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4.4 out of 5 stars28
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 3 April 2008
Surely the most underated album from the classic cooper line up.This a wonderfully varied album and not given the recognition it deserves because it is permanently overshadowed by the massive success of Billion Dollar Babies and the subsequent fuss surrounding the unpleasant break up of the band.
The concept is not as prominent as previous albums but the songs are just as strong and entertaining and basically THIS ALBUM ROCKS AND DESERVES A CHANCE.If you're new to alice have no fears about this album it stands comfortably alongside the other cooper classics.
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on 15 September 2000
Many people have been put off listening to this album because of the slating it got from the press at the time. Following hard on the heals of Billion Dollar Babies it was always going to get a rough ride. This was made when the band were obviously overworked and in bad need of a rest but just listen to the songs and you will realise that there isn't any bad ones amongst them. Well ok the 'man with the golden gun' is a bit weak. But that aside, the rest are pretty solid rock tunes. Big apple dreamin' opens the set with superb lead guitar layered over a riff of string instruments. 'Hard hearted Alice' gives us an insight to the road weary group and 'Crazy little child' is a jazzy gangster song with great piano. Add to this straight riff rockers like 'Never been sold before', 'Muscle of love' and the best song of the piece 'Working up a sweat' and there not much to moan about here. 'Teenage lament' continues the Alice theme of Teenage angst and the great 'woman machine' leaves you wanting more. If you like Alice but don't have this album then I must ask you, WHY NOT?
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on 17 January 2008
Falling between Billion Dollar Babies and Welcome to My Nightmare this album, the last by the original band, often seems to get overlooked. I suggest you overlook it at your peril because it is a great album - better than Billion Dollar Babies in my view. There are no weak tracks on it and many very strong tracks: Big Apple Dreamin', Hard Hearted Alice, Muscle of Love, Man With The Golden Gun and Teenage Lament. Out of the seven albums by the original band this ranks very highly in my view, possibly just behind "Killer".
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on 5 November 2009
I had this and several other Alice albums (most of the seventies stuff) in my youth. I loved it then and I love it still. For me it was always my favourite Alice album and it sounds even better today than it did then.

Most of Alice's offerings of the time dealt with macabre subjects whereas this album has overtly sexual overtones and clearly seems to be moving the band in a different direction. The band work behind the singing is stunning (particularly the guitar work) and the lyrics are clever and well thought out.

The previous reviewers have commented on "Man With The Golden Gun" and I agree with them it really would have made an outstanding Bond Theme. Other highlights for me are "Hard Hearted Alice", "Working Up A Sweat", the title track and although a little left field "Crazy Little Child".

