Alice Cooper-A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia Paris

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Alice Cooper – A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia Paris
Year: 2018
Label: Ear Music
Reviewed:  November 2018
Rating:  4/5
Reviewed: JP

There has been a lot of activity in the Alice Cooper camp lately. There was a well-received album in 2017, a couple of big tours in Europe and North America, a new Double Live album and a new book celebrating the 50thof the icon.   I thought I’d take this opportunity to help celebrate the 50thanniversary of Alice Cooper with a trio of reviews; two books and the new Double Live album.  Feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this mini-feature.

It has only been recently that Alice Cooper has discovered the value and/or potential of Live albums.  In the first four decades of his career he released a total of three Live albums, and even one of those, TORONTO ROCK N ROLL REVIVAL 1969 VOL IV., was kind of a poorly done, bootleg thing.  Not an inspiring track record!  Then sometime around 2010 he figured out Live albums are cool and has in the last eight years released no less than four, high quality, Double Live albums in a row.  The latest of these is the somewhat awkwardly titled A PARANORMAL EVENING AT THE OLYMPIA PARIS.

This new offering is a streamlined, 18-track album running about 137 minutes, showcasing the super-tight performances of his white-hot band.  For the recorded it was recorded on the final night of the European leg of the tour on December 7th, 2017.  We get a nice solo segment from Nina Strauss (apparently her birthday!) and the triple guitar attack works well as Alice Cooper joins a growing group of bands with three guitarists, including Iron Maiden and Primal Fear. The sound quality is fine, the pacing, tone and tempo are excellent.  Even without the superb visuals, this is a fun listen. He opens up with the super-ramped up version of ‘Brutal Planet’, the title track of arguably his heaviest album, and never looks back.  The crowd interaction and mix is also well done.

When you have a career as long as Alice this is no point about complained about what songs are or are not in the set-list, but I’m very pleased with the selection.  I’m glad he is not afraid to mix-up his set-list as we are treated to rare gems like ‘Pain’ from FLUSH THE FASHION (1980) and ‘The World Needs Guts’ from CONSTRICTOR (1986).  Alice sounds positively fierce on the later!  A highlight to be sure!   Of course there are the hits, showstoppers and chart-toppers. Another highlight is an extended 11-minute version of ‘Halo Of Flies’ (which was almost nine minutes to begin with) from KILLER (1971).  Another treat for the older fans, and apparently he hasn’t played it in a long time and it has a nice drum solo segment attached as well.

I saw Alice live on this tour, it was super-fun. Despite his age and a billion miles of wear and tear on the road, Alice’s voice is still strong.   When I saw him the set-list was pretty identical to this album maybe with one more cut from PARANORMAL thrown in. My recollection is that there was quite a bit more stage banter when I saw them live, especially Cooper stage raps, so I suspect that this maybe was edited slightly for time.  This one is pretty interchangeable with the last three double Live albums, all very high quality and entertaining but you can never have too much Alice Cooper.


Video


Track Listing:

CD 1
1. “Brutal Planet”
2. “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
3. “Under My Wheels”
4. “Department Of Youth”
5. “Pain”
6. “Billion Dollar Babies”
7. “The World Needs Guts”
8. “Woman Of Mass Distraction”
9. “Poison”
10. “Halo Of Flies”

CD 2
1. “Feed My Frankenstein”
2. “Cold Ethyl”
3. “Only Women Bleed”
4. “Paranoiac Personality”
5. “Ballad Of Dwight Fry”
6. “Killer / I Love The Dead (Themes)”
7. “I’m Eighteen”
8. “School’s Out”