Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by cooperrocks » Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:47 pm

Ted Sallis wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:46 pm
mr.barlow wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:47 am
It's my opinion that Alice was well served by leaving all that drama behind and going out on his own. You had all of the ego, Glen and his demons and being absent in the studio since School's Out, and the changing music scene as well. Add in all of the substance abuse by ALL involved and like some relationships go---had run it's course.

It seems that the passage of time has proved that Alice made the right choice as he is now an American icon. Also, finding a multi-million dollar Warhol in your garage is icing on the cake at this point in his life!
I agree that in taking the Alice Cooper name for himself, Alice likely preserved the longevity of the name by leaving the 'drama' behind and assuming full control (with Shep). This way he was able to resume working with Bob Ezrin as the producer in the studio and - as has been suggested elsewhere - explore more deeply the Alice Cooper character by making albums like WTMN and FTI.

Alice is still a viable recording and touring entity to this day (even though his popularity has waned), which is commendable. I just think that the quality of the music took a big dive once the ACG were no longer.

Ted
I have to respectfully disagree. While I like the original band very much, if I were to list my Top 10 Alice albums, at least 8 would be solo. The music became more diverse, tons of great solo albums, and he became a better live act around 1986. Just out of the 70's alone, I would take From the Inside and Welcome To My Nightmare over any of the band albums.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Rhapsody of Fire » Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:36 pm

tuneylune wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:37 am
Some good observations by all here...

In the late 90's, "the Igster" called Me to let Me know He had found IN MY OWN WAY and I was able to get my own copy the next day (at the Very missed Record and Tape Trader chain). Like Pitkin, I was also disappointed by IMOW and couldn't believe this was the same guy who had input into so many wonderful ACG songs. DD said in his book that He had higher expectations and I suppose many other who are fans did also. Loved BATTLE AXE, biut as pointed out, only Die hard ACG fans would know who it was by , although having Alice's severed head on the jacket may have helped move some units.
All I've been able to find by Mike since are two live albums heavy on ACG material, although both sound good. Neal has done better with PLATINUM GOD and KILLSMITH projects (SEXUAL SAVIOR notwithstanding). I'm beginning to think that Dennis may have been the MVP as I find all His solo albums enjoyable, especially BONES FROM THE YARD.

What might have given us a couple more group albums would be to have taken time off after BDB tour. Release a Live album with a new song or two towards Xmas time getting back together in early 1974 for upcoming album, have Glen get his health and chops in order or be replaced (I think Mick Mashbir would have been the logical choice) and although Alice was the focal point, there should have been some press for the rest of the group. At least Band introductions during the show as Alice has been doing ever since the WTMN period onwards.

Of course, this is Monday Morning Quarterbacking, but I would sure have enjoyed more ACG releases.
Just curious, who is "The Igster"?

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by mr.barlow » Fri Jun 04, 2021 9:21 pm

cooperrocks wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:47 pm
Ted Sallis wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:46 pm
mr.barlow wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:47 am
It's my opinion that Alice was well served by leaving all that drama behind and going out on his own. You had all of the ego, Glen and his demons and being absent in the studio since School's Out, and the changing music scene as well. Add in all of the substance abuse by ALL involved and like some relationships go---had run it's course.

It seems that the passage of time has proved that Alice made the right choice as he is now an American icon. Also, finding a multi-million dollar Warhol in your garage is icing on the cake at this point in his life!
I agree that in taking the Alice Cooper name for himself, Alice likely preserved the longevity of the name by leaving the 'drama' behind and assuming full control (with Shep). This way he was able to resume working with Bob Ezrin as the producer in the studio and - as has been suggested elsewhere - explore more deeply the Alice Cooper character by making albums like WTMN and FTI.

Alice is still a viable recording and touring entity to this day (even though his popularity has waned), which is commendable. I just think that the quality of the music took a big dive once the ACG were no longer.

