Tag Archives: Bob Ezrin

Alice Cooper/Paranormal(2017)

Here’s a conversation I had with Alice Cooper the other day..

Deke- ‘Hello Alice!”

Alice- ‘Deke! Is that actually you returning all these years later to finally buy a new release of mine?”

Deke-“Sure Is!”

Alice-“Hey Stoopid!”

Deke- “WHUT?”

As you can see I never actually had a conversation or met the man.

Believe it or not Alice’s 1991 release Hey Stoopid was the last actual Coop album I had bought as upon its release  I had my brother both pick us copies of this album….

Hey Stoopid had some good stuff especially the title track and Feed My Frankenstein but as is the case sometimes I just stopped buying his stuff.

Until….

July 28th 2017! Crazy how time flies huh? Yep read some good things about this album  and once I had seen a deluxe edition available I took the plunge on the preorder from iTunes.

This album peaked my curiosity on numerous levels. One being Alice has the great Bob Ezrin on board producing.

Coop has brought back some of his old hombres from the Alice Cooper Band from the 70’s(Dennis Dunaway/Neil Smith/Micheal Bruce/Steve Hunter) on two tracks Genuine American Girl  and You And All of Your Friends.

Alice had Deep Purple’s Roger Glover and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons drop by for a couple of guest appearances as well!

As well Coop with his current band has added 6 old school Alice Classics recorded live in Columbus (May 2016) for inclusion as well to make this indeed a total deluxe !

The biggest one(for me ) has to be that Alice has shaken things up as well as  he has enlisted of all dudes Larry Mullen Jr from U2 to slam down some drums on 9 of the 12 studio tracks. Awesome to hear Mullen Jr get out from the safe confines of U2 and smash around on the kit!

Paranormal leads the album off with a real cool catchy riff and this track features the co write and Bass playing of Roger Glover! First songs usually set the tone of an album and this one features just that. Love Cooper’s voice as he may not be the best rock singer but with this kind of music it fits his creepy like persona. Slick move at the end of the song to go back to the “well” with that opening catchy riff!

The next few tracks Deadflies and Fireball keep the Coop clipping at a decent clip. Ha! Still can’t believe Mullen Jr has these kind of drum chops in him. Unleash the beast behind the kit. Break free from those shackles that Bono has had around your ankles for decades! Atta boy Larry drum man drum!

Paranoiac Personality features a real cool like drums and bass stomp with Alice sneering and snarling like only he can do. Real cool rhythm throughout and man did someone sample that crazy ‘Psycho” sound bite?

Billy Gibbons like do I really have to tell you what band he is from? Anyhoo he and Alice collaborate on the song Fallen In Love which is a total ZZ and Alice mashup featuring Gibbons laying down that dirty guitar tone like only the Reverend can do! Great solo and can you dig it…Mullen Jr and Gibbons on the same song together?

Dynamite Road has to be an autobiographical lyrical tune  that has that Charles Daniels “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” vibe to it except its played through a Marshall Amp cranked up to 10!

Another real cool groove on Private Public Breakdown which features more cool percussion with once again Alice leading the charge with the guitars sounding heavy at a slower clip than Dynamite Road but still a good swift kick in the ass …

Ahh Horns! Coop incorporates some real cool  Brass in Holy Water. Basically Holy Water is like if one of Coops Boa’s put the choke on a Huey Lewis  tune and squeezed the devil out of Huey! Nice shuffle like vibe!

Rats a typical like Alice tune. Straight ahead Alice rocker. Kind quirky  but you gotta expect this stuff from the man known as Coop! Slick hard rock solo.

The Sound of A. Kinda a creepy send off from Alice. Bizarre like creepy vibe but this is Coopville!

So Alice gets the original mid 70’s Cooper band back together. Genuine American Girl  has that 70’s like Cooper throwback sound. Nice to see Coop reunite with these guys!

The second track featuring the original Coop band is You And All Your Friends has Alice singing he’s going to burn down your city! More throwback like vibes on this tune. Real cool wicked slide guitar solo from Steve Hunter. 

This album totally surprised me at how good it is! Alice steps up and give all involved full props! This album has gotten a ton of press and is selling and charting high around the world as well!

Cool how Alice has a current rock sound on the first 10 tracks whereas when the original Coop band play on the last two tracks it sounds like a 70’s throwback!

Buy This!

 

Shout It Out Loud/The Story Of KISS’s Destroyer

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Picked up this book in Vancouver at the Indigo Book Store and I was surprised  to see this  as I didn’t even know it existed!(released in 2015) Amazing that author James Campion could write in a detailed amount 330 pages of one album being a Kiss album to boot and to keep me interested!

