Last year I said 2010 was a better year for music than 2009 was. I went on to wonder how 2011 could even begin to top it. Well, guess what… 2011 did indeed top 2010! I’m looking back at my Top 25 list for 2010 and while those albums are all still good, this year’s Top 25 list is much stronger top to bottom.
2011 was a great year that saw classic rock/metal acts like Whitesnake, Warrant, Riot, Alice Cooper, Journey, Black N’ Blue and King Kobra deliver some of the best albums of their career while younger acts like Steel Panther, Reckless Love, Savage Messiah, Evile (who missed the list by this much) and Black Veil Brides have shown that they are more than capable of carrying rock & metal into the future.
Top 25 Albums of 2011
1. Whitesnake – Forevermore
2. Sixx:A.M. – This Is Gonna Hurt
3. Riot – Immortal Soul
4. Warrant – Rockaholic
5. Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
6. Steel Panther – Balls Out
7. Megadeth – Thirteen
8. Anthrax – Worship Music
9. Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming
10. Reckless Love – Animal Attraction
11. Edguy – Age of the Joker
12. Hurtsmile – s/t
13. Journey – Eclipse
14. Chickenfoot – III
15. Mike Tramp & The Rock ‘N’ Roll Circuz – Stand Your Ground
16. Black Country Communion – 2
17. The Poodles – Performocracy
18. House of Lords – Big Money
19. King Kobra – s/t
20. Saliva – Under Your Skin
21. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
22. Black N’ Blue – Hell Yeah!
22. Savage Messiah – Plague of Conscience
24. George Lynch – Kill All Control
25. Joe Bonamassa – Dust Bowl
In light of a few non-album singles being released this year, I’ve decided to make this a hybrid category.
Best Compilation/Cover/Live/Reissue Albums
Kind of a catch-all category this year. Instead of listing each category individually, I decided to lump them all into one list and rank them that way.
1. Black Sabbath – Born Again [Deluxe Edition]
2. Stryper – The Covering
3. Vains of Jenna – Reverse Tripped
4. Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990
5. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy – Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11
6. Hell – Human Remains
7. Scorpions – Comeblack
8. Def Leppard – Mirrorball: Live & More
9. Eric Carr – Unfinished Business
10. Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer [Deluxe Edition]
Want to read more about the year in music? Check out some of the fine sites & blogs listed below! And be sure to keep checking back for more Year-End posts here at Metal Excess!
All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/
Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/
The Crash Pad of Ray Van Horn, Jr. – http://www.rayvanhornjr2.blogspot.com/
Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/
Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/
Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.com
Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/
Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/
Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/
Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/
Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/
The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/
Posted in Year End Awards
Tags: Alice Cooper, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Anthrax, AOR, Black 'n Blue, Black Country Communion, Black Sabbath, Black Veil Brides, Blues Rock, Chickenfoot, Classic Metal, Classic Rock, Def Leppard, Edguy, Eric Carr, Foo Fighters, George Lynch, Glam Metal, Glam Rock, Hair Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Hell, House of Lords, Hurtsmile, Ian Gillan, Joe Bonamassa, Journey, King Kobra, KISS, Megadeth, Melodic Hard Rock, Melodic Rock, Metal, Metalcore, Mike Tramp, Music, Myles Kennedy, NWOBHM, Pop Metal, Power Metal, Reckless Love, Riot, Rock, Saliva, Savage Messiah, Scorpions, Sebastian Bach, Sixx:A.M., Slash, Sleaze Metal, Sleaze Rock, Speed Metal, Steel Panther, Stryper, The Last Vegas, The Poodles, Thrash Metal, Tony Iommi, Vains of Jenna, Warrant, White Lion, Whitesnake, Who Cares, Wildstreet
Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare [Classic Rock Fan Pack Exclusive Limited Edition] (2011, Universal Music Enterprises/Spinefarm Records UK/Nightmare Inc.)
1. “I Am Made Of You”
3. “The Nightmare Returns”
4. “A Runaway Train”
5. “Last Man On Earth”
6. “The Congregation”
7. “I’ll Bite Your Face Off”
8. “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever”
9. “Ghouls Gone Wild”
10. “Something To Remember Me By”
11. “When Hell Comes Home”
12. “What Baby Wants”
13. “I Gotta Get Outta Here”
14. “The Underture”
15. “Under The Bed”
16. “Poison” (Live at Download Festival)
Alice Cooper – Vocals
Steve Hunter – Guitar
Damon Johnson – Guitar
Tommy Henriksen – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Chuck Garric – Bass
Glen Sobel – Drums
Michael Bruce – Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Dennis Dunaway – Bass, Backing Vocals
Neal Smith – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Ke$ha – Vocals
Dick Wagner, John 5, Keith Nelson, Tommy Denander, Vince Gill, Keri Kelli, Patterson Hood, Pat Buchanan – Guitar
Piggy D, David Spreng, Jimmie Lee Sloas – Bass
Jimmy DeGrasso, Scott Williamson – Drums
Rob Zombie, Kip Winger – Backing Vocals
Welcome 2 My Nightmare is a reunion for all different eras of Alice Cooper. Take a look at the credits! The surviving members of the original group are here (Bruce, Dunaway & Smith) and they have some co-writing credits too, the original Nightmare era guitar duo of Steve Hunter (back in the band full-time) and Dick Wagner are present, more recent Alice gunslingers Kerri Kelli and Damon Johnson (who recently left and has been replaced by Orianthi of all people!), Jimmy DeGrasso, Piggy D (who worked with Alice on “Keepin’ Halloween Alive”), Kip Winger sings backing vocals, Desmond Child co-wrote “I Am Made of You” and Bob Ezrin is producing!
I think pretty much all eras of Alice are represented! I’m surprised Alice didn’t bring back Eric Singer, Derek Sherinian, Ryan Roxie, Eric Dover, Kane Roberts and Jason Hook! In addition to all of those people, Rob Zombie, Vince Gill, John 5 and Ke$ha also perform.
All of this star-power and buzz over doing a sequel to Welcome To My Nightmare has worked as the album sold roughly 21,ooo copies and debuted at #22 on the Billboard charts. This is Alice’s best chart debut since Trash.
Before I get into the music, I want to say that this Alice Cooper Fan Pack from Classic Rock magazine is just outstanding. I had ordered the Fan Pack for Whitesnake’s Forevermore and while that was a good package, this is even better. Not only do you get the album (in what I guess what is the standard hardcover booklet format for these Fan Packs) but there’s a School’s Out pin, Alice Cooper face paint, Alice cut-out face mask, 2 two-sided posters and finally the 132 page magazine called Classic Rock Presents Alice Cooper.
With that out of the way, I will agree that this album is a “return to form” in that it has returned Alice to his old school schizophrenic ways. After dabbling in industrial metal and garage rock for the last decade, Alice is back to genre-hopping. Auto-tune, Rolling Stones, disco, pop-rock, surfer music, symphonies, Tom Petty, rag-time… It all has a home on this album.
The good/bad thing about Alice is that he’s never been afraid to throw his blood-stained top hat in to practically any genre of music. Case in point, after starting off with the piano from “Steven”, “I Am Made of You” is a ballad complete with vocals done in auto-tune and some electronic beats in the background and a piano. I did not like it when I first heard it, but the song has grown on me and is now one of my favorite tracks here. Next, “Caffeine” kicks in with some rowdy rock ‘n’ roll. My first thought when hearing it was that it sounded like Velvet Revolver. Well, I wasn’t too far off because song was co-written by Buckcherry’s Keith Nelson. This and “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” (with its Stonesy vibe) are the most straight forward rockers of the bunch. “The Nightmare Returns” is a short instrumental still incorporating parts of “Steven”.