Ted
I have to respectfully disagree. While I like the original band very much, if I were to list my Top 10 Alice albums, at least 8 would be solo. The music became more diverse, tons of great solo albums, and he became a better live act around 1986. Just out of the 70's alone, I would take From the Inside and Welcome To My Nightmare over any of the band albums.
The same goes for me. "School's Out" rates in my top 5 but other than that all of my other favorite albums are solo Alice. I've always enjoyed the diversity and how he was able to navigate the trends somewhat successfully (and not so successfully) with each album being original and distinctly Alice.

"Trash" is the only Alice album where Alice lost that touch.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Rock10 » Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:19 am

I like Alice's solo albums, but not the ones after WTMN and before "Constrictor". He has good songs on his solo albums, but there are a lot of filler songs.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by mr.barlow » Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:55 am

pitkin88 wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:09 am
A parallel to BDB's was SAHB ( without Alex ). Also in 77. They released an album called Fourplay and actually had a deal with SAHB's Mountain label. They also had a tour lined up and got some tv spots. A great press ad featured them in the studio with Alex, mouth taped up and bound, in the foreground. Harvey spoke their praises and offered some advice on the songs and production.I

If only Billion Dollar Babies had tried something similar. Maybe them holding Alice's severed head alongside the battle axe.

Mr Barlow makes a good point about if Mike had made it would be have come back. Who knows? Not a chance with that album which was so unCooper like. He obviously felt he could write in different styles but no one wanted what he served up.

I know he didn't like Wagner's stage presence and didn't particularly like Wagner's I Love The Dead. No idea if he felt threatened or maybe just didn't like a Johnny come lately to the party.

Glen should not have been featured on the covers for Billion Dollar Babies or Muscle Of Love. He played zero guitar. It's just dishonest. I think he even got an award for Mick Mashbirs brilliant solo on Slick Black Limousine. I couldn't live with myself. He probably should have been fired or placed on hiatus. To not bother to even try and learn the songs for the tour is pretty bad.

All said and done Id still like to hear a full reunion album and a limited ( at the very least ) tour. They deserve it.
To show how far the other guys went to help out Glen he was also given a songwriting credit on a few tracks on both B$B and MOL. I'm sure his family is collecting royalties to this day thanks to Alice and the other guys.

I'm guessing at the time that Glen's absence was a secret purposely hidden from the public--and possibly the label--for many reasons. (i'll have to ask DD about this in his own section of the forum). I would also guess that those who actually played on the records were contractually forbidden to talk about it. What may have been a good idea born of compassion for a friend at the time, should now be publicly corrected after all these years.

Any further re-releases should contain the specifics of who actually played on each track and I'd go so far as to include small period photos of them in the booklet. The success of B$B was because of the music and those who actually performed it. It's time for them to get their due credit and the record set straight. Also, an explanation of why Glen did not appear on either album should also be included to show both how substance abuse can destroy a person and how his friends went to great lengths to help him and protect him.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Rock10 » Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:09 pm

I think Glen only played on "Generation Landslide".

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Babysquid » Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:33 am

mr.barlow wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:55 am


To show how far the other guys went to help out Glen he was also given a songwriting credit on a few tracks on both B$B and MOL. I'm sure his family is collecting royalties to this day thanks to Alice and the other guys
For the two songs on B$B that he received credit “Elected “ was a rehash of “Reflected” and it’s been made clear in Dennis book he helped write “Generation Landslide”. As for the MOL tracks the only thing I know is that “Woman Machine” was another old song reworked and that Mick Mashbir said in an interview that Glen was involved in the initial songwriting sessions and that Mick wasn’t.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by While Heaven Wept » Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:37 am

Apologies if this has been answered already. I've often wondered how the contract negotiations materialised between the ACG, AC solo and Warner? Did Alice effectively continue the existing deal that the band had with Warner or was it a new deal altogether? I remember reading somewhere that the band were compensated some how for being excluded from the deal?

And what was the specific reason for going with a different label for WTMN? Was that simply because they originally planned to continue releasing ACG records on Warner once the solo album was out of the way?

