SickthingsUK: The Life And Crimes Of Alice Cooper

The first Alice Cooper box set, 'The Life and Crimes Of Alice Cooper', had been planned for many years. Originally a three CD set, It was expanded to four CD`s and includes at least one track from each album, plus lots of rare recordings. The main reason for it previous non-appearance appears to be Warner brothers who had simply not released any box sets for years. This changed when Rhino Records joined forces with Warners to handle archive releases.


April 20th 1999

Disc One
  1. Don't Blow Your Mind - 'The Spiders' single (1966) (2:36)
  2. Hitch Hike - 'The Spiders' single (1965) (2:01)
  3. Why Don't You Love Me - 'The Spiders' single (1965) (1:57)
  4. Lay Down And Die, Goodbye - (Original Version) The Nazz (1967) (2:07)
  5. Nobody Likes Me (demo version - 1968) (3:23)
  6. Levity Ball (studio version - 1968) (4:45)
  7. Reflected (from 'Pretties For You' - 1969) (3:14)
  8. Mr. And Misdemeanor (from 'Easy Action' - 1970) (3:00)
  9. Refrigerator Heaven (from 'Easy Action' - 1970) (1:54)
  10. Caught In A Dream (from 'Love It To Death' - 1971) (2:55)
  11. I'm Eighteen (from 'Love It To Death' - 1971) (2:58)
  12. Is It My Body (from 'Love It To Death' - 1971) (2:39)
  13. Ballad Of Dwight Fry (from 'Love It To Death' - 1971) (6:34)
  14. Under My Wheels (from 'Killer' - 1971) (2:47)
  15. Be My Lover (from 'Killer' - 1971) (3:21)
  16. Desperado (from 'Killer' - 1971) (3:29)
  17. Dead Babies (from 'Killer' - 1971) (5:42)
  18. Killer (from 'Killer' - 1971) (7:05)
  19. Call It Evil (previously unreleased demo - 1971) (3:28)
  20. Gutter Cat vs The Jets (from 'School's Out' - 1972) (4:40)
  21. School's Out (from 'School's Out' - 1972) (3:31)
Disc Two
  1. Hello Hooray (from 'Billion Dollar Babies' - 1973) (4:15)
  2. Elected (from 'Billion Dollar Babies' - 1973) (3:43)
  3. Billion Dollar Babies (from 'Billion Dollar Babies' - 1973) (3:39)
  4. No More Mr. Nice Guy (from 'Billion Dollar Babies' - 1973) (3:07)
  5. I Love The Dead (from 'Billion Dollar Babies' - 1973) (5:07)
  6. Slick Black Limousine (Flexi-disc from New Musical Express 1973) (4:27)
  7. Respect For The Sleepers (Previously unreleased demo - 1973) (3:48)
  8. Muscle Of Love (from 'Muscle Of Love' - 1973) (3:45)
  9. Teenage Lament '74 (from 'Muscle Of Love' - 1973) (3:52)
  10. Working Up A Sweat (from 'Muscle Of Love' - 1973) (3:31)
  11. Man With The Golden Gun (from 'Muscle Of Love' - 1973) (4:09)
  12. I'm Flash (from 'Flash Fearless Versus The Zorg Women' - 1975) (3:11)
  13. Space Pirates (from 'Flash Fearless Versus The Zorg Women' - 1975) (3:13)
  14. Welcome To My Nightmare (from 'Welcome To My Nightmare' - 1975) (2:47)
  15. Only Women Bleed (single version ) (3:30)
  16. Cold Ethyl (Welcome To My Nightmare - 1975) (2:54)
  17. Department Of Youth (from 'Welcome To My Nightmare' - 1975) (3:17)
  18. Escape (from 'Welcome To My Nightmare' - 1975) (3:14)
  19. I Never Cry (from 'Alice Cooper Goes To Hell' - 1976) (3:43)
  20. Go To Hell (frm 'Alice Cooper Goes To Hell' - 1976) (5:12)
Disc Three
  1. It's Hot Tonight (from 'Lace And Whiskey' - 1977) (3:21)
  2. You And Me (from 'Lace And Whiskey' - 1977) (3:25)
  3. I Miss You (from the Billion Dollar Babies album 'Battle Axe' - 1977) (3:31)
  4. No Time For Tears (previously unreleased outtake from the film 'Sextette' - 1977) (2:59)
  5. Because - with The Bee Gees (from 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' - 1978) (2:45)
  6. From The Inside (from 'From The Inside' - 1978) (3:30)
  7. How You Gonna See Me Now (from 'From The Inside' - 1978) (3:53)
  8. Serious (from 'From The Inside' - 1978) (2:41)
  9. No Tricks (Single B-side - 1978) (4:15)
  10. Road Rats (from 'Roadie' soundtrack - 1980) (2:43)
  11. Clones (We're All) (from 'Flush The Fashion' - 1980) (2:51)
  12. Pain (from 'Flush The Fashion' - 1980) (4:10)
  13. Who Do You Think We Are (from 'Special Forces' - 1980) (3:05)
  14. Look At You Over There, Ripping The Sawdust From My Teddybear (previously unreleased Demo - 1980) (3:18)
  15. For Britain Only (UK only Single - 1982) (3:02)
  16. I Am The Future (from 'Zipper Catches Skin' - 1982) (3:45)
  17. Tag, You're It (from 'Zipper Catches Skin' - 1982) (2:52)
  18. Former Lee Warmer (from 'DaDa' - 1983) (4:07)
  19. I Love America (from 'DaDa' - 1983) (3:47)
  20. Identity Crisis (previously unreleased from 'Monster Dog' soundtrack - 1984) (2:50)
  21. See Me In The Mirror (previously unreleased from 'Monster Dog' - 1984) (3:12)
  22. Hard Rock Summer (previously unreleased from 'Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives' - 1986) (2:31)
Disc Four
  1. He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask) (unreleased demo with music from 'Trick Bag' - 1986) (3:20)
  2. He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask) (from 'Constrictor' - 1986) (3:44)
  3. Teenage Frankenstein (from 'Constrictor' - 1986) (3:32)
  4. Freedom (from 'Raise Your Fist And Yell' - 1987) (4:04)
  5. Prince Of Darkness (from 'Raise Your Fist And Yell' - 1987) (5:09)
  6. Under My Wheels (with Guns'n'Roses from the movie 'The Decline Of Western Civilization' - 1988) (3:10)
  7. I Got A Line On You (from 'Iron Eagle II' soundtrack - 1988) (2:59)
  8. Poison (from 'Trash' - 1989) (4:27)
  9. Trash (from 'Trash' - 1989) (3:58)
  10. Only My Heart Talkin' (from 'Trash' - 1989) (4:44)
  11. Hey Stoopid (from 'Hey Stoopid' - 1991) (4:15)
  12. Feed My Frankenstein (from 'Hey Stoopid' - 1991) (4:42)
  13. Fire (Single B side) (3:00)
  14. Lost In America (from 'The Last Temptation' - 1994) (3:54)
  15. It's Me (from 'The Last Temptation' - 1994) (4:40)
  16. Hands Of Death (with Rob Zombie, Remix of the track from 'Songs In The Key Of X' - 1996) (3:53)
  17. Is Anyone Home? (from 'A Fistful Of Alice' - 1997) (4:10)
  18. Stolen Prayer (from 'The Last Temptation' - 1994) (5:36)

Album Notes - (Detailed release information)

'The Life And Crimes Of Alice Cooper' was the first career-spanning archive collection containing tracks from both the original band and Alice's solo albums. It took many years from conception to release and during that time was expanded from the originally planned three discs to four discs. The project was overseen by Alice's personal assistant and archivist Brian Nelson who ensured the set was more than just a big compilation of songs everyone had already heard. It features a wealth of rare tracks and alternative versions ranging from early sngles released as 'The Spiders' to 'Is Anyone Home?' from 'A Fistful Of Alice', the most recent recording at the time of release with only the first live album 'The Alice Cooper Show' omitted.

The main reason the set took so long to be released was simple record company politics. During the production years Warner Brothes simple stopped releasing ANY box sets so the project was frequently "on hold" awaiting the go-ahead to continue work. Any achive project like this which features material released on a variety of labels also takes time due to all the contracts and permissions involved. For example to feature a song originally released on a soundtrack, you needed permission from the films publishers, the soundtrack original record label, and any number of other entities before you are allowed to include it, all of whom also want probably want payment. That Brian succeeded in getting so much of this material on the box set is to be applauded.

This was the Rhino press release for the box:

"Debuting in 1969, Alice Cooper didn't take long to turn the music world upside down by wearing outrageous costumes and make-up, while performing loud, hard rock music framing witty, sharp-edged lyrics. Add to that his colossally horrific stage theatrics and an outrageous, rebellious persona, metal pioneer Alice Cooper (nee Vincent Furnier) defined shock-rock, and he hasn't retired his black eye-makeup yet. Longtime Cooper fans (not to mention the man himself) have been dying for this box set to see the light of day. Now, after more than five years underground, 'The Life And Crimes Of Alice Cooper' box set has finally been unearthed.
'The Life And Crimes Of Alice Cooper' stuffs 4 CDs full of 88 tracks from 21 albums released on various labels between 1969-1994, plus we've unleashed a slew of rare tracks, including early, pre-Alice Cooper (band) singles, imports, non-LP B-sides, live versions, unreleased album outtakes, and demos.
Includes Cooper's contributions to various movie soundtracks - such as 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band', 'Flash Fearless Vs. The Zorg Women', and 'The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years' - as well as his duet with Rob Zombie from 1996's 'The X-Files' tribute album, 'Songs In The Key Of X'.
The Book includes and intro written by Johnny Rotten, liner notes by former Creem editor Jeffrey Morgan, and tributes from Iggy Pop, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Joey Ramone, Dick Clark, Boy George, Bono, Mike Myers, and Dana Carvey ("Wayne and Garth"), among others.
Super-deluxe 3-D, 6"x12" packaging - it's so bizarre, it'll drive you *insane*!

