Coming off such conceptual, theatrical, sleazy hard rock records as the massively successful School's Out (1972) and Billion Dollar Babies (1973), the Alice Cooper group decided that their next release would be more along the lines of their earlier, more straightforward work (à la Love It to Death). While Muscle of Love was a gold-certified Top Ten success, it performed below expectations (their previous two albums peaked at number two and number one, respectively) and would unfortunately prove to be the original Alice Cooper band's last studio album together…
As the title suggests, this is the definitive edition of Etta James' Tell Mama long-player. For this single-disc release the original album is augmented with five previously unissued tracks – documented during James' four Muscle Shoals sessions circa '67-'68. The question of why a rural Alabama town became a conduit for some of the most memorable and instantly identifiable grooves may still be up for debate. The evidence exists in droves and Tell Mama could certainly be considered exhibit A. These sessions feature the same impact that would redirect several first ladies of soul. Notable among them are Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis, Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) and to somewhat lesser acclaim, Jackie DeShannon's Jackie. Tell Mama showcases some of the unique and admittedly darker qualities of what might best be described as R&B noir. "I'd Rather Go Blind," "Steal Away," "I'm Gonna Take What He's Got" all exemplify the essence of the blues – making the best of a bad situation.
Rapid City Muscle Car is the second studio album by American band the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, released in 1994 on Space Age Bachelor Pad Records. Rapid City Muscle Car was structured around the Daddies' desire to create a stylistic concept album in which each track was composed as the total musical opposite of the last - "[whipping] the listener around as if he/she was…experiencing stylistic G-forces" - but remaining thematically coherent through interconnected lyricism following an abstract narrative. Delving into wider-reaching and more experimental territory than their punk rock roots, the result is arguably the Daddies' most musically eclectic work. Building upon the band's then-standard repertoire of swing and funk, Rapid City Muscle Car weaves between ska punk, rockabilly, country, psychedelia, big band and lounge.
With the future of the original Alice Cooper band in doubt by mid-1974 (they would soon break up for good with Alice going solo), Warner Bros. decided to issue a best-of compilation entitled Greatest Hits. If you're a newcomer to Alice, this 12-track compilation is a must-hear – all the selections are exceptional. While many have chosen to focus primarily on Cooper's theatrics over the years, the original bandmembers were indeed supreme rock songwriters; such anthems as "I'm Eighteen," "Under My Wheels," "School's Out," and "No More Mr. Nice Guy" are unquestionably among the finest hard rock tracks of all time. And the other selections prove to be just as strong – "Is It My Body," "Desperado," "Be My Lover," "Elected," "Billion Dollar Babies," and "Muscle of Love" are all outstanding as well. The only criticism of the original release is that the collection overlooked the band's key album tracks never issued as singles.