Alice Cooper Goes To Hell ($5 SPECIAL)

"Following the success of his first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare, Alice Cooper followed it up with another concept album, Goes to Hell, similar in style to its predecessor. Again, longtime Alice producer Bob Ezrin was on board, and while there are a few highlights, Goes to Hell signaled an Alice era where he pretty much forsook the raw garage rock of his early days (Killer, School's Out) in favor of polished studio glitz. That said, the title track is worthy of any headbanger's time (and remains one of Cooper's most overlooked rock tunes), while "I Never Cry" was another Alice ballad that found a place near the top of the charts. Other highlights include such tracks as the disco-rock-boogie of "You Gotta Dance" and the laid-back yet sinister funk groove of "I'm the Coolest." Elsewhere, the musical experiments aren't as successful -- the old-time sounds of "Give the Kid a Break," "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," and the album-closing "Going Home" are about as far removed from the expected hard-rocking AC direction as you can get. And while the rocker "Wish You Were Here" would become a late-'70s concert standard for the Coop, the original studio version lacks the firepower the song achieved on the stage. Alice was supposed to follow up the album's release with another highly theatrical stage show (following the cue of his first solo tour in 1975), but an illness squashed the tour altogether. Despite its missteps, the gold-certified Goes to Hell would prove to be Alice's most commercially successful solo album for quite some time." - All Music Guide

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  • "Dream Evil is by no means a departure from the Dio formula that was so successful for his first three solo albums. All of the elements that made them so successful are yet again retained here. However, what makes things different this time around is that Dio has more of a melodious side to him, which he puts use here rather than relying on the riffs and delivery he learned at the school of Sabbath. He even touches on the power ballad (a sure sign that the style had fully infiltrated metal) with "All the Fool Sailed Away." The title track and "Sunset Superman" also proved to be two of Dio's most well-known, and most loved songs in his massive catalog. Not an essential release, but one that diehard fans will be sure to want in their collection." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Andy Tillison, the mastermind behind The Tangent, isn’t a wet-behind-the-ears newbie when it comes to the world of prog rock. He knows he’s taken a risk with the band’s new album, Le Sacre Du Travail, but ten years of leading the band on its journey and seven albums to show for it have given him the strength and courage to present something decidedly different in today’s world of prog.Spurred on by the growing resurgence of progressive rock to do something unexpected that stands outside the box, he zeroed in on the idea of creating an orchestra suite in the spirit of artists like Camel and Deep Purple’s dearly departed Jon Lord. The naysayers might consider the new album to be too far afield from what’s considered prog rock these days, but The Tangent enjoys a broad international fanbase that respects the fact their heroes are bent on being as big and bold and as adventurous as the people who originally started the progressive rock movement off in the late ‘60s.“Big and bold” i this case doesn’t mean loud and in-your-face. On the contrary, Le Sacre Du Travail serves up everything from ‘70s rock to smoky blues to jazz to classical music. Given the conceptual nature of the record, Tillison sees it as a soundtrack without a film.“Hopefully that's what I'm getting across with this music,” says Tillison. “I want to give the music the excitement I felt when I first started hearing classical music. That’s why I got into progressive rock music; hearing classical music as a child, I used to be off and away imagining pictures and scenes and telling myself stories to go along with it. What I wanted to do was tell those stories to somebody else with my own music.”Le Sacre Du Travail is, in brief, a story about 7 billion people that all have the same name; “You”. The Tangent wanted to put the listener into the picture, having decided that if they were going to present this story, it had to be something that absorbed everyone on a familiar level.Tillison: “We avoided the concept album idea for a really long time, and finally we’ve done one. Most of the lyrics came pretty easily; I never wrote them down, I just sang what I felt, lots and lots of different things. I had many takes and many ideas, so I had to go back and pick out the best ones, and eventually I got the idea of what I wanted to sing about. It came out very naturally.”Looking back on The Tangent’s catalogue, Tillison – who started his musical career writing punk songs and pays tribute to that era on a the bonus track ‘Hat (Live At Mexborough School 1979’ – admits that The Tangent’s evolution is something of a surprise. At the same time, given that he’s had a decade to refine his craft as a prog artist, “I knew this was coming.” Looking back on his roots, Tillison knows exactly what influenced the outcome of Le Sacre Du Travail“The obvious influence is one of the very first progressive rock albums ever made: The Days Of Future Past by The Moody Blues. They had the idea of breaking a day into pieces and running through it on the album. It must have been there in the back of my mind, although I must say I probably haven't listened to that album in 30 years. I never really thought about it while I was recording, but at some point I realized I was doing the history of a day with an orchestra and a rock band. Deep Purple’s Concerto For Group and Orchestra was a big influence, and at the same time Roger Waters' Amused To Death album is definitely in there.”“We know we’re taking a risk,” Tillison adds. “Some people will go ‘What the hell is this?’ because it’s a big piece of music to get into and you have to find your way around it. But that’s where I want to be; on the leading edge of progressive rock music.”"US jewel box edition with 3 bonus tracks. 
    $10.00
  • Magenta's latest is the follow up to Metamorphosis. According to band leader Rob Reed the writing/recording sessions developed material that caused a stylistic schism - of it was more "edgy" and contemporary while other tunes developed along a more traditional old school prog rock path. Chameleon represents the former. The music is more immediate and is missing a lot of the prog rock trappings. Perhaps closest would be Metamorphosis but frankly not quite as complex. It would be hard to classify an album with 7 and 9 minutes tracks as commercial but this is as close to that description as I think Magenta will ever come. Of course this is written from the perspective of someone that sits and listens to prog rock and metal 24/7. I'm sure the media will dub this as full on prog rock and I suppose at the end of the day it really is...its just that the ratio of prog to rock is a bit weighted more heavily on one side of the equation.
