Date Published: Monday, 9 September 2013 – Classic Rock Radio (UK)
Uncle G’s FUN Music DVD Reviews
Spotlight: Alice Cooper – The Strange Case Of Alice Cooper Live 1979 * The Madhouse Rock Tour (2012 Shout! Factory)
By Gary “Uncle G” Brown
American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (UK)
Kind of new to DVD is the re-release of what first appeared on VHS tape back in the day; Alice Cooper – The Strange Case Of Alice Cooper Live 1979 * The Madhouse Rock Tour. The album that’s being supported on this tour is Coop’s ’78 studio album, From The Inside, inspired by Alice Cooper’s (the person) battle with alcholism. His stay in a New York Sanitarium, and the people he encountered there. It’s one of the BEST concept albums Alice has done throughout solo his solo career. Matter of fact, in my opinion, Alice’s best albums overall, are ones that tell a story. More focused.
Kicking alcohol isn’t pretty. On a side note, I’ve been there and done it myself. I never wrote a musical about it.
Helping Alice with the lyrics on this project is Bernie Taupin, the man whose words made Elton John a star.
Touring wise it’s the Welcome To My Nightmare band without guitarist Dick Wagner. All solid musicians!! Skilled players, each and every one.
The personnel on the Madhouse Rock Tour was:
Alice Cooper – Vocals
Davey Johnstone – Guitar
Steve Hunter – Guitar
Pentti “Whitey” Glan – Drums
Fred Mandel – Keyboards
Prakash John – Bass Guitar
…plus backup singers, with dancers which include Alice’s wife Sheryl, and a shit load of roadies to help take apart and reassemble what is more like a Broadway performance than it is a regular rock n’ roll show.
While researching this DVD, I read on the World Wide Web that two compositions are missing from the actual concert that took place on April 9th of 1979. Recorded live in San Diego, California, U.S.A., two songs were omitted for the video (VHS at the time); All Strapped Up (an unreleased instrumental) and Dead Babies (original Alice Cooper). Besides that, the whole performance is here. The music rocks and the stage show is one to sit back and be truly entertained by. Who doesn’t like dancing whiskey bottles? Even more mesmerizing, of course, is Alice himself. He is, after all, the star of the show.
- Intro (film showing whiskey being bottled in a plant setting)
- From The Inside
- Nurse Rozetta
- The Quiet Room
- I Never Cry
- Devil’s Food
- Welcome To My Nightmare
- Billion Dollar Babies
- Only Women Bleed
- No More Mr. Nice Guy
- I’m Eighteen
- The Black Widow
- Wish I Was Born in Beverly Hills
- Ballad Of Dwight Fry
- Go to Hell
- How You Gonna See Me Now
- Inmates (We’re All Crazy)
- School’s Out (intro)
- School’s Out – Introducing the Musicians, with solos
- “School’s Out” (conclusion)
- Closing commentary and Credits (by Alice Cooper)
School’s Out — standard Cooper long version with Alice introducing each touring band member and them doing a solo – is most EXCELLENT, and worth the price of the DVD all by itself.
So, here’s what your favorite “Uncle G” recommends. If possible, try to listen to the studio record, From The Inside, and then afterward, watch The Strange Case Of Alice Cooper. Time-wise, to experience both like that you would be devoting less than two hours. I promise…it’s an experience worth doing. And to those of us who played Alice Cooper – From The Inside, hundreds of times and have seen the film, The Strange Case Of Alice Cooper, more than once…invite some friends over and have FUN turning them onto this truly unique rock n’ roll show.
Oh…and the Cyclops…voice sound familiar? It’s legendary movie actor, Mr. Vincent Price. Now, how cool is that?
Shout! Factory Trailer for the DVD release of The Strange Case of Alice Cooper.
End of Story
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