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The Last Temptation


Alice's last new release for Epic Records was also one of his best albums ever. The superb cover art promised something special and Alice delivered a great collection of songs telling a story of temptation and deliverence which was also illustrated over three comic books, the first of which came wrapped with early copies of the record. High points include 'Sideshow', the down and dirty 'Bad Place Alone' and the epic 'Cleansed By Fire'. Classic Cooper.


June 6th 1994 (UK)

  1. Sideshow (Cooper, Smith, Brooks, Norwood, Wexler, Saylor) [6:29]
  2. Nothing's Free (Cooper, Wexler, Saylor) [5:01]
  3. Lost In America (Cooper, Wexler, Saylor) [3:53]
  4. Bad Place Alone (Cooper, Wexler, Saylor) [5:04]
  5. You're My Temptation (Cooper, Blades, Shaw) [5:09]
  6. Stolen Prayer (Cornell, Cooper) [5:37]
  7. Unholy War (Cornell) [4:10]
  8. Lullaby (Cooper, Vallance) [4:28]
  9. It's Me (Cooper, Blades, Shaw) [4:39]
  10. Cleansed By Fire (Cooper, Hudson, Dudas, Saylor) [6:13]

The Japanese release came with a bonus CD recorded live at Electric Lady studios in New York 1991. Tracks included were:

  1. Sick Things [3:02]
  2. Only Women Bleed [1:31]
  3. Wind Up Toy [3:09]
  4. No More Mr Nice Guy [2:20]
  5. Billion Dollar Babies [2:50]
  6. Poison [5:01]
  7. Hey Stoopid [4:23]

iTunes

Musicians

  • Stef Burns - Guitar, Vocals
  • Greg Smith - Bass, Vocals
  • Derek Sherinian - Keyboards, Vocals
  • David Uosikkinen - Drums (from 'The Hooters')
  • Chris Cornell - Vocals on 'Stolen Prayer' and 'Unholy War'
  • Dan Wexler - Guitar on 'Lost In America'
  • John Purdell - Additional Keyboards on 'You're My Temptation', 'Lullaby', 'It's Me'.

Sleeve Notes

Advert clippingProduced by Andy Wallace (1,6,7,10), Don Flemmin (2,3,4) and Duane Baron/John Purdell (5,8,9)

Recorded at Music Grinder Hollywood and Sony Santa Monica (1,6,7,10), Record One Sherman Oaks California and Sony Santa Monica (2,3,4), Devonshire North Hollywood and Music Grinder Hollywood (5,8,9) with additional guitar on 'Lost In America' recorded at Chaton Studios Phoenix, Arizona.

Concept by Alice Cooper and Neil Gaiman

Album Cover: Dave Mckean

Photography by Dean Karr

Comic illustrations by Mike Zulli



The Album

Last Temptation ISsue 3Initial copies came with a 'free' comic book, 'The Last Temptation Of Alice Cooper' issue one. The same book was later made available separately through comic shops with a different cover. Issues two and three, completing the story, appeared over a protracted period afterwards. Still later, all three books were compiled as 'The Compleat Alice Cooper' trade paperback. This version included some additional text and sketches. All were published by Marvel Comics.

'The Last Temptation' entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at #68.

From Metal Edge, January 1993:

Alice Cooper, who at press time was awaiting the December arrival of his third child (he has a daughter, Calico, and a son, Dashiell), will enter the studio Jan. 2 to begin tracking a presently untitled concept album that tells the tale of a spider-like demon trying to entrap an innocent young boy. Neil Gaiman, who writes the 'Sandman' comic books, worked on the storyline with Alice, and his musical collaborators include Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Damn Yankees' Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades, and (if schedules can be worked out), Gary Cherone of Extreme. Alice hopes to have the members of his 'Hey Stoopid' touring band play on the record, depending on their availability. A summertime release is planned.

A song written Bob Ezrin and Dick Wagner was demoed for the album. It was loosely related to the concept. They were done kind of early on.
(Renfield, October 1995)

The working title for 'The Last Temptation' was "Along Came A Spider" It was the working title. The story pretty much stayed the same throughout. The album was pretty finished before the 'The Last Temptation' title was used.
(Renfield, October 1995)

This Album was released as a limited edition vinyl LP in Europe but this was not available in the US. In Japan, it came as a double set, the second CD containing live recorded at Electric Lady Studios New York on the 'Hey Stoopid' Tour.

Neil GaimanFrom `SciFi Weekly` newsletter 13th Nov. 2001:

Talking about Alice Cooper, we know about the musician side of Alice, but what is Alice the writer like?