“The Congregation” is a pretty good Beatles-inspired number that sounds like a track from The Last Temptation but it took me a few listens to get in to. And hey, what album would be complete without that classic Alice ballad? Here that song is “Something To Remember Me By”, a great companion to those late ’70s ballads of his. The next highlight on this album for me is “What Baby Wants”. A true guilty pleasure for sure, it’s a pop/rock song featuring Ke$ha. The final two standouts is the Tom Petty-ish “I Gotta Get Outta Here” and the Fan Pack exclusive “Under The Bed”, a mid-tempo ballad that could’ve come from the Hey Stoopid era.
So, like I said, there is good and bad when Alice attempt to cover so many genres. When he succeeds, he really succeeds. When he fails… yuck. With Vince Gill on guitar, the country-rocker “A Runaway Train” can’t go away fast enough but I can kinda here old school Alice in it. Immediately following is the vaudevillian rag-time of “Last Man on Earth”. Just awful but I can’t decide if it’s worse than “When Hell Comes Home” (which is garnering rave reviews for featuring all the surviving members of the original group).
As for “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever”, that’s just goofy fun. Something you might hear from Alice in the early ’80s. Basically filler as is the surf rock of “Ghouls Gone Wild”. “The Underture” closes out the standard edition of the album and it’s an instrumental bring in pieces of songs from both Welcome To My Nightmare and this album.
Overall, the songs are just so varied I think you have to really be patient and let it all soak in. After the first listen, my head was spinning was variety of music. With each listen, I’m picking up on songs more than I had before and while there are some really bad songs on this disc, they are few and far between and the songs I like I like A LOT. Having said that, Welcome 2 My Nightmare is easily Alice’s best since The Eyes of Alice Cooper if not The Last Temptation.
Highlights: “I Am Made Of You”, “Caffeine”, “The Congregation”, “I”ll Bite Your Face Off”, “Something To Remember Me By”, “What Baby Wants”, “I Gotta Get Outta Here”, “Under The Bed”
Welcome 2 My Nightmare continues a rather disturbing trend of offering different bonus tracks depending on which edition you buy: the regular edition of this album has no bonus tracks, the Classic Rock Fan Pack has “Under the Bed” and a live version of “Poison”, the deluxe edition features a cover of The Animals’ “We Gotta Get out of This Place” and live versions of “No More Mr. Nice Guy” & “The Black Widow”, the vinyl album has “Flatline” and finally iTunes gets the exclusive “A Bad Situation” (which you can’t even purchase as a single, you HAVE to buy the whole album to get it).
I really couldn’t care less about the live tracks but there are four brand new tracks scattered about that I would have loved to have been included on at least ONE edition of the album so I could just buy that one! It’s a cash grab and I don’t think this practice is very fair to the fans. I can’t imagine a significant number of fans are going to buy all of these albums to get those handful of bonus tracks because you’re looking at someone having to spend $80-100 total to snatch up all of these editions. I really don’t understand the thought process here and Alice isn’t the only artist guilty of it. If anything, this only seems to increase the likelihood of illegal downloading.
After that little rant, I have to be honest: I have two copies. The CR Fan Pack and then a standard edition (no bonus tracks) that came with Alice’s autograph when you pre-ordered… Hey, at least I didn’t buy an extra copy for bonus tracks!
2011 has a quite a challenge in front of it. 2010 was filled with TONS of great albums. If 2011 can pull off even half of what last year did, it’ll still be a great year. This isn’t some complete list, there may be more projects in the works that I’ve forgotten about or don’t know about yet… but that doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to them! This is just a list of stuff off the top of my head…
Wildstreet - II …Faster …Louder EP (January 25th)
One of my favorite albums of 2009 was Wildstreet’s debut. I would love a full album but if an EP is all I can get, I’ll gladly take it. Will be available for download at iTunes & Amazon on January 25th with physical copies to be available for purchase shortly after. I’ll have a review up for it sometime next week.
Stryper - The Covering (February)
Originally scheduled for the end of 2010, it was pushed back supposedly in order to increase awareness for the album. Even though it’s an album of covers, they’ve picked some good songs and the samples sound great.
