Killer (Alice Cooper album)
|Studio album by Alice Cooper|
|Recorded||1971 at RCA, Chicago|
|Genre||Hard rock, heavy metal, glam rock|
|Alice Cooper chronology|
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. 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.
- "Under My Wheels" (Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Bob Ezrin) - 2:51
- "Be My Lover" (Bruce) - 3:21
- "Halo of Flies" (Alice Cooper, Glen Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Neal Smith) - 8:22
- "Desperado" (Cooper, Bruce) - 3:30
- "You Drive Me Nervous" (Cooper, Bruce, Ezrin) - 2:28
- "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" (Cooper, Bruce) - 3:39
- "Dead Babies" (Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith) - 5:44
- "Killer" (Bruce, Dunaway) - 6:57
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." 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." 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." Internet music critic George Starostin gave the album a rating of 13 out of 15. He explained that "a lot of riffs, atmospheres, tones and sound effects [...] seem to have been taken straight out of the minds [...] of their predecessors." He also stated that "the garage rock part [...] deserves enough attention due to consistency." However, he agreed that it "is not as obviously excellent as the previous album".
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.
Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd. called Killer the greatest rock album of all time. Punk icon 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
- Alice Cooper - Vocals, Harmonica
- Glen Buxton - Lead Guitar
- Michael Bruce - Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
- Dennis Dunaway - Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Neal Smith - Drums, Backing Vocals
- Bob Ezrin - Keyboards
- Rick Derringer - additional Guitar, "Under My Wheels"
- Prato, Greg. Killer - Alice Cooper at AllMusic. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Bangs, Lester (January 6, 1972). "Killer by Alice Cooper". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Alice Cooper". The Village Voice. Robertchristgau.com. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Starostin, George. "Alice Cooper". Only Solitaire. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Lydon, John. Liner notes from "The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper", Rhino Records Box Set, 1999, Catalog No: RHIN 75680.