The first and original 'Greatest Hits' album nicely closed the era of the original Alice Cooper group with a round up of the best known songs, some in slightly different forms to their album versions, and remixed, all wrapped up in a classic cover.
I'm Eighteen (Bruce, Cooper, Buxton, Dunaway, Smith) - from 'Love It To Death'(2:58)
Is It My Body? (Cooper, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith, Buxton) - from 'Love It To Death'(2:42)
Desperado (Cooper, Bruce) - from 'Killer'(3:29)
Under My Wheels (Bruce, Dunaway, Ezrin) - from 'Killer'(2:46)
Be My Lover (Bruce) - from 'Killer'(3:21)
School's Out (Cooper, Bruce, Buxton, Dunaway, Smith) - from 'School's Out'(3.31)
Hello Hooray (Kempf) - from 'Billion Dollar Babies'(4:18)
Elected (Cooper, Smith, Dunaway, Bruce, Buxton) - from 'Billion Dollar Babies'(4:07)
No More Mr. Nice Guy (Bruce, Cooper) - from 'Billion Dollar Babies'(3:08)
- Billion Dollar Babies (Cooper, Bruce, Reggie) - from 'Billion Dollar Babies'(3:43)
Teenage Lament '74 (Cooper, Smith) - from 'Muscle Of Love'(3:54)
Muscle Of Love (Bruce, Cooper) - from 'Muscle Of Love'(3:46)
- Alice Cooper - Vocals
- Neal Smith - Drums and Vocals
- Dennis Dunaway - Bass and Vocals
- Glen Buxton - Lead Guitar
- Michael Bruce - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Piano and Organ
See original albums for other credits
Album Notes - (Detailed release information)
'Greatest Hits' was the first proper compilation by Alice Cooper and the last record released while the band were actively a group. In theory it was released as a stop-gap between new studio albums, to give the band some sorely needed time off. By the time it was released Neal and Michael were already planning solo albums, with the idea that they would all get back together in 1975 to work on the next Alice Cooper record. It never happened.
As Neal and Michael were adament they wanted to do their own albums, against the advice of manager Shep Gordon who thought it was a terrible idea - for them - Alice and Shep figured they might as well do a project of their own, and brought back Bob Ezrin to produce and co-write it. They project they came up with was 'Welcome To My Nightmare' as both a TV Special and soundtrack album. It was a huge success and Alice never looked back, effectively splitting the group.
Michael's album 'In My Own Way' wasn't released for some time to little fanfare, while Neal's album, 'The Platinum God', didn't surface until decades after it was recorded, self-released through his own website. The musicians hung around waiting for Alice to return but eventually it was obvious he wouldn't, so they regrouped, minus an uninterested Glen Buxton, as 'Billion Dollar Babies' but it was too late. Alice, Shep and Bob had gone off with the name and the fame, never to return.
Back to 'Greatest Hits', Bob Ezrin oversaw the album and took the opportunity to do a little tweeking and re-mixing to the original songs. Some of the tracks are also present in their single edits rather then longer album cuts.
The classic album cover for 'Greatest Hits' was the work of Drew Struzan, who nowadays is a world reknowned artist for movie posters including the 'Indiana Jones', 'Star Wars' and 'Back To The Future' films series. He would also provide art for Alice's 'Welcome To My Nightmare' the following year. At the time Struzan worked for 'Pacific Eye and Ear' in Los Angeles, the company responsible for previous Alice Cooper covers. Nowadays his work is highly collectable and he is considered one of the best poster artist ever, even having a biographical film made about his career- "Drew: The Man Nehind The Poster".
The artwork for 'Greatest Hits' features drawings of the band members standing outside an old garage amongst various famous movie stars. There are two illustrations. One wraps around the front and back of the main album cover and another is on the inner sleeve. As best we can work out the drawing features the following:
On The Back/Front Cover, left to right: Humphrey Bogart - Robert Taylor - Clark Gable - Edward G. Robinson - John Barrymore, or more likely William Powell? - Jean Harlow - Peter Lorre - Glen Buxton - Dennis Dunaway - Alice Cooper - Michael Bruce - Neal Smith - Groucho Marx
Inner Sleeve: Groucho Marx - Jean Harlow - Joan Crawford (?) - Errol Flynn - Clara Bow - William Bendix - Edward G. Robinson - Lillian Gish (?) - Marilyn Monroe - Gary Cooper - Judy Garland - Alan Ladd - Basil Rathbone - Tallulah Bankhead (or maybe Gretta Garbo (?)) - Humphrey Bogart - Boris Karloff - Michael Bruce - (Dwight Frye in background) - Bela Lugosi - Glen Buxton - Veronica Lake - Alice Cooper - Clark Gable - Neal Smith - Dennis Dunaway - Betty Grable - Marlene Dietrich or Carole Lombard - Dick Powell - Jean Arthur - Tyrone Power
If anyone thinks any of the above are wrong and has any firm evidence of it then let me know.
Other things of note on the cover: The 'Billion Dollar Babies' magazines on the front. And the 'School's Out' on the newspapers. The '18' on the door and the garage is called 'Al's place'.
The artwork of the 5 gunmen (obviously the band) at top where the title 'Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits' logo depicts the famous 'St. Valentines Day Massacre' in Chicago which was a big gang hit back in the 40's [actually February 14th 1929, A couple of Capone thugs dressed as cops killed seven of Bugs Moran's gang. Bugs was late, and got away. No one was ever convicted] The advertisements for the album used the slogan - 'Alice Cooper: The Hitmen of Rock'.
The first five persons on the left of the LP inner sleeve are missing from many CD version of the inner sleeve. In 2008 the original 'Greatest Hits' album was reissued on CD with a replica of the original vinyl sleeve.
In 2001 Warner Brothers/Rhino put together a remastered version of 'Greatest Hits' which was expanded with extra tracks, mostly from Alice's solo albums. It was called 'The Definitive Alice Cooper' (UK: 8122735342) and featured following, many of which are the original single edits:
- I'm Eighteen
- Under My Wheels
- Halo of Flies
- School's Out
- Hello, Hooray
- Generation Landslide
- No More Mr. Nice Guy
- Billion Dollar Babies
- Teenage Lament '74
- Muscle of Love
- Only Women Bleed
- Department of Youth
- Welcome to My Nightmare
- I Never Cry
- You and Me
- How You Gonna See Me Now
- From the Inside
- Hey Stoopid