Killer ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: 2567-2
Label:
Warner Bros
Category:
Hard Rock
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"Alice Cooper wasted little time following up the breakthrough success of Love It to Death with another album released the same year, Killer. Again, producer Bob Ezrin was on board and helps the group solidify their heavy rock (yet wide-ranging) style even further. The band's stage show dealt with the macabre, and such disturbing tracks as "Dead Babies" and the title track fit in perfectly. Other songs were even more exceptional, such as the perennial barnstorming concert standard "Under My Wheels," the melodic yet gritty "Be My Lover," and the tribute to their fallen friend Jim Morrison, "Desperado." The long and winding "Halo of Flies" correctly hinted that the band would be tackling more complex song structures on future albums, while "You Drive Me Nervous" and "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" showed that Alice Cooper hadn't completely abandoned their early garage rock direction. With Killer, they became one of the world's top rock bands and concert attractions; it rewarded them as being among the most notorious and misunderstood entertainers, thoroughly despised by grownups." - Allmusic Guide

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  • "GAZPACHO was formed in 1996 by Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen and Jan-Henrik Ohme, later completed by the three others. They released six studio albums, which were well received. The Norwegian band is bringing out their seventh album, ‘March Of Ghosts’ which Vilbo describes as “a collection of short stories. The idea behind the album was to have the lead character spend a night where all these ghosts (dead and alive) would march past him to tell their stories. Characters include Haitian war criminals, the crew of the Marie Celeste, a returning American WWI soldier who finds himself in 2012 and the ghost of an English comedy writer who was wrongly accused of treason.” You might then expect quite a dramatic concept album with a lot of turbulent and heavy soundscapes or with the ghostliness some eerie and ethereal, thickly layered atmospheric songs, but with the mixture of ambient and folk elements into their post-art rock sound the music is more on the relaxing side. Though the layers and atmosphere are there, it’s rather straightforward and unpretentious and accessible. Many of the songs are dreamy, mostly evoked by Ohme’s vocal, take the first part of the ‘Hell Freezes Over’ songs, of which the second part, following the first, ups on the intensity, but it’s still pretty low key affair, reminiscent of MUSE. Added interest to this song comes with some bagpipe-y, Celtic sounds towards the end raising the oomph as it fades. ‘Black Lily’ is enhanced by some unimposing and non-bombastic orchestra parts. Some compare GAZPACHO to ANATHEMA, PORCUPINE TREE and MARILLION, yet the sound so many times reminds me of the band I’ve previously mentioned – MUSE, this track in some ways is the most representative of it - with the vocals and the way the melody sways, lets go and intensifies with that nearly MUSE-like music diction. Guitar details and folk-ish elements in the ‘Gold Star’ change this tack somewhat and earn rather the comparison with MARILLION. The violin and dreaminess in the third part of ‘Hell Freezes Over’ and its melancholy create the best moment of the album together with ‘Mary Celeste’ which has this precarious steering towards heavier sound with some wonderful detailing going on with piano, and darker, moodier strings. The lyrical narrative stands out more here too. ‘Golem’ has a most pronounced sense of experimentation woven together in an appealing way. Lyrically I especially enjoy how they’ve worked the legend of Golem into an interesting metaphor. The last part of ‘Hell Freezes Over’ is the hardest here, yet atmospheric and quite beautiful and the reference to ANATHEMA comes justified here. In fact within the last few sentences I have also written some of the adjectives that fit this album overall quite well - appealing, (very) interesting, beautiful, and also a multi-faceted and richly rewarding listen. " - Reflections In Darkness
    $16.00
  • Third album from this fine Polish prog band finds them stepping up their game even further. Believe is led by former Collage/Satellite guitarist Mirek Gil. Those bands had a decidedly symphonic sound, but with Believe a more modern sound is achieved, moving the band more in the direction of bands like Riverside. One of the key elements of the band is the use of violin and flute, adding a classical dimension and a nice counterpoint to Gil's Gilmour-esque guitar lines. Oh yeah - there is a new vocalist in place. His name is Karol Wróblewski and he's great. His expressiveness reminds me a bit of Mariusz Duda. This is the limited edition digipak that comes with one bonus track. How limited? I don't know but experience with Metal Mind tells me that eventually it will be gone....