Just like another great book that I recently read and reviewed which was Greg Renoffs Van Halen  Rising book chronicling only VH’s early years up to 1978 which you can check out here….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/rock-101van-halen-rising-by-greg-renoff/ Shows me that you can write a book detailing a band and even though that bands main guys may not be involved in the book you do your homework and seek out those around that had a hand in the beginnings of a band(Renoffs Book) or the Destroyer book that chronicles the making of what many consider the best recorded Kiss album(Destroyer)

Campion in his book details the Destroyer album from the origins pre Destroyer when Kiss was selling out theatre’s (pre Kiss Alive) but hardly selling any albums. Kiss and their 3 studio albums before Alive(self titled,Hotter Than Hell and Dressed To Kill) failed to make any kind of dent on the charts. Kiss and Neil Bogart(Boss man at KISS’s label Casablanca Records ) decided to release the double live Alive as Casablanca Records was in huge financial dire itself.

Of course Alive saves the day. Kiss hits huge pay dirt and wants to make a serious album. So the search begins!

Campion quotes resources and past interviews but the Ace(no pun) In The Hole here is he did direct interviews with Jay Messina,Corky Stasiak and Bob Ezrin. Those three are responsible for the Production end of things on Destroyer as they give excellent inside to the recording of the album from the beginning of the sessions to the end note of Do You Love Me.

I always knew that Frehley didn’t show up for Sweet Pain but how about 4 (maybe 5  tracks as they all have a hard time remembering if Wagner played on Flaming Youth)tracks that are on Destroyer that supposedly Ace didn’t play on!?

Which ones you ask?  Other than Sweet Pain. How about Great Expectations?  Mmmm Beth ?! The biggest shocker though is God Of Thunder? WHUT?!….No Ace….by the sounds of it!

Ezrin brought in Dick Wagner(RIP)! Who’s  Dick you ask? Well other than playing a ton of lead guitar for Alice Cooper Wagner supposed did a ton of uncredited lead guitar work on Aerosmith’s Get Your Wings album.  Another Ezrin produced album. If you weren’t cutting the mustard in the studio Bob would call Dick!

What might even be more shocking is that Peter Criss played drums on the whole album! Criss does add that Ezrin tortured him take after take to up Pete’s game!

Beth like all the songs on Destroyer  are detailed in the book with very in-depth info from Ezrin and Crew. What kind of guitars were used. What kind of Amps. The book even mentions that Ezrin had to toss Gene and  Paul out of the studio so Criss could get his lead vocal done on Beth as Demon And Starchild were smirking and making fun of Criss!

Back to the  God Of Thunder mystery.  Did Ace or didn’t Ace play on the track. Campion when writing the book sat down with Ezrin and they listened to the  solo in God Of Thunder! Ezrin couldn’t exactly remember if Ace had played it or didn’t but Ezrin added that if Dick Wagner says he did,than as Ezrin adds Wagner did!

Of course no one back than knew this and good on everyone involved on keeping a lid on it! Course Simmons probably had a lawyer drop in a few times to make sure everyone knew their place in regards as keeping Kiss as how we know them.  Imagine back than if everyone knew Ace didn’t play on certain Destroyer tracks…..

Ken Kelly who did the awesome painting of Kiss on the cover is even interviewed! No stone is left unturned here folks!

Campion as well updates on currently what ever one involved with the making of Destroyer is currently up to.

Also what was real interesting is towards the end of the book Campion puts in his detective hat and if you recall on the Destroyer studio  version of Detroit Rock City of the dude getting into his car and hearing on the radio that a person was killed and of course by the end of the song the car skids out and  you hear the car crash.

Interviews at the time (1976) had Stanley saying that a Kiss fan had died on their way to a show. So Campion started digging around through various archived media to see if Stanley’s claim actually happened or didn’t! Give this dude credit man he did his homework and well I’m not telling you what the outcome was! Was it a true story or was Stanley hyping the KISS P.R Hype Machine Circa 76!

Not saying….

Hey! I can’t tell everyone everything.

Ok here’s a little food for thought!

Well how about I leave you with one more little detail! When Destroyer was first released it shot up the charts and shot down the charts real quick! Kiss freaked out. They were wondering did they over do it with too much bombastic flair that went over their fans heads? At one point there was talk of the whole album after its release being Destroyed and yanked off the market!

Beth being out as a 45 single believe it or not saved this albums ass!  You can also see why Kiss returned to producer Eddie Kramer and released the fantastic yet straight forward Rock N Roll Over! Don’t know how true all of this is but you know how some of those Kiss guys roll. I tend to believe it that at one point Destroyer could have been Destroyed! (Imagine how much those copies would be going for in 2016!)

If you come across this book pick it up or track it down on the Amazons of the world. Well researched  and it was cool to read a whole book on just one album!