Killer (Alice Cooper album)

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Killer
Studio album by Alice Cooper
Released November 27, 1971
Recorded 1971 at RCA, Chicago
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal, glam rock
Length 37:08
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Bob Ezrin
Alice Cooper chronology
Love It to Death
(1971)
Killer
(1971)
School's Out
(1972)
Singles from Killer
  1. "Under My Wheels"
  2. "Be My Lover"

Killer is the fourth studio album by the Alice Cooper band, released in November 1971. The album reached number 21 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and the two singles "Under My Wheels" and "Be My Lover" made the Hot 100 chart.

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. According to an NPR radio interview with Alice Cooper, "Desperado" was written about Robert Vaughn's character from the movie The Magnificent Seven. "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. "Desperado", along with "Under My Wheels" and "Be My Lover" have appeared on different compilation albums by Cooper. 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. Musicians such as Jello Biafra and John Lydon have referred to the album as an influence.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Under My Wheels"   Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Bob Ezrin 2:51
2. "Be My Lover"   Bruce 3:21
3. "Halo of Flies"   Alice Cooper, Glen Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Neal Smith 8:22
4. "Desperado"   Cooper, Bruce 3:30
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "You Drive Me Nervous"   Cooper, Bruce, Ezrin 2:28
2. "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah"   Cooper, Bruce 3:39
3. "Dead Babies"   Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith 5:44
4. "Killer"   Bruce, Dunaway 6:57

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[2]
Robert Christgau B−[3]

Rolling Stone's Lester Bangs gave it a favorable review. He explained that "it brings all the elements of the band's approach to sound and texture to a totally integrated pinnacle that fulfills all the promise of their erratic first two albums" and that "each song on [the] album finds him in a different role in the endless movie he is projecting on them." He concluded by calling Alice Cooper "a strong band, a vital band, and they are going to be around for a long, long time."[2] Robert Christgau rated the album a B-, stating that "a taste for the base usages of hard rock rarely comes with a hit attached these days, much less "surreal," "theatrical," and let us not forget "transvestite" trappings". However, he said that "[the album] falters after "Under My Wheels" and "Be My Lover," neither of them an "I'm Eighteen" in the human outreach department."[3] AllMusic's Greg Prato rated "Killer" four-and-a-half out of five stars. He stated that "disturbing tracks [...] fit in perfectly" and that "other songs were even more exceptional". He concluded by pointing out that "it rewarded them as being among the most notorious and misunderstood entertainers, thoroughly despised by grownups."[1]

Charts[edit]

The album reached #21 on the Billboard album chart and two singles made the Hot 100 chart. "Under My Wheels" reached #59, and "Be My Lover" reached #49 on the Billboard chart.

Influence[edit]

Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd. called Killer the greatest rock album of all time.[4] Punk icons Jello Biafra & The Melvins covered the song "Halo of Flies" on their 2005 release Sieg Howdy! Psychobilly musicians Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper covered the song "Be My Lover" on their 1986 release Frenzy. Power metal band Iced Earth covered the song "Dead Babies" for their 2002 release Tribute to the Gods. Guns N' Roses (featuring Alice Cooper) covered the song "Under My Wheels" on The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Prato, Greg. Killer - Alice Cooper at AllMusic. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Bangs, Lester (January 6, 1972). "Killer by Alice Cooper". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Alice Cooper". The Village Voice. Robertchristgau.com. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ Lydon, John. Liner notes from "The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper", Rhino Records Box Set, 1999, Catalog No: RHIN 75680.

External links[edit]