Whitesnake - Forevermore (March)
Sure to be another highlight of the year for me. Good to Be Bad is one of my favorite Whitesnake albums and Coverdale has basically said Forevermore will be more of the same because he thinks they found the right balance of all eras of Whitesnake with that record. I couldn’t agree more.
Sixx A.M. - This Is Gonna Hurt (April)
I’m a huge Nikki Sixx fan. I’ve loved all the new Crue material since Red, White & Crue and the first Sixx A.M. album was pretty good. James Michael is also a fantastic vocalist and is a great songwriter/producer. This one should be a winner.
Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare (AKA - Welcome to My Nightmare II)
2010 looked to be a lock for new Alice. He was already in the middle of writing the album but then hooked up with Bob Ezrin again and they decided to do a Welcome to My Nightmare sequel. The album Alice had originally planned was called The Night Shift and here are his own words on that project, taken from the Toronto Sun newspaper back in April:
“Ten songs are written already. It’s going to be called The Night Shift. The concept is, it’s a really dark radio show where I’m the disc jockey, and every song I play will be by a different fictitious band. At some point, you’ll realize this disc jockey is a little bit more than that. And I’m sure there will be some kind of a twist ending.”
I’m not sure if The Night Shift and Welcome 2 My Nightmare (the rumored title) are two totally separate projects or if Alice & Bob have decided to absorb the ideas from Night Shift into Welcome 2.
My first Saxon album was Into the Labyrinth and I liked it a lot. Supposedly a new one should be coming this year…
New Megadeth is always a highlight for me, I was disappointed by Endgame but I think the band is gonna go out on a high note with their last album on Roadrunner. I think the band goes into the studio to record in February, so I’m guessing Spring 2011 is the release.
Easily the most anticipated release of the year for me. Sonic Boom was great and I was very happy to hear both Gene & Paul state in various interviews that a new album would be arriving on 2011. They wouldn’t do it if they couldn’t make money off of it (which had been a concern for years) so I guess Sonic Boom was very profitable for them. I know another tour is gonna start up in the summer so I’m guessing the release will be happening around then.
So happy to hear that Riot is back to work on a new album. I just got into them a little over a year ago but quickly snatched up most of their albums. I haven’t heard a bad Riot album yet and this particular album reunites the Thundersteel line-up.
They put out a great little EP in 2010, a full album should be even better.
A few songs from the forthcoming album can now be bought on iTunes and Amazon and they sound really good. I’ve had a good feeling about this album for a long time. It’s exactly what I was expecting — fun rock ‘n’ roll that stays true to Steven’s GNR roots and classic rock-influences.
Anvil – Juggernaut of Justice (Spring)
Anvil is always good for some solid heavy metal. It’s a shame it’s taken them this long to release it though.
So there’s a new singer and Frankie Banali has been given the blessing of the DuBrow family to continue on with QR. If it’s good enough for Kevin’s mom then it’s good enough for me! Mark Huff sounds pretty close to DuBrow and I know they’ve been re-recording some QR classics but I’m hoping there’s going to be some new material too.
Still Waiting For… (albums originally scheduled for 2010)
Anthrax – Worship Music
Originally planned for 2009! The band has gone through three different singers since then and went back to tweaking the album with Belladonna on vocals.
At the end of 2009, Peter said he’d have an rock album coming out in Spring 2010 but I haven’t heard anything since. Maybe he’ll do what Ace did and release his solo album about the same time KISS releases their new album.
This past April, I mentioned a number of concerts I would be attending this summer. A few more have been announced/come to my attention so I thought I’d provide an update as to who I’m going to see this summer. Here’s my complete dance card!
Scorpions w/ Cinderella
DTE Energy Music Theatre
Less than a month away! This was the second concert I had lined up this year and Scorpios are one of my all-time faves so I’m pretty excited about it. Cinderella’s great too, I just wish they had some NEW material to play.
