Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Anything Alice Cooper or AC band related goes here

Moderators: Gorehound, Si, SickThings, Devon, Shoesalesman

A_MichaelUK
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 5383
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:35 pm

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by A_MichaelUK » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:12 pm

From darkmenace:
"This didn't sound correct to me either so I looked it up based on chart positions and Alice had a higher charting album in 1975 and after that it was all Bowie to the end of the decade.

It isn't just about chart positions. It is about how many units overall were sold at that time which is something else entirely. For example, "Low" did not qualify for gold certification.

guttertrash
Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Posts: 468
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:11 am

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by guttertrash » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:06 pm

mr.barlow wrote: A lot of it had to do with their respective fan bases. Bowie's fan base was more open to his changing personas every few years. They were open to his changing styles. The fans that were there for Ziggy Stardust were still there and supported him with "Let's Dance". When Alice started to branch out the fans left him--not only during Escargot but again with Flush The Fashion and up until he brought back the classic character in 1986.

I should have explained myself better especially on my reason for pointing out what I was trying to point out. I apparently did not at all get the point across that I was trying to make. My comments were directed towards the comment above as well as things that I hear elsewhere about why Bowie was more successful than Alice. There have been comments that make Bowie out to have always been more successful due to his ability to shift and evolve, but I do not buy into the idea that Bowie's fanbase was open to his experimentation and stuck with him. He was able to reach different audiences at different times, because he was able to shift and evolve. However he still was not anymore successful in sales all the time. This was why I said that they did not drastically outperform each other, because even though Bowie charted better, his sales did not outperform Alice (and if they did, it was not by a a lot which would be expected due to the major gap in chart positions). So no, many of Bowie's fans did not carry on with him especially during the Berlin-era. The point that I was trying to make was that even with the lack of sales which at times was lower than Alice during the same period, David Bowie's higher charting positions kept him in touch with the general public better and I think it helped him keep label support, but it did not mean that he was actually outperforming Alice. The chart positions also gives the false notion that Bowie probably was putting out more successful albums than Alice, because you would think that it would have helped boost sales.

guttertrash
Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Posts: 468
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:11 am

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by guttertrash » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:08 pm

As far as on the actual topic, I do not like the mix from the HV album at all. I do not like a lot of the decisions made on W2MN from song choices to the vocal effect on I Am Made Of You. I really like the song musically and lyrically, but I never listen to it because the effect annoys me and ruin the song for me. I like the scaled down sounds of the Love It To Death/Killer ACG albums (which he did an incredible job on), and I like the basic, raw production of Eyes and DD. I hope that if they do an actual rock album in the Eyes and DD style that Bob doesn't ruin it with the HV style production, because it will be the first Alice Cooper album (I consider HV a separate entity) that I will not purchase even though I find the W2MN purchase mostly a waste.

As for Bob and Kanye, I really do not agree with much of Bob's assessment. I do feel like lyrically he is sophomoric at best, but many of his lyrics are off the cuff and free form. He may not be remembered for his actual songs 20 years from now, but many of the songs that he produced for other artists will be remembered, because he was a sought after producer in the rap and hip-hop world before he had a career as an artist. So while he may not be remembered for his writing of lyrics, his actual music writing will live on for a long damn time even if people do not realize that it was Kanye that wrote it. I do agree that Timbaland is better, but Rick Rubin in my opinion should have stopped producing by 1990.

darkmenace
Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:44 pm

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by darkmenace » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:32 am

guttertrash wrote: However he still was not anymore successful in sales all the time. This was why I said that they did not drastically outperform each other, because even though Bowie charted better, his sales did not outperform Alice (and if they did, it was not by a a lot which would be expected due to the major gap in chart positions).
So you're saying that even though Bowie's chart positions were consistently much higher, that their actual album sales were about the same. I'd like to see some data to support that. The idea that chart positions are unrelated to sales doesn't make sense and my bet is there is a pretty high correlation.

pitkin88
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 4315
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:25 am
Location: calif

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by pitkin88 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:23 am

darkmenace wrote:
guttertrash wrote: However he still was not anymore successful in sales all the time. This was why I said that they did not drastically outperform each other, because even though Bowie charted better, his sales did not outperform Alice (and if they did, it was not by a a lot which would be expected due to the major gap in chart positions).
So you're saying that even though Bowie's chart positions were consistently much higher, that their actual album sales were about the same. I'd like to see some data to support that. The idea that chart positions are unrelated to sales doesn't make sense and my bet is there is a pretty high correlation.

