Why BBB did not work out

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PFOLGORE
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Why BBB did not work out

Post by PFOLGORE » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:03 am

1) Michael Bruce vocally is no Alice Cooper. They should have hired a charismatic frontman who could sing.
2) They may have underestimated Alice's abilities as a lyricist. The lyrics on Battle Axe lacked a cleverness, an originality, and even the ambiguity that were found on earlier Alice Cooper releases. Compared to the lyrics on Battle Axe, Pretties for You and Easy Action were literary masterpieces. The lyrics on BBB lacked any edge, wit, or danger.
3) A good producer is what made them superstars. The really needed someone in their corner to draw out Micheal's song writing talents. Battle Axe lacked that.
4) Alice Cooper got it. WTMN was an excellent concept and theatric production that was built around the music. Battle Axe, is not a theme or concept. The songs were not cohesive and did not build on each other. It was your basic collection of pop songs, so what was the point of trying to stage some elaborate stage production. They should have got minimalist like in the earlier days.
5) The Album should have dropped the electronic keyboards for a heavier guitar sound. They should have more more true to their original sound.
6) They should have had the work ethic of Alice Cooper, got out there and toured more. They never gave us anything that we could get behind.
Just a few quick observations for you all

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by Daggers & Contracts » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:10 am

PFOLGORE wrote:1) Michael Bruce vocally is no Alice Cooper. They should have hired a charismatic frontman who could sing.
2) They may have underestimated Alice's abilities as a lyricist. The lyrics on Battle Axe lacked a cleverness, an originality, and even the ambiguity that were found on earlier Alice Cooper releases. Compared to the lyrics on Battle Axe, Pretties for You and Easy Action were literary masterpieces. The lyrics on BBB lacked any edge, wit, or danger.
3) A good producer is what made them superstars. The really needed someone in their corner to draw out Micheal's song writing talents. Battle Axe lacked that.
4) Alice Cooper got it. WTMN was an excellent concept and theatric production that was built around the music. Battle Axe, is not a theme or concept. The songs were not cohesive and did not build on each other. It was your basic collection of pop songs, so what was the point of trying to stage some elaborate stage production. They should have got minimalist like in the earlier days.
5) The Album should have dropped the electronic keyboards for a heavier guitar sound. They should have more more true to their original sound.
6) They should have had the work ethic of Alice Cooper, got out there and toured more. They never gave us anything that we could get behind.
Just a few quick observations for you all
It also didn't help that the initial release of Battle Axe was recalled due to "Mastering Problems." :/
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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by pitkin88 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:23 am

It rocked harder than Lace and Whiskey which was released at the same time. There was a review in Sounds at the time that said Lace and Whiskey was a singer in search of a band and that Battle Axe was a band in search of a singer. I could see that.

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by PFOLGORE » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:32 am

After Lace and Whiskey I stopped buying Alice Cooper albums. Some of his music "gotta dance" and "no more love at your convenience" were blatantly hostile to his originally fan base.

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by padre_sliprat » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:28 am

Yeah, rock bands and the Better Business Bureau just don't fit well.
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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by cooperrocks » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:47 pm

Musical tastes were changing. It was becoming increasingly difficult for hard rock bands to get radio airplay. That's why the record label kept on releasing ballads because the harder rocking tunes weren't getting any radio airplay. I actually slightly prefer solo Alice to the original band but you have a couple of issues. One, as others have said there was a problem with the way the Battle Axe album sounded so that immediately sunk the album and it didn't have much on it which was going to get radio airplay.

In addition, and I know this isn't going to be popular with fans that can't see past the original band (and I apologize if this upsets any one because that is not my intention) but the casual rock fan already and perhaps always considered Alice Cooper a solo act. For many, Alice Cooper the singer was Alice Cooper and the other other members were his backing band. That's why when people talk about a full-tour/full album original band reunion I don't think there is really any real benefit in doing it. They would play the same venues, the album would sell pretty much the same amount of copies, and other than maybe some quick, initial excitement, it wouldn't sell any more tickets long-term, plus I am not convinced that all members of the original band could do the type of touring schedule that Alice does.

My point here is the Battle Axe album for some fans was simply Alice's "backing" band putting out an album without Alice on vocals so for the masses (and I am talking about the casual fan not the diehards like we have on this board) there wasn't much interest to hear this band without Alice doing the vocals, fair or unfair.

