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 Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 12 December. The session above was a Halloween Special streamed on 31 October 2021. Josh’s next session is Sunday 30 January 2022.

Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 December 2021 and celebrates The Best of 2021 based on the GRTR! reviewer selections and popular poll results.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT 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 26 December 2021 and features show highlights from the year (Part 1).

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com



Power Plays w/c 10 January (Mon-Fri)
SMOKING MARTHA Wild & Free (Xelon Entertainment)
TRUE NORTH Fix (Out Of Line Music)
COLLECTED Say When (indie)
ABOUT KINGS Heaven On Down The Highway (indie)
WHALEDOG Leave Me Alone (indie)
LED BY LANTERNS Six Feet Down (indie)
KROOKED TONGUE Freaky Love (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 10 January (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 BITE THE BULLET End Of The Line (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 CRYSTAL BALL Crysteria (Massacre Records)
14:00-16:00 SEAN TAYLOR The Beat Goes On (indie)



Popular (last 30 days)


This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS, Reissues and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply