Released: 2009, Collectors Guide Publishing
Alice Cooper is one of the best selling, longest running, most prolific Heavy Metal artists of all time. Alice has produced over 25 albums in the last 40+ years. There are a few bands that are hovering in the 18+ album range like Scorpions, Rage, Loudness and a select few others, but realistically none of them have had the same commercial appeal in terms of marketing, as Alice Cooper. Truth be known, probably next to Kiss (or perhaps Iron Maiden) there is more Alice Cooper merchandise than other Metal artist. It’s not like Alice has avoided the marketing opportunities either.
About 10 years ago Dale Sherman had just finished his massive ILLUSTRATED COLLECTORS GUIDE TO KISS and decided to embark upon the equivalent book for all things Alice. Fast forward to 2009 and the good people at Collectors Guide Publishing have decided to reissue and update THE ILLUSTRATED COLLECTORS GUIDE TO ALICE COOPER-the 10th Anniversary Edition.
I don’t even know where to begin. This is the most comprehensive guide to everything to do with Alice cooper, ever. This slightly over-sized paperback is a massive 474 pages, utterly packed with information. It’s loaded with photos of all sorts of things, flyers, tour books, vinyl issues and so on. Sherman adds an interesting introduction and sprinkles some humour through the book with his comments on various phases of Alice’s career.
The book is cleverly laid out into six chapters, reach one corresponding to a phase of Alice’s career. For example there is the Alice Cooper ‘band’ phase and then his solo years, then his comeback years, then the 90’s and so forth, each roughly approximated to a decade or so. Beyond that, each chapter is laid out into five parts; an overview, Recordings, Tours, Film & TV and lastly Books and Comics. Each section meticulously documents that phase of his career.
Sherman was clever enough to include a ‘Readers Guide’ which is essentially the legend to help you navigate through the myriad amounts of technical data presented in the book. Everything you ever wanted or needed to know is included here.
Have you ever wanted to know who opened for Alice Cooper at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City on August 6th, 1980? It’s in here. Do you have a burning desire to know what colour of the label on the vinyl version of the Taiwanese pressing of the 1981 album SPECIAL FORCES? It’s here. Do you stay awake at night trying to remember the name of the character that Alice played in the NBC Television show ‘The Snoop Sisters’ which aired on March 5th, 1975? It’s here. It would take a lifetime to digest and process all this information.
Sherman should be praised for his monumental work. It’s well organized, well laid out and incredibly interesting. THE ILLUSTRATED COLLECTORS GUIDE TO ALICE COOPER is a must for all fans of Alice Cooper.