Have you changed your mind?

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by padre_sliprat » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:57 pm

Ted Sallis wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:22 pm
padre_sliprat wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:32 pm
MOL really should have been MB's first solo album. My two cents' worth.
Although I consider MOL to be far superior to Michael Bruce's solo album (In My Own Way), I believe the ACG's last studio album stands much better as a Group album than as a potential solo release. The songs on MOL while a departure from the Group's style are still closer to what they had been producing prior to that album than MB's solo material, which probably not even hard-core ACG fans would recognize if they didn't know who it was.

Ted
From Pretties For You to Greatest Hits, I love every one of the original group's albums. My reasoning for believing MOL was more a Michael album was that MB had butted heads with Ezrin during MOL sessions, which tells me that the project meant a lot to him...that and there weren't any macabre songs on the record.
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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Si » Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:14 pm

padre_sliprat wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:57 pm
My reasoning for believing MOL was more a Michael album was that MB had butted heads with Ezrin during MOL sessions, which tells me that the project meant a lot to him...that and there weren't any macabre songs on the record.
Of course Ezrin didn't produce MOL, nor co-write any of the songs.
Maybe it could be suggested that MOL is the "least" of the ACG albums due to the lack of his presence?

Without Bob, Mike got his way more (but not all) of the time, and maybe the album suffered because of this? Just throwing it out there but after all it's already been pointed out his first solo album was less then stellar, and that had neither Ezrin OR his bandmates.

Perhaps comparing B$B->MOL->In My Own Way shows how much input the band and Ezrin had in those albums.
IMOW without the band or Ezrin is pretty average. MOL without Ezrin is still a great album, but not as good as B$B with all the ingredients involved.
It took that 'Lightning in a jar' combination to create the magic.

Then of course you had WTMN. Just AC and Ezrin without the band, and again as great as that album is (and it IS amazing), it isn't B$B/Killer/SO. That 'lightning' would never be caught again.

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Railwayman » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:38 am

Excellent post Si. Perhaps the creative tension between MB and BE brought out the best in both but by the time MOL came along they had both had enough. Seem to recall a strange relatively recent comment from MB regarding his level of contributions to recent AC albums saying something like .... " I offered some songs but well ... you know" Perhaps they have not fully healed the wound, or perhaps MB's well is dry. Shame.

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Ted Sallis » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:43 pm

padre_sliprat wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:57 pm
From Pretties For You to Greatest Hits, I love every one of the original group's albums. My reasoning for believing MOL was more a Michael album was that MB had butted heads with Ezrin during MOL sessions, which tells me that the project meant a lot to him...that and there weren't any macabre songs on the record.
True, MB and BE had a conflict at the beginning of the MOL album sessions which led to Bob leaving the project. However, Michael stated in his book (which I have) that he didn't put a lot of effort into writing songs for the album; he also stated that he 'held back on' (songwriting for the album) in order to allow the other Members of the Group to come up with material. It's also true that there weren't any macabre songs on the record.

My belief is that Alice wanted to do another big production concept album after BDB but the rest of the ACG wanted to do more of a back-to-basics rock album. With BE out of the picture and Alice outvoted 4-1, MOL basically turned out to be what the rest of the Group wanted. So when the Group decided to take a break in 1974, AC, MB and NS recorded solo albums and Alice's album became the big production concept album which led to him going solo.

Ted

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by patrick » Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:13 pm

on the Battle Axe album, MB is credited on 10 out of 12 songs. Only one song (ego mania) credits MB, DD and NS.
so you could consider that album to be rather MB's album, and the style is different from MOL..
Perhaps that was the direction MB wanted to follow ..
you really wouldn't understand..

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Si » Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:35 pm

patrick wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:13 pm
on the Battle Axe album, MB is credited on 10 out of 12 songs. Only one song (ego mania) credits MB, DD and NS.
so you could consider that album to be rather MB's album, and the style is different from MOL..
True, but writing credits don't tell the whole story. Even the band have said the credits of the ACG albums aren't very accurate, for example Glen should have got more credits then he did.
Not having a credit doesn't mean someone had no input on how the finished song sounds.

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Ted Sallis » Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:29 am

Si wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:35 pm
True, but writing credits don't tell the whole story. Even the band have said the credits of the ACG albums aren't very accurate, for example Glen should have got more credits then he did.
Not having a credit doesn't mean someone had no input on how the finished song sounds.
Exactly. Dennis provides fairly extensive details in his book about how Neal and himself were so relentless (up until the MOL album) in trying to influence the direction and sound, etc. of the ACG's songs with their playing.

