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New Music Review ALICE COOPER “Muscle of Love” (Hybrid SACD – DSD)

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Alice Cooper – vocals
Glen Buxton – lead guitar
Michael Bruce – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Dennis Dunaway – bass guitar, backing vocals
Neal Smith – drums, backing vocals
Mick Mashbir – guitar
Dick Wagner – guitar
Bob Dolin – keyboards, background vocals

Big Apple Dreamin’ (Hippo)
Never Been Sold Before
Hard Hearted Alice
Crazy Little Child
Working Up a Sweat
Muscle of Love
Man with the Golden Gun
Teenage Lament ’74
Woman Machine

Review-Muscle of Love will always be seen as the “ forgotten” record by Alice Cooper. It was in the middle of Billion Dollar Babies and Welcome to my Nightmare, which for any cd is a hard task. While Muscle of Love marked a return for the band to this minus the theatrics straight forward basic rock record. The big deal to the production of this record is that Bob Ezrin was not in the fold. Let’s be honest, when it comes to classic records it is so hard to follow them up. When people think of most bands they have that one definition record that defines them, then when you listen to what they followed it up with, the feelings are of a letdown sort of feel. How do you follow up a classic like Billion Dollar Babies and so fast at that. You have to think both records came out in the same year in 1973. Muscle of Love I feel is a raw record for the band, at the time they were fighting with Bob Ezrin which led to him being ejected off the production, the band itself has inner turmoil and was teasing a break up was impending. This record seems to be the divided land that the band had at the time. Alice wanted the old school theatrics that people loved from him, the rest of the band wanted the music to do the talking.

This record seemed to showcase what this band could offer, you have the Dixieland rock sound of Crazy Little Child, which is a great track that goes forgotten by today’s classic rock fans. The depth of the playing on this track showcases that this band was well aware of what bands like Cream, Zeppelin and The Who brought to the forefront. Woman Machine and Hard Hearted Alice had to be considered more Pink Floyd inspired than anything else with electronic and space rock influences throughout. Teenage Lament ‘74 is a hidden gem on this record you had the backup group of The Pointer Sisters, Liza Minelli and Ronnie Spector, and they really showcase such a beauty to what they bring to the track. People could perceive this record as a concept album of sort where the music seems to focus on a sex, a lot of innuendos and references thru the songs. It also features a running theme of independence and making you way up the world. The sound on this remaster is flawless and just out right jaw-dropping. I will admit I am a Alice fan but I always avoided this record for the rumors that seem to still run to this day about where the mindset of the band was at. That is a shame though, this record while not the classic Alice we know and love, this record is a great sign that Alice Cooper and his band were more than image, that they had a band who could back up a singer who is such a one of a kind icon.

8 out of 10

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