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Winger – Better Days Comin’ [Review]

winger_-_better_day's_comin'Winger – Better Days Comin’
2014, Frontiers Records
Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. “Midnight Driver of a Love Machine”
2. “Queen Babylon”
3. “Rat Race”
4. “Better Days Comin'”
5. “Tin Soldier”
6. “Ever Wonder”
7. “So Long China”
8. “Storm in Me”
9. “Be Who You Are Now”
10. “Out of This World”

Band:
Kip Winger – Lead Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards
Reb Beach – Guitar, Backing Vocals
John Roth – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rod Morgenstein – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Cenk Eroglu – Keyboards
Marco Giovino – Percussion
Paula Winger – Vocals

Producer: Kip Winger, Jason Green & Dan Hubp

Better Days Comin’ sounds right at home next to the band’s previous two releases: IV and Karma. I personally always felt IV was a bit too boring, progressive and serious, but Better Days Comin’ seems to capture the “mature” vibe of that album a bit better either musically or lyrically with tracks like “Storm in Me”, “Tin Soldier”, “Be Who You Are Now” and “Rat Race” (which is probably the album’s best rocker). Similar to Karma though, the band is interjects some good old-fashioned fun with sex-charged tracks like “Midnight Driver of a Love Machine” and “Queen Babylon”.

“So Long China” is probably my favorite track and it’s one that has many Winger fans calling for a Kip Winger AOR album. “Out of This World” is another exceptional track and “Ever Wonder” is a classic deep-track Winger ballad. “Better Days Comin'” is pretty interesting. It starts out kinda trippy and Kip reminds me of Chris Cornell, then it breaks down into a funky rocker with the chorus. “Tin Soldier” reminds me a bit of something that Dream Theater might do (with about 8 minutes shaved off).

One particular thing I’ve noticed about this album are the lyrics. I will have to go back and check out the lyrics on their earlier releases again, but some of the words on Better Days Comin’ have really struck a chord with me. “Ever Wonder”, “So Long China”, “Out of this World” especially hit home with me.

This is one of those times where I like realy the album, but I don’t really have a whole lot to say about it so if you’re a Winger fan, go out and buy it or do whatever you have to do to listen to it. You won’t be disappointed.

Highlights: “Midnight Driver of a Love Machine”, “Queen Babylon”, “Rat Race”, “Tin Soldier”, “Ever Wonder”, “So Long China”, “Be Who You Are Now”, “Out of This World”

WINGER – In The Heart Of The Young

Winger – In The Heart Of The Young (1990, Atlantic Records)

1. “Can’t Get Enuff” … 4:19
2. “Loosen Up” … 3:29
3. “Miles Away” … 4:12
4. “Easy Come Easy Go” … 4:04
5. “Rainbow in the Rose” … 5:33
6. “In the Day We’ll Never See” … 4:51
7. “Under One Condition” … 4:27
8. “Little Dirty Blonde” … 3:32
9. “Baptized by Fire” … 4:11
10. “You Are the Saint, I Am the Sinner” … 3:35
11. “In the Heart of the Young” … 4:38

Band:
Kip Winger – Lead Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Reb Beach – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Paul Taylor – Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Rod Morgenstein – Drums, Percussion

Additional Musicians:
Paul Winger – Backing Vocals
Nate Winger – Backing Vocals
Chris Botti – Trumpet
Micheal Davis – Trombone

Producer: Beau Hill

For YEARS I’ve wanted this album and for two very big reasons: “Can’t Get Enuff” and “Easy Come Easy Go”. With my satisfaction with the recent Winger and Blackwood Creek albums I’ve gotten my hands on, I finally got around to picking up a used copy on Amazon.com for only a few dollars.

I knew going into this album that it was the least favored of all of Winger’s releases but I didn’t care because I wanted to own the album that had “Can’t Get Enuff” and “Easy Come Easy Go”! “Can’t Get Enuff” is probably my favorite Winger track and both of those songs are shining examples of pop-metal done right. What’s funny is that neither song was originally meant to be on the album. They were written and recorded at the last moment because it was decided (and rightfully so) that this album didn’t feature enough rockers. Actually, it’s not so much that there weren’t already rockers on this album, it’s that there weren’t enough quality rockers. These two last minute additions really do wonders for the album, in my opinion.