Alice Cooper w/ Tesla
Common Ground Music Festival
Finally bought my tickets for this last night. It’s all general admission so there was no rush to get’em, even though they’ve been on sale for close to month now. In addition to Sammy Hagar playing on another night, Buckcherry and Bret Michaels were recently added as headliners for the nights they play and Cinderella is now playing a date too (not as headliners though). I would love to see all three of them but I’ve seen Buckcherry three times already, saw Poison last summer and I’ll be seeing Cinderella with Scorpions, so I gotta go with Alice! I’ve wanted to see him forever, he’s one of my favorite acts and the fact that I’ll see Tesla too is a really cool bonus.
Iron Maiden w/ Dream Theater
DTE Energy Music Theatre
First concert tickets I bought for 2010. I just saw the set list for the tour and I’m kinda disappointed because it mostly focuses on their music from ’90s through today. It’s understandable since their last tour was built around their ’80s catalog but for this being my first time seeing Maiden, I wanted all the signature songs!
Huey Lewis & The News
DTE Energy Music Theatre
I actually like this band a lot, at least when it comes to their “hits”. I have one of their albums and two greatest hits. Lawn tickets were only $7 so I figured why not? Should be fun.
Aerosmith w/ Sammy Hagar & The Waboritas
The Palace of Auburn Hills
Auburn Hills, MI
Haven’t bought the tickets yet (they go on sale next Wednesday but I won’t be able to buy them until the Wednesday AFTER next Wednesday) but I’m really excited for this show. Tickets are pricey but it’s AEROSMITH! With Sammy Hagar! I don’t want to pass up seeing Aerosmith at least once in my life.
DTE Energy Music Theatre
Another $7 lawn seat ticket. Ted’s a really cool guy but he’s another act I’m not all too familiar outside of his signature songs. Still, I think it should be a fun show. Haven’t bought these tickets yet but I will the same time I buy the Aerosmith tickets.
Sept 11th – Saturday
KISS w/ The Academy Is
DTE Energy Music Theatre
Definitely HAD to buy these tickets, got’em yesterday. Since the great ‘Rock The Nation’ show cancellation back in 2004 (Paul got heat exhaustion and the Pensacola, FL show I had tickets to got canceled and was never made up), I made a promise to myself that I would always go see KISS should they ever be in my neighborhood. How could you expect any less of me when they’re my favorite band? Well, I saw ‘em last September as they were one of the last acts to ever play the historic Cobo in Detroit and I’ll see them this September too! DTE’s site lists The Academy Is as the support (they kinda suck and are way too indie rock/pop to be supporting KISS, IMO) but KISS is also holding a contest for a different unsigned band to get the opening slot in each city. Could be interesting…
So that’s my summer concert series! Should anything else pop up, I’ll be sure to report on it here and I’ll definitely be doing my concert reviews for each and every one of these shows.
Posted in News
Tags: Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Auburn Hills, Cinderella, Clarkston, Classic Rock, Common Ground Music Festival, Concerts, Dream Theater, DTE Energy Music Theatre, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Huey Lewis, Huey Lewis & The News, Iron Maiden, KISS, Lansing, Metal, Michigan, Music, Rock, Rock 'N' Roll, Sammy Hagar, Scorpions, Ted Nugent, Tesla, The Academy Is, The Palace of Auburn Hills
Alice Cooper – Alice Cooper Goes to Hell (2008, Warner Bros. Records)
Original Release: 1976, Warner Bros. Records
1. “Go to Hell” … 5:15
2. “You Gotta Dance” … 2:45
3. “I’m the Coolest” … 3:57
4. “Didn’t We Meet” … 4:16
5. “I Never Cry” … 3:44
6. “Give the Kid a Break” … 4:14
7. “Guilty” … 3:22
8. “Wake Me Gently” … 5:03
9. “Wish You Were Here” … 4:36
10. “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” … 2:08
11. “Going Home” … 3:47
Alice Cooper – Vocals
Dick Wagner – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Steve Hunter – Guitar
John Tropea – Guitar
Tony Levin – Bass
Babbitt – Bass
Allan Schwartzberg – Drums
Jim Gordon – Drums
Jim Maelen – Percussion
Bob Ezrin – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Producer: Bob Ezrin
…Goes to Hell is a weird album. Then again, you can say that about every Alice release up until the albums became more streamlined beginning in the mid-’80s. First off, the album cover is terrible (but still better than Pretties For You!). When I first saw this album years ago at the old Camelot Music store and was just starting to get into Alice, I actually thought it was a low budget compilation disc judging by the pitiful artwork. It certainly had the retail price to go with it. For as long as I can remember this album could and still can be found for $6-8 bucks. I got this particular version (a part of Warner’s “Flashback” series) for $5.99 from Barnes & Noble.