    $15.00
  • Stunning new album from Crippled Black Phoenix arrives as a sprawling 2LP set. This is one of the hottest progressive bands on the planet. Led by Justin Greaves, CBP channel the spirit of early Pink Floyd but update it with modern production. This is the band's fourth (or fifth depending on how you count) album. There is a thematic subtext dealing with corruption and injustice. This seems to be a recurring theme with CBP. Listen to this album - you can just hear a band about to explode on the world wide stage. BUY OR DIE!FOREIGN CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE HEAVIER WEIGHT OF VINYL YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING CHARGES.
    $29.00
  • "It has been an eventful year or so in the world of Haken. In September 2013, the sextet released what can only be described as a masterpiece of progressive music in the form of their third album, the magnificent ‘The Mountain’. This album received almost universal critical acclaim upon its release and even led to interest from the likes of Mike Portnoy (Flying Colors, Transatlantic) and Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess. In the case of the former, it led to an invitation to play the inaugural ‘Progressive Nation At Sea’, but thanks to both ringing endorsements, the door to the American market has opened more widely of late. And if that wasn’t enough, Haken recently received no less than three nominations in the Progressive Music Awards, quite an achievement for a band so relatively young.However, with the smooth, also comes the rough and almost immediately following the release of this ‘breakthrough’ album, bassist Tom MacLean announced his departure from Haken. An apparently amicable split, it was nevertheless a hurdle that had to be overcome at a point when the largest wave of the band’s career was about to be crested. An international audition invitation was extended and, following an extensive search, a young American by the name of Conner Green was assimilated into the Haken collective. Welcome sir!In many ways, ‘Restoration’ a three-track EP is as much a bedding-in of their new colleague as it is an opportunity to maintain the momentum created by ‘The Mountain’ whilst a new full-length album is brought to life. That said, to consider ‘Restoration’ a stop-gap is disingenuous in the extreme. It may only contain three tracks, but when the three tracks last well over half an hour and sound this good, who cares?The three compositions that make up this EP are very loosely based on tracks from the bands 2007/08 demo days, thoroughly re-envisioned, re-worked and re-produced in order to reflect the changing personnel and the experience gained since the demos were originally written. The result is, frankly, stunning.Whilst it took me a good many spins and many hours of effort to get fully submerged into the world of ‘The Mountain’, the music on ‘Restoration’ is much more immediate to these ears. No less complex and challenging of course, but for some reason, the music has ‘clicked’ much more quickly here.The EP opens up with ‘Darkest Light’, (Official video below) an energetic track that ably demonstrates the up-tempo and powerful side of Haken well. It’s an agile composition too that alters pace and timing signatures seemingly at will and pulls in influences from everyone from Dream Theater to Meshuggah. The latter is primarily due to the impressive combination of Ray Hearne’s powerful drumming, the chunky guitar tones courtesy of Charlie Griffiths and Richard Henshall and Green’s intricate bass work. Importantly however, the song is never derivative and contains everything you now expect from a band at the height of their powers. It’s a piece of music that oozes class but also offers that touch of playful cheekiness that has become synonymous with the Haken sound.‘Earthlings’ is a completely different proposition entirely. For my money, its closest reference point would be ‘Deathless’ from ‘Visions’ in so far as it is a much more introspective track with real atmosphere and a quiet, brooding intensity that is utterly beguiling. The melodies are much more immediate, much more pronounced and the whole thing builds beautifully and stubbornly towards a fulfilling climax that pushes all the right buttons.The undisputed star of the show however, is ‘Crystallised’. At over 19 minutes, it offers a return of the Haken ‘epic’, joining the likes of ‘Visions’ and ‘Celestial Elixir’ in an already formidable armoury. If anything, ‘Crystallised’ may be even better than the aforementioned, thereby easily taking its place among the very best that Haken has ever created.First and foremost, the sheer ambition is staggering. The composition begins unassumingly enough but quickly reveals a more grandiose underbelly thanks to some lush orchestral arrangements. From then on, the gloves well and truly come off and Haken take us on a wondrous journey full of twists and turns, light and shade, lengthy and dextrous instrumental segments and gorgeous melodies that stay with you long after the music has ended.There are echoes of those Gentle Giant influences and nods towards ‘Cockroach King’ et al in some of the a capella segments as well as hints of ‘Pareidolia’ at other times, thanks to that by now familiar delivery of vocalist Ross Jennings. Never once do the extended instrumental passages, led by the flamboyant keys of Diego Tejeida feel contrived or out of place; they are full of those classic progressive overindulgences, further reinforcing the importance of the likes of Yes, early Genesis and many others, but crucially, they fit in with the core of the composition and seamlessly segue from one to another perfectly.And then, everything comes together in what I can only describe as a stunningly epic finale, the kind where the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and you find yourself grinning from ear to ear, enveloped in a musical utopia. The melodies are so uplifting and gorgeous that, coupled with the grandiose return of the orchestral embellishments, mere words find it hard to adequately express just how good it makes you feel.The bones of these songs may have been written many years ago in the band’s infancy. However, they have been brought back to life in the most brilliant way possible; taking everything that’s been good about the band in recent years and applying them to their early past to create something truly special. I only wish that ‘Restoration’ was six, seven or eight songs long. Mind you, if it were, I think I might have fainted from bliss before reaching the conclusion." - Man Of Much Metal blog
    $14.00
  • Brilliant classically influenced Italian prog album. Pierrot Lunaire was a trio led by keyboardist Arturo Stalteri.  Delicate music that easily fits into the "Rock Progressivo Italiano" movement.  One of the great ones.