The first half of the album is extremely good. “Loosen Up” features the typical hair metal lyrics about sex but is a good rocker. “Miles Away” is a great ballad that was the band’s biggest hit, solely making this Winger’s best selling album. “Rainbow in the Rose” is a neat mid-tempo number that sees the band flexing their progressive muscles. While doing press for Karma, I recall Kip saying this song was meant to be their “Stairway to Heaven”. Not even close, buddy, but I still like it. “In the Day We’ll Never See” is another song with a progressive influence. It didn’t immediately stick out but I’ve grown to like it a lot.

The second half of the album is basically filler. “Under One Condition” is an awful ballad and is pure Top 40/Adult Contemporary drivel. “Little Dirty Blonde” gets back to typical hair metal fare but falls flat with me for some reason I can’t quite pinpoint. “Baptized By Fire” is an okay rocker but suffers from too much production and polish, same goes for “You Are the Saint, I Am the Sinner”. “In the Heart of the Young” tries to be an anthem for the youth of the world but going at such a slick mid-tempo pace, it doesn’t work. Just doesn’t have enough energy.

In the end, I have to agree with criticisms that this album suffers from overproduction. It’s not as if the first half of the album is raw but that the songs are strong and the production doesn’t affect them. It’s when you get to the second half of the album that Beau Hill’s work becomes way too obvious and hinders what is already weak material. Oh well, 6 out of 11 ain’t bad!

BTW – I LOVE the cover of this album. It looks like the poster for some ’80s scifi/fantasy movie.

Highlights: “Can’t Get Enuff”, “Loosen Up”, “Miles Away”, “Easy Come Easy Go”, “Rainbow in the Rose”, “In the Day We’ll Never See”

www.wingertheband.com
www.myspace.com/wingertheband

BLACKWOOD CREEK – Blackwood Creek

Blackwood Creek – Blackwood Creek (2010, Frontiers Records)

1. “Out In Outer Space” … 3:32
2. “Nothing But The Sun” … 3:32
3. “Your Revolution” … 3:43
4. “Dead Stung” … 4:18
5. “After Your Heart” … 4:30
6. “Albatross” … 4:21
7. “Jimmy And Georgia” … 3:40
8. “Rack Of Greed” … 2:54
9. “Love Inspector” … 3:23
10. “Joy Ride” … 3:37
11. “Wooden Shoe” … 6:29

Band:
Kip Winger – Lead Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Peter Fletcher – Guitar, Vocals
Nate Winger – Drums, Vocals

Producer: Kip Winger

Kip Winger has been a busy man these last few years. Since 2006, Winger (the band) has released two studio albums and one live album, then Winger (the man) has released a solo album but now Kip has another project in Blackwood Creek. Does this man ever sleep ?!

There’s a pretty cool back story to this release. Blackwood Creek was a band that Kip, his brother Nate and Peter Fletcher had formed way back in junior high. The band split up in 1980 with Nate and Peter going to L.A. and Kip moving to New York. Now the band has reunited in 2007 and here are the results! But don’t get the idea that this is a bunch of jams or demos from decades ago, this is 11 brand new rock ‘n’ roll songs the band recorded together.

I can’t help but hear progressive and melodic rock of Winger at the beginning of this album, but there’s less of a progressive nature and a bit more down-to-earth good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll as the album continues. It would have been interesting if the band wrote these songs like it was still the early ’70s asking themselves, “What would our album have sounded like back then?” They didn’t go into full 1970s mode, but in addition to the inevitable Winger similarities a few of these tracks do have a ’70s hard rock vibe to them. “Love Inspector” definitely the song from this album that represents ’70s classic rock the best. It’s an unapologetic sex-fueled song!

Fans of no-frills rock ‘n’ roll and fans of anything Kip Winger-related should enjoy this one. Hopefully this reunion isn’t a short-term project. I’d love to see Blackwood Creek stick around and create more new music in the years to come… If Kip has the time for it!

