Killer is the fourth studio album by Alice Cooper, released in 1971. Cooper said in the liner notes of Fistful of Alice and In the Studio with Redbeard, which spotlighted the Killer and Love it to Death albums, that the song "Desperado" was written about his friend Jim Morrison, who died the year this album was released. "Halo of Flies" was, according to Cooper's liner notes in the compilation The Definitive Alice Cooper, an attempt by the band to prove that they could perform King Crimson-like progressive rock suites, and was supposedly about a SMERSH-like organisation. The song "Dead Babies" stirred up some controversy following the album's release, despite the fact that its lyrics conveyed an "anti-child abuse" message.
Alice Cooper is expected to release a double live album this year. Details of the 18-track title appeared online before an official announcement was made. A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris was recorded on Dec. 7 last year, during Cooper's Paranormal tour and was mixed by his longtime collaborator Bob Ezrin.
If you are a fan of Alice Cooper's first album "Pretties For You" you will love this. It consists of live versions of songs from that album plus a live version of "Nobody Likes Me", a song from the same period that has turned up in demo form on the "Old School" and "Life And Crimes…" box sets. The sound quality of the recording is great and highlights the band in all their early glory. In 1969 Alice Cooper was of course a band (not just a singer) and they hadn't yet met producer Bob Ezrin who transformed them into the Alice Cooper most people will know better - "I'm Eighteen", "School's Out", "Elected" and so on. Fans of the Ezrin-produced Alice Cooper group and of the singer's later solo work ("Welcome To My Nightmare", "Poison" and so on) should tread warily as this early music is very different - psychedelic and more than a little odd.
Since the original Alice Cooper band was a major catalyst in the creation of punk rock (Cooper's snide lyrics, the band's raw rock, etc.), by the early '80s Cooper decided to re-embrace the genre after such overblown albums as From the Inside distanced him from his roots. The resulting album, 1981's Special Forces, was Cooper's most stripped-down and straightforward since his classic early-'70s work. But without the original Cooper band to back him up and help out with the songwriting, it's an intriguing yet sometimes uneven set. Cooper was heavily into the guns and ammo publication Soldier of Fortune at the time; hence the album title and lyrical subject matter.
At a time when many of the forgotten bands of the '70s began to resurface, Alice Cooper released Constrictor in 1986, his first album in three years. The album attempts a fresh start, which made sense, since Cooper suffered physically, creatively, and commercially over the past decade due to changing trends and alcoholism, which left his latest releases void of the energy that had made Killer and Welcome to My Nightmare so popular. For the most part, Cooper succeeded in re-establishing himself – this is arguably some of the best work he put forth in years. Nothing comes close to the songs he recorded in his '70s heyday, but what's here is surprisingly lively and sharp-witted: "Simple Disobedience" is a catchy anthem of rebellion, and "Teenage Frankenstein" is a straightforward, amusingly melodramatic rocker.