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by VinceLeeRose » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:52 pm

cooperrocks wrote:Musical tastes were changing. It was becoming increasingly difficult for hard rock bands to get radio airplay. That's why the record label kept on releasing ballads because the harder rocking tunes weren't getting any radio airplay. I actually slightly prefer solo Alice to the original band but you have a couple of issues. One, as others have said there was a problem with the way the Battle Axe album sounded so that immediately sunk the album and it didn't have much on it which was going to get radio airplay.

In addition, and I know this isn't going to be popular with fans that can't see past the original band (and I apologize if this upsets any one because that is not my intention) but the casual rock fan already and perhaps always considered Alice Cooper a solo act. For many, Alice Cooper the singer was Alice Cooper and the other other members were his backing band. That's why when people talk about a full-tour/full album original band reunion I don't think there is really any real benefit in doing it. They would play the same venues, the album would sell pretty much the same amount of copies, and other than maybe some quick, initial excitement, it wouldn't sell any more tickets long-term, plus I am not convinced that all members of the original band could do the type of touring schedule that Alice does.

My point here is the Battle Axe album for some fans was simply Alice's "backing" band putting out an album without Alice on vocals so for the masses (and I am talking about the casual fan not the diehards like we have on this board) there wasn't much interest to hear this band without Alice doing the vocals, fair or unfair.


Did a lot of people back in the day not realize they were a band? I was born in 1985, well after the band broke up, but every old rocker dude I talk to and in a lot of archival reviews of Alice's solo albums, they all mention the original band, etc etc. I think for the casual fan back in the early 1970's, it was Alice Cooper the guy....but for the AC fans, did they all realize this was one unit?

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by ThePainAddict » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:04 pm

Disagree with this post:
1) Michael did a serviceable job as a vocalist (even mimicking Alice on Too Young). Since their tour was so limited and not really preserved, save for the live stuff on the deluxe package, there is no way of knowing how he would have been as a frontman.
2)"Dressed like a fox, as cold as ice, like some bathroom floor" If that doesn't sound like an Alice line, I don't know what does.
3) Definitely a quality producer was needed. However, given what Ezrin was doing at the time with L&W, he would not have been the person to put in charge.
4) Battle Axe is more of a cohesive theme than L&W, and definitely as much as the original B$B lp. Concept albums for the original band were all very loose. The touring concept seemed mostly limited to the Battle Axe suite.
5) Alice was using as much keyboards, and additional musical accompaniments on his solo stuff. I don't think the keyboards are that dominant throughout.
6) Yes, more touring was necessary, but so were funds/promotion for such tours.

I think the primary reason (apart from the disastrous mix/mastering) for its failure was the long interval from the breakup to the release. The long span and the Alice lps in the interval contributed to everyone kind of forgetting AC was originally a band.
Previously, in my circle at least, everyone knew it was a band. The band lps were in the "A" section at the record stores I went to, while the solo lps got moved to the "C" section. If you look at the old Circus magazines (granted a small subset of fans) all of the members of the band did well, or won, in the yearly polls.

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by Toronto Bob » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:17 pm

I think the o/p makes valid points. It's an album that really doesn't have any place. Not catchy enough to be a great pop rock record. Not dark and heavy enough to go after the teenage boy market and not a race of punk energy to ride the new punk movement starting out [the ACG could have made a claim of getting back to their roots as LITD had some cred with the Ramones and others in the punk movement].

As is the album is a bit of a nothing burger. Overall not as bad as Lace and Whiskey but at least L&W had the monster riffs of It's Hot Tonight and a couple of other decent tracks (RR and the title tune) along with a decent ballad.