Ted

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Saint&Sinner » Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:54 pm

Along came a spider, initially i quite liked it, although never anywhere near the top tier it was ok (maybe a 6 out of 10). However after a couple weeks of playing , it had gotten worse and worse with each spin. Now it comfortably sits at about a 4 out of 10)
Other than that, dragontown was initially liked more, but now after the first 4 or 5 tracks i lose interest quite quickly, no cohesion to the album unlike brutal planet.

I absolutely despised dirty diamonds on initial listen and was really angry about it, i felt genuinely let down. After a few months, maybe even years it got slightly better. its still in the lower tier of albums (right next door to lace and whiskey and along came a spider) but not the complete abortion i initially felt it was, with a couple of tunes i genuinely like.

mostly my opinions dont change allot, i still despise pretties for you.

I find it interesting allot of people saying they go off the boil regarding alice and fandom. I'm not sure where i fall, i am still obsessed with music, films and video games. I'm "only" 40 but me and my missus have a superb relationship where we both appreciate the other making sure we both get time to do what we want, so while i appreciate life does get in the way at times i still have plenty of music time.
The kids never stopped me obsessing over music and work only makes me want more music (to distract from how much i despise my job :grin: ) I still go to lots of gigs and i still love alice, i have never gone what i consider to be super fan (ie i do not buy every version of each album and single and do not pay for expensive meet and greets etc) so maybe this has allowed me to stay obsessed musically?

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Shoesalesman » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:40 pm

padre_sliprat wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:17 pm
Crazy Little Child has a great guitar solo, as does Blue Turk.
Crazy Little Child, to me, is one of the most underrated songs Alice has released. In my top ten for sure.
If I may put forward a slice of personal colostomy...

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Saint&Sinner » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:18 am

Crazy Little Child, to me, is one of the most underrated songs Alice has released. In my top ten for sure
this is one of the songs which has got worse for me! I didn't like it at first and its only got worse as time has gone on. But Muscle of love was never an album I was in love with, tho oddly have always loved hard hearted alice.

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Shoesalesman » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:10 pm

Saint&Sinner wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:18 am
Crazy Little Child, to me, is one of the most underrated songs Alice has released. In my top ten for sure
this is one of the songs which has got worse for me! I didn't like it at first and its only got worse as time has gone on. But Muscle of love was never an album I was in love with, tho oddly have always loved hard hearted alice.
I'm a huge fan of the showtune-type songs AC does (Some Folks, Detroit City, Give The Kid A Break, Last Man On Earth... etc). MOL, admittedly, was not my favorite upon first listen (as I felt the band had taken their foot off the gas a bit), but it has its own charm and merit.

Most of Alice's albums have aged well, with the exception of D********N. Triggerman, Every Woman Has A Name, great songs. But D****R still stinks up a room.
If I may put forward a slice of personal colostomy...

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by PFOLGORE » Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:40 am

Ted Sallis wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:43 pm
padre_sliprat wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:57 pm
From Pretties For You to Greatest Hits, I love every one of the original group's albums. My reasoning for believing MOL was more a Michael album was that MB had butted heads with Ezrin during MOL sessions, which tells me that the project meant a lot to him...that and there weren't any macabre songs on the record.
True, MB and BE had a conflict at the beginning of the MOL album sessions which led to Bob leaving the project. However, Michael stated in his book (which I have) that he didn't put a lot of effort into writing songs for the album; he also stated that he 'held back on' (songwriting for the album) in order to allow the other Members of the Group to come up with material. It's also true that there weren't any macabre songs on the record.

My belief is that Alice wanted to do another big production concept album after BDB but the rest of the ACG wanted to do more of a back-to-basics rock album. With BE out of the picture and Alice outvoted 4-1, MOL basically turned out to be what the rest of the Group wanted. So when the Group decided to take a break in 1974, AC, MB and NS recorded solo albums and Alice's album became the big production concept album which led to him going solo.

Ted
Battle Axe were song written with the hope or expectation that Alice would eventually participate and polish up the lyrics. Without Alice and Bob that is what the band was capable of. As a teenager I could listen to it, but it does not hold up well 40 years later. The music was about as threatening or edgy as the bay city rollers so I am not sure how that jived with the theatrical spectacle that was part of there live shows. Whereas Alice’s WTMN show was visually and musically sublime and edgy.. The Alice Cooper group was contractually obligated to produce one more album for Warner Brothers, which was Alice Cooper goes to Hell. Alice said he could handled it own his own, and excluded the original band members from participating on the Album. I think because Alice was friends with DD and Glen he probably tolerated Glen longer than most bands would and maybe was less clear and direct as he should have been when he fired his band mates. WTMN proved that musically he did not need them. Decline however is inevitable with all bands, the exception being David Bowie. I don’t think staying with the original group would have forestalled any perceived musical declines. For what ever reason older rockers get stale and tired, the exception being David Bowie.