I think Bowie sold way more singles between 72-74. I think with ATYD he had 12 hits in the UK alone. I would guess Bowie outsold Alice Cooper in Europe too with Alice Cooper not playing there much.

User avatar
Si
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 3911
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 5:47 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by Si » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:50 am

darkmenace wrote: So you're saying that even though Bowie's chart positions were consistently much higher, that their actual album sales were about the same. I'd like to see some data to support that. The idea that chart positions are unrelated to sales doesn't make sense and my bet is there is a pretty high correlation.
I don`t know actual figures, but I would suggest that one thing that could skew chart placing numbers is that an album released on say February would only need to sell 100,000 to reach #1, but the same album released in December would have to sell 10x that to reach #1. People's buying habits change through the year.
Hence a #50 album released in December could conceivable sell more then a #25 album did in Feb.
Also things like a famous death (5 albums hit the charts) and other fluke factors pushes other albums down the charts.

Not saying this is the case here (I haven`t looked at dates etc), but these things do happen, so while chart placings are a reasonable suggestion of success, it isn't as cut and dried as comparing actual chart placings between two acts.

Babysquid
Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Posts: 435
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:13 am

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by Babysquid » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:10 pm

Si wrote:
darkmenace wrote: So you're saying that even though Bowie's chart positions were consistently much higher, that their actual album sales were about the same. I'd like to see some data to support that. The idea that chart positions are unrelated to sales doesn't make sense and my bet is there is a pretty high correlation.
I don`t know actual figures, but I would suggest that one thing that could skew chart placing numbers is that an album released on say February would only need to sell 100,000 to reach #1, but the same album released in December would have to sell 10x that to reach #1. People's buying habits change through the year.
Hence a #50 album released in December could conceivable sell more then a #25 album did in Feb.
Also things like a famous death (5 albums hit the charts) and other fluke factors pushes other albums down the charts.

Not saying this is the case here (I haven`t looked at dates etc), but these things do happen, so while chart placings are a reasonable suggestion of success, it isn't as cut and dried as comparing actual chart placings between two acts.
There is also the case of hardcore followers pre ordering or buying the album in the first week of release thereby giving it an initially high chart placing followed by a rapid decline in sales. It's the albums that hang around the top twenty for months on end that are the big sellers.

pitkin88
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 4315
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:25 am
Location: calif

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by pitkin88 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:02 pm

We need a poll on this.

mr.barlow
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:08 pm

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by mr.barlow » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:44 pm

All I know is nearly all of my favorite Alice albums charted and sold poorly. Who cares who sold more or who charted higher? It's a ridiculous argument.

How many artists have sold more than Alice and Bowie and who's music is pure dreck?

guttertrash
Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Posts: 468
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:11 am

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by guttertrash » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:02 am

My argument was about people believing David Bowie's fanbase was more open to him experimenting and moving away from his previous style. This is not true. While he charted higher much of the time, his sales did not show that his fanbase stuck beside him anymore than Alice's. Much of Bowie's fanbase who loved his glam-era did not stick around for his Berlin-era. He told Nile Rodgers for Let's Dance he wanted to still be experimental, but he ultimately wanted a song on the radio when they met to discuss Nile possibly producing the album. A song pop enough to make it to radio is what helped him build back a fanbase in the 80s, and his sells plummeted again in the 90s. Alice 6 years later did the same thing when he made Poison. I just see no evidence to support the claims about each musicians fanbase.

User avatar
Daggers & Contracts
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 1973
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:47 pm
Location: 340 Sanitarium

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by Daggers & Contracts » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:04 am

guttertrash wrote:My argument was about people believing David Bowie's fanbase was more open to him experimenting and moving away from his previous style. This is not true. While he charted higher much of the time, his sales did not show that his fanbase stuck beside him anymore than Alice's. Much of Bowie's fanbase who loved his glam-era did not stick around for his Berlin-era. He told Nile Rodgers for Let's Dance he wanted to still be experimental, but he ultimately wanted a song on the radio when they met to discuss Nile possibly producing the album. A song pop enough to make it to radio is what helped him build back a fanbase in the 80s, and his sells plummeted again in the 90s. Alice 6 years later did the same thing when he made Poison. I just see no evidence to support the claims about each musicians fanbase.
So, welcome to the "Fair Weather" fanbase! Those who must have something on the radio(or hits on YouTube) to base their purchase on. Same thing that's happening here with the Hollywood Vampires! A true fan will get it anyway - maybe just not right away. *brick*
I've Got The Answers To All Of Your Questions...

mr.barlow
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:08 pm

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by mr.barlow » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:11 am

I can offer a personal observation. I live in the USA. I came to be an Alice fan as a teenager at the end of 1980--coming off of Flush The Fashion which my friend loaned me. I was familiar with Alice since I was a little kid but it was that album that really introduced him to me and Special Forces made me a total fanatic.

I always hung around with an older crowd--many of my older friend were fans of the origial band and solo Alice. Also, nearly all of them also loved David Bowie. I was an aspiring musician at the time and my circle of friends included many local professional musicians.

I remember after "discovering" Alice that many of them had given up on Alice and wrote him off as a sell-out. On the other hand--they all universally praised David Bowie. Granted, this was right before "Let's Dance" was released....but--even after that album--those fans STILL praised him! I remember my guitar teacher heaping praise on it. This same guy loved The Grateful Dead, UFO, Thin Lizzy and such. He thought Bowie was a genius.

Also--here is something very ironic. Nearly all of the friends that were my age loved FTF,SF and ZCS. It was the OLD Alice fans in my circle that loved Dada! They all thought it was brilliant. I didn't even have to talk them into it. Go figure.

To be honest--even after Alice had his comeback, none of those original fans ever came back to Alice. But--they stayed with Bowie. One guy thought Tin Machine was some of Bowie's best work.

pitkin88
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 4315
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:25 am
Location: calif

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by pitkin88 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:25 am

mr.barlow wrote:All I know is nearly all of my favorite Alice albums charted and sold poorly. Who cares who sold more or who charted higher? It's a ridiculous argument.

How many artists have sold more than Alice and Bowie and who's music is pure dreck?

Sorry, I meant a poll on is Ezrin still worthy?

mr.barlow
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:08 pm

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by mr.barlow » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:08 am

pitkin88 wrote:
mr.barlow wrote:All I know is nearly all of my favorite Alice albums charted and sold poorly. Who cares who sold more or who charted higher? It's a ridiculous argument.

How many artists have sold more than Alice and Bowie and who's music is pure dreck?

Sorry, I meant a poll on is Ezrin still worthy?
No apology needed. My post wasn't aimed at you.

Just think what Ezrin could have done with "Thrill My Gorilla" or "The Great American Success Story"? I can hear the kids singing the chorus on the latter!

Mr.Bluelegs
Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Posts: 289
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:35 am

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by Mr.Bluelegs » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:28 am

mr.barlow wrote:I can offer a personal observation. I live in the USA. I came to be an Alice fan as a teenager at the end of 1980--coming off of Flush The Fashion which my friend loaned me. I was familiar with Alice since I was a little kid but it was that album that really introduced him to me and Special Forces made me a total fanatic.

I always hung around with an older crowd--many of my older friend were fans of the origial band and solo Alice. Also, nearly all of them also loved David Bowie. I was an aspiring musician at the time and my circle of friends included many local professional musicians.

I remember after "discovering" Alice that many of them had given up on Alice and wrote him off as a sell-out. On the other hand--they all universally praised David Bowie. Granted, this was right before "Let's Dance" was released....but--even after that album--those fans STILL praised him! I remember my guitar teacher heaping praise on it. This same guy loved The Grateful Dead, UFO, Thin Lizzy and such. He thought Bowie was a genius.

Also--here is something very ironic. Nearly all of the friends that were my age loved FTF,SF and ZCS. It was the OLD Alice fans in my circle that loved Dada! They all thought it was brilliant. I didn't even have to talk them into it. Go figure.

To be honest--even after Alice had his comeback, none of those original fans ever came back to Alice. But--they stayed with Bowie. One guy thought Tin Machine was some of Bowie's best work.
Being a very "old school" Alice fan, I remember when "Flush" came out & loved it immediately. He might have been a year late with the new sound and image, but still, it was a great move. I feel that this was the last album that WB really got behind. His final three albums, after Flush, lacked the promotion and hype of his prior albums. The vinyl from those last 3 albums came in clear plastic with no insert sleeve that usually contained pictures and lyrics (although DaDa had lyrics on the backside). Flush charted respectively, even bettering FTI.
And in regards to Bowie, I loved the Tin Machine albums, especially the first one.

User avatar
Si
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 3911
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 5:47 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by Si » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:14 am

mr.barlow wrote:I can offer a personal observation. I live in the USA. I came to be an Alice fan as a teenager at the end of 1980--coming off of Flush The Fashion which my friend loaned me. I was familiar with Alice since I was a little kid but it was that album that really introduced him to me and Special Forces made me a total fanatic.

I always hung around with an older crowd--many of my older friend were fans of the origial band and solo Alice. Also, nearly all of them also loved David Bowie. I was an aspiring musician at the time and my circle of friends included many local professional musicians.

I remember after "discovering" Alice that many of them had given up on Alice and wrote him off as a sell-out. On the other hand--they all universally praised David Bowie. Granted, this was right before "Let's Dance" was released....but--even after that album--those fans STILL praised him! I remember my guitar teacher heaping praise on it. This same guy loved The Grateful Dead, UFO, Thin Lizzy and such. He thought Bowie was a genius.

Also--here is something very ironic. Nearly all of the friends that were my age loved FTF,SF and ZCS. It was the OLD Alice fans in my circle that loved Dada! They all thought it was brilliant. I didn't even have to talk them into it. Go figure.

To be honest--even after Alice had his comeback, none of those original fans ever came back to Alice. But--they stayed with Bowie. One guy thought Tin Machine was some of Bowie's best work.
Interesting.
From my perspective I came to Alice around the same time, after the Muppets ( repeat). I knew the image vaguely before that (I had premiere #50) but it was hearing SO on that show that begun the obsession.
However unlike you no one I knew was that interested. Bands I remember them being into included Kiss, Purple, Sabbath, UFO and as time moved on a little the NWOBHM bands like Maiden. No one actively disliked Alice but no one seemed to really get it or care particularly. It was just me.
There was virtually no mention of Alice anywhere at the time which absolutely had something to do with that.

mr.barlow
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:08 pm

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by mr.barlow » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:03 am

My childhood best friend who was a few years older than me really loved FTF. He then loaned it to me and I also loved it. He and I had similar taste in music and would often introduce each other to bands we "discovered". I was the one who discovered "Special Forces". I used to have a cassette boom box and we would play the album non-stop at the park where we hung out and drank beer and fooled around with our girlfriends.

It then found it's way into our high school (thanks to me and the word of mouth) and "Skeletons In The Closet" actually made it a few times on to the high school in-house radio station. It was the only cut the teacher found appropriate for broadcast. That album was a HUGE part of our coming of age. It has not lost it's place either, as I run into people all of the time--old friends--and fellow students who still talk about that album. One of the lines that we used to quote all of the time was "You wish your blood were novocaine". Great memories!

I remember once when I met Alice I told him this story. It was in 1987 and looking back now, I'm sure he probably wasn't looking too fondly on that period yet he was very gracious and listened to my story. He then signed my album and when looking at the cover just rolled his eyes and laughed. He had a similar reaction to my bragging about Dada when he signed it.

Like I said before--my circle of friends ran from being as old as 10 years older than me to only a few years younger than me. The older guys were mainly musicians and were more influenced by the 1970s era bands. The ones my age were more into the current bands. We knew Alice had been around for while but we looked and accepted him as current/new artist with Special Forces. We really didn't care about the "classic" character as we all loved the Special Forces character. We all thought it was completely insane.

