Top critical review
21 people found this helpful
on 10 March 2006
For those in the know, Alice Cooper is one of the most influential figures in rock history. His early 70's albums played a vital part in inspiring the punk, goth and metal genres that followed in his wake - KISS, The Sex Pistols, The Misfits, Iron Maiden and Marilyn Manson are only a few of the diverse and iconic acts that owe a debt to this man.
Since his commercial heyday in the early 70's, Alice has amassed a huge catalogue of classic albums, continuing right up to the present day (2008's Along Came A Spider being his latest release). Over the last four decades, Billion Dollar Babies (1973), Trash (1989), The Last Temptation (1994) and The Eyes Of Alice Cooper (2003) have all set the benchmark for the very best in rock 'n' roll, each album representing a very different style and period, and yet all of them being instantly identifiable to this uniquely complex and charismatic artist.
It is for this reason, however, that The Definitive Alice Cooper fails to live up to its title. 95% of the tracks included chart his career from 1971 to 1978, and many of his classic songs from this period are featured. However, the following chapters of his career, spanning nearly 25 years when this compilation was released, are accounted for by a grand total of two tracks (the smash hit Poison, and 1991's title track Hey Stoopid). This does not even begin to account for a huge wealth of great material from the 80's, 90's and beyond, and as such this album is anything but "definitive".
With that being said, at 21 tracks you get value for money, and with so many poor, bargain bin Alice Cooper compilations on the racks, this comes closer than most to offering a decent retrospective. As an alternative, I would also recommend 'Classicks', which features 9 tracks from 1989-1994 (including killer cuts like 'Feed My Frankenstein' and 'Lost In America'), and 6 live versions of the 70's hits.
For guidance on what to buy after that, check out "Alice Cooper: A Step By Step Buyer's Guide", which contains bitesize reviews on all 25 of Alice's studio albums, on my Amazon.co.uk profile. Remember the Coop, huh? ;)