Alice Cooper: Old School 1964-1974 Special Edition

Budget-friendly précis of the anthology

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Released last year, the original version of Old School 1964-1974 quickly sold out despite a price tag of £185. Available for a fraction of that cost – around £25 – this slimmed-down edition retains most, but not all, of the original’s unique features.

If you discovered Alice via his shock-rock antics in the mid-70s, or found him on MTV the following decade, be warned: these four discs exhume music, archive footage (concert, rehearsal and interviews) and radio ads from the days when Alice Cooper was a five-man group.

Crammed with rarities, they unearth the Cooper band’s garage-rock apprenticeship, including a prehistoric-sounding demo from 1966 as the Spiders. Wondered what Elected sounded like before über-producer Bob Ezrin got his hands on it? It’s here under its first title, Reflected, as a demo for 1969’s debut Pretties For You.

Previously unheard material, including a version of Under My Wheels from Madison Square Garden in 1973, brings this story to life. The inclusion of a primitive bootleg concert from St Louis in 1971 seals the package’s immense collectability. Connoisseurs will be in rapture, though others should approach with more caution.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.