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by del » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:37 am

Disagree a good bit although not entirely with Bowie comments but the debate on him is long and for a different place.

For me, Battle Axe started out as a generous 5/10 and has slipped to a generous 3. Just don't enjoy listening to it.

Your comments suggest Alice is stale and tired. Personally, I don't think so.

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Ted Sallis » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:38 pm

PFOLGORE wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:40 am
Battle Axe were song written with the hope or expectation that Alice would eventually participate and polish up the lyrics. Without Alice and Bob that is what the band was capable of. As a teenager I could listen to it, but it does not hold up well 40 years later. The music was about as threatening or edgy as the bay city rollers so I am not sure how that jived with the theatrical spectacle that was part of there live shows. Whereas Alice’s WTMN show was visually and musically sublime and edgy.. The Alice Cooper group was contractually obligated to produce one more album for Warner Brothers, which was Alice Cooper goes to Hell. Alice said he could handled it own his own, and excluded the original band members from participating on the Album. I think because Alice was friends with DD and Glen he probably tolerated Glen longer than most bands would and maybe was less clear and direct as he should have been when he fired his band mates. WTMN proved that musically he did not need them. Decline however is inevitable with all bands, the exception being David Bowie. I don’t think staying with the original group would have forestalled any perceived musical declines. For what ever reason older rockers get stale and tired, the exception being David Bowie.
The music (on the Battle Axe album) was about as threatening or edgy as the bay city rollers?! Not according to my ears. As for WTMN, I don't hear too much sublime nor edgy on that album. As for GTH, I believe that album was the 1st for (solo) Alice under a new recording contract. Otherwise, why was Nightmare released by Atlantic and not WB? IMHO WTMN proved that musically Alice DID need the ACG. You might be right that staying with the original group wouldn't have forestalled any perceived musical declines but of course we'll never know.

Ted

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by While Heaven Wept » Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:18 pm

Ted Sallis wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:38 pm
PFOLGORE wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:40 am
Battle Axe were song written with the hope or expectation that Alice would eventually participate and polish up the lyrics. Without Alice and Bob that is what the band was capable of. As a teenager I could listen to it, but it does not hold up well 40 years later. The music was about as threatening or edgy as the bay city rollers so I am not sure how that jived with the theatrical spectacle that was part of there live shows. Whereas Alice’s WTMN show was visually and musically sublime and edgy.. The Alice Cooper group was contractually obligated to produce one more album for Warner Brothers, which was Alice Cooper goes to Hell. Alice said he could handled it own his own, and excluded the original band members from participating on the Album. I think because Alice was friends with DD and Glen he probably tolerated Glen longer than most bands would and maybe was less clear and direct as he should have been when he fired his band mates. WTMN proved that musically he did not need them. Decline however is inevitable with all bands, the exception being David Bowie. I don’t think staying with the original group would have forestalled any perceived musical declines. For what ever reason older rockers get stale and tired, the exception being David Bowie.
The music (on the Battle Axe album) was about as threatening or edgy as the bay city rollers?! Not according to my ears. As for WTMN, I don't hear too much sublime nor edgy on that album. As for GTH, I believe that album was the 1st for (solo) Alice under a new recording contract. Otherwise, why was Nightmare released by Atlantic and not WB? IMHO WTMN proved that musically Alice DID need the ACG. You might be right that staying with the original group wouldn't have forestalled any perceived musical declines but of course we'll never know.

Ted
I seem to remember that Welcome To My Nightmare was technically a soundtrack and therefore could be released under a different label? Might be wrong.

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by PFOLGORE » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:17 am

While Heaven Wept wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:18 pm
[quote="Ted Sallis" post_id=304766 time=<a href="tel:1578487093">1578487093</a> user_id=1607]
[quote=PFOLGORE post_id=304754 time=<a href="tel:1578469253">1578469253</a> user_id=4130]Battle Axe were song written with the hope or expectation that Alice would eventually participate and polish up the lyrics. Without Alice and Bob that is what the band was capable of. As a teenager I could listen to it, but it does not hold up well 40 years later. The music was about as threatening or edgy as the bay city rollers so I am not sure how that jived with the theatrical spectacle that was part of there live shows. Whereas Alice’s WTMN show was visually and musically sublime and edgy.. The Alice Cooper group was contractually obligated to produce one more album for Warner Brothers, which was Alice Cooper goes to Hell. Alice said he could handled it own his own, and excluded the original band members from participating on the Album. I think because Alice was friends with DD and Glen he probably tolerated Glen longer than most bands would and maybe was less clear and direct as he should have been when he fired his band mates. WTMN proved that musically he did not need them. Decline however is inevitable with all bands, the exception being David Bowie. I don’t think staying with the original group would have forestalled any perceived musical declines. For what ever reason older rockers get stale and tired, the exception being David Bowie.
The music (on the Battle Axe album) was about as threatening or edgy as the bay city rollers?! Not according to my ears. As for WTMN, I don't hear too much sublime nor edgy on that album. As for GTH, I believe that album was the 1st for (solo) Alice under a new recording contract. Otherwise, why was Nightmare released by Atlantic and not WB? IMHO WTMN proved that musically Alice DID need the ACG. You might be right that staying with the original group wouldn't have forestalled any perceived musical declines but of course we'll never know.

