Album review: ALICE COOPER – Billion Dollar Babies

Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies

Audio Fidelity [Release date 01.03.14]

There’s been something of a glut of Alice Cooper re-issues of late – Trash and Hey Stoopid, The Eyes Of Alice Cooper and Dirty Diamonds, and Brutally Live – to name but a few.  This hybrid SACD version of 1973′s Billion Dollar Babies is the latest to hit the racks, mastered by Steve Hoffman, and individually numbered on the Audio Fidelity 24k gold discs.

According to Hoffman, the tapes were the original mix compilation reels done at the Record Plant back in 1973.  First, each and every edit was fixed – the glue on the tape splices had bled over the years – and the songs were then digitised one by one.

Apparently due to the number of edits and level changes the original LP was cut from a “mastered” copy of these tapes generated by applying a set of uniform EQ and compression settings.  Hoffman’s aim, using the technology now available, was to capture what band and producer got to hear in the studio back in the day.  So by rights, this should be the definitive audio release.

There seems little point in reviewing the artistic merits of what was the Alice Cooper band’s most commercially successful release – the only Alice Cooper album to hit #1 on both sides of the Atlantic and spawning four era defining hits – Elected, Hello Hooray, No More Mr Nice Guy and Billion Dollar Babies itself.

It was, and remains a classic album.  Fans will no doubt have indulged in the 2001 2CD ‘deluxe’ release that included a bonus CD of live numbers and outtakes.  The bonus disc was, frankly, of dubious necessity but the package as whole rather nice.  The one omission, though, was a replica of the billion dollar bill that graced the inner of the original gatefold sleeve.

That omission is rectified with this hybrid SACD release, and that, along with limited edition numbering and ‘definitive’ mastering, will be the major selling point as most of us will, I suspect, not have SACD compatible hardware.  So how does it sound ‘back to back with’ the deluxe edition on a reasonably priced home hi-fi system?  Well, the answer is there’s not a lot of discernable difference and unless you’re using state of the art SACD equipment, it’s probably not worth investing in the expectation of aural nirvana.  Great album, though.  *****

Review by Pete Whalley




 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)

Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts, Reissues and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply