As far as reissues go, this one is pretty much straight down the line: three solid quality Alice Cooper albums in one vanilla package – Trash (’89), Hey Stoopid (’91) and The Last Temptation (’94) and that’s it, no bonus tracks or anything else juicy. Annoyingly, Hey Stoopid is split across the two CDs, but it’s not a deal breaker.
Trash signalled a bit of a late-80s resurgence for Coop. Produced and co-written by the inimitable Desmond Child and led from the front by smash hit Poison, the album is quite the commercial showcase, featuring a plethora of guest stars from most of Aerosmith to Bon Jovi and beyond.
Hey Stoopid was an attempt to replicate the chart-bothering, guest-strewn alchemy of Trash but lacked Child’s magic touch as producer, although Love’s A Loaded Gun and Feed My Frankenstein (co-written with Zodiac Mindwarp) are pretty nifty.
With grunge in the ascendant The Last Temptation, shorn of 80s flash and glam, was a bit of a return to lean hard-rocking form, a classic thematically focused album with Alice playing a sinister ringmaster, and Chris Cornell pops up as writer of the excellent Stolen Prayer and Unholy War. Sadly there’s no sign of the original release’s accompanying Neil Gaiman-penned comic book adaptation.