Alice Cooper - Love It To Death album review

Limited vinyl re-release for pivotal Cooper classic

Cover art for Alice Cooper - Love It To Death album

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This is where the Alice Cooper story really begins, for while under the distracted auspices of Frank Zappa, the band were beset by half-cocked production shortcomings that left their first two Straight albums (Pretties For You and Easy Action) confused and unexpurgated grab-bags of half-formed concepts and frustrated genius.

The arrival of Canadian producer Bob Ezrin (frequently acknowledged by the band as their George Martin) immediately focused their vision. It was a collaboration that sustained across the four albums that sealed the line-up’s legend. When they finally attempted an Ezrinless album, Muscle Of Love fell so short as to mortally diminish Alice Cooper from quintet to solo artist.

LITD saw the formerly experimental psych-surrealists perfect their craft on two fronts: as chart-friendly singles band (I’m Eighteen), and as pioneers of psychodramatic conceptual rock theatre (the ever glorious second side triptych of Hallowed Be My Name, Second Coming and The Ballad Of Dwight Fry).

Irrefutably progressive yet seductively steeped in garage swagger, this is the Alice album that most appreciates with age. Now it’s finally back on vinyl with its original two-act dynamic restored. Weighty, tactile and spacious, it’s nigh-on irresistible.

Ian Fortnam

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 20 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.