to behold. Essential.


27th November 1971

  1. Under My Wheels (Bruce, Dunaway, Ezrin) [2:50]
  2. Be My Lover (Bruce) [3:15]
  3. Halo Of Flies (Cooper, Smith, Dunaway, Bruce, Buxton) [8:21]
  4. Desperado (Cooper, Bruce) [3:25]
  5. You Drive Me Nervous (Cooper, Bruce, Ezrin) [2:24]
  6. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah (Cooper, Bruce) [3:33]
  7. Dead Babies (Cooper, Smith, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway) 5:40]
  8. Killer(Bruce, Dunaway) [7:07]

iTunes

Musicians

Sleeve Notes

Produced By Bob Ezrin for Nimbus 9 Productions

Executive Producer - Jack Richardson

Recording Engineer - Brian Christian

Recording Technician - Joe Lopes

Mastering - Randy Kling

Recorded at RCA Mid-America Recording Center, Chicago

Photography by Pete Turner

Boa Constrictor - Kachina

String and Horn Arrangements - Bob Ezrin

Album Design - Alice Cooper

Known Releases

Country

Format

Number

Date

Chart

Label

Notes

USA

LP

BS 2567

11/71

21

Warner Bros (Green Label)

Red Tinted Back Cover
Gatefold `72 Calendar

USA

LP

BS 2567

11/71

21

Warner Bros (Palm Tree Label)

Red Tinted Back Cover
Gatefold `72 Calendar

USA

LP

BS 2567

11/71

21

Warner Bros (Promo label)

Gatefold `72 Calendar

USA

Cass

M5 2567

11/71

21

Warner Bros

Purple Tinted Cover

USA

8track

 

11/71

21

Warner Bros

 

USA

Reel2reel

WST2567

11/71

21

Warner Bros

 

USA

CD

WB 2567-2

10/90

 

Warner Bros

 

USA

Cass

WB 2567-4

10/90

 

Warner Bros

 

UK

LP

K56005

2/72

27

Warner Bros

`72 Gatefold Calendar

UK

Cass

 

2/72

27

Warner Bros

 

UK

LP

K56005

   

Warner Bros

No Calendar reissue

Argentina

LP

14030-2

2/72

 

Warner Bros/Seven Arts(Green Label)

No Calendar, Black Writing, Red Back titles in Spanish and English

Argentina

LP

MH 14030-1

?

 

Warner Bros/Seven Arts(Green Label)

`73 Calendar in Spanish, Black Writing, Red Back, titles in Spanish and English

Australia

LP

BS-2567

2/72

 

Warner Bros (Green Label)

Black Writing, Red Back

Australia

LP

?

?

 

Warner Bros (Palm Tree Label)

Black Writing, Red Back
There are three slightly differing covers for this one

Australia

CD

WAR 9272552

90

 

Warner Bros

 

Brazil

LP

WB 85006

1974

 

Warner Bros

 

Brazil (?)

LP

5/029

'72(?)

 

Warner (Green label)

No Calandar or gatefold)

Brazil

LP

5.029

2/72

 

Warner Bros (Palm Tree Label)

Calendar

Brazil

LP

5.029

2/72

 

Warner Bros (White Label)

Different Cover/Title - Rock Story Vol. 3

France

LP

56005

2/72

 

Warner Bros

Mono version

France

LP

56005

2/72

 

Warner Bros (Green Label)

Stereo version

Germany

LP

WB 46121

2/72

 

Warner Bros (Light Green Label)

`72 Calendar
Writing on front is white, not black. Red Back Cover, Back of Calendar is Green

Germany

LP

?

?

 

Warner Bros (White Label)

Writing on front is white, not black. Green Back Cover

Germany

CD

927225-2

5/89

 

Warner Bros

Also sold in France

Germany

Cass

927225-4

5/89

 

Warner Bros

Also sold in France

Japan

LP

P-88189W

2/72

 

Warner Bros

`72 Calendar, Inner Sheet, Black Writing, Red Back, Obi

Japan

CD

WPCP-3489

97

 

Warner Bros

Forever Young Series reissue

Japan CD   11   Warner Bros Mini-LP Version

Mexico

LP

GX-01-510

72

 

Warner Bros (Gold label)

Front cover is the hanging photo
Title is 'Asesino'
Thick vinyl
Mono and stereo versions exist

Mexico

LP

LWB 5090

72&81

 

Warner Bros (Palm Tree label)

Front cover is the hanging photo
Title is 'Asesino'
Stereo
A bootleg version exists on Red Vinyl.

Mexico

LP

LWB 5090

81

 

Warner Bros (White label)

Front cover is the hanging photo
Title is Asesino

Canada

LP

BS 2567

?

 

Warner Bros (Palm Tree Label)

Black writing, Red Back cover

Canada

CD

CD 02567

10/97

 

Warner Bros

 

Columbia

LP

?

?

 

Warner Bros (Green Label)

Black writing, Red Back cover

Greece

LP

?

?

 

Warner Bros (Green Label)

Black writing, Red Back cover

Israel

LP

?

?

 

Warner Bros (Green Label)

 

Korea

LP

?

?

 

White Academy Label

Cover is Sepia coloured, Slightly different back cover

Malaysia

LP

?

?