I was the only one who had a VCR in our neighborhood in 1981 (thanks to an older brother who paid a fortune for one--it was an RCA and a big clunky machine) and video recorded Alice on the Charlie Rose Show. There was next to nothing in the press about Alice at that time and we must have played the snippet of the live performance a million times over. To see Alice live in that get up just blew our minds.

Those were the days before Youtube and the net, and I remember people at our underage drinking parties begging me to play that video for them. I remember a certain guy named Amuk watching it when he came across the pond for a visit all those years ago! Also, I had Strange Case on video which back then was near impossible to find! We used to drink and drink and drink some more and got a big kick out of those dancing liquor bottles. I guess you had to be there! How times have changed--I was reckless and fun back then--now I'm a boring old goat!

Toronto Bob
Dada God
Dada God
Posts: 938
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:01 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by Toronto Bob » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:19 am

pitkin88 wrote:
darkmenace wrote:
guttertrash wrote: However he still was not anymore successful in sales all the time. This was why I said that they did not drastically outperform each other, because even though Bowie charted better, his sales did not outperform Alice (and if they did, it was not by a a lot which would be expected due to the major gap in chart positions).
So you're saying that even though Bowie's chart positions were consistently much higher, that their actual album sales were about the same. I'd like to see some data to support that. The idea that chart positions are unrelated to sales doesn't make sense and my bet is there is a pretty high correlation.

I think Bowie sold way more singles between 72-74. I think with ATYD he had 12 hits in the UK alone. I would guess Bowie outsold Alice Cooper in Europe too with Alice Cooper not playing there much.
Ahh, trying to convince some people here that anyone outsold Alice in 72/73 is a tough sell. I remember someone arguing with me tooth and claw that AC sold more albums/tickets than Led Zeppelin :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Saint&Sinner
Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Posts: 396
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:59 pm

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by Saint&Sinner » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:26 am

But is bob ezrin still worthy?

in short - yes.

Hollywood vampires was a dire album with a suitably uninspired production, seemingly thrown away with a "lets keep it dirty and simple, like the old days" type attitude, i dont like it but i can understand why the decision was made.

Welcome 2 my nightmare is a production high point. It is a well crafted album which is clear, concise and polished yet with enough dirt under the finger nails to keep it fresh and exciting. I get why some people dont like the auto tune effect on "I am made of you" but it is a stylistic choice which i firmly believe works very well. "I am made of you" exemplifies each track where it pops when it is supposed to (steve hunters stunning guitar solo) and subtle when it needs to be (the background piano and sampled effects)
The album is varied and diverse in nearly all ways but under the tutelage of a master like Mr. Ezrin the album feels cohesive yet varied, a feat that should not be underestimated.
The album manages to weave bonafide classics like "i am made of you", "the nightmare returns", "last man on earth", "disco bloodbath boogie fever", "when hell comes home", "what baby wants" and "under the bed" into one solid album which doesn't feel like it lurches from one style to the other.

I know the album is populated with saccharin pap like "something to remember me by" and the extreme blandness of "bite your face off" but its not about musical tastes (although i feel all of the above listed songs are classics) its about production. And bob has always had a clean concise style allowing all the instruments to breathe while never overpowering them.

Bob is not the drug crazed nutter from the late 70's who is completely bloated and full of himself ("lace and whiskey" and "music from the Elder" we are all looking at you!) he is a skilled artist who not only "produces" but brings out the best in the artist - W2MN is proof of this (being his best album since brutal planet by a country mile - which he was also involved with )

Hollywood vampires is an anomaly (hopefully!) should bob be in the producers chair for the next album he will return Alice to the greatness we take for granted on classics like W2MN and BP.

Lucius Morthem
Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Posts: 428
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:23 pm

Re: Bob Ezrin - Still worthy?

Post by Lucius Morthem » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:40 pm

You are confusing personal taste with quality music, That I can tell when you talk against something to remember me by and the work of Bob as a producer on Music from the Elder.

Music is to KISS what Dada is to Alice. An album that was not popular but musically is a hidden gem IMHO

Post Reply