Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by cooperrocks » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:18 pm

guttertrash wrote:
cooperrocks wrote:I respectfully disagree. While those first four Ezrin albums really good, there are a few songs I would consider filler. Muscle of Love would make my bottom five list of Alice albums.
Of course, it is all subjective, but I can listen to LITD through MOL consistently without ever wanting to skip a song. I do it quite often. I feel like it was the strength of the ACG to be able to sound great with both the short, straight-ahead rockers and the more epic and theatrical pieces. They had a raw, primal element that fit well with Detroit's scene, but they also were tempered with enough pop elements that it was able to be liked by a larger crowd than The Stooges, MC5, and the like. That is where Ezrin was gold in those early years in helping them find that perfect middle ground in both writing and production. It is what was lost after WTMN. MOL is a very tired band just not hitting on all cylinders. Ezrin could have possibly made it better, but his production by that point could have also made their exhaustion standout more by creating an album that used production as a means of trying to hide weaker writing than before, so the stripped down approach may actually have been beneficial.
It is definitely subjective. Don't get me wrong. I love the original band and I love solo Alice as well. I just don't think the original band material is the be all, end all. Some great original band songs and albums and some great solo band songs and albums. There are four or five solo Alice albums I prefer over the original band material.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by Saint&Sinner » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:15 am

I guarantee that the three guitar line-up will sound clearer and less compressed than this album does, and you can produce an album that sounds the same
you must not have listened to the live tracks from the album (which I don't think bob mixed/produced) Nita is basically buried in the mix - you have to strain to hear her.

regarding the original ACG - I despise pretties from top to bottom and easy action is "meh" at best.
In terms of the classic run of albums. There is definite filler (I hate sun arise and will always turn the album off before getting to it) Someone already mentioned yeah, yeah, yeah (I quite like it but it is clearly filler)
Schools out has Grand finale which is not bad per se, but clearly filling out the album. And Muscle of love is, well. its not a good album (would appear in my 10 worst albums for sure)
The production on MOL is lifeless and limp the guitar lines have no bite or flair, the drums have no back end and the bass is largely ignored. The tracks clearly echo the "burn out" issue just the same as L&W does (although I agree not to the same level).

Like I said before, the producer seems to get the blame for (perceived) bad material and the artist gets the blame for (perceived) good albums.
Bob helped shape the whole Alice cooper sound, even the original band say that (much to some of their chagrin) yes the band wrote the songs but bob made them marketable, he made them "slick" which is what people want.
He still makes a slick album, well produced with great vision and guile.
I cant understand some of the bad feeling toward a guy who is noted as a visionary producer, helped usher the band into credibility and developed a sound people still try to emulate.

The Kiss thing is correct in that bob wanted to do psycho circus but didn't have time. I think if he did he could have made something at least approaching good. the destroyer reimagined or whatever they call it, is the same album, reproduced with some different guitar lines here and some different backing vocals there. Its not a "new" album. Bob has produced 3 albums for kiss. 2 of which are 2 of the best of their career. (with only lick it up and creatures competing)

It is all subjective, so its cool if you don't like his production, but I very much do.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by Maaki » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:33 am

Saint&Sinner wrote:The Kiss thing is correct in that bob wanted to do psycho circus but didn't have time. I think if he did he could have made something at least approaching good. the destroyer reimagined or whatever they call it, is the same album, reproduced with some different guitar lines here and some different backing vocals there. Its not a "new" album. Bob has produced 3 albums for kiss. 2 of which are 2 of the best of their career. (with only lick it up and creatures competing)

It is all subjective, so its cool if you don't like his production, but I very much do.
It IS subjective. I don't think KISS would have gone far without BE and Destroyer. But the records he produced are dance dance danced all over their faces with LG, RRO both produced by Eddie Kramer as well as the two you mentioned that are produced by Paul and Gene themselves. Lick it up, in all it's banality and with the insufferable but competent Vinnie Vincent is their best record. In my opinion.

On the other hand on the records BE did produce Destroyer is obviously a career changing record. It is just that it is so very bad. The Elder is an utter and complete disaster and Revenge is pretty good - for old guys.