Underrated by most who go for the more obvious offerings this one is well worth adding to your collection. Best seven quid I've spent in ages!
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on 13 January 2006
As a Christmas treat for myself, I purchased this album, although having previously owned it on vinyl when it was first released way back, when at that time I thought it was okay, but not great.
This is my own considered opinion how the album holds up in today by giving a breakdown of each track.
1. Big Apple Dreamin (Hippo)
Quite a slow deep sound with some awesome lyrics and fascinating string sections, a typical 70’s sound that is still appealing today. Surprised really that no one else has taken to singing this track. (9/10)
2. Never Been Sold Before.
A song with some good guitar work and very listen-able, although could now be taken up-tempo a bit, but it wears well. (6/10)
3. Hard Hearted Alice
Very soft opening vocals to a late sixties type electric organ music, a sort of Cream/Doors feel that quite nostalgic. Has a melody where the tempo builds to a crescendo, with some good bass and drum work along the way. The lyrics are skilful, having some good clichés that can still provoke a smile. This would be my favourite from the album, although when bought as a spotty kid probably not! (9/10)
4. Crazy Little Child
Piano based blues/jazz feel that wouldn’t go out of place in the film Chicago. Not a typical Cooper song, but a considered little ditty that sits well in the album. (7/10)
5. Working Up A Sweat
The tempo is taken up a bit on this track, with Alice and the band obviously working hard and enjoying their selves in the process. This is a characteristic Alice Cooper song, again with some good worked clichés, put together in an intelligent manner, with the chorus emphasising what the theme of the album is about. A good rock track that should be played in today’s Coopers tours, with my only one criticism is that it could be a bit longer! (8/10)
6. Muscle of Love
The title track of the album and worthy of being a hit single, but can you imagine this being released in the early seventies! Shame really. A good rock feel to it and one that should have been played a lot more. (9/10)
7. Man With the Golden Gun
This is another of my personal favourites. Apparently this was in the running for the James Bond film of the same title, but alas they decided on Lulu’s song!
There are two reasons I can think of that this wasn’t chosen for the film. The first being the notoriety the band had at the time and the other that the band wasn’t British! Just my opinion and only an opinion.
Anyway it starts with quite deep, slow cords with vocals complimenting every twist and turn, having backing vocals that haunt distinctively throughout, with a horns section just to provide the polish to make it that gutter cat sort of song. (9/10)
8. Teenage Lament ‘74
The hit single on the album, and still plays well today, but unfortunately isn’t played on the radio. A good inspired song that meant a lot to me as a kid.
Again having female backing vocals that could have been taken out of Motown to provide the ambience and the rhythm. (8/10)
9. Woman Machine
This is how all albums should finish. Starts a little slow and perhaps a little lazy or can even be viewed as going through the motions.
However, if you listen to it properly it’s quite a tight set that sets the mood, with a simple drumbeat that hits the spot. It builds up to a light upsurge of unusual sounds that just bubbles over the rim from about half way through spilling, hissing, grasping and distorting that truly makes it a fine track. Again could have been a bit long at today’s standard. (8/10)
Finally, probably played this CD more times this last five weeks than I have ever played the original vinyl - the best seven quid I have spent in years.
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on 9 January 2002
This album really was an excellent follow up to Billion Dollar Babies.
There is a lot of diversity here from guitar driven rockers such as the title track, woman machine and never been sold before to the hit single teenage lament that has a very pop feel to it with backing vocals from Liza Minelli. The man with the golden gun has a real 'James Bond' feel to it and should have been the title track for the film.
The big stand out tracks for me are Hard hearted Alice with it's excellent slow accoustic introduction that slowly builds up to the brilliant guitar solo finale and Crazy little child a song about a young gangster set to a very 20's style piano/banjo soundtrack
All in all a very satisfying album that has really stood the test of time
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on 15 January 2016
Been an Alice devotee since the early 70's. First time I heard them I was blown away. Totally different from anything I'd ever heard then (or indeed since). The "School's Out" album still remains my all time favourite album, closely followed by "Killer". I totally agree with the other reviewers - this is a forgotten classic. I remember when it first came out it wasn't that well received, but in many ways it was a problem of their own making as the previous 3 albums were all of such a high standard that the expectations were through the roof for "Muscle Of Love".Personally I think "Teenage Lament" was the wrong choice as lead single. It's a good song but was a bit low key and slightly dissapointing when everybody was looking for another high tempo guitar anthem. This I think set the bar for average reviews that followed when the album came out. As time has gone on it's standing in the Alice Cooper catalogue has increased and its now recognised for being the fine album that it is and one I still play often.
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on 10 December 2012
I have never been able to understand why some critics, and even the band itself, maligned this album as being disjointed, and indicative of the falling apart the band was experiencing at the time (it was the last of the original bands recordings and Glen Buxton took little part). It has always to me sounded very cohesive, well produced, and in my opinion is pretty much as good throughout the album as anything AC has ever put out. There is not a dull spot on the record, ans it has some nice variations , as some early AC albums did, in terms of ragtime, jazz, and popular influences, as well as the usual great AC rock tracks. Never Been Sold Before as far as i'm concerned is a bona fide Alice Cooper classic. Most of the other reviews here are pretty much in agreeance so i'll leave it up to others who havent heard it to make up their own minds. Perhaps it doesn't have a Schools Out impact in some people's opinion (and that song is a hard act to follow) but be patient and this will grow on you.
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on 12 March 2015
The only reason I am giving Muscle of Love 4 stars and not 5 is because Alice Cooper set the bar so high with their previous three albums (Killer, School's Out, and Billion Dollar Babies) that it would be unfair on these three albums to suggest that MoL reaches the same dizzy heights. Having said that, it's actually still a damn good album and in some ways harks back to the raw energy of albums like Love it to Death. There is evidence that the 'writing is on the wall' so to speak and it was to come as no surprise that this would turn out sadly to be the last album by the band. They may not have gone out with a bang but rest assured Muscle of Love is no whimper either, and still deserves it's place in any classic 70's rock record collection. It's an album that you can easily listen to from beginning to end without feeling the need to press the 'skip' button on the remote control at any point along the way.
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on 11 August 2012
Overshadowed by the previous, wonderful, 'Billion Dollar Babies', this caused much disappointment on its original release. The omens weren't good - with the absence of epic producer Bob Ezrin and a tired, bickering band - but it is actually quite a good little rock album.

It certainly lacks much of the flashy sheen of its predecessor and occasionally seems to just go through the motions; plus there's one real horror in 'Woman Machine'. On the positive side though there are some inventive touches with the jazzy piano on 'Crazy Little Child' and the violin coda of 'Big Apple Dreaming'. There are some great pop-rockers in 'Working Up A Sweat' and the title track plus the wonderfully low-key angst of 'Teenage Lament' - a big U.K. hit single.

Overall then, it's better than you think.
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