Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by recoop » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:34 pm

As mentioned by guttertrash, Tony Visconti would be very interesting especially working with original band members
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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by pitkin88 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:31 pm

recoop wrote:As mentioned by guttertrash, Tony Visconti would be very interesting especially working with original band members

I wouldn't mind this.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by pitkin88 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:41 pm

mr.barlow wrote:When it comes to "Lace & Whiskey", there is so much to take into consideration with that album. From Alice's out of control drinking and health, to the Escargot character and where they were trying to take Alice and the whole damn thing. The stage show was created to be a Las Vegas style revue. Alice was looking to add variety and take it all very mainstream. Just look at the 45 single sleeve for You & Me--that's where they wanted to go. It sounds crazy now, and obviously it turned out to be a huge disaster for his career, but at the time they thought it might be possible.

The album is a train wreck, but still has some bright spots. I think Ezrin was also not in the best of shape at the time it was recorded and I'm sure the substances clouded both the creativity and judgment of all involved.

As far as "No More Love (At Your Convenience) is concerned, Alice has been quoted as saying it was a joke gone awry. I think it was more of a case of WB wanting Alice to release a disco tinged song like many rock bands were doing at the time. Wagner in his book mentions that when they wrote the song it was completely different. It was Ezrin that turned it into the infamous turd that it became. I'm guessing it was at the insistence of Warner Bros. Maybe Amuk could confirm/deny this.

L&W contains a few great songs. You & Me although a sugary piece of schmaltz was a big hit. The album however, turned off a lot of fans and they had work to do in getting them back. FTI was a start but by that time everything was changing rapidly in the music business with the rise of punk and new wave.

At any rate--Ezrin I'm sure was following a plan that they set out for that album. I'm also sure he was given directives from WB that the alvum contain certain types of songs. The ballad was a must as that's where Alice was having his success after 1975 and WB wanted another big one. My point is--that album was the fault of all involved--not just Ezrin.

You make some interesting points but I am not really sure how much WB interfered. If they did they surely would have shelved the bloody thing. It doesn't seem to me that Alice/Maurice went screaming and kicking into disco and Mor dross. He could have easilly said we don't have any ballads and what could they have done? I think the substance abuse coupled with the sun tans and the endless ligging contributed more than WB. Oddly enough this album was the least Ezrin sounding album. It is thin and weedy and lacking any dynamics. The session guys are really lack lustre and can't even rock up Ubangi Stomp.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by guttertrash » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:36 am

Maybe in '76 and '77 Ezrin was spread a little thin with the recording of The Baby's debut and Peter Gabriel's solo debut. Possibly more focus was given to them, since you were dealing with a new band and Peter trying to get his solo career off the ground. Alice was an established artist who had a huge hit album with Nightmare, so he didn't feel as much pressure from WB or the Cooper camp as he did from Charisma and Chrysalis for their artists. He had his hit with Nightmare, and he could focus on these other artists and probably didn't put as much input into Goes To Hell and probably even less on Lace & Whiskey.

All that being said, he was a great producer in the 70s, but I do not see what he did in the 70s as a reason to keep him around now, because his production credits as of late do not show him as the genius that he once was.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by mr.barlow » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:23 am

guttertrash wrote:Maybe in '76 and '77 Ezrin was spread a little thin with the recording of The Baby's debut and Peter Gabriel's solo debut. Possibly more focus was given to them, since you were dealing with a new band and Peter trying to get his solo career off the ground. Alice was an established artist who had a huge hit album with Nightmare, so he didn't feel as much pressure from WB or the Cooper camp as he did from Charisma and Chrysalis for their artists. He had his hit with Nightmare, and he could focus on these other artists and probably didn't put as much input into Goes To Hell and probably even less on Lace & Whiskey.

All that being said, he was a great producer in the 70s, but I do not see what he did in the 70s as a reason to keep him around now, because his production credits as of late do not show him as the genius that he once was.
Goes To Hell has incredible production. It's one of Alice's best sounding albums. Ezrin succeeeded on all levels, from depth, warmth, subtelty and you name it. It's Alice's most underappreciated album---well next to Dada.