    $15.00
  • "Donald Fagen's second solo album is a song cycle of sorts, following the adventures of an imaginary protagonist as he travels the world in his car, a brand-new Kamakiri. It is an odd concept, and one that is not obvious to the listener, but reflection upon Fagen's liner notes while listening to the album does tend to evoke a vision of a non-apocalyptic near future, where swingers sip cocktails and fresh vegetable juices as they groove to synthesized jazz-rock. Evocative or not, this is not Fagen's best effort. The songs on Kamakiriad are mainly static one-chord vamps, with little of the interesting off-beat hits or chord changes that characterized most of Steely Dan's corpus (although, it must be said, Two Against Nature isn't too far conceptually from what Fagen is doing here). There is a slightly antiseptic feeling to Kamakiriad. Although the drum tracks are not synthesized, they sure sound that way, and even the horns sound electronic at times, a far cry from the lush arrangements of Aja. Another shortcoming of this record is the fact that the verse melodies don't sound very developed. The choruses are as catchy and cryptic as you would expect from Donald Fagen, but the verses are less than memorable. Walter Becker, who produced the record, as well as contributing bass and guitar, also co-wrote "Snowbound." Perhaps not surprisingly, it does the best job at evoking classic Steely Dan. Kamakiriad is pleasant as background music, but in the end it doesn't provide enough interesting moments to rank as a must-have. The static grooves, coupled with the long song lengths, and general lack of dynamic movement makes this record one of the least essential of Fagen's recorded output. However, Steely Dan completists will certainly find enough here to keep them happy." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • BACK IN PRINT Renowned guitarist Scott McGill returns with his second instrumental solo album. Influenced by legends Bill Connors and Allan Holdsworth, McGill reinvents the genre by creating an aggressive style of progressive fusion. His high-energy fretwork matched by the potent rhythm section of Chico Huff (Mistaken Identities) on bass, and Vic Stevens (Gongzilla, Mistaken Identities) on drums. Ripe charts a new direction for both fusion and progressive rock.
    $5.00
  • New edition comes with a bonus DVD filled with videos and documentaries. Same price as before!!Amaranthe are a new Swedish/Danish band signed to Spinefarm. The band is fronted by Elize, who you will know from her touring with Kamelot. To say Elize is hot is an understatement. The band don't take the expected gothic metal route. Their order of business is a mix of poppy-melodic metal laced with death metal. Curiously the band features three vocalists. Elize is front and center but she shares the spotlight with the death growls of Dreamland's Jake E and the clean vocals of Andy Solvestrom. At times there is a similarity to some of Delain's poppier tunes but the death growls add a heavier aspect. There was a buzz developing on this disc before it hit here - I have to say I was quite surprised.
