DVD-Video/CD: Eagle Rock Entertainment
A few weeks ago, Alice Cooper played at a venue that I could get to in a few hours; however, I decided that it would be a bit much to handle during the middle of a workweek so I passed on the opportunity. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the DVD format I was able to see Cooper perform for the first time since I watched his Welcome To My Nightmare TV special many moons ago.
If you enjoy Rock Theater at its very best then you will begin to understand what all the talk has been about a Cooper show. I have read countless stories about the man and his music. A particularly eye opening tale is the book Billion Dollar Baby (which is out of print and goes for $100 at Amazon.com now), the story of that tour and all the members of the Alice Cooper band at the time. As you would expect, the ultimate in decadence and substance abuse is big part of the story.
Here we are several years later and all of that insanity is behind Cooper, he survived and recovered. Thanks to life changing events for the performer, we now have a great show to watch from July 2000 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. Cooper was crowned the King of Shock Rock long ago for a good reason, although what he does onstage is not so bad in comparison to what other acts do these days (i.e. copycat Marilyn Mason); nevertheless, it is macabre, disturbing and considerably unusual. Everyone has a dark side, admit it, and those that enjoy getting the hell scared out of them by a good horror flick will appreciate the musical terror that Cooper presents, hence the appropriate title for this set. The key is to look at all of this as an stage act and entertainment, that way it is taken for face value and even humorous at times.
Now for the best part, on Brutally Live you get a DVD with 25 tracks, 1 bonus track and an audio CD with another 20 tracks! What a great package. This is an all-encompassing career spanning collection career. Cooper never could really sing (he did always sound good on "Only Women Bleed" though), but made up for it with his onstage antics, outlandish lyrics, and he always had a top-flight band to back him up. These two discs are no exception to that rule. He even gets his young daughter into the act on several songs.
All the extras come packed into the presentation as well, such as alternative videos during tracks, alternative screen angles, and a bonus video of the rocker "Gimme." Whether you have seen Alice Cooper live or not you will love this DVD/CD set, I did, but then again I readily admit that I have a dark side that needs feeding on occasion, kind of like "Feed My Frankenstein." Thanks for all the meals over the years Alice. This is an all you can eat buffet!
Sound Quality: 100