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Si » Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:58 pm

While Heaven Wept wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:37 am
Apologies if this has been answered already. I've often wondered how the contract negotiations materialised between the ACG, AC solo and Warner? Did Alice effectively continue the existing deal that the band had with Warner or was it a new deal altogether? I remember reading somewhere that the band were compensated some how for being excluded from the deal?
And what was the specific reason for going with a different label for WTMN? Was that simply because they originally planned to continue releasing ACG records on Warner once the solo album was out of the way?
WTMN was released on a one off deal with Atlantic for a 'Soundtrack' album. A clause in the original Warners contract allowed for the band to record one soundtrack album for another label, and Alice/Shep used this clause to release WTMN away from Warners - hence the TV special.

I believe that between WTMN (the soundtrack option) and Greatest hits, this closed out the original band Warners contract, and the band were due to renegotiate a new one. Of course WTMN went big, and so that new contract was negotiated for Alice solo, starting from GTH.

I think it's been said that part of the reason for going with a different label for WTMN was to push the renegotiation with Warners to their advantage in some way. ie to show they had other options they could consider etc.

But I think effectively Alice went solo at the end of the band contract, which probably saved a lot of messing around legally.

I think that's approx how it goes anyway.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Saint&Sinner » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:06 am

This makes for interesting reading on all posts. When i read MB book it came across as very arrogant but i dont know much about the band dynamic to any real degree so wasnt sure if was reading too much into it. From what i have read here, i dont think i was.
I thought his solo album stank the place out tbh and while battleaxe had a couple of moments for a large part it didnt work for me at all. As already mentioned the band worked because of the interplay between all members, glen included. Take it away and MB doesnt seem to cut it for me.
I for one am glad alice went solo and outside killer nothing else cracks the top ten alice album list (from the band.)

An interesting hypothesis was mentioned about if the MB album/career took off (which given the evidence was never going to happen, IMOW was not a case of an undiscovered gem!) i think MB would of course have pursued it and he would have been mad not to do it if it was a success, likewise for the rest of the band.
Alice had the edge tho with bob ezrin , steve hunter and dick wagner in hsi corner. That was a dream team up and WTMN is still my fave alice album of all time.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by tuneylune » Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:40 am

Rhapsody of Fire wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:36 pm
tuneylune wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:37 am
Some good observations by all here...

In the late 90's, "the Igster" called Me to let Me know He had found IN MY OWN WAY and I was able to get my own copy the next day (at the Very missed Record and Tape Trader chain). Like Pitkin, I was also disappointed by IMOW and couldn't believe this was the same guy who had input into so many wonderful ACG songs. DD said in his book that He had higher expectations and I suppose many other who are fans did also. Loved BATTLE AXE, biut as pointed out, only Die hard ACG fans would know who it was by , although having Alice's severed head on the jacket may have helped move some units.
All I've been able to find by Mike since are two live albums heavy on ACG material, although both sound good. Neal has done better with PLATINUM GOD and KILLSMITH projects (SEXUAL SAVIOR notwithstanding). I'm beginning to think that Dennis may have been the MVP as I find all His solo albums enjoyable, especially BONES FROM THE YARD.

What might have given us a couple more group albums would be to have taken time off after BDB tour. Release a Live album with a new song or two towards Xmas time getting back together in early 1974 for upcoming album, have Glen get his health and chops in order or be replaced (I think Mick Mashbir would have been the logical choice) and although Alice was the focal point, there should have been some press for the rest of the group. At least Band introductions during the show as Alice has been doing ever since the WTMN period onwards.

Of course, this is Monday Morning Quarterbacking, but I would sure have enjoyed more ACG releases.
Just curious, who is "The Igster"?
"The Igster" is a Friend of mine with an almost uncanny ability to find rare releases and usually quite good. Big fan of Iggy Pop, so that became his moniker :8):
"I need everything the world owes me..."

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Rhapsody of Fire » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:02 pm

tuneylune wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:40 am
Rhapsody of Fire wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:36 pm
tuneylune wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:37 am
Some good observations by all here...

