The Studio Albums 1969-1983 (Box Set)
In the heyday of Glam rock, Alice Cooper's blood-and-guts stage show put conservative America on alert in much the same way as Marilyn Manson's 1996 tour. The media portrayed him as a sort of Antichrist -- venues were shut down, records were burned and box offices swarmed with teenagers wearing white face paint, black clothes and a frightening amount of eyeliner. The years have passed, and shot after shot of Alice Cooper playing golf and helping challenged kids has assured the general public that he was a mere showman and rocker, not the force of evil they once imagined. The music that scared everybody was a commercialized combination of Stooges ruthlessness and New York Dolls retro-rock energy, injected with gore borrowed from the burgeoning slasher flick genre. Alice Cooper's earliest records are the best example of this, and his explorations of Rock Opera prove to be fun, if indulgent, gems. Cooper's later material relies more on Pop Metal pose and extremely slick production. Nonetheless Cooper remains true to formula, with his trademark Vincent Price delivery and silly-psycho songs sung from the viewpoint of a host of deranged characters.