Highlights: “Out In Outer Space”, “Dead Stung”, “Albatross”, “Rack Of Greed”, “Love Inspector”, “Joy Ride”

www.myspace.com/blackwoodcreek

WINGER – Karma

Winger – Karma [Limited Edition] (2009, Frontiers Records – German Import)

1. “Deal With The Devil” … 3:00
2. “Stone Cold Killer” … 2:45
3. “Big World Away” … 3:50
4. “Come A Little Closer” … 2:50
5. “Pull Me Under” … 3:20
6. “Supernova” … 6:17
7. “Always Within Me” … 4:15
8. “Feeding Frenzy” … 3:00
9. “After All This Time” … 6:24
10. “Witness” … 6:59
BONUS TRACK
11. “First Ending” … 2:07

Band:
Kip Winger – Lead Vocals, Bass, Keyboard
Reb Beach – Guitar, Backing Vocals
John Roth – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rod Morgenstein – Drums, Piano

Producer: Kip Winger

This was another 2009 release that snuck up on me, I wasn’t even aware Winger had even been working on a new album until they announced the release date for Karma! I’ve never been a huge Winger fan, but I’ve always thought they were decent. 2006’s IV was fairly bland and boring though so I had no desire to hear any more albums from Winger until reviews started coming in and I’ve yet to read a negative review for this album, with one critic even going as far to say it is a career best! Positive reviews alone weren’t going to entice me though, but when I read there was a bit more of an ’80s sound to the album (Reb Beach says they were going for a “Motley Crue sound”, they didn’t get it, but I still appreciate the effort) it piqued my interest.

It took me a couple of spins to get into this album, but it is probably one of the better albums of the year and definitely a lot better than IV which was too progressive and too forced sounding when it came to having an updated sound. What we have on Karma is a blend of an old school fun pop metal approach (“Deal With The Devil”, “Stone Cold Killer”, “Always Within Me”, “Witness”) and a more modern serious style (“Come A Little Closer”, “Supernova”, “After All This Time”) that was seen on Pull (which the band references by using the logo from that album for this album) and IV.

“Supernova” is definitely my favorite song on the album, it’s got a cool dark slow groove and I just keep playing it over and over.

So, I gotta say — Winger has redeemed themselves in my eyes and all the praise they’re getting for this album is well deserved. Surprisingly, one of the year’s best releases.

The limited digipak “enhanced” edition (which as far as I know is only available as an import) features a documentary on the album and also contains the bonus track “First Ending”, which is a piano instrumental. Decent instrumental for what it is.

Highlights: “Deal With The Devil”, “Stone Cold Killer”, “Come A Little Closer”, “Pull Me Under”, “Supernova”, “After All This Time”, “Witness”

www.wingertheband.com
www.myspace.com/wingertheband

THIS IS ’80s HAIR METAL

This Is ’80s Hair Metal (2003, Deadline Records/Cleopatra Records)

Disc One: STUDIO FUELED
1. “Cherry Pie” by Warrant … 3:05
2. “Someone Like You” by Bang Tango … 4:24
3. “Cum on Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot … 4:38
4. “Smooth Up” by Bulletboys … 5:03
5. “Pissed” by Dangerous Toys … 4:10
6. “Sex Action” by L.A. Guns … 3:53
7. “Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz” by Pretty Boy Floyd … 4:07
8. “Bathroom Wall” by Faster Pussycat … 4:58
9. “Little Teaser” by Jetboy … 3:14
10. “Love Removal Machine” by Great White … 4:29
11. “Make It Go Away” by Michael Monroe … 3:01
12. “Tooth & Nail” Lynch Mob … 3:24
13. “Mean Street Machine” by King Kobra … 4:24
14. “River Gold” by Hurricane … 4:04
15. “Black Out” by Love/Hate … 2:56

Disc Two: LIVE & DANGEROUS
1. “Gypsy Road” by Cinderella … 3:39
2. “Kiss Me Deadly” by Lita Ford … 4:21
3. “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)” by Great White … 2:38
4. “One More Reason” by L.A. Guns … 3:49
5. “(You Can Still) Rock in America” by Night Ranger … 5:37
6. “Hollywood” by Junkyard … 2:50
7. “Dressed Up Vamp” by Bang Tango … 4:30
8. “Around Again” by Union … 5:53
9. “Teas’n, Pleas’n” by Dangerous Toys … 4:41
10.  “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love” by L.A. Guns … 2:18
11. “Wrathchild” by Paul DiAnno … 2:48
12. “Somebody Save Me” by Cinderella … 2:57
13. “Ramble On” by Great White … 4:36
14. “What You Say” by Saigon Kick … 3:49

