Highly Profitable Sex
Overall Album Score: 9.4 out of 10
Billion Dollar Babies was quite a commercial success for Alice Cooper, and it's the only album of his to chart #1 on the U.S. pop charts. It didn't only do that, but it topped the British pop charts. If only people would buy tasteful music in such large numbers these days! And what a fantastic album this is! Alice Cooper continues to write music in the same showman's vein that he had started with School's Out except this manages to be more furious and even more solid.
What else should I need to point out other than "Elected?" That's a furious song with glorious arrangements and a pompous mood that absolutely nails its subject matter. It's difficult to think about any other song that captures the pompous, self-glorifying spirit of politicians in election campaigns. Yeah, Alice Cooper was exaggerating that feeling, but I can easily picture any political candidate running that song through the mind while on the campaign trail.
"No More Mr. Nice Guy" was the famous pop-hit from the album, and that's a famous song for excellent reason. It's just a good, catchy track with an extremely memorable chorus. I still remember hearing Alice Cooper singing this song at his concert I attended in 2005 as if it were yesterday... The title track is another hugely memorable one. There are so many good ideas, but the one that I can't get out of my mind is his idea to sing the chorus like usual but also have a sinister voice speaking them. It also helps that the melody is wonderful anyway.
All throughout, this band proves why they're so highly regarded among rock enthusiasts. There's nothing like those guitar licks and solid solos --- they accomplish this while always keeping the focus on the songwriting. There is hardly a wasted note.
Every single track on this album is great, but there are a few tracks present that keep this from becoming a total masterpiece. "Generation Landslide" might be loaded with ideas, but it seems like a comparatively weaker effort compared to the rest of the album. Also, "Raped and Freezin'" might sound pretty solid and accomplished --- but that just doesn't have the same amount of wild ideas as the rest. But these "weak spots" I speak of only exist because of the impossibly high standards Alice Cooper has set.
This is a hugely enjoyable album through and through with wholesome creativity! I don't want to refund a single second of the time I invested in listening to this. In fact, I'm going to listen to it many times again! Hooray!!!
Overall Album Score: 9.4 out of 10 (This is certainly one of my favorite Alice Cooper albums, and it vies for that position...)
Average Song Score: 9.3 (Great, solid songwriting. There's not a weak track in sight...)
Album Tilt: 9.5 (This is a fun album that's loaded with diversity.)
Artist Rating: 9.5 (More freshness from Alice Cooper --- this album is remarkable and creative!)
Hello Hooray 9.5/10
I was surprised to learn that this is an old folk song previously covered by Judy Collins. Alice Cooper isn't known for covers, so I had always just assumed that this was an original composition --- but it isn't! It's surely much different than the Collins version, and it's vastly superior. Collins version was pleasant to hear, but this sounds like that it's the whole reason for the original version to have existed. It's much more violent and passionate for a start--- Furnier sings it with conviction and, at the end, there's a bit of a holler in his voice. The arrangements are grandiose and glorious --- they just use the usual array of guitars and synthesizers, but it's wonderful. This is a really nice song to rile you up to take in the rest of the album.
Raped and Freezin' 8.5/10
Funny, but this sort of proves why this album can't be considered any better than Killer. Why? Just because it's not a spectacular composition. It's very tight and well constructed with a melody that's fine --- but it's just not totally inspired. Not that it isn't likable, and it's certainly not cheap. They certainly do some unpredictable things in here --- most notably, turning this into a bit of an upbeat Latin number at the very end. Yes, it's a good song, but --- it's not fantastic. That's only a pointed problem, because this is Alice Cooper, and Alice Cooper is usually fantastic.
Ah, super sweet! This is an absolutely THUNDERING song that tracks the journey of somebody running for public office who sings "I wanna be ELECTEEEEEEED!!!!!!!" Yes, I have many great memories blasting this baby out of my car stereo at full volume while driving down the highway. First of all, I'm going to mention that the arrangements are perfect. It's extremely loud and pompous and Furnier sings the vocals at the top of his lungs. But for once, I can get completely caught up in the spirit, which seems very appropriate for the fast paced and overblown energy of a high-profile political campaign. Way to go, Alice Cooper...
Billion Dollar Babies 10/10
Of course, no Alice Cooper album would be complete without its fair share of hopelessly catchy melodies. This does more, melody-wise, than I hear from most albums. This is a tune that gets caught in my head frequently --- I think of it every time I see the name of the song. So, needless to say it's extremely memorable. The arrangements are certainly unique, complex and well constructed. The drumming is wonderful, and you also have to love these great guitar licks. The chorus is spooky and the novelty value of having someone sing the lyrics and then someone else talking the lyrics in a sinister voice never grows old... Absolutely wonderful...
Unfinished Sweet 9/10
Don't think for one moment an Alice Cooper album wouldn't have a track like this in it! You'd think it's an experimental track, because this track does seem to be such a hodgepodge of different ideas. This track is six minutes long and it has many different, seemingly unrelated ideas. Sound effects of a dentist drill --- nods to the famous James Bond musical sequence --- and then space age waves of noise for no apparent reason. At that same time, all of this seems perfectly deliberate, and there's nothing rocky at all about the development. This turns out to be quite a treat, and it's truly amazing on the composition standpoint.
No More Mr. Nice Guy 10/10
What? Did I say "Billion Dollar Babies" was catchy? It's not as catchy as this one --- This is the big pop hit from the album. It's just a good pop-rocker that's destined to continue playing on classic rock radio for many years to come. That's all I really need to say about it. You know how the chorus goes --- "No more Mr. Nice Guy/No more Mr. Cle-e-e-ean..."
Generation Landslide 8.5/10
Creativity always wins above everything else in my book, and this is certainly creative. I bet you know what I'm getting at --- this isn't unequivocally enjoyable. Everything about it is solid, but it fails to capture any significant spirit or any hopelessly unforgettable melodic hooks. Again, I can only complain about these things because of the impossibly high standard they're set at. The development of the song is interesting, again, and I think it works. It's fun to hear what direction they're going to take this suite...
Sick Things 9/10
Here is an interesting track--- It repeats his idea to sing the lyrics and have a completely different voice whisper them. That creates a monumentally creepy atmosphere, and that's only amplified by the sort of death march going on with the drums. Geez, no wonder the parents were frightened of Alice Cooper! ... The arrangements create such an ominous atmosphere and mood. It's weird and effective.
Mary Ann 8.5/10
And that fades into this ... a regular jazz-era showtune. It's so normal that it's almost creepy. ... In fact you're lead to feel a little strange about it just because you're still a little weirded out by the previous track. On its own, is a nice catchy tune...
I Love the Dead 10/10
There's nothing like Alice Cooper's full-fledged foray into cheesy B-grade horror rock. I heard rumors that it was about necrophilia --- and it could be for all I know. Reading the lyrics for myself, you could also interpret that it's about an even nuttier version of Frankenstein. (OK, it's hard to ignore the panting you hear in that repeated chorus at the end of "I love the dead!") Alice Cooper doesn't consider it to be about necrophilia anymore, because he's a Born Again Christian now (something he doesn't talk about a whole lot). This song is completely devilish and so much fun to indulge in...
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