Alice Cooper – Killer (1971)

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I remember first listening to Alice Cooper in school and singing “Poison” from the album “Trash”(1989) with my schoolmates . Then TV was playing the videoclip all the time- I think it was “Star Club” Show with Vasilis Loukas.

Later, when I started listening to more music I got the picture what Alice Cooper really means in rock and heavy metal music as well. Shock rock owns its existence to Alice whose extremism in the 70´s managed to create a unique style that was going to be such a great influence in the future.

The album presented here was launched the same year as “Love It To Death”, in 1971. “Killer” is one of Cooper’s classic albums in the 70’s. In a little more than a half an hour he includes all the elements of hard rock, he manages to be original and impress above all.

The band that goes with him is extremely tight while Bob Ezrin’s brilliant production permits every instrument to be heard stretching its muscle. Especially you can hear the bass in every track, while the backing vocals give a unique feel. Guitars are impressive, but Alice’s performance steals the show. The classic “Under My Wheels” opens the album. A typical rock thing catches the attention with its power, while the saxophones that enrich the guitar solo sound absolutely stunning. “Be My Lover” is influenced from the 50’s an 60’s that have been Alice’s favorite decades in music.

“Halo Of Flies” is one of those epic songs where the unlimited creativity of the band becomes flesh and blood. Basically it is an impressive jam with awsome melodies that take the breath of the listener away, while it could have been included in a thriller soundtrack. Within its 8:21 all hell is breaking loose with the basic melody being repeated with every possible way, even with violins.

“Desperado” is really amazing. It starts as a ballad but later it transforms into a more uptempo track wich actually is very impressive with all of its string arrangements. It was written for Jim Morrison.

“You Drive Me Crazy” is a creation of Alice’s, Ezrin’s and guitarist Michael Bruce’s twisted minds in a rock’n’roll format, while “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” wins the listener with its simplicity that allows the musicians loosen up and play with enthusiasm and atittude.

“Dead Babies” is another classic and covered by many artists including Iced Earth. Its sence of mystery is a trademark of Alice Cooper who is narrating the story of a baby that swallowed some aspirins and died.

Finally, “Killer”’s paranoia closes the album in a magnificent way. What happens here cannot be described. You must hear it to believe it! Devastating guitar riffs, howls and cries, a killer who is wondering about his destiny, even chants in some point. In the end, a disgusting and terrifying noise will give the chills to everyone listens to the record for the first time.