Destroyer which is the remarkable Ezrin produced album by KISS had pretty much everyone but KISS playing on it. And when they did play they played wrong instruments such as Frehley on bass. Which is my main beef with Ezrin and it has been so for decades. He just does not let the people play on their own records. And it is my beef (a minor one) with Paranormal, which is a record I am growing to absolutely adore. So I will forgive him, this time.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by Swinger » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:59 am

Maaki wrote:
Saint&Sinner wrote:The Kiss thing is correct in that bob wanted to do psycho circus but didn't have time. I think if he did he could have made something at least approaching good. the destroyer reimagined or whatever they call it, is the same album, reproduced with some different guitar lines here and some different backing vocals there. Its not a "new" album. Bob has produced 3 albums for kiss. 2 of which are 2 of the best of their career. (with only lick it up and creatures competing)

It is all subjective, so its cool if you don't like his production, but I very much do.
It IS subjective. I don't think KISS would have gone far without BE and Destroyer. But the records he produced are dance dance danced all over their faces with LG, RRO both produced by Eddie Kramer as well as the two you mentioned that are produced by Paul and Gene themselves. Lick it up, in all it's banality and with the insufferable but competent Vinnie Vincent is their best record. In my opinion.
Creatures and Lick It Up were produced by Michael James Jackson (Gene and Paul do get producer credit as well, but they weren't lone producers). Animalize and Asylum on the other hand were produced by Paul and Gene.
Maaki wrote:Destroyer which is the remarkable Ezrin produced album by KISS had pretty much everyone but KISS playing on it. And when they did play they played wrong instruments such as Frehley on bass. Which is my main beef with Ezrin and it has been so for decades. He just does not let the people play on their own records.
I've heard people claim that about Destroyer before but is it really true? The only "replacements" that has been confirmed as far as I know is Dick Wagner playing on "Sweet Pain", "Beth" and maybe "Flaming Youth" and no one from the band except Peter being present at all on Beth.
For that matter Paul played some bass on Love Gun and Gene played rythm guitar on his songs on several albums which Bob Ezrin didn't produce, so if they switched instruments maybe Ezrin's not to blame.
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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by guttertrash » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:19 am

Saint&Sinner wrote:
I guarantee that the three guitar line-up will sound clearer and less compressed than this album does, and you can produce an album that sounds the same
you must not have listened to the live tracks from the album (which I don't think bob mixed/produced) Nita is basically buried in the mix - you have to strain to hear her.

regarding the original ACG - I despise pretties from top to bottom and easy action is "meh" at best.
In terms of the classic run of albums. There is definite filler (I hate sun arise and will always turn the album off before getting to it) Someone already mentioned yeah, yeah, yeah (I quite like it but it is clearly filler)
Schools out has Grand finale which is not bad per se, but clearly filling out the album. And Muscle of love is, well. its not a good album (would appear in my 10 worst albums for sure)
The production on MOL is lifeless and limp the guitar lines have no bite or flair, the drums have no back end and the bass is largely ignored. The tracks clearly echo the "burn out" issue just the same as L&W does (although I agree not to the same level).

Like I said before, the producer seems to get the blame for (perceived) bad material and the artist gets the blame for (perceived) good albums.
Bob helped shape the whole Alice cooper sound, even the original band say that (much to some of their chagrin) yes the band wrote the songs but bob made them marketable, he made them "slick" which is what people want.
He still makes a slick album, well produced with great vision and guile.
I cant understand some of the bad feeling toward a guy who is noted as a visionary producer, helped usher the band into credibility and developed a sound people still try to emulate.

The Kiss thing is correct in that bob wanted to do psycho circus but didn't have time. I think if he did he could have made something at least approaching good. the destroyer reimagined or whatever they call it, is the same album, reproduced with some different guitar lines here and some different backing vocals there. Its not a "new" album. Bob has produced 3 albums for kiss. 2 of which are 2 of the best of their career. (with only lick it up and creatures competing)

It is all subjective, so its cool if you don't like his production, but I very much do.
So you don't think Ezrin mixed those live tracks? I have seen this incarnation 3 times, and besides them playing in a room that is not meant for live music, they sounded great...even in that room. Live tracks get mixed by a producer. I hate the way the live ACG tracks sound that he mixed also. Like what you want, but he was a hungry, young pup in the beginning just like the band was, and they had a symbiotic relationship that worked. His production mixes are now consistently muddy and compressed. It's been over a decade since he has worked with bands on a regular basis besides Alice, Deep Purple, and Phish who he has made two albums a piece for in 7 years. Maybe there is a reason that he hasn't been working with bands that matter to the general public.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by Saint&Sinner » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:22 am

insufferable but competent Vinnie Vincent
hahaha insufferable he definitely is, but he can write a tune and he sure can play :)