I can’t lie, the song “Go To Hell” is classic Alice. Years before ever listening to this album I was familiar with it because it appeared on The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper box set, which I also own. I absolutely love it. It shows Alice in fine lyrical form talking about force feeding diabetics candy canes and poisoning a blind man’s dog (and even stealing his cane) After that rip-roaring opening classic we get disco Alice in the form of “You Gotta Dance”. It’s so bad it’s good but I can’t call it an album highlight.
The whole album basically sounds like the soundtrack to a musical. It features tons of different styles: disco rock, sappy pop ballads, ’50s doo-wop, rock ‘n’ roll, and weird laid back numbers like “I’m The Coolest”. When I hear that song, I can’t help but think of it as a song that you might hear on a Charlie Brown or early Garfield cartoon special. If you’ve ever see’em, you know what I’m talking about, those specials always had weird trippy songs.
Though there are a handful of songs that I found myself enjoying but there are only two classics, IMO. Alongside “Go To Hell”, there’s “I Never Cry” which is one of my favorite ballads from Alice but it was another song I was already familiar with thanks to the box set. I can’t help but try to sing along to it whenever I hear it.
This was the second of four albums (the others being Welcome to My Nightmare, Lace & Whiskey and DaDa) where basically Alice Cooper was more of a conceptual effort with Alice, Dick Wagner and Bob Ezrin guiding the ship. Ezrin already had a long history with the original Alice Cooper band and Wagner had played on some of their albums as well.was technically a solo act by this point but Ezrin and Wagner participated so heavily on these albums you could almost say that they were new Alice Cooper band.
Overall, this is an okay release but certainly not a classic and a pretty disappointing follow-up to Welcome to My Nightmare. Alice didn’t even tour for this album due to alcohol problems, which may help explain why this album isn’t up to snuff!
Highlights: “Go To Hell”, “I Never Cry”, “Didn’t We Meet”, “Wake Me Gently”, “Wish You Were Here”
I can’t remember if I mentioned it already but I bought my few concert tickets for 2010 a month or two back. I’ll be heading off to DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan (for my fourth time) to see Iron Maiden and their special guests Dream Theater on July 17th! Should be a great show. I like Dream Theater but the real draw for me is Iron Maiden. They’re one of those bands that’s been on my unwritten “must see live” list forever.
Well, I have some more good news to add to that. Today I found about THREE great acts coming to area. Here in downtown Lansing, there’s the week-long Common Ground Music Festival that takes place every summer. This will be the festival’s 11th year and in the past they’ve featured acts like Sammy Hagar, Snoop Dogg, Sheryl Crow. Last year, Stone Temple Pilots were one of the headlining acts.
Despite living in Lansing for nearly four years now, I’ve never gone before just because I couldn’t bring myself to spend $30 on a ticket to see only one act. I like Sammy, I like STP but thirty bucks was too much in my book to just see them (and them only) AND have to deal with the summer heat and huge crowd that gathers down by the Grand River. The Red Rocker is returning once again this year (I think this is his 4th performance at Common Ground) and appears to be sharing headliner status with none other than…
Alice is another one of my all-time favorite acts and just recently I had been complaining about how he never seems to get close enough to Lansing or Detroit (though he almost always pops up in Michigan somewhere during the summer every year). I noticed the newspaper this morning talking about Common Ground and they mentioned Alice will be performing July 16th and it will be full of his usual theatrics.