In the late 90's, "the Igster" called Me to let Me know He had found IN MY OWN WAY and I was able to get my own copy the next day (at the Very missed Record and Tape Trader chain). Like Pitkin, I was also disappointed by IMOW and couldn't believe thiis was the same guy who had input into so many wonderful ACG songs. DD said in his book that He had higher expectations and I suppose many other who are fans did also. Loved BATTLE AXE, biut as pointed out, only Die hard ACG fans would know who it was by , although having Alice's severed head on the jacket may have helped move some units.
All I've been able to find by Mike since are two live albums heavy on ACG material, although both sound good. Neal has done better with PLATINUM GOD and KILLSMITH projects (SEXUAL SAVIOR notwithstanding). I'm beginning to think that Dennis may have been the MVP as I find all His solo albums enjoyable, especially BONES FROM THE YARD.

What might have given us a couple more group albums would be to have taken time off after BDB tour. Release a Live album with a new song or two towards Xmas time getting back together in early 1974 for upcoming album, have Glen get his health and chops in order or be replaced (I think Mick Mashbir would have been the logical choice) and although Alice was the focal point, there should have been some press for the rest of the group. At least Band introductions during the show as Alice has been doing ever since the WTMN period onwards.

Of course, this is Monday Morning Quarterbacking, but I would sure have enjoyed more ACG releases.
Just curious, who is "The Igster"?
"The Igster" is a Friend of mine with an almost uncanny ability to find rare releases and usually quite good. Big fan of Iggy Pop, so that became his moniker :8):
Ok, thank you for your reply.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by While Heaven Wept » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:40 pm

Si wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:58 pm
While Heaven Wept wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:37 am
Apologies if this has been answered already. I've often wondered how the contract negotiations materialised between the ACG, AC solo and Warner? Did Alice effectively continue the existing deal that the band had with Warner or was it a new deal altogether? I remember reading somewhere that the band were compensated some how for being excluded from the deal?
And what was the specific reason for going with a different label for WTMN? Was that simply because they originally planned to continue releasing ACG records on Warner once the solo album was out of the way?
WTMN was released on a one off deal with Atlantic for a 'Soundtrack' album. A clause in the original Warners contract allowed for the band to record one soundtrack album for another label, and Alice/Shep used this clause to release WTMN away from Warners - hence the TV special.

I believe that between WTMN (the soundtrack option) and Greatest hits, this closed out the original band Warners contract, and the band were due to renegotiate a new one. Of course WTMN went big, and so that new contract was negotiated for Alice solo, starting from GTH.

I think it's been said that part of the reason for going with a different label for WTMN was to push the renegotiation with Warners to their advantage in some way. ie to show they had other options they could consider etc.

But I think effectively Alice went solo at the end of the band contract, which probably saved a lot of messing around legally.

I think that's approx how it goes anyway.
Brilliant, thanks Si.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by guttertrash » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:56 pm

I don't think Michael's album is nearly as bad as people make it out to be. It's not a great album by any means, but I believe that from the music aspect, he showed that he could write good songs that were outside of the Alice realm. For example, Lucky Break musically could have been an Elton John song, and it probably could have been a hit if Elton had recorded it with some new lyrics and a little refinement musically.

The album has three major problems in my opinion that kept it from being worthwhile. The first is that Alice Cooper fans would not be receptive to the majority of the songs considering the more AM soft rock approach, because it was such a departure from the Alice sound and doesn't really rock often. Second and more importantly, he is not a strong lyricist, and it made for an album of songs that don't connect with people lyrically. Most importantly though, Michael is not a good singer. He can passably sing a rock song, but what he was shooting for musically needed a real singer, and he couldn't do that to save his life, and I'm sure labels realized that. This was a true vanity project rooted in pride to show that he was more than just a rock guitarist and songwriter for Alice Cooper, but while he could have indeed written music for others outside of hard rock, he by no means had the talent to win new fans as a solo artist or please Alice fans with his effort.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Ted Sallis » Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:21 pm

guttertrash wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:56 pm
I don't think Michael's album is nearly as bad as people make it out to be. It's not a great album by any means, but I believe that from the music aspect, he showed that he could write good songs that were outside of the Alice realm. For example, Lucky Break musically could have been an Elton John song, and it probably could have been a hit if Elton had recorded it with some new lyrics and a little refinement musically.