With regard to bob not letting musicians play on the album/own song/instrument. With alice this was from outside pressures more, ie glen was smashed most of the time. or one of them wasn't around at the time a certain bit was recorded - this isn't just bob every producer will do this.
With Kiss nearly all their albums are not kiss performing but other people playing in their place - again due to outside pressures (ace and peter being smashed most of the time, Gene not being able to play bass very well etc) this carried on even into the 80's and 90s whether bob ezrin was there or not.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by Saint&Sinner » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:31 am

Maybe there is a reason that he hasn't been working with bands that matter to the general public.
I would count deftones and 30 seconds to mars as bands that matter to the public (at time of release especially) both albums sound fantastic - you may not like them but they were both massive bands at the time and still are to a certain extent.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by guttertrash » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:48 am

Saint&Sinner wrote:
Maybe there is a reason that he hasn't been working with bands that matter to the general public.
I would count deftones and 30 seconds to mars as bands that matter to the public (at time of release especially) both albums sound fantastic - you may not like them but they were both massive bands at the time and still are to a certain extent.
Both over a decade ago...

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by I'm Pain » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:57 am

The four Alice Cooper group albums produced by Ezrin are the foundation on which the house of Cooper is built - they're perfect. Consistency is what makes an artist's reputation solid, and the ACG was consistent in their run. All this talk of filler on those particular albums is pretty ridiculous.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by pitkin88 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:12 am

I'm Pain wrote:The four Alice Cooper group albums produced by Ezrin are the foundation on which the house of Cooper is built - they're perfect. Consistency is what makes an artist's reputation solid, and the ACG was consistent in their run. All this talk of filler on those particular albums is pretty ridiculous.

Well said.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by guttertrash » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:29 am

cooperrocks wrote:
guttertrash wrote:
cooperrocks wrote:I respectfully disagree. While those first four Ezrin albums really good, there are a few songs I would consider filler. Muscle of Love would make my bottom five list of Alice albums.
Of course, it is all subjective, but I can listen to LITD through MOL consistently without ever wanting to skip a song. I do it quite often. I feel like it was the strength of the ACG to be able to sound great with both the short, straight-ahead rockers and the more epic and theatrical pieces. They had a raw, primal element that fit well with Detroit's scene, but they also were tempered with enough pop elements that it was able to be liked by a larger crowd than The Stooges, MC5, and the like. That is where Ezrin was gold in those early years in helping them find that perfect middle ground in both writing and production. It is what was lost after WTMN. MOL is a very tired band just not hitting on all cylinders. Ezrin could have possibly made it better, but his production by that point could have also made their exhaustion standout more by creating an album that used production as a means of trying to hide weaker writing than before, so the stripped down approach may actually have been beneficial.

It is definitely subjective. Don't get me wrong. I love the original band and I love solo Alice as well. I just don't think the original band material is the be all, end all. Some great original band songs and albums and some great solo band songs and albums. There are four or five solo Alice albums I prefer over the original band material.

I like solo Alice up to Dada. I also like Dirty Diamonds, and I thought Eyes was a good album, but it went a little too modern at times. After WTMN, Alice's desire to be a pop culture celebrity sent him on paths that he thought might help him crossover, and along with that, he tried to soften his image. When it didn't work, reverted back to the Alice image, but continuously updating the music to fit whatever was en vogue within the world of mainstream rock. Sadly except for a few fleeting moments, all the gritty rock as well as artsy elements are replaced by unoriginal, mainstream rock ideas which are done better by tons of other bands at any given period, and the dark, mordant, satirical and droll humor is instead replaced by mostly juvenile humor with little depth. It feels like he quit being Alice and became a parodizing caricature of what Alice was.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by Saint&Sinner » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:46 am

I'm not ragging on the albums at all, but equally I am realistic.
I quite like grand finale, but are you honestly saying that the song was chosen in place of another song or the band pushed for it? I don't think so, there was nothing else either good enough or in a completed enough state. Grande Finale reeks of filler. It worked, yes I think it does. Sun arise again is classic filler. No original material they thought was workable - pop in a cover. Its a classic move.(this one I happen to not like)

Its not a question of if we like it or not, the above songs reek of filler. I love the 4 ACG albums, I'm a defender of bob ezrin but I still think those songs in particular are filler.