And the icing on the cake? Well, Tesla will also be performing on the 16th! Hagar performs on the 14th and I’d like to see him but Alice alone is enough to win out over Hagar and when you throw Tesla into the mix, it’s a no-brainer that this is the year I need to shell out $30. Heck, even if Tesla wasn’t performing, just seeing Alice is worth the money, in my opinion.
Common Ground still have a number of slots to fill and promises more artists to be announced but I can’t imagine anyone topping Alice Cooper! Tickets aren’t on sale yet. I think they go on sale next Wednesday and I’ll definitely be picking two tickets up then.
So what a great weekend I’ll have! Friday, July 17th: Alice Cooper & Tesla. Saturday, July 18th: Iron Maiden & Dream Theater!
BUT WAIT… There’s more!
I received confirmation earlier this afternoon that the Scorpions will be storming the stage of DTE on July 1st! Tickets go on sale this coming Saturday morning (gee, thanks for the heads up!). Ratt, Cinderella or Dokken are opening most of their shows but as luck would have it, the DTE show is one of the few where there is no opener. Oh well. I would’ve love to have seen Ratt but I won’t complain about an extended show from the Scorps! Scratch another all-time fave off the “must see” list. July is going to be a great month for me!
Do YOU have any concert plans for the summer?
Alice Cooper – DaDa [Remastered] (2009, Rhino Entertainment/Collectors’ Choice Music)
Original Release: 1983, Warner Bros. Records
1. “DaDa” … 4:45
2. “Enough’s Enough” … 4:19
3. “Former Lee Warmer” … 4:07
4. “No Man’s Land” … 3:51
5. “Dyslexia” … 4:25
6. “Scarlet and Sheba” … 5:18
7. “I Love America” … 3:50
8. “Fresh Blood” … 5:54
9. “Pass the Gun Around” … 5:46
Alice Cooper – Vocals
Dick Wagner – Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals
Prakash John – Bass
Richard Kolinka – Drums
John Anderson – Drums
Bob Ezrin – Percussion, Drums, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Graham Shaw – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Producer: Bob Ezrin
Is is “DaDa”, “Dada” or “Da Da”? I’ve seen it all three ways but prefer “DaDa”, which is the how the album cover seems to present it.
This is an album I’ve wanted for a long time. I believe it has been out of print for a numbers of years but it was re-released under Rhino’s Collectors’ Choice Music imprint in 2009. It’s a bare bones reissue that doesn’t even credit who did what on the album. Granted, this wasn’t exactly a best-selling album because no one was paying attention to Alice in 1983 anyway (the album didn’t chart) and those that were paying attention didn’t review the album too kindly. There are some liner notes giving a description of what was going on at the time of the making of this album. Other than that, the lyrics to the entire album are printed on ONE PAGE. You’d have to have a magnifying glass to read it!
The album is fantastic as far as I’m concerned and one of Alice’s best. It’s classic Alice to me and is full of the weird, creepy and humorous lyrics that Alice’s career was built upon.
Longtime Alice producer Bob Ezrin returned for what was Alice’s last hurrah on the Warner label, having not produced a studio album with Alice since 1977′s poorly received Lace and Whiskey and it pays off big. The few albums previous to this saw Alice getting too soft & sentimental and/or experimenting way too much with new wave sounds. Alice, Ezrin and guitarist Dick Wagner sat down and wrote the whole album together.
There’s a lot of variety on this release, as is the case with many of Alice’s albums. The most interesting is the extremely creepy “Da” which was written entirely by Ezrin. It sounds like the theme music to an early ’80s slasher movie. Then there’s the Middle Eastern influence of “Scarlet and Sheba”, the redneck anthem “I Love America”, the funky “Fresh Blood” and in the classic mold of unusual Alice Cooper ballads there’s “Former Lee Warmer”. Alice could shake new wave off entirely it seems though because “Dyslexia” fills the void. Overall, I really don’t see how anyone could not like this album. It has all the trademarks of a great Alice record: odd, campy, creepy and funny and features some of his best lyrics.