Disc Three: POWER BALLADS
1. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Bret Michaels … 4:49
2. “When the Children Cry” by White Lion … 6:17
3. “Headed for a Heartbreak” by Kip Winger … 2:56
4. “Ballad of Jayne” by L.A. Guns … 5:15
5. “House of Pain” by Faster Pussycat … 7:50
6. “Ready for Love” by Great White … 4:40
7. “Sometimes She Cries” by Warrant … 4:38
8. “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (‘Til It’s Gone)” by Cinderella … 5:39
9. “Dream On” by Ronnie James Dio & Yngwie Malmsteen … 4:28
10. “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger … 5:15
11. “Close My Eyes Forever” by Lita Ford … 5:02
12. “Lights” by Tuff … 3:11
13. “Still Lovin’ You” Steve Whiteman & George Lynch … 4:52
14. “Here I Go Again” by Bernie Shaw & Bernie Madsen … 4:01
15. ??? … 3:59

Oddball hair metal compilation that I picked up from FYE shortly after it’s release. I can’t remember how much I paid for it, but I don’t think it was too much. Maybe around $15 or so, which is a good thing because as you can expect from an indie hair metal compilation — these are not the original recordings. In some cases, not even the original artists are used! Ex-Dokken guitarist George Lynch and his band Lynch Mob sub for Dokken on “Tooth & Nail”, Bret Michaels stands in for his own band Poison and then there’s the odd inclusion of Great White’s cover of The Cult’s “Love Removal Machine” (this cover has apparently made its way around many a compilations). Another odd bit is that for some reason, Love/Hate’s “Black Out in the Red Room” is now simply called “Black Out”.

Back to the re-recordings, I actually like some of these versions better than the originals (though I think it’s also possible some of these songs were demos). Working on a small budget and stripped of the overproduction that was common in the ’80s, many of these songs sound fresh, raw and energetic compared to the originals. Disc One is nothing but studio recordings and Warrant’s re-recording of “Cherry Pie” is my favorite track and I think I actually like it better than the original version. Not all of Disc One is as enjoyable though– Joe Leste and Marq Torien struggle to hit their notes on “Someone Like You” and “Smooth Up”, respectively. Then there’s the awful industrialized version of “Bathroom Wall”. Look, why does this industrial garbage version of Faster Pussycat keep getting work on these hair compilations? If Taime Downe doesn’t want to represent the music in an accurate manner, I’m sure most hair metal fans would rather Faster Pussycat is not included at all.

Disc Two is nothing but live songs. The quality (and performances) vary greatly. Disc Three is power ballads, re-recordings again, but there’s some live versions as well. On Disc Three, there is a 15th track that I cannot find any info on (my slipcase/jewel case are in storage), but the song definitely does not belong here. I’ve never heard it before and it sounds like some mellow acoustic rock/pop you’d hear on the pop stations. I’m sure there’s some hair metal connection, but sonically, it’s not there. Anyone know the song title and artist?

Personally, I wouldn’t really say “this is ’80s metal”. Not when there’s so many cover songs (by Great White alone!), re-recordings and original artists are missing. The inclusion of Union alone is enough to strike down that this is a tribute to the ’80s (they didn’t formed until 1997)! Basically, the album is hit-or-miss. It’s an inconsistent three disc set, but despite the shady marketing, I still think this is a decent collection for anyone who is heavily into the hair metal scene. There’s enough gems here to make up for having to dig through the garbage to get to them.

Highlights:
Disc One: “Cherry Pie”, “Pissed”, “Sex Action”, “Love Removal Machine”, “Tooth & Nail”, “Mean Street Machine”
Disc Two: “Gypsy Road”, “(You Can Still) Rock In America”, “Hollywood”, “Ramble On”
Disc Three: “When the Children Cry”, “Ready for Love”, “Dream On”, “Still Lovin’ You”

Buy THIS IS ’80s HAIR METAL at Amazon.com

WINGER – IV

Winger – IV (2006, Shrapnel Records)

1. “Right Up Ahead” … 5:07
2. “Blue Suede Shoes” … 3:46
3. “Four Leaf Clover” … 4:18
4. “M16” … 3:57
5. “Your Great Escape” … 3:55
6. “Disappear” … 3:49
7. “On A Day Like Today” … 6:24
8. “Livin’ Just To Die” … 3:40
9. “Short Flight To Mexico” … 4:18
10. “Generica” … 6:33
11. “Can’t Take It Back” … 5:07

Band:
Kip Winger – Lead Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards
Reb Beach – Guitar, Backing Vocals
John Roth – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Cenk Eroglu – Keyboards, Guitar
Rod Morgenstein – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Denny McDonald – Backing Vocals
Paula Winger – Backing Vocals

Produced by: Kip Winger

I have Winger’s debut album, and I like it, but I never cared enough to follow up with In the Heart of the Young or Pull. I like Kip’s voice, but the band had too much of an progressive rock/metal influence that kept me at bay.

Nonetheless, I took the chance on this album because I really liked “Generica” when it was posted online. The band doesn’t really change my mind here and in fact, I find this album to be a bit on the bland side as the progressive influence is even stronger here and the music is quite serious (no pop metal gems like “Seventeen” or “Can’t Get Enuff”).

It’s not all bad, there are a few songs I like, but for an album I didn’t expect much from in the first place, I still felt letdown. I never pull this one out to listen to.

Popular comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver drew the cover and the story goes that he hid something devious (possibly filthy) in the art, but I sure can’t see anything.

Highlights: “Four Leaf Clover”, “Your Great Escape”, “Disappear”, “Generica”, “Can’t Take It Back”

www.wingertheband.com
www.myspace.com/wingertheband

MONSTER BALLADS XMAS

Various Artists – Monster Ballads Xmas (2007, Razor & Tie Direct)

Track Listing:
1. “Jingle Bells” – Skid Row … 3:02
2. “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” – Winger … 4:06
3. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – Jani Lane … 3:35
4. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” – Twisted Sister (w/ Lita Ford) … 4:09
5. “White Christmas” – Queensryche … 2:28
6. “Run Rudolph Run” – L.A. Guns … 3:10
7. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – FireHouse … 3:07
8. “Naughty Naughty Christmas” – Danger Danger … 4:56
9. “Blue Christmas” – Tom Keifer … 4:15
10. “Jingle Bell Rock” – Nelson … 2:52
11. “Silent Night” – Faster Pussycat … 4:13
12. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” – Dokken … 4:01
13. “Happy Holidays” – Enuff Z’Nuff … 4:23
14. “Winter Wonderland” – Stryper … 3:34
15. “Christmas Love” – Billy Idol … 3:57

Produced by: Michael Anderson & Beka Callaway

Another album in the long-running Monster series from Razor & Tie, this time with a Christmas theme, although calling it “Monster Ballads Xmas” doesn’t make much since because most of these songs are not ballads. Why not just “Monster Xmas“? Or get really old school with “Monsters of Rock Xmas“?

Anyway, I picked the year of it’s release at Target, of all places. It’s a decent release, though it pales in comparison to 2008’s excellent We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year from Armoury Records.

I don’t have to tell you that Faster Pussycat, as always with compilations and cover albums, sticks out like a sore thumb here with their more recent and improved industrial sound. Just an awful rendition of “Silent Night”. What is it with “Silent Night” getting so screwed up on these metal Xmas compilations? Queensryche does a pretty bad version of “White Christmas” as well. Geoff Tate’s voice sounds horrible here. Like someone trying to sound like Edguy’s Tobias Sammett but totally failing.

Dokken’s version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” is actually pretty funny to me because of the fact that it sounds EXACTLY like a Dokken song. They totally made it their own and you’d swear Don wrote the song himself.

Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French, certainly inspired by the Christmas spirit after the success of A Twisted Christmas, executive produced.

