Billion $ Babies - First Ever Live Show: Flint 1977 album review

What the Coopers did next

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After Muscle Of Love, Alice Cooper pretty much split into two at the behest of the title player. It was a grubby little coup that saw the quintet’s alcoholically encumbered heart and soul lead guitarist Glen Buxton pointedly uninvited to either party, and (predictably) the vocalist walking away with the name, notoriety, audience, budget and ultimately, fame.

Those who initially thought they were on solo album hiatus (Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce) eventually teamed up with guitarist Mike Marconi and Bob Dolan on keys and made an album (Battleaxe) with material they’d written for the next AC album, and Welcome To My Nightmare it most certainly wasn’t. Here, captured in bootleg-esque lo-fidelity, is the debut gig of what’s essentially a superior tribute band, playing a handful of Cooper hits alongside a sprinkling of new material that’s never quite up to the mark. Bruce does his best behind the mic, but he’s no Vince. All involved excel, but the magic’s gone.

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.