Ted
[/quote]

I seem to remember that Welcome To My Nightmare was technically a soundtrack and therefore could be released under a different label? Might be wrong.
[/quote]

Yes, it was the sound track for a television special and that was the loophole in the contract that allow Alice to record an Album on a different label. Seeing that the WTMN album was a success that embolden Alice and management to cut ties and go solo. Later all members of the group received a contractual demand to record the final album, but only Alice participated on it. If this is true, then obviously Alice, Shep and Bob engineered the bands “breakup”, in modern parlance the original members got “ghosted” by Alice. Alice could have easily said, “look guys, we are contractually obligated to make one more album and then after that I want to try my luck as a solo performer.” It would have been so easy to do the final album with the whole group, but he chose not to. Had management been more upfront and honest they may have gotten sued, but the ambiguity and lack of clear communication on the part management probably confused the band enough to prevent them from taking any decisive action. Even to this day they are hoping Alice will take them back.

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by PFOLGORE » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:19 am

del wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:37 am
Disagree a good bit although not entirely with Bowie comments but the debate on him is long and for a different place.

For me, Battle Axe started out as a generous 5/10 and has slipped to a generous 3. Just don't enjoy listening to it.

Your comments suggest Alice is stale and tired. Personally, I don't think so.
Agreed, Alice’s energy and creativity at his age is inspirational.

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by Saint&Sinner » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:23 am

I disagree with the bowie comment, but as mentioned a topic for another thread :)
However to say alice is tired I think is crazy, he is on fire and for 70 whatever he is, man he has more energy than I do and im nearly half his age.
Welcome to my nightmare was polished, agreed but it had edge (devils food, black widow, cold ethyl and I think the back end of the album was very dark and edgy) and to stay on topic, welcome to my nightmare gets better every year.
I think its definitely in my top five alice and possibly top 5 of all time.

Go to hell, definitely a drop off but it had more than enough to keep me engaged. it was only lace and whiskey that stunk the place out (which gets worse the more I listen to it)

Given that muscle of love was such a drop off from the preceding albums and battle axe just does not excite at all, or offer the depths that something like welcome to my nightmare does (granted I wasn't around at the time so not sure what impact it had musically at the time, but judging from sales, not much) . the band seemed to have run its course.

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by patrick » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:06 am

sidenote : Bowie is never far away in this threads (birthday yesterday ,passing away 10/01)
Imo WTMN was above all to me the resurrection of Alice who had gone out of sight. I admit I was a little bit decepted not to see the traditionel make-up on the inner sleeve, but the tour shortly after made very fast clear that he would still be the Alice we knew, by continuing to play the hits. I remember a picture in a German magazine stating that Alice continued to bring horror ( picture with Alice, red pants, hanging in the spiders web , full make-up) .
but WTMNM would not be my first choice if I only had permission to keep one album .
you really wouldn't understand..

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Re: Have you changed your mind?

Post by The son of Don Quijote » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:56 pm

Muscle of Love, The Eyes and Brutal Planet have gotten better over the years. The Eyes of Alice Cooper was a big disappointment for me originally. Now I think it is pretty good but not great. The effect of Dragontown has declined somewhat in recent years but I still think it is a very good album. Special Forces is still terrible. Two first songs on it are decent but after that it goes downhill and contains handful of songs that I consider worst of his career (You're a Movie, You Want It, You Got It and You Look Good in Rags). I'm probably in a minority but I'm not crazy about Billion Dollar Babies. It's not a bad album but it is not something I would give 5 or 4 stars. In fact I don't like the last three songs on it. It has remained a quite distant album for me emotionally. In fact I have always liked songs from that album more in a live situation. Love It To Death, Killer, School's Out and Muscle of Love are definitely better albums.

I share negative feelings about Along Came a Spider with many here. It contains some of Alice's worst lyrics and has horrible amateurish production. Songwriting on that album is way below average for Alice Cooper. Along Came a Spider is along with Special Forces and Trash Alice Cooper's worst work.

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