REVIEW: Alice Cooper – Alice Does Alice (2010 iTunes EP)

Mike Tam

Happy Anniversary!

One year ago today, I launched LeBrain’s Record Store Tales & Reviews.  It’s been a blast.  Keep on keepin’ on!

Alice

ALICE COOPER – Alice Does Alice (2010 iTunes EP)

It seems the latest thing to do these days is re-record your old classic hits and sell them again.  Alice’s reason for doing so was that they needed new multi-track recordings for use in the Guitar Hero video game.  I think only one was ever used, which is “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock).  The Alice Cooper 6 Pack download for Rock Band is mostly live tracks, not the versions that Alice released on Alice Does Alice.

According to the official Cooper site, these re-recordings were produced by Bob Ezrin.  Ezrin, of course, helmed the originals.  That must be why these new versions sound so authentic.  Yes, part for part, note for note, they’re pretty much the same.  Just with Alice’s voice older and wiser, and today’s sound quality.  But of course you can’t duplicate a classic, no matter how hard you try nor who you work with.  It’s impossible.  It’s catching lightning in a bottle.  So, these versions will always remain inferior to the classic, magical originals.  They’re just too nice, clean and neat.

I will say though, it’s pretty amazing how close these are to the originals.  The drums don’t sound the same, they’re thuddier and more modern, but the guitar tones are remarkably similar.  All the strings and horns are there too, and they do benefit from the sonic clarity of today’s technology.  Kudos to Ezrin and the players for capturing this.   (Because this is an electronic release with no physical version, there’s no credits.)

Tracklist:

  1. “School’s Out”
  2. “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
  3. “Elected”
  4. “I’m Eighteen”
  5. “Welcome To My Nightmare”

According to sickthingsUK, six tracks were actually recorded.  The sixth was “Poison”, which of course was originally produced not by Bob Ezrin, but by Desmond Child.  The track remains unreleased in 2013.

3/5 stars

Advertisements

32 comments

  1. Happy 1st Rawk-aversary! Nice pic at the the top there, too.

    I always wondered about an artist going back and re-doing an album, especially (as is the case with Alice, here) so long after the first came out. There’s value to it, I suppose, if you have always felt there was something missing, or you could have done something better. But to me, it’s all water under the bridge and the real value is in making a whole new record, and doing THAT to the best of your current abilities.

    Like

    1. That’s Scott, I posted his pic by mistake :)

      I think a lot of this re recording stuff is the paycheck. Those Guitar Hero fames made a shit ton of money. Spend a few days recording while you’re in the studio making your new album, crank Em out, collect the cash. I’d do it if somebody needed a new version of Evil Kirk…

      Like

        1. No, it was me, I was just being a jerk ;)

          I’m just guessing a paycheque is the answer, I’ve never heard Alice talk about this EP. But you gotta pay for retirement, and Alice golfs on the best courses in the world, and that can’t be cheap. ‘Course he gives a lot of that to various charities.

          I wonder where he golfs when he’s in Kitchener?

          Like

        2. Haha well it sure looked like you. Wedding ring should’ve tipped me off. Picture was so small though, coulda been him. I’m sure Alice has, in later years, been good with his money. Email him, ask where he golfs.

          Like

  2. Happy anniversary, Mike. Milestones like this are always a cause for celebration (my 2nd is coming up in a couple of weeks; I’ll keep it low key). This Alice release sounds fun if unnecessary, but I totally understand why artists are re-recording their classics like this. He’ll make more from one licensing deal with the new versions than with multiple deals through his old record companies with the original versions.

    I just got the last two Alice studio CDs that I was missing from my collection, so when I get to his catalog in the next couple of months I’ll be prepared. This stuff never gets old.

    Like

    1. Thanks Rich! Your Cooper feature is one I am really looking forward to. That’s one I’m a bit more equipped to discuss with you!

      What albums were you missing again? Were these the live ones we talked about earlier? I am still missing several Alice studio albums. It’s nice at this point to still have collections like this to complete.

      And then when I do, he’ll remaster and reissue his entire catalogue!

      Like

      1. The last two Alice studio albums I was missing were “Muscle Of Love” and “Lace And Whiskey.” I’ve still got my eyes open for a couple of his live albums if the price is right. Most likely those will be “The Alice Cooper Show” and “Fistful Of Alice.” You’re probably right about the inevitable remasters, but unless there are some significant bonus tracks that weren’t on the “Life And Crimes” box set, I’ll be content with the CDs I already own.

        Like

  3. I’m with Rich on this one. Looks fun but inessential. I remember Living Colour re-recording songs for games too and saying that it was the first time they were ever able to make money from those tracks due to dodgy contracts or whatever. I know Alice probably doesn’t need the money but.., if there’s money to be made I’d rather it was it him getting it than anyone else! I’ve got no problem with artists re-recording stuff as long as the original versions are kept available.

    Like

    1. Yeah. When Ozzy remixed Blizzard and Diary, and deleted the originals, that was really not cool. That’s pulling a George Lucas on your audience.

      I’d rather bands be more Speilbergian. As if to say, “Hey! Here’s my new version of E.T. with the walkie-talkies! But don’t worry, if you buy the DVD you’ll get both versions.”

      Except in very very rare cases, re-recordings are always inferior. A couple exceptions I can think of would include Deep Purple’s 1988 version of Hush, which was really different from the 68 and now has a life its own. Another would be White Lion – Broken Heart. Europe, Open Your Heart. That sort of thing.

      Like

      1. Of course, this practice goes back years, especially with blues artists who kept changing labels and recording under different aliases. Each new label wanted to be able to sell the artist’s most popular songs so they were required to re-record them, and in many cases you didn’t know which version you were getting. At least now it’s the artist making the decision to do so, and it’s nice to know they’re getting a bigger cut than they ever did. Another example is Nat King Cole. For years I’ve owned a 2-CD set called “The Nat King Cole Story” that featured stereo re-recordings of songs originally in mono. Even though it was recorded 10+ years after many of the originals it still sounded good…until I got the box set with the original recordings. Not sure I ever need to listen to the 2-CD set again.

        Like

        1. Will you keep it even if you don’t listen to it? I find that to be the quandary of the collector. I have a Whitesnake review coming in a couple weeks where I have all the tracks duplicated elsewhere, but am keeping the disc.

          Like

        2. Of course, what was I thinking??? I don’t like to sell my old discs though. I prefer to give them away to someone who would appreciate it. That way I feel like I am making sure they find a good home.

          Like

      2. And the many Whitesnake re-recordings. It’s like Aaron said earlier, if you’re doing it to correct some deficiency or you think you didn’t do the song justice first time around then fair enough. But if you’re not doing it for a creative or artistic reason then it’s unlikely to be an improvement.

        Like

  4. Aren’t guys doing this just to side-step the old record company deals and reel in as much royalty as they can direct? Aren’t Leppard doing/have done the same thing recently?

    Like

  5. Happy Anniversary from The Meat Man. Your passion comes through in everything you do. Very proud of you and the work you have put in. Thank you for giving me the forum to write some entries on this blog. Was a cathartic experience for me getting back to writing, and i appreciate you giving me the freedom to do so. Here’s to one year and many more … Love Eric

    Like

        1. Yup…you were reader #1 actually. Reader #1 that I know of anyways! And by virtue of that you were the first blog that I followed.

          The story of how we met and fell in love. Hehe!

          Like

Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s