Rue Morgue

Rue Morgue

Rue Morgue
(November 2005)

Originally Published: November 2005

Alice Past and Present


Directed by Joe Gannon


The idea behind Cooper's phenomenally successful 1973 Billion Dollar Babies was to "exploit the idea that everyone has sick perversions", and to that end, Alice loaded it with themes of reverse rape (Raped and Freezin'), gender-bending (Mary Ann) and necrophilia (I Love The Dead). Funny then that this 1974 release created around that album's accompanying tour (narrative-wise) doesn't contain a shred of anything dark, perverted, or disgusting. Spliced between live footage of thirteen Cooper classics including Sick Things, Dead Babies and the previously mentioned odes to sex and death, is a virtually incomprehensible in-joke film called Good To See You Again Alice Cooper about a movie director chasing the band after they ruin a Hollywood Bowl-style Alice Cooper show. It plays out like Monty Python meet The Monkees and is several degrees worse that Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. In the DVD commentary, old Coop seems to agree, describing the affair as perhaps the dumbest movie ever. The live footage, however, is nothing short of amazing for fans of classic blood-and-guts alice. For those of us too young to have ever witnessed the original band live, the guillotines, baby killing, and whacked-out surrealism of these performances is probably the next best thing to being there. AL


Dirty Diamonds

New West Records

On the surface Dirty Diamonds is a return to the platforms and bell-bottoms Southern glam metal sound that predated Cooper emergence in the '80s as a bona fide shock-rock Godzilla. What Love it to Death might have sounded like if recorded during Cooper's Hey Stoopid period (emphasis on "stoopid"). Dirty Diamonds features classic Cooper moments fucked up by too many puns, silly lyrics about stealing cars, and crossover into hip hop (Stand, featuring Xzibit) and country (The Saga of Jesse Jane, about an anal-sex-and-McDonald's lovin' transvestite trucker). Bluesy Southern riffing on Perfect and Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies) aside, Dirty Diamonds is classic Coop remixed to the point of banality. Why? I guess you'll have to go ask Alice. TD