Alice Cooper DVD-EP (Classic Pictures Special Edition)
Alice Cooper stormed the UK charts in 1972 with the rebellious Schoolís Out which became a school kidís theme song long before Pink Floydís The Wall. Frightening many kids with his aggressive vocals and macabre make up, Alice, with his baby-hacking antics makes Ozzy Osbourne look like a harmless puppy. Alice, born Vincent Furnier, adopted his gender-bending name after a session with an Ouija board when the name ALICECOOPER was spelt out. Thought to be the reincarnation of a young woman burnt as a witch hundreds of years before, Alice decided to adopt the name though it was 1974 when he had it legally changed.
Although the band started releasing records in the late 60ís, Alice Cooper hit the big time in 1971 with the release of the albums Love It To Death and Killer. Unless you are an avid Alice Cooper fan, the album that most of us can recall is 1972ís Schoolís Out.
Classic Pictures Entertainment have unearthed some early archive footage of the band shot in Germany and though insufficient to produce a normal length DVD, cleverly came up with the idea of releasing the material as part of their budget DVD-EP series. The DVD-EPs in the series consist of four sections; Track Select (the main featured performances); Pop-Up DVD (the same tracks but with added on-screen facts along the lines of TOTP2); Previews (a selection of partial tracks by other artists in the series); DVD Jukebox (a selection of tracks from feature length Classic Pictures DVDs).
Three classic Alice Cooper songs from the 1971/72 period are covered; Under My Wheels (from the album Killer, 1971) Iím Eighteen (From Love It To Death, filmed in 1972) and Public Animal #9 (from Schools Out, filmed in 1971). Alice, who is renowned for his mode of dress is rather restrained (for him) if you can call sequined trousers, black leather studded gloves and open shirt restrained topped off with evil clown make-up. The performances are tight and effortless. Having only ever seen the band mime on Top Of The Pops, it is refreshing to see the musicianship in this DVD.
The preview section covers Deep Purple, Motorhead, The Who, Joe Cocker, Meatloaf, The Beach Boys and Rod Stewart offering a taster of the other DVD-EPís in the series (running time 3:30 mins).
The DVD Jukebox section (running at over 36 mins) provides a selection of tracks from feature length DVDs available from Classic Pictures by UFO, Steve Marriott, for the heavy metal fans Doro Pesch and Warlock, UK Subs, the songstress with the amazing hair Judie Tzuke, Jack Bruce, Edgar Winter (classic Winter with Leon Russell), Big Country, Black Sabbath (with Ronnie James Dio) and Blue Oyster Cult). Track details of the DVDs from which these tracks are taken are displayed onscreen.
Picture and sound quality is good on the whole. The performances were originally filmed for German TV and recorded in colour. The sets feature back projection and some tasteful special effects.
The DVD has a fully animated menu from which can be accessed the sections and tracks within the sections at will.
The DVD sleeve provides full listings of all sections.
The DVD is multi-region PAL format, 4:3 screen ratio, with selectable Dolby© Digital 5.1/DTS.
Alice Cooperís mastery of the stage is engaging. With an act as menacing as The League Of Gentlemenís Papa Lazarou you could imagine that he has the power to mesmerise anyone who strays into his glare (he is a nice chap really). A rare chance to see the master of shock rock when he was becoming world famous, and for just £6.99. (Release date 23rd September 2002 Cat No. DVD6072X)
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