 

Pink Label

White writing, Green Back cover
Has a flower superimposed next to Alice on cover

New Zealand

LP

?

?

 

Warner Bros (Dark Green Label)

`72 Calendar, Gatefold, Black Writing, Red Back cover

Russia

CD

?

?

08

?

Cool CD reproduction of the original album sleeve.
Killer Russia

South Africa

LP

?

?

 

Warner Bros (Green Label)

Black Writing, Red Back cover, WB logo on bottom left corner

South Africa

LP

?

?

 

Two Originals Of.. (Grey WB label)

Double reissue with Love It To Death

Taiwan

LP

?

?

 

Black Tailee Label

Black & White front cover, Green Back Cover

Uruguay

LP

Warner/
Clave 114.030

73

 

Warner Bros (Palm Tree Label)

Black Writing, Red Back Cover, Spanish And English writing
Clave logo on top right of cover
There are two slightly differing labels.
1973 calendar

Venezuala LP ATLANTIC 150.002 '72   Standard Atlantic Records label Promo LP in generic Polydor sleeve.

The Cover

The snake on the cover is Neal's snake Kachina.

Dennis told me that the lettering for Killer was done by him, using his left hand (he's right handed) because he felt that gave it a more eerie look.
(George E. Orlay, December 1998)

In Mexico the album had the gallows photo as the cover. Apparently they weren't allowed to show the snake on a cover down there for religious reasons.

There are several variation on the 'Killer' sleeve and calendars exist for 1972, 1973, and 1974.

The Album

An Early working title for Desperado was 'Desert Nights' with lyrics by Dennis.

In 'Dead Babies:

Agros being the Latin for field. As in agriculture. So, an agrophile would be someone involved in that field (pardon the pun). I believe it was a word that AC fabricated from that.
(Renfield, February 1996)

"Great trivia: 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeah', anybody know what movie/musical "suffer" is in. Hint-the musical played an integral part of Alice's high school days. Hint 2-it aint West Side Story
The answer to the "Suffer" question is "Bye, Bye Birdie." The singer in the film, Conrad Birdie comes to town and is making all the girls faint and sings for them to "suffer." When the Cooper boys were in high school, there was a traveling theatre production of the musical in which the producers would hire a local band to play the part of "Birdie" (as opposed to just a singer which the original script calls for)-Vince and the guys [The Spiders] got the gig. The funny part of the story is when Vince started to get suspended from school for having hair past his shirt collar. His mom would go in and argue with the principal explaining that he was a "professional performer" and had to have his hair as such to do the show he was in.
(Renfield, July 1995)

The click sound at the end of 'Be My Lover' is Neal dropping his sticks. Michael's met many musicians (drummers) who cover the song and try to imitate the sound not knowing it was an accident.

"I used to drive Bob Ezrin crazy by twirling my sticks, as I do after every song. This made Bob crazy because if I dropped them, we would have to do the song over again". They decided to leave the "click" in.
(Neal Smith, 1998)

"Mike Bruce describes how 'Halo of Flies' was basically a mixture of three different songs that the band had been working on, then Alice kind of strung them all together using a central "spy theme".
(Jeff Jatras, 1998)

That's a cool thing for Mike to bring up. Alice had often mentioned to me that Halo was the first song that he had "arranged" (or "strung") and was always rather proud of the effort.
(Renfield, August 1998)

Cindy Laing came up with the title 'Halo Of Flies'.

The Tour

According to Circus magazine (February '72), the 'Killer' show premiered at the New York Academy of music. The final show was at the Empire Pool, Wembley, England.

The show featured the gallows and the giant balloons amongst other things. It was also the first time Alice used the famous 'clown' make-up which would be his trademark from then on as instead of the 'extended eyelashes/spider' make up as featured on 'Love It To Death'

When the Killer tour started [the make-up] was changed to reflect the less feminine image to the darker, evil one.
(Renfield, November 1997)

The 'Killer' tour program featured a 'cutout' record on the back featuring a unique studio recording of 'Nobody Likes Me'.

The Gallows was built by Warner bros. Prop department..

At the end of the 'Killer' tour, the band were presented with gold discs by Warner Bros executive vice president Joe Smith in Burbank California.. Unfortunately, the 'Killer' discs hadn't arrived from the manufacturing plant so if you look carefully at pictures of the presentation, you can see that the discs are for Hendrix's 'Rainbow Bridge' album.

The live show changed as it went along. 'School's Out' was recorded during the show and the title track was added to the encore, first as a jammed idea during 'Long Way To Go' but later as a song in it`s own right.

Killer (original show) 1971

  • Instrumental Intro
  • Be My Lover
  • You Drive Me Nervous (Opener December 1st)
  • Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
  • I'm Eighteen
  • Halo of Flies
  • Is It My Body-My Very Own
  • Dead Babies
  • Killer
  • Long Way To Go-School's Out instrumental/
  • Under My Wheels

Killer (after School's Out was recorded) 1972

  • Instrumental Intro
  • Be My Lover
  • You Drive Me Nervous
  • Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
  • I'm Eighteen
  • Halo of Flies
  • Dead Babies
  • Killer
  • Long Way To Go
  • School's Out (normal version with vocals)
  • Is It My Body-My Very Own
  • Under My Wheels

pic: (c) Lars Reynolds