Neil Gaiman: I don't know; he wrote the songs, I wrote the story. I was there for some of the songwriting, but my most vivid memories are of a storm coming in and knocking out the hotel power, and so sitting out on the balcony, watching the lightning, while Alice told us about the Night He Met Elvis.

Don Fleming, who worked with Alice on the 'The Last Temptation' Album, is the singer with indie-rock band Gumball.

'The Last Temptation's' 'Unholy War' was written with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden. It was released as a promotional single to radio stations sometime before the album was released. It was never released as a normal single.

Alice appeared on UK show Top Of The Pops (and a couple of others), co-hosting the show and performing 'Lost In America.

The drummer on Top of the Pops in 1994 was a guy from Long Island, NY named Charlie Viagas. He is a very close friend of Greg Smith from NY, who was still playing with Alice at that time. (His last shows with Alice were on the "Monsters of Rock" tour in South America after which he left Alice, and joined up with "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow") When Greg found out that Alice was planning to hire a "local" guy to lip synch to the track "Lost in America", (you are correct, the vocals were live) he told Alice, and the Management about a drummer friend who was planning a vacation to London, and would be available to do the show. They agreed, and he performed with the band on TOTP.

The Cover

From Sickthings:

Somebody asked here if the Japanese characters on the Dali-esque cover of 'The Last Temptation' mean anything. Well, I finally got my copy of the CD and took a look at the Japanese on the cover. The short answer is this: It's an old-timey poster for a Japanese side show.

+-------+
| D   A | }
| E   B | }- Red
| F   C | }
|       |
| I   G | }- Black
| J   H | }
|       |
|   K   | }
|   L   | }- Black (big)
|   M   | }
+-------+
            

The poster is made up of three sets of characters. Each set is read Oriental-style, in columns from top to bottom and from right to left. In other words, the first character is the blurry red one in the upper right corner (A), then B, then C, then D at the start of the next column, and so on.

The red characters A-F are read "Sando tenran no ei o tamawaru," which literally means "Honored by being viewed by the Emperor three times." This is a stock cliche that used to be used by side shows in Japan. Maybe you've seen movies where a side-show barker spouts off with obvious bullshit like, "Step right up and see the marvels that have amazed the crowned heads of Europe!" The Japanese expression has the same flavor.

The next set of characters G-J are read "sekai muhi," which means "nothing like it in the world.

"The third set K-M is read "Dai kijutsu" and means something like "great magic," "fantastic sleight of hand," "stupendous illusions," etc.There you have it.
(Sickthing Steve Carter (hticn@gol.com) Nagoya, Japan, November 1995)

There was no tour to support 'The Last Temptation' although Alice did mention plans for one a few times in interviews around the release date. A reason for the non-tour could be put down to record company politics as Alice left Epic just after the release of 'The Last Temptation'. Thus, Epic weren't going to finance a tour.

The bottom line is that it didn't make sense to anyone for there to be a tour at the time of the release of 'The Last Temptation'. Especially since Alice had switched record labels at the time of it's release.
(Renfield, May 1996)

Known Releases

Country

Format

Number

Date

Chart

Label

Notes

USA

CD

EK 52271

12/7/94

68

Epic

First copies came with free Comic book in shrink-wrap

USA

Tape

ET 52271

12/7/94

68

Epic

First copies came with free Comic book in shrink-wrap

UK

LP

476594-1

6/7/94

6

Epic

First copies came with free Comic book in shrink-wrap

UK

CD

476594-2

6/7/94

6

Epic

First copies came with free Comic book in shrink-wrap

UK

Tape

476594-4

6/7/94

6

Epic

First copies came with free Comic book in shrink-wrap

UK

Mini-Disc

476594-6

?

68

Epic

 

Japan

CD

ESCA 59-5960

 

 

Epic

Double CD
Included Bonus Disc recorded live at Electric Lady Studios in NYC on Sept 13th 1991.
Tracks are:
Sickthings/Only Women Bleed/Wind Up Toy/No More Mr Nice Guy/Billion Dollar Babies/Poison/Hey Stoopid (disc cat no. ESCA 5960)
Some copies also came with the Comic Book

Japan

CD

ESCA-5959 60

 

 

Epic

Same as above but comes in a nice comic size presentation box and the two discs cover in seperate jewel cases
Came with the Comic Book

Korea

LP

CPL 1467

 

 

 

Fold-out inner sleeve in same style as CD cover?

Australia

CD

476594 2

 

 

Epic

Early copies included the Comic Book

Brazil

LP

CPL 177.397

 

 

Epic

Lyric sheet instead of inner sleeve

The Show

There was no 'Last Temptation' tour as such. However Alice did play four shows in South America in 1995. Details can be found here