I think however, with that album Alice took his fans for granted thinking that they would grow with him as he started to really expand his sound outside of the standard rock formula. It was with this album that he was looking to also expand outside the classic horror character, which I think he was starting to feel was an anchor tied around his ankle. Welcome To My Nightmare was a bridge between the original band and Alice's solo career. It was with Goes To Hell that he started to experiment. To me it ranks up there with Dada as being one of his most original.

Lace & Whiskey suffered most from the chaos surrounding it. Alice's drinking and poor health, Ezrin was having issues of his own and Alice was also getting caught up in the whole Hollywood scene. I happen to think a lot of it was cobbled together to get the album out by WB's contractual release date. I think that all WB really cared about was that they had one hit single from the album and that they insisted it being another ballad. They got it in a big way with You & Me which sold very well.

One has to keep in mind that Alice never really had a good relationship with WB from the start. When it comes to the ballads--WB wanted at least one for each album after WTMN. If anyone remembers from 1975 to 1979, Alice's big hits in the USA were all ballads, WB had a winning formula and wanted it to continue whether Alice liked it or not. By the time 1980 rolled around, WB basically had it with Alice and just rode out the contract letting him do what he wanted and burying it.

If WB had properly backed Flush The Fashion and especially "Clones", it's my opinion that it could have been a #1 hit and Alice could have successfully transitioned into the early 1980s music scene. But...by that time they for the most part could care less and Alice faded away into obscurity.

Also, one has to remember that when he brought back the classic Alice character with Constrictor, Alice mentioned that there was going to be a sticker on it that stated "no ballads on this album" or something to that effect. I'm not sure if that ever happened but it goes to show you the lengths they wanted to go to seperate from the mid-1970s schmaltz that came to define Alice in that period.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by Lucius Morthem » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:43 am

I like the Tony Visconti Idea... He had the power to produce and control Bowie nd he does the same with Madonna... Interesting Idea

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by guttertrash » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:06 am

What I meant is that I think with GTH and L&W, Ezrin's role diminished more and more. Yes musically, GTH sounds amazing, but there is more to production than engineering and overseeing the recordings. I think he did a great job with that end and even with helping with album arrangements. I do not think he took the time or pushed Alice hard enough to make a great album, and coaching being hands-on with the artist and the album's direction is important parts of being a producer also.

I think GTH is a good album. I just don't think it is as focused as WTMN, and I don't think it had to be. I think they realized it would not be as big as WTMN no matter what they did, so Alice pursued a less rock direction that could possibly spawn another hit and maybe draw in a different crowd. They played it safe enough by keeping the Steven concept and theme in tact to sell it to his rock fans though. I think everybody saw it as a time to take chances, and Ezrin wasn't as iron-fist as he had been in the past and knew that he could focus on his other profjects. Just my opinion.

Lace & Whiskey to me comes off like Ezrin did little more than engineer the album.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by A_MichaelUK » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:08 pm

From mr.barlow:
"It was Ezrin that turned it into the infamous turd that it became. I'm guessing it was at the insistence of Warner Bros. Maybe Amuk could confirm/deny this."

The less that song is discussed, then the better for everyone on this board.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by A_MichaelUK » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:20 pm

Fom Mr. Bluelegs:
"I always felt "Face Off" was hindered because of the title. The title was cool at first, but it was too good of a song to be givin a gimmicky title."

Were "Dead Babiess", "I Love The Dead" or "Only Women Bleed" "hindered"? Most of your posts are really great, but it is always a surprise when fans don't see the humour in a song or almost anything Alice does.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by A_MichaelUK » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:47 pm

From guttertrsh:
"What I meant is that I think with GTH and L&W, Ezrin's role diminished more and more."