    $12.00
  • "This sophomore release by German outfit Seven Steps to the Green Door is an odd one, very well made, well performed, but still an odd one.In the 10 tracks on the CD, 12 if you have the US version with bonus tracks, the band steers it's listener through an erratic - or perhaps rather eclectic - menu of all sorts from the world of music.The compositions themselves have a high degree of variation, the first bonus track the most stellar example with segments exploring funk, laidback jazz and prog metal in one and the same song, but most other tracks have style variations with a minimum of two different styles explored.Lighter neo-progressive touches and heavy progressive rock leaning towards prog metal at times are the most dominant features, closely followed by jazz and fusion. Spirited and energetic in general, and even the hip hop or nu-metal inspired vocal segments come across rather well.The mix and production are high class, but seems to be directed at a mainstream audience though. The guitars are tuned down, contrasts are dampened rather than highlighted; and for such an adventurous creation the overall sound is very slick. Perhaps too slick to cater for a progressive audience; while the music may be too weird for a more mainstream oriented public. Personally I found this to be a great record; but can understand those who doesn't manage to get enthralled by this one.Still - a highly worth investigating tag for this production from me." - ProgArchives
    $3.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a remastered edition of the 1980 album by the Canadian Progressive Rock group FM, City Of Fear . The band began life in 1976 with CAMERON HAWKINS (Synthesisers, Bass, Vocals) and NASH THE SLASH (Jeff Plewman) (Electric Violin, Mandolin, Vocals) coming together as a duo, making an appearance on national TV in Canada in the Summer of 1976. By March 1977 FM became a trio with the addition of MARTIN DELLAR on Drums. The band s debut album followed. In 1978 Nash the Slash was been replaced by BEN MINK on Electric Violin and Mandolin. City of Fear was the fourth album by the band, released in 1980 and was produced by Synthesiser wizard Larry Fast (of Synergy and musician with Nektar and Peter Gabriel). This Esoteric Recordings release is the first time City of Fear has been issued in Europe and has been newly remastered and includes an illustrated booklet and a new essay."
    $17.00
  • Our good friends in Delain have signed a worldwide deal with Napalm Records.  The band is planning a new studio release for early 2014.  In the interim we have Interlude.  Its a CD/DVD collection of unreleased and non-album material.  Some of this dates back to the April Rain line up while other tracks are from the We Are The Others sessions.  The band also kindly included some live tracks from their Female Metal Voices X festival appearance.  Further, there is a (PAL Region 0 format) DVD that includes video footage from the festival, promo videos, and backstage footage.  My extremely biased opinion is that this is a must own.
    $16.00
  • "German heavy metal marauders Scorpions recorded seven studio records before breaking in to the U.S. market in 1982 with Blackout. The album became the group's first platinum disc in the U.S., and the dynamic single "No One Like You" became a staple of album rock radio. While the Scorpions had created powerful anthems and epic rockers in the past, Blackout mixed the ingredients just right. The title track was an endorphin rush of fast-riffing guitars and electrified, high-pitched vocals that culminated with the sound of shattering glass. "Can't Live Without You" was a powerful melange of flash, firepower, and pure melody, and the slow, surging "China White" sounded like a psychedelic interpretation of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." After years of ignored visas, Scorpions had finally arrived in America."  -- Jon Wiederhorn
    $5.00
  • "Having morphed--some would argue devolved--into a predictable ballad machine by the '80s, it's good to be reminded of Chicago's original artistic ethos and vibrant promise. And what better place to start than their spectacular 1969 debut? This digitally remastered edition compiles the double album on a single disc that retains the original LP artwork and features a 16-page booklet with a retrospective essay (based on new band member interviews) by David Wild. Chicago weren't yet the '70s hit-singles factory they would shortly become, and CTA showcases a band whose muscular musicianship and creative restlessness fostered two LPs worth of music that was as aggressive and far-ranging as its singles were friendly and inviting. Tellingly, the hits showcased here--"Does Anybody Know What Time It Is?" "Beginnings," "Questions 67 and 68," and their rhythmically pumped cover of the Spencer Davis Group's "I'm a Man"--were often edited down from the original collection's suite-heavy structure. But those familiar cuts belie the downright progressive and angular nature of much of the rest, which fuses Terry Kath's neo-psychedelic guitar (which careens to noisy, feedback-laden Hendrixesque extremes on "Free Form Guitar") to one of rock's pioneering horn sections with enough experimentalism ("Poem 58") that it frequently overwhelms their undeniable genius with a pop song. Chicago would seldom sound so adventurous after this, one of rock's greatest debut albums." --Jerry McCulley
    $6.00
  • Well Opeth went and did it.  They gave prog rock fans the album they've been waiting for - the one that Heritage alluded to and came close to delivering.  Pale Communion is a full on prog album.  All clean vocals, tons of gorgeous keyboard sounds that will conjure up images of the 70s.  In fact if this album arrived with a Vertigo swirl on it I wouldn't have been surprised.  Some heavy riffing but no real metal elements within earshot.  The album was mixed by Steven Wilson and if anyone knows "the sound" its him.  By the way the album was recorded at Rockfield Studios which is holy ground for prog fans.  Prog rock album of the year?  You bet!  BUY OR DIE!!
    $29.00