There are two main versions of the set. The first came in a large rectangular box with a 3D effect where Alice's face is seen through the door's window. Basically the window is clear plastic and the photograph of Alice is inside the box. Inside the four discs had seperate jewelcases and imple covers, and there was a paperback book including quotes, a biography and information about each track, including Alice's short comments.
Later Rhino released a smaller "book" style cover which included only the four CDs themselves and a condensed version of the book.

Of course as with any such set there are some curious omissions. For example 'Halo Of Flies', one of Alice Cooper's biggest songs, was not included simply because it was a long song everybody presumably already had. By omitting it they could include at least two if not three other songs.

Another song missing was 'Next, Next' from the film 'Sextette'. This was left off mainly because prodocer Brian Nelson didn't think it was good enough. However he unearthed 'No Time For Tears' which was recorded for the same film but never used. They also avoided live versions of songs

While most of the material had been released in some form before it is the previously unreleased material that is the main selling point. Things like 'Hard Rock Summer' had never really been heard before as while it did feature in the film 'Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives' only a few seconds are actually heard in the film. The bos set incldued the full recording. Another example would be 'Look at You Over There, Ripping the Sawdust from My Teddybear' which was demoed for the 'Special Forces' album but cut at the last minute and had never released anywhere else.

During the production of the box set Waner Brothers were approached with the idea of having a new song recorded by the original Alice Cooper band especially for the set. Everybody agreed to do it but unfortunatly Warner Prothers "passed" on the idea, presumably not wanting to spend the money it would cost for what was just an archive project. In hindslight their decision was espcieclly sad, as less than a year before the set was released Glen Buxton passed away, ensuring there could never be a full reunion of the five original band members again.

There was a promotional 16 track sampler CD released, as well as a short VHS compilation. The CD featured:

  1. I'm Eighteen
  2. Is It My Body
  3. Under My Wheels
  4. Be My Lover
  5. School's Out (single version)
  6. Elected (single version)
  7. Billion Dollar Babies
  8. No More Mr. Nice Guy
  9. Welcome To My Nightmare (single version)
  10. Only Women Bleed (single version)
  11. I Never Cry
  12. Clones (We're All)
  13. Poison
  14. Feed My Frankenstein
  15. Hands Of Death (Spookshow 2000 Remix)
  16. Stolen Prayer

...and promotional video featured:

  1. Welcome To My Nightmare - Live (from the 'Welcome To My Nightmare' VHS and DVD)
  2. No More Mr. Nice Guy - Live (from the 'Welcome To My Nightmare' VHS and DVD)
  3. I'm Eighteen - Live (Original band live)
  4. Under My Wheels - Live (Original band live)
  5. Public Animal #9 - Live (Original band TV)
  6. Elected - (the full 1972 promo film)
  7. Feed My Frankenstein - (promo video)
  8. Poison - (promo video)

There was also an extremely rare (only 30 copies?) 22 track promo CD from Germany, distributed to select journalists and Radio stations only. The disc contains only the previously unreleased/rare material from the Box Set.

'The Life And Crimes Of Alice Cooper' Live

As this was a compilation release there wasn't really a tour supporting it in the way there would be for a new studio album (which wouldn't arrive until 2000). However Alice did tour extensively between 1997 and 1999 under the 'Rock and Rock Carnival' byline.

Alice Cooper live in 1998
Alice and clown in 1998.
(Photo courtesy of Bryan Erickson)