Highlights: “Happy Christmas (War is Over)”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, “Naught Naughty Christmas”, “Blue Christmas”, “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”, “Happy Holiday”

WINGER – Winger

Winger – Winger (1988, Atlantic Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Madalaine” … 3:41
2. “Hungry” … 3:58
3. “Seventeen” … 4:04
4. “Without the Night” … 5:02
5. “Purple Haze” … 3:37
6. “State of Emergency” … 3:35
7. “Time to Surrender” … 4:09
8. “Poison Angel” … 3:27
9. “Hangin On” … 3:34
10. “Headed for a Heartbreak” … 5:10
11. “Higher and Higher” [CD Bonus Track] … 3:18

Band:
Kip Winger – Vocals, Bass
Reb Beach – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rod Morgenstein – Drums, Backing Vocals
Paul Taylor – Keyboard, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Dweezil Zappa – Guitar
Beau Hill – Backing Vocals
Ira McLaughlin – Backing Vocals
Sandra Park – Strings
Rebecca Young – Strings
Hae Young Ham – Strings
Maria Kitsopoulos – Strings

Produced by: Beau Hill

Kip Winger got his big break writing “Bang Bang (Balls of Fire)” for KIX’s Midnite Dynamite album and as the bassist for Alice Cooper during the Constrictor and Raise Your First and Yell albums, but then decided to form his own band bring along the very accomplished Reb Beach.

This debut is certainly the work of a hair band (“Seventeen” proves that), but Winger has always been a bit more progressive and melodic as well. It’s a great debut and I’ve always thought Kip had one of the better voices in the genre. That said, I do have ONE gripe about the album… “Purple Haze”. I’m not a Hendrix fan at all, so I don’t even like the original, but their cover of it is horrible!

“Higher and Higher” was an exclusive release for the CD pressing for the album. I’ve never understood why bands/labels did that, I guess they were just trying to turn people onto CDs and get’em away from cassettes. Oh well. It’s a pretty good song.

Lowlight: All is good but “Purple Haze”

www.wingertheband.com
www.myspace.com/wingertheband

ALICE COOPER – Trash

Alice Cooper – Trash (1989, Epic Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Poison” … 4:30
2. “Spark in the Dark” .. 3:52
3. “House of Fire” … 3:47
4. “Why Trust You” … 3:12
5. “Only My Heart Talkin'” … 4:46
6. “Bed of Nails” … 4:20
7. “This Maniac’s in Love With You” … 3:48
8. “Trash” … 4:02
9. “Hell Is Living Without You” … 4:11
10. “I’m Your Gun” … 3:49

Band:
Alice Cooper – Vocals

And then an absolute bevy of session musicians and special guests including (but not limited to):
Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and former Cooper bandmates Kip Winger and Kane Roberts.

Produced by: Desmond Child

A lot of metal fans don’t care for producer Desmond Child. Any album he produces and writes on has a slick pop-metal style, but I personally have no problem with that. In fact, pop-metal is one my favorite genres of rock. Desmond has done some great work with bands like KISS, Bon Jovi (Slippery When Wet, anyone?), Vince Neil, Scorpions, Ratt and Aerosmith. So a Desmond Child-Alice Cooper effort makes for another great Desmond-helmed album in my opinion and “Poison” is my favorite Alice Cooper song. I’m almost in a trance whenever I hear it.

I don’t find a pop-metal album by Alice to feel out of place in his catalog at all. Most of the 80s hard rockers owed a little bit to Alice anyway as I’ve always considered the Coop and KISS to be the Godfathers of Shock Rock while those two groups plus Van Halen are the Godfathers of Hair Metal, IMO.

This easily is my favorite Alice album and I remember playing this album most of my junior year in high school, skipping lunch and sitting in my next class’ room waiting for it to begin. I’m sure most people would argue his early-mid 70s is his best, and while I enjoy certain tracks from those albums, they’re hard for me to digest as whole. There’s just some weird stuff there and garage rock isn’t really my style.

“Trash” is a fun tune sung with Jon Bon Jovi and sees Alice Cooper & Jon going totally hair metal on us with the innuendos (“If my love was like a lollipop, would you lick it?”). Steven Tyler shares vocal duties on the ballad “Only My Heart Talkin'”. It’s just a fun record, loaded with guest stars, and his next album, Hey Stoopid, makes for a great companion piece because it continued the sound heard here.

Highlights: “Poison”, “Spark in the Dark”, “Why Trust You”, “Only My Heart Talkin'”, “Bed of Nails”, “Trash”, “Hell Is Living Without You”, “I’m Your Gun”

www.alicecooper.com
www.myspace.com/officialalicecooper

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