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by pitkin88 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:21 pm

Daggers & Contracts wrote:
PFOLGORE wrote:1) Michael Bruce vocally is no Alice Cooper. They should have hired a charismatic frontman who could sing.
2) They may have underestimated Alice's abilities as a lyricist. The lyrics on Battle Axe lacked a cleverness, an originality, and even the ambiguity that were found on earlier Alice Cooper releases. Compared to the lyrics on Battle Axe, Pretties for You and Easy Action were literary masterpieces. The lyrics on BBB lacked any edge, wit, or danger.
3) A good producer is what made them superstars. The really needed someone in their corner to draw out Micheal's song writing talents. Battle Axe lacked that.
4) Alice Cooper got it. WTMN was an excellent concept and theatric production that was built around the music. Battle Axe, is not a theme or concept. The songs were not cohesive and did not build on each other. It was your basic collection of pop songs, so what was the point of trying to stage some elaborate stage production. They should have got minimalist like in the earlier days.
5) The Album should have dropped the electronic keyboards for a heavier guitar sound. They should have more more true to their original sound.
6) They should have had the work ethic of Alice Cooper, got out there and toured more. They never gave us anything that we could get behind.
Just a few quick observations for you all
It also didn't help that the initial release of Battle Axe was recalled due to "Mastering Problems." :/

Did anyone have an issue with this? I bought a German import the week or so it came out and the sound was stellar.

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by Si » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:31 pm

pitkin88 wrote:
Daggers & Contracts wrote: It also didn't help that the initial release of Battle Axe was recalled due to "Mastering Problems." :/

Did anyone have an issue with this? I bought a German import the week or so it came out and the sound was stellar.
If I recall the problem was that it was mastered badly and the needle constantly jumped out of the grove, making it more or less unplayable. I think this was a US issue, so your German one may not have been effected.
Just what I think I have read/been told. Not personal experience.

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by Toronto Bob » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:49 pm

padre_sliprat wrote:Yeah, rock bands and the Better Business Bureau just don't fit well.
:rotfl:

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by Babysquid » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:30 am

pitkin88 wrote:
Daggers & Contracts wrote:
PFOLGORE wrote:1) Michael Bruce vocally is no Alice Cooper. They should have hired a charismatic frontman who could sing.
2) They may have underestimated Alice's abilities as a lyricist. The lyrics on Battle Axe lacked a cleverness, an originality, and even the ambiguity that were found on earlier Alice Cooper releases. Compared to the lyrics on Battle Axe, Pretties for You and Easy Action were literary masterpieces. The lyrics on BBB lacked any edge, wit, or danger.
3) A good producer is what made them superstars. The really needed someone in their corner to draw out Micheal's song writing talents. Battle Axe lacked that.
4) Alice Cooper got it. WTMN was an excellent concept and theatric production that was built around the music. Battle Axe, is not a theme or concept. The songs were not cohesive and did not build on each other. It was your basic collection of pop songs, so what was the point of trying to stage some elaborate stage production. They should have got minimalist like in the earlier days.
5) The Album should have dropped the electronic keyboards for a heavier guitar sound. They should have more more true to their original sound.
6) They should have had the work ethic of Alice Cooper, got out there and toured more. They never gave us anything that we could get behind.
Just a few quick observations for you all
It also didn't help that the initial release of Battle Axe was recalled due to "Mastering Problems." :/

Did anyone have an issue with this? I bought a German import the week or so it came out and the sound was stellar.
my copy is to trebly it hurts my ears and I'm twice shy about taking a gamble on another copy.

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by I'm Pain » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:00 am

I'll take it over Lace and Whiskey, or Goes to Hell any day - even with the piss poor production. Sounds more like a collection of demos though. There's some great material on that album - it just needs to be properly fleshed out. But, in the end, it's a rock album. Not a novelty album.

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by del » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:25 am

Remember "The Ballad of Alice Bowie" by Cheech and Chong ( bet I spelt that wrong)? That's how too many people viewed things even then. Other than the real fans most folk I knew saw Bowie and Alice (and Bolan for that matter) in the same way - both had a great band behind them but the front man was the act. Alice taking the name sealed the preconceptions for ever. In my mind the group never stood a chance with an album that was ok but absolutely lacked a real singer and a real punch.

I bought L&W and Battle Axe more or less at the same time and was so disappointed with both despite trying hard to like them. Strangely L&W stuck better and looking back it was the voice and a couple of rockers that gave it the edge. I remember the Sounds reviews, think they both got 3/5 if I remember correct. I'd have dropped both to 2.5 and given L&W the nod.

Always quite liked the ballads and just saw that as a different side of Alice that I could listen to or ignore as I pleased.

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Re: Why BBB did not work out

Post by Paulimo » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:19 pm

'BBB'? Surely not.

:bam:

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