You talk about reputations build on solid ground etc and I agree but you possibly forget how many "classic" albums (or series of albums) have filler at best and down right rubbish at worst. I't doesn't need to detract from the whole.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by guttertrash » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:57 am

To me, it's like the difference between books such as Clockwork Orange and American Psycho and their movie counterparts. The books are both extremely gritty with dark, destructive themes while the movies strip away much of those elements, because it would be way too much for the mainstream audience to handle. Alice after WTMN starts becoming cookie-cutter except for the blackout period when he was out of control, and it doesn't connect with me except for a few fleeting instances.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by darkmenace » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:32 am

guttertrash wrote:I like solo Alice up to Dada. I also like Dirty Diamonds, and I thought Eyes was a good album, but it went a little too modern at times. After WTMN, Alice's desire to be a pop culture celebrity sent him on paths that he thought might help him crossover, and along with that, he tried to soften his image. When it didn't work, reverted back to the Alice image, but continuously updating the music to fit whatever was en vogue within the world of mainstream rock. Sadly except for a few fleeting moments, all the gritty rock as well as artsy elements are replaced by unoriginal, mainstream rock ideas which are done better by tons of other bands at any given period, and the dark, mordant, satirical and droll humor is instead replaced by mostly juvenile humor with little depth. It feels like he quit being Alice and became a parodizing caricature of what Alice was.
Some great observations, I agree with just about all of them. Liked Alice's career so much through Dada that I became a "fan" as in a fan of a sports team that has losing seasons. I hung in there anyway from Constrictor to Hey Stoopid, it was often painful but I stayed a fan. The "indie era" from Brutal Planet to Paranormal has had interesting moments, enough to stay engaged, but the Alice featured on the covers of the last two albums is a sad reminder of how far he's fallen in embracing parody and caricature.

On a more positive note, Paranormal shows glimpses of how good Alice can still be.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by guttertrash » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:52 am

Agreed...I won't harp on about my issues with the album, but Alice along with the ACG, Steve Hunter, Tommy Henriksen, and Nick Didkovsky offer moments of greatness even if it does get buried under rubble. I wish Fireball would've had Neal and Michael instead of Mullen and Denander.

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by steven_crayn » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:27 am

I don't come on here much these days, and seeing some of the tripe written in this thread i've just remembered why!

With the exception of From the Inside, every album under the Alice Cooper moniker that wasn't produced by Bob Ezrin would have been better if he had not only produced it but had a hand in the songwriting and as much as i love Muscle of Love even that would have been better if Bob didn't walk out after the Woman Machine argument.

In 2008 I compiled a list of his Alice Cooper co writes which of course needs updating since then, but you should get the drift.

Under My Wheels
You Drive Me Nervous
My Stars
Grande Finale
Sick Things
I Love The Dead
Devil's Food
The Black Widow
Some Folks
Department Of Youth
Cold Ethyl
Steven
The Awakening
Go To Hell
You Gotta Dance
I'm The Coolest
Didn't We Meet
Give The Kid A Break
Guilty
Wake Me Gently
Wish You Were Here
Going Home
It's Hot Tonight
Lace & Whiskey
Road Rats
Damned If You Do
King of the Silver Screen
(No More) Love At Your Convenience
I Never Wrote Those Songs
My God
Da Da
Enough's Enough
Former Lee Warmer
No Man's Land
Dyslexia
Scarlet and Sheba
Fresh Blood
Blow Me A Kiss

I love everyone of those songs and some would be in my all time Top 10

People talk about George Martin being the 5th Beatle, surley Bob Ezrin is the 6th Cooper!

And then think about his work with Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd the man is a genius, being criticised by people on this forum who wouldn't know their way around a kitchen let alone a recording studio!

See you in a year then again maybe not!
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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by dadascot » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:55 am

steven_crayn wrote:I don't come on here much these days, and seeing some of the tripe written in this thread i've just remembered why!

With the exception of From the Inside, every album under the Alice Cooper moniker that wasn't produced by Bob Ezrin would have been better if he had not only produced it but had a hand in the songwriting and as much as i love Muscle of Love even that would have been better if Bob didn't walk out after the Woman Machine argument.

In 2008 I compiled a list of his Alice Cooper co writes which of course needs updating since then, but you should get the drift.