Seriously and for better or worse, the evidence suggests that is a totally false statement. In fact, given the way "Lace And Whiskey" turned out, a lot of people would have hoped that what you was true, but I don't think it was.

>that end and even with helping with album arrangements. I do not think he took the time or pushed Alice hard enough to make a great album,

Maybe Alice didn't want to be, or was not capable of being, "pushed"? As has been already mentioned I think, all the main participants in those albums (and for some reason, nobody has mentioned Dick Wagner) were, to the say least, impaired. If you go through each song on the album, Ezrin had a writing credit on almost all of them (I think), so I'm not sure what more you were expecting him to do.

> I think they realized it would not be as big as WTMN no matter what they did, so Alice pursued a less rock direction that could possibly spawn another hit and maybe draw in a different crowd.

What is your evidence for that? Given that "Alice Cooper Goes To Hell" follows the same basic formula as "Welcome To My Nightmare" albeit with some added elements and that all the main participants are the same, the expectation would have been that it would do as well.

>Lace & Whiskey to me comes off like Ezrin did little more than engineer the album.

Well, what you don't know is that quite a few of the songs on that album were left over from the sessions for "Alice Cooper Goes To Hell" and just like that album, Ezrin contributed to the composing of those songs as well.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by pitkin88 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:57 pm

A_MichaelUK wrote:Fom Mr. Bluelegs:
"I always felt "Face Off" was hindered because of the title. The title was cool at first, but it was too good of a song to be givin a gimmicky title."

Were "Dead Babiess", "I Love The Dead" or "Only Women Bleed" "hindered"? Most of your posts are really great, but it is always a surprise when fans don't see the humour in a song or almost anything Alice does.
I agree that the title hindered the song. There was an incident here where someone literally had their face bitten off by someone on bath salts. The title was certainly not radio friendly.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by A_MichaelUK » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:03 pm

From pitkin88:
"The title was certainly not radio friendly."

It didn't hurt "Only Women Bleed."

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by RemarkablyInsincere » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:38 pm

pitkin88 wrote:
A_MichaelUK wrote:Fom Mr. Bluelegs:
"I always felt "Face Off" was hindered because of the title. The title was cool at first, but it was too good of a song to be givin a gimmicky title."

Were "Dead Babiess", "I Love The Dead" or "Only Women Bleed" "hindered"? Most of your posts are really great, but it is always a surprise when fans don't see the humour in a song or almost anything Alice does.
I agree that the title hindered the song. There was an incident here where someone literally had their face bitten off by someone on bath salts. The title was certainly not radio friendly.

I'll be honest, I always felt the title to be juvenile and played too much into the preconceived notions about "horror character" Alice.

I think something a bit more subtle might have better served the song and Alice better since it's a terrific song.
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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by Mr.Bluelegs » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:41 pm

A_MichaelUK wrote:Fom Mr. Bluelegs:
"I always felt "Face Off" was hindered because of the title. The title was cool at first, but it was too good of a song to be givin a gimmicky title."

Were "Dead Babiess", "I Love The Dead" or "Only Women Bleed" "hindered"? Most of your posts are really great, but it is always a surprise when fans don't see the humour in a song or almost anything Alice does.
I understand what you're saying, but in '71, '73 & '75 respectively, those titles were helping to shape & define his career. Actually, the only humorous of the three is "Love the Dead", we know that the other two comment on serious issues. My point about "Face Off" is that the song had such a great Stones vibe and hook to it that the macabre humor & title diminished the song ( for me). Thanks for the compliment, too. I, as many on here, value your Alice knowledge and input.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by mr.barlow » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:49 am

RemarkablyInsincere wrote:
pitkin88 wrote:
A_MichaelUK wrote:Fom Mr. Bluelegs:
"I always felt "Face Off" was hindered because of the title. The title was cool at first, but it was too good of a song to be givin a gimmicky title."

