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Alice Cooper
The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper (Boxset)
December 2001
Released: 1998, Rhino/Warner Archives
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Box-sets are interesting to review. Only real die-hard fans of a band get box sets. There are rare, usually limited editions, and often quite expensive. There are probably only about 30 metal box-sets in the history of metal! Most box-sets are compilations of material the fans already have, but it is those little extras that make them special.

I choose 3 box-sets this month to coincide with new releases by those artists. (See my Queensryche box-set review and my Rhapsody box-set review)

Much of the time I don’t have a lot of tolerance for the big major labels and they way they do business at the expense of the metal artists and the metal community. However, There are a few times when they are good for something…money. This is one of those cases. They must have put a lot of money into producing this Frankenstein monstrosity, and I mean that in a good way!

This baby is massive. 4 CD’s and a large full colour 80+ pages book all in a sturdy prison cell motif box. The book is awesome, about 100 photos including some very cool photos of Alice and other celebrities he has been associated with including Johnny Carson, Salvador Dali, John Lennon, Vincent Price and Miss Piggy! The book has a massive historical essays, a very comprehensive discography, tons of cool quotes and the most interesting, song by song liner notes with a little comment by various band members about each tune.

The 4 discs are roughly broken into periods of Alice’s career. Disc one is early rarities from the late 60’s and early 70’s. Disc two is Alice’s classic 70’s hits era. Disc Three is his early 80’s experimental phase and Disc 4 are more of his “metal” years from the constrictor “comeback” and on.

The tunes are all awesome. The box says there are 12 unreleased tracks which is technically true but in reality there are over 30 rare tunes including demos, single versions, and movie soundtrack songs. Truly amazing the time and energy that went in tot his package was phenomenal. Being a critic I can usually find something to complain about but not on this box-set. It sets the standard by which other box-sets should be measured. Fave rarities: The demo version of “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) Theme From the Motion Picture Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives” and the demo version of “Look at You Over There, Ripping the Sawdust From My Teddybear” A truly magnificent accomplishment.

Next review: » Alice Cooper - The Nightmare Returns (DVD)
Previous review: » Alice Cooper - Raise The Dead: Live From Wacken (Blu-Ray)

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