Under My Wheels
You Drive Me Nervous
My Stars
Grande Finale
Sick Things
I Love The Dead
Devil's Food
The Black Widow
Some Folks
Department Of Youth
Cold Ethyl
Steven
The Awakening
Go To Hell
You Gotta Dance
I'm The Coolest
Didn't We Meet
Give The Kid A Break
Guilty
Wake Me Gently
Wish You Were Here
Going Home
It's Hot Tonight
Lace & Whiskey
Road Rats
Damned If You Do
King of the Silver Screen
(No More) Love At Your Convenience
I Never Wrote Those Songs
My God
Da Da
Enough's Enough
Former Lee Warmer
No Man's Land
Dyslexia
Scarlet and Sheba
Fresh Blood
Blow Me A Kiss

I love everyone of those songs and some would be in my all time Top 10

People talk about George Martin being the 5th Beatle, surley Bob Ezrin is the 6th Cooper!

And then think about his work with Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd the man is a genius, being criticised by people on this forum who wouldn't know their way around a kitchen let alone a recording studio!

See you in a year then again maybe not!
Spot on......except dyslexia lol

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by Swinger » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:30 am

Just for fun, here's the songs that Ezrin has a co-writer credit on since 2008.

I Am Made Of You
Caffeine
The Nightmare Returns
A Runaway Train
Last Man On Earth
The Congregation
I'll Bite Your Face Off
Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
Ghouls Gone Wild
When Hell Comes Home
What Baby Wants
I Gotta Get Outta Here
The Underture
Under the Bed
A Bad Situation
The Last Vampire
Raise the Dead
My Dead Drunk Friends
Paranormal
Dead Flies
Paranoiac Personality
Fallen In Love
Dynamite Road
Private Public Breakdown
Holy Water
Rats
Genuine American Girl
You And All Of Your Friends
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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by Ted Sallis » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:55 pm

Saint&Sinner wrote:regarding the original ACG - I despise pretties from top to bottom and easy action is "meh" at best.
...Muscle of love is, well. its not a good album (would appear in my 10 worst albums for sure)
The production on MOL is lifeless and limp the guitar lines have no bite or flair, the drums have no back end and the bass is largely ignored. The tracks clearly echo the "burn out" issue just the same as L&W does (although I agree not to the same level).
In my view some of the songs on PFY and EA are not so good; I - like ALice himself - consider those 2 albums to be Spiders and Nazz albums and LITD to be the 1st 'true' AC (Group) album.

As for MOL, I consider the production on it to be considerably better than 'lifeless and limp' and while I don't necessarily disagree with S&S's sentiments above re. the guitars, bass and drums, the Group has stated that they wanted to make a more 'back to basics' album with no central theme which might have something to do with those instruments sounding/having been produced like they were. Also, songs like Big Apple Dreamin', Hard Hearted Alice and Man With the Golden Gun hardly sound like they echo any "burn out issue" to me.

Ted

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Re: Bob Ezrin-Past, Present And Future

Post by Ted Sallis » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:19 pm

Maaki wrote:It IS subjective. I don't think KISS would have gone far without BE and Destroyer. But the records he produced are dance dance danced all over their faces with LG, RRO both produced by Eddie Kramer as well as the two you mentioned that are produced by Paul and Gene themselves. Lick it up, in all it's banality and with the insufferable but competent Vinnie Vincent is their best record. In my opinion.

On the other hand on the records BE did produce Destroyer is obviously a career changing record. It is just that it is so very bad. The Elder is an utter and complete disaster and Revenge is pretty good - for old guys.

Destroyer which is the remarkable Ezrin produced album by KISS had pretty much everyone but KISS playing on it. And when they did play they played wrong instruments such as Frehley on bass. Which is my main beef with Ezrin and it has been so for decades. He just does not let the people play on their own records. And it is my beef (a minor one) with Paranormal, which is a record I am growing to absolutely adore. So I will forgive him, this time.
I hardly think that Destroyer is 'dance dance danced all over (it's) face with LG and RRO'. Same with Lick It Up and Animalize, though as mentioned by another poster, Paul and Gene didn't really produce those latter 2 albums. Also, Destroyer 'so very bad'? Not a chance.
And as also stated by another poster, there were some parts on that album that were recorded by non-KISS musicians, but to state that it had pretty much everyone but KISS playing on it is a gross exaggeration. Same as the statement re. BE not letting 'the people play on their own records'.

Ted

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