The album has three major problems in my opinion that kept it from being worthwhile. The first is that Alice Cooper fans would not be receptive to the majority of the songs considering the more AM soft rock approach, because it was such a departure from the Alice sound and doesn't really rock often. Second and more importantly, he is not a strong lyricist, and it made for an album of songs that don't connect with people lyrically. Most importantly though, Michael is not a good singer. He can passably sing a rock song, but what he was shooting for musically needed a real singer, and he couldn't do that to save his life, and I'm sure labels realized that. This was a true vanity project rooted in pride to show that he was more than just a rock guitarist and songwriter for Alice Cooper, but while he could have indeed written music for others outside of hard rock, he by no means had the talent to win new fans as a solo artist or please Alice fans with his effort.
In response to the above post and to expand upon what I stated earlier in this thread, I consider the Battle Axe album to be much closer to the ACG's classic output in terms of the music and quality of the same than it is to Michael's solo album. I think a key reason for this is due to Michael having reunited with Dennis and Neal to write and record the BA album. We must discount any (direct) influence from Bob Ezrin as he had no involvement with the album. MB stated in his own book that the reason he made a solo album was to put out his own songs without any involvement/influence from the rest of the ACG. He also stated in his book that after fulfilling that desire he asked himself, who was he without the (Original) Group? As stated in the post I quoted above, the solo album was a true vanity project, etc.

As stated by Dennis in his own book, neither MB nor Neal Smith intended to leave the ACG when they made solo albums. In his own Forum in this site, Dennis has stated that Alice legally changed his name to Alice Cooper (in 1974), then signed a new recording contract without MB, NS, DD nor GB in order to pursue his solo career.

Ted

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Rock10 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:04 pm

The best song he did was "Nothing on Earth," and I don't think it made the album. It's on his anthology that came with his book.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Ted Sallis » Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:06 pm

Rock10 wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:04 pm
The best song he did was "Nothing on Earth," and I don't think it made the album. It's on his anthology that came with his book.
That song is included as a bonus track on In My Own Way - The Complete Sessions, the 2CD release that came out in the early 2000's, which I have. I haven't listened to the release for a long time, so I don't recall what the song was like. I guess I'm due for a re-listen.

Ted

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by concolz » Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:09 am

In My Own Way is a plodding pap-fest of nothingness. Think Captain & Tenille on a bad day; the scraps at the bottom of Eric Carmen's bin. Platinum God sounds like something Kiss tossed out with the trash. As for Battle Axe - it's lamer than Lazarus, in a karaoke Heavy Metal Kids kinda way. Three duds.

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by mr.barlow » Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:38 pm

concolz wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:09 am
In My Own Way is a plodding pap-fest of nothingness. Think Captain & Tenille on a bad day; the scraps at the bottom of Eric Carmen's bin. Platinum God sounds like something Kiss tossed out with the trash. As for Battle Axe - it's lamer than Lazarus, in a karaoke Heavy Metal Kids kinda way. Three duds.
Post of the week! Perfect analysis!

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Re: Michael Bruce's solo album in 1975

Post by Ted Sallis » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:42 pm

mr.barlow wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:38 pm
concolz wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:09 am
In My Own Way is a plodding pap-fest of nothingness. Think Captain & Tenille on a bad day; the scraps at the bottom of Eric Carmen's bin. Platinum God sounds like something Kiss tossed out with the trash. As for Battle Axe - it's lamer than Lazarus, in a karaoke Heavy Metal Kids kinda way. Three duds.
Post of the week! Perfect analysis!
While I can't disagree very much with the above prognosis re. IMOW and PG (though I haven't heard too much of the latter), the BA album is far better - I would apply concolz' appraisal of the album to much of Alice's solo output instead.

Ted

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