The stage set had a carnival theme with a backdrop featuring a funhouse, sideshow booth, ferris wheel, roller coaster, and similar things. Near the drumkit, there was a strength tester (ring the bell at the top and win a prize). The categories were (in ascending order): Michael Jackson, She-man, butch, Popeye, Alice Cooper. Also there was a giant toybox on the left of the stage and a sarcophagus to the left of the Drum Kit.
The show opens to twisted circus music with four clowns sweeping the stage and fooling around. The band creeps out, chasing the clowns away and the opening strains of 'Hello Hooray' begin to play. The toybox opens and out pours Alice amidst billowing smoke. He's wearing a white puffy shirt with crushed velvet jacket, leather pants, and a mirrored belt buckle. Fittingly 'Sideshow' opens the show during which Alice picked up the giant hammer and played the 'ring the bell' machine which lights up at the top.
'Billion Dollar Babies' is delivered with skewered dollar bills on the sword, whihc fell into the front rows when Alice waved the sword above them. 'I'm Eighteen' includes possibly the biggest shock of the evening - Alice playing guitar on stage, which had never been seen before. He strums it a little awkwardly without a pick but it was cool to see. 'Be My Lover' features the snake and goes straight into 'Lost in America'. 'Cold Ethyl' is performed with a blow up doll in a clown suit. (In Phoenix this was actually replaced by Sheryl Cooper in an oversized clown costume with hilarious recults.)
Alice slinks away during the instrumental break at the end of 'Halo of Flies'. Lights are low and the clowns position a podium/pulpit just to stage right. A backlight and smoke waft from the pulpit and Alice emerges behind it dressed as 'The Showman' from 'The Last Temptation to sing 'Nothing's Free'. As he appeals he's waving a silk handkerchief which magically turns in to a cane. This moves into 'Cleansed by Fire'
'Unfinished Sweet' sees Alice rubbing the side of his mouth as the band launches the song. After awhile, the clowns come out and strap Alice into a torture chair. Various tubes and wires are used to torment him and then the classic Alice makeup is applied 9it had been missing up to now) behind a card held up to hide the actual application. A bit more squirmishing and then the clowns place Alice into the sarcophagus and start poking swords through the sides like you would see in a magicians show. The band reappear and start chasing the clowns away, cornering one particular clown at the front of the stage. He looks left and right looking for a way to escape before turning and tearing off his mask, revealing Alice. He shrugs off the rest of the clown costume and it's tophat and tails for 'School's Out'. It was a family simple trick but very effective.
Unusually the show closed with Alice performing a cover song before the finale of 'Under My Wheels'. At first it was Elvis Presley's 'Jailhouse Rock', with Alice appearing dressed as Elvis in glittery coat and big shades, but by the end of the tour in 1998 it had been switched to Elton John's 'Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting'.

The '...Carnival' was a very memorable show and the theme suited Alice perfectly. The band were on fire and the audiences, in the smaller then normal venues, responded in kind. The London Astoria shows are remebered particulatly fondly and I clearly remember looking at the audience during the show and seeing steam coming up from the packed bodies.

The band went through quite a few changes during the two year tour. They started the tour with Ryan Roxie, Reb Beach, Todd Jensen, Paul Taylor and Jimmy Degrasso. Roxie had to pull out of the tour in May 1998 and was replaced by Pete Friesen, but by June 19th Roxie was back and the band featured Ryan, Reb Beach, Todd Jensen, Paul Taylor and Jimmy Degrasso. Degrasso left a few days later to be replaced by Eric Singer, while Sherinian replaced Taylor by July 17th - reuniting three of the musicians who had played on the Trash tour in 1990. Winston Watson joined the band in August for a short time in place of Singer. For the Christmas 1998 shows Ryan was out again, and the lineup was Pete Freisen, Stef Burns, Eric Singer, Todd Jensen, and Lindsay Vannoy.
Come 1999 and things finally settled down. Roxie was back again with Pete Freisen on guitars. Greg Smith came back to handle bass, Lindsey Vannoy on keyboards, and Eric Singer was still on drums. Michael Bruce made a guest appearance on stage during 'Under My Wheels' in Atlantic City, the first time a member of the original band had performed with Alice since 1974.

The Performers:

  • Alice Cooper - Vocals, Guitar, Harminica
  • Ryan Roxie - Guitars
  • Pete Friesen - Guitars
  • Reb Beach - Guitar
  • Stef Burns - Guitars
  • Eric Singer - Drums
  • Jimmy Degrasso - Drums
  • Todd Jensen - Bass
  • Greg Smith - Bass
  • Derek Sherinian - Keyboards
  • Paul Taylor - Keyboards
  • Lindsay Vannoy - Keyboards
  • Brian Nelson - One of the Clowns

'Rock And Roll Carnival' Tour

The dates generally featured the following list although there were changes during the run of the show:

  1. Hello Hooray
  2. Sideshow
  3. Billion Dollar Babies
  4. No More Mr. Nice Guy
  5. Public Animal # 9
  6. Be My Lover
  7. Lost in America
  8. I'm Eighteen
  9. From the Inside
  10. Only Women Bleed
  11. Steven (added in later shows)
  12. Halo of Flies
  13. Nothing's Free
  14. Cleansed by Fire
  15. Poison
  16. Cold Ethyl
  17. Unfinished Sweet
  18. School's Out
  19. Jailhouse Rock (from Dec 31st `97) or Saturday Nights All Right For Fighting (Last part of tour)
  20. Under My Wheels

Full setlists can be found here