REVIEW: Alice Cooper – For Britain Only (EP)

It’s the end of THE WEEK OF SINGLES!  Each day this week we saw reviews and images of a recent CD or vinyl single acquisition.  Thanks for hanging out and reading along!  

Monday:  Van Halen – “Best of Both Worlds” 7″ single
Tuesday:  Deep Purple – “Above and Beyond” CD and 7″ singles
Wednesday:  Aerosmith “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” 12″ single
Thursday:  David Lee Roth – “Stand Up” 12″ promo remix single

ALICE COOPER – For Britain Only (1982 Warner UK EP)

Long ago, when I first acquired the uber-cool The Life and Death of Alice Cooper box set, I discovered the Alice Cooper song “For Britain Only”.  According to the liner notes, this was from a 1982 EP produced (you guessed it) for Britain only.  I think it’s cool when an artist records a song for a specific region such as this.  W.A.S.P. did something similar with a song called “Tokyo is Burning” from a Japanese release.

I need to preface my review by saying that I do not own the Special Forces album.  Subsequently I don’t know a lot about this period of Alice Cooper.  It’s one of the few albums I’m still missing.  (The “need” list:  Easy Action, Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin, Constrictor, and a few live CDs.)  I know some people hold Special Forces as a hidden gem.  This EP was released after Special Forces,  and contains three live tracks from that tour. These were recorded in Glasgow on February 19, 1982.

The live tracks are pretty good.  “Who Do We Think We Are” has a long, atmospheric intro.  Alice’s delivery is very current for the time, and the song has one foot in New Wave.  Even Alice’s look on the sleeve is a little more punky.  Note the Samurai hair, which would return around the time of Brutal Planet and Dragontown.  This merges seamlessly into “Model Citizen” from Flush the Fashion.  It’s not one of my favourite tracks, as I find the chorus a little annoying.  I like it much better in this live guise.  The final live track is an oldie, “Under My Wheels”.  It’s a little faster than the original, but pretty cool.  Alice is in good voice, and the band is tight, as Cooper’s backing bands always are.  The players are not credited, but they would have been Mike Pinera and John Nitzinger (guitars), Erik Scott (bass), Duane Hitchings (keyboards) and Jan Uvena (drums).

Although the title track, “For Britain Only” has never been one of Alice’s most notable, it’s grown on me a lot through the years.  It kind of reminds me of Killers-era Kiss.  It has a similar sound and direction to the new songs Kiss did for that album.  I like that there’s a basic stripped-back hard rock sound to “For Britain Only”.  It has a basic riff and hooks, it’s catchy, and it’s rock and roll.  For Alice Cooper fans in 1982, that was probably enough.   It rocks hard enough, and it sounds great to my ears.

And that’s the EP. I paid £6.00 for my copy, perhaps a bit steep for 14 minutes of music (only 11 minutes that I didn’t have before) but I’m still satisfied.

4/5 stars

More ALICE COOPER at mikeladano.com:

Old School (1964-1974) (4 CD/DVD/LP/7″ single & book box set) – Lace and Whiskey“Keepin’ Halloween Alive” (single) – Alice Does Alice (EP) – Welcome 2 My Nightmare (all editions and bonus tracks) – “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” (7″ single) – VIDEO: Record Store Tales Part 139 – Billion Dollar Baby by Bob Greene

 

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