Not only was this album the end of Cooper’s deal with Warner Bros. but he also “retired” from the industry having gone back to the booze and checking himself into rehab again. He had just come out of rehab around the time work on this album was getting started and if I remember correctly, he one said he remembers nothing about the writing and recording of this album. Luckily for us, he resurfaced in 1986 with Constrictor.
According to the liner notes, the original album’s liner notes stated that “for the most part” a drum machine was used and live drums were only used for embellishment.
Picked it up at a used record store across the street from Michigan State University for only $5.
Welcome to 2010!
I’m going to start the year off with yet another list except I won’t be limiting myself to “Top 10″ or “Top 20″ or whatever. I’ll be going chronologically, year by year (I didn’t put the albums in any specific order though) and if I thought it was a really good album, I’ll list it regardless of whether one year has four albums listed and another year only has two.
Looking back, the whole decade was pretty good for this rock/metal fan. The scene suffered greatly during the ’90s, but by 2000, the genre was turning the corner and I think most people had grown tired of depressed drug addicts and angry no-talent white rappers playing rock music. The legends were laying low during the ’90s and the next decade was made up of many comebacks, but that’s not to discount many newer acts who stepped up and played a vital role in rock ‘n’ roll.
Posted in Year End Awards
Tags: 2000s, Alice Cooper, Anthrax, Avenged Sevenfold, Bon Jovi, Brides of Destruction, Butch Walker, Cold, Dio, Dream Evil, Edguy, Guns N' Roses, Halford, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Judas Priest, KISS, L.A. Guns, Lit, Marvelous 3, Megadeth, Metal, Music, Paul Stanley, Puddle of Mudd, Rock, Rock 'N' Roll, Scorpions, Sebastian Bach, Sentenced, Steel Panther, Tesla, The Union Underground
2009 was good, can 2010 be better? With these albums penciled in for 2010 it looks like we’ll have another good year for rock ‘n’ roll because there’s tons I’m looking forward to! I’ve listed tentative release dates where I could.
Ratt – Infestation (March): Ratt is one of the best bands to spring from the L.A. metal scene, I can’t wait to hear some new music from that.
Scorpions – Sting In The Tail: Well, hopefully we’ll see some new Scorpions. They haven’t gotten a U.S. distribution deal yet, but in this day of the internet, I don’t foresee any problems getting my hands on an import. According to the band, they’re going back to their “early ’80s” sound and scrapping the modern style they had on Humanity: Hour I. That’s a shame because I remember Klaus Meine being pretty adamant about the band not writing anymore “eighties” songs and I like Humanity a lot (which seemed to imply there’d be a sequel). Oh well, I liked 2004′s Unbreakable a lot too (the band’s most recent attempt at having that classic Scorpions sound), so either style they want is good with me.
Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony & Angel of Babylon (April 3): Edguy’s Tobias Sammet, one of my favorite vocalists, is back with his side project and he’s got two albums coming at us at once on the same day. The Scarecrow was really good and Sammet has tons of guest musicians lined up again, I just hope he hasn’t spread himself too thin by releasing two albums’ worth of material.
Posted in Year End Awards
Tags: 2010, Accept, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Anthrax, Armored Saint, Avantasia, Bruce Kulick, Chris Jericho, Dream Evil, Exodus, Fozzy, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden, Metal, Music, Overkill, Peter Criss, Ratt, Raven, Rob Zombie, Rock, Rock 'N' Roll, Scorpions, Sebastian Bach, Slash, Stone Temple Pilots, Van Halen
I generally think rock stars should shut up and play music, but this is a very important message from Alice that I think we can all get behind…
For addition information, please read my review of Alice Cooper’s iTunes exclusive single “Keepin’ Halloween Alive”.