Were "Dead Babiess", "I Love The Dead" or "Only Women Bleed" "hindered"? Most of your posts are really great, but it is always a surprise when fans don't see the humour in a song or almost anything Alice does.
I agree that the title hindered the song. There was an incident here where someone literally had their face bitten off by someone on bath salts. The title was certainly not radio friendly.

I'll be honest, I always felt the title to be juvenile and played too much into the preconceived notions about "horror character" Alice.

I think something a bit more subtle might have better served the song and Alice better since it's a terrific song.
What do "preconceived notions" have to do with anything? All you have to do is look at the cover art and......the title! It was the sequel to the album that gave rise to the classic horror Alice character. The album was meant to be a "horror" Alice album.

Also, the phrase "bite your face off" is often used (at least here in the USA) to describe anger or aggression. An example being "She was so mad that when I asked her a question she bit my face off" or "she was so damn horny I'd swear she was going to bite my face off once we got going". Alice was simply having fun with the phrase--I don't think it was meant to be taken literally.

To me the lyrics are on par with what was on "Trash" and not really Alice's best--but it is what it is.

To me the worst thing about W2MN is the cover art. It cheapens an otherwise okay album. It has the highs "Last man On Earth" and the very lows "Ghouls Gone Wild" and the worst Alice Cooper album cover of all-time.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by darkmenace » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:09 am

RemarkablyInsincere wrote:
I'll be honest, I always felt the title to be juvenile and played too much into the preconceived notions about "horror character" Alice.

I think something a bit more subtle might have better served the song and Alice better since it's a terrific song.
Agree on song title, but disagree on it being a terrific song. Very ordinary, it was disappointing that W2MN had such a weak opening single.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by darkmenace » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:18 am

mr.barlow wrote:
What do "preconceived notions" have to do with anything? All you have to do is look at the cover art and......the title! It was the sequel to the album that gave rise to the classic horror Alice character. The album was meant to be a "horror" Alice album.
There's good "horror" Alice and bad "horror" Alice as in WTMN (classic music, great lyrics, excellent album cover) and Constrictor (cheap, gimmick horror Alice and horrible album cover). Sadly the team went the cheaper route with W2MN and used a very bad album cover even though the album was NOT a heavy metal album but had a variety of musical styles and some very good lyrics. The album cover must have scared away any classic rock fan who was thinking that a sequel to WTMN could be cool and I believe at least partially accounts for the lower sales than expected.

W2MN was so close to being a great album. Take away a few songs, add a few others in the "nightmare" theme like WHCH, at least one song with longer instrumentals, and cool nightmare style art for the cover.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by darkmenace » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:19 am

ACGTH was very badly received by fans at the time of release. Most rocks fans wanted rock music, but ACGTH was too many other styles. One person I know loved the song GTH but hated the ballads, so he saved money by buying INC single because GTH was on the flip side and he wanted the song but didn't want to take his chances buying an Alice album. You could play WTMN at parties, but not ACGTH. One person I knew said, "This isn't rock and roll." And the problem is too much of it isn't. At least for people who like (what I said before) a cohesive musical album.

I think some of the non-rock songs on the album are very good, but the perception hurt Alice's career very badly at the time.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by A_MichaelUK » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:12 pm

From Mr.Bluelegs:
"My point about "Face Off" is that the song had such a great Stones vibe and hook to it that the macabre humor & title diminished the song ( for me)."

I think that looking at something like a title in such an unneccesarily microscopic degree of detail and allowing that to take something away from your enjoyment is really is not worth the effort. If anyone else (never mind Alice Cooper), had released a song called "I'll Bite Your Face Off", I would definitely want to hear it.

> Thanks for the compliment, too. I, as many on here, value your Alice knowledge and input

You are far too kind.

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Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by A_MichaelUK » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:21 pm

From darkmenace:
"The album cover must have scared away any classic rock fan who was thinking that a sequel to WTMN could be cool and I believe at least partially accounts for the lower sales than expected."

How do you know what the expectations were? The album was Alice's biggest seller for many years, actually. I agree that the art - work was a disappointment, though.

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