Billion Dollar Babies – 1973 – The first masterpiece
I’ve been an Alice Cooper fan for over 30 years. That makes me feel kind of old but never mind that. I know some people have been fans for an even longer period so that makes them…even older. The first album I bought was the atypical Da Da and after that, it was Constrictor I think. After that everything exploded and I knew I needed to own every single album. It wasn’t that hard to get them all at that point. Vinyl was still pretty cheap and I didn’t mind having re-issues. I was just after the music and eventually, I bought my first copy of Billion Dollar Babies. I few more would eventually enter my collection.
The music on Billion Dollar Babies is more or less an extension of Killer and Love it to Death. In my mind, these three albums are the core of the original Alice Cooper group era. This is the crown jewel of them all but the other ones are great also. I think that for me this is because Michael Bruce is so involved in the songwriting. He’s involved in every song but two on this album. But of course, Alice Cooper himself is involved in every song but one.
The amazing opening track, that should open every concert – Hello Hooray is actually a cover and not written by the Alice Cooper group at all. But if I didn’t know I wouldn’t be able to tell. It fits in with the concept of Alice Cooper 100 %. And when the finishing I Love the Dead is over you know that you have heard a truly new idea of how to perform music. This is definitely a theatrical album and I love it as such. The atypical Alice Cooper song Mary Ann hints about future musical ideas too.
There was four single release from Billion Dollar Babies. Hello Hooray, the political satire Elected is a rewritten song from the first album. There was a song called Reflected on Pretties for You and it’s very close music-wise. The lyrics are different of course. No More Mr. Nice Guy, a song that is very closely associated with Alice Cooper was also released as a single and there is a lot of cover versions of this out there. I have versions in the range from Megadeth to Pat Boone. Finally, the title track, Billion Dollar Babies, which is a duet with Donovan was released as a single. All great songs that are worthy of attention.
The lyrics are excellent for a Shock Rock concert. They’re very theatrical and I think everyone that will read this knows that the false execution by guillotine is closely associated with the song I Love the Dead. I think that might be Alice Coopers’ most famous prop. We also have Sick Things, where the snake used to be present. Maybe it still is, I have no idea. I think this is sprung out of the song My Stars on the previous album School’s Out.
Anyway. This is an absolute must for all music lovers to own. It’s such an essential reference point in both Alice Coopers’ career and the entire music business. You need this! Trust me!