ALICE COOPER - KILLER (*NEW-CD, 1971) Classick!
The band climbed yet higher in late '71, eclipsing the success of Love It to Death (#35) with Killer (#21). They flash their newfound menace and might with the hits Under My Wheels and Be My Lover plus the creepy Dead Babies ; the crushing Yeah, Yeah, Yeah , and more!
The fact that Alice Cooper's fourth release housed the gritty "Halo of Flies" would be reason enough to buy the CD, even if the rest of it were garbage. An essential piece of the rock canon, it may not have served up the hits that his other releases did, but it still stands as a classic. Loud, brash, sloppy, and hard, it's the kind of listen that makes you check for grime under your nails. Cooper's rock/shock aesthetic was coming into full bloom here and "Dead Babies" shows he was satisfied with his formula of hard rock, bad taste, and images outside the realm of Middle America. The title track hints at the shape of things to come, laying the ground work for works as seemingly disparate as "Only Women Bleed," and "No More Mr. Nice Guy." Briefly ostracized by the "hipper than thou" sect, Killer is one of the reasons Cooper is now fully appreciated as the pioneer that he was. - -Steve Gdula
One of the greatest Hard rock albums EVER-bar none. The Alice Cooper Bands crowning achievement-better than 'Love It To Death' or even 'Schools Out' IMHO. The album is heavy, catchy, dark, and even orchestral in some spots. A hard ROCK orchestra that is.'Halo Of Flies', 'Dead Babies', and 'Killer' are worth the price of admission alone. Check out Glen Buxton's 'fly' effects on his guitar in the intro of 'Halo'--INSANE! The late great Mr.Buxton (R.I.P.) is one of Rock History's most underrated players who deserves many accolades for influencing scores of today's guitarists. This was the band in their defining moment-'Killer' was Alice 'finding himself'-truly developing the morbid character he is now famous for. The band is absolutely on fire with buzz saw guitar sounds, bombastic bass playing, and thunderous drumming. Cooper himself has a deadly sneer in his voice in every song-and masterfully mellows it down in 'Desperado' only to bite your face off once again during the chorus..fabulous! Cooper was doing the makeup thing even before KISS, and this listener suspects Gene Simmons was a big admirer! This was the very first Alice Cooper Band album I'd ever heard (the title I choose to use because it wasn't just 'ALICE COOPER' to me until Welcome To My Nightmare), and it is a huge reason I've been a musician for the past 26 years. If your new to Alice Cooper-or have never heard any of his earlier (and better) works-'Killer' is a MUST HAVE.