    $15.00
  • Limited edition import 2CD set with 7 bonus tracks!"When you made the impact that Bigelf did in 2010 with their fourth album ‘Cheat The Gallows’ and the subsequent tour, it’s inevitable that people expected the highly rated band from Los Angeles to hit hard in 2011. But instead we got an astonishing silence. However, all that is about to change with the arrival of ‘Into The Maelstrom’, a new album of melodic prog-doom that eccentric frontman Damon Fox believes will take Bigelf to new heights. “I have been reflecting on the band and pondering what it would take to get us to the next level, I believe we have accomplished this task on the new record.The last three years for Fox have been confusing and difficult, to say the least, as he found the band he’d worked so hard to establish suddenly dissipated. “I’d call our break a spontaneous hiatus. I did genuinely feel that we’d go into 2011 with an album out early in the year, and then we’d build on what we had achieved up until that point. Instead, we came to a standstill. The momentum had vanished, and it halted the band. So, I was forced into an introspective state of hypersleep and had to contemplate my future. I love the other guys in the band as brothers, and I am extremely grateful for they contributed to help get Bigelf this far. I was heartbroken when that line-up came to an end but change nonetheless was upon the band.“Forging ahead, I didn’t feel that I could get it done on my own”, Fox admits. Thankfully, he found a kindred spirit in famed drum god Mike Portnoy, with whom he’d bonded with in 2010 when Bigelf toured with Dream Theater. “We hung out a lot back then, and got very close. Mike and I discussed how similar our situations were with our respective bands going through our ‘Let It Be’ phases. This was around the time when Mike had his dramatic press-laden departure from Dream Theater. I knew Mike loved Bigelf, and he told me not to give up on it and to keep the band going. His encouragement really helped me to carry on through dark times.”"Getting the songs fully realized was something of a laborious experience", Fox explains. “In the past while I had written most of the material, I always had a incredibly gifted band to bounce ideas off of and we would often jam out to fully realize the song . But this time, I had to write, arrange and envision everything on my own. Once I got the selection of songs together, I sent the demos to Portnoy (who had agreed to play on the album). Mike is the busiest man in Prog, so the next time he was in LA, we laid down the drums at Linda Perry's studio, Kung-Fu Gardens where we did ‘Gallows’. I also wrote a song with her for the new album. The rest of the sessions and instrumentation were recorded at my home studio ITM.“I feel this album is going to prove to a lot of MP haters that Portnoy can really lay down a groove and has a serious vibe as a drummer. It’s not just about his chops and his pyrotechnic style, for which he’s known for, especially with Dream Theater. The feel and emotion in his playing on this record is really unique and it’s unlike anything else he’s done before in my opinion” Lovable lefty bassist Duffy Snowhill, who’s been with the band since 2000, is bringing his thundering Viking bass tones to the recording of ‘Into The Maelstrom’. Luis Maldonado is also climbing aboard the Elf vessel for his first trek. “Luis is a close friend who I’ve known for many years. He has his own band, Into The Presence, and works with a lot of established artists as well. Luis is a phenomenal guitarist, he delivered some really blistering leads on the new album. I'm supplied all of the rhythm guitar tracks and managed to squeeze in a few leads as well too. People usually associate me with keyboards – and there are copious amount on the album, to be certain – but originally Bigelf was founded around my guitar riffs, and it was really rewarding to be able to play guitar again from a nucleus standpoint.”‘Into The Maelstrom’ was produced by Fox (who also handles all the vocals), and believes this album proves that Bigelf are now exploring alien musical landscapes. “There’s a fresh aura and energy on there that’s completely different to our previous releases, but it also sounds like Bigelf. I view this album as being very psychedelic cinematic. It has a ‘Mad Max’ post-apocalyptic feel – a futuristic world that’s rather dirty and desolate filled with chaos and despair. The bludgeoning Sabbath guitars and “Karn-Evil” keys are still there, but the modern setting is what makes the record have a creative edge.While ‘Into The Maelstrom’ isn’t a concept album as such, Fox does reveal that there is a theme that links much of his lyricism. “It’s about traveling through time into one’s past and into the future, to experience and examine your pain and fears, in order to move forward in life. A lot of my baggage from the my travels provides the cathartic inspiration. Deep, personal feelings like the tragic death of my best friend and former Bigelf guitarist A.H.M. Butler-Jones. And my fears of mankind eventually destroying itself a la, ‘Planet Of The Apes’. I suppose the opening song, ‘Incredible Time Machine’, sums it all up.”Fox is clearly inspired and reinvigorated by the new focus Bigelf have made here. For him it’s not just about how the album sounds, but also the process involved in getting there. “Making the record has been a certain kind of journey. A few years ago I had to completely let go of Bigelf, which was painful but it came back with force and vision. As such, the music began to shape from a different perspective and I have been able to see an alternative way of accomplishing my goals. To me, ‘Into The Maelstrom’ is a genesis, a bridge between the band and a larger audience. Strap yourselves in ladies and gentlemen, you're in for a wild ride.”"
    $15.00
  • Limited edition digipak with one bonus track and a multimedia video."Considering the caliber and consistency of their recent catalog, maybe Primal Fear should have named their ninth studio album Unstoppable. But Unbreakable certainly fits as well. Primal Fear's melodic and heavy, often speedy, power metal remains their tried and true formula. Add to this the strongest lineup ever, especially the devastating guitar duo of Alex Beyrodt and Magnus Karlsson, and Primal Fear simply goes from strength to strength. Hey, if ain't broken, don't flippin' try to fix it.So then, fundamentally, Primal Fear delivers quintessential and unmistakable Primal Fear on Unbreakable. You've got your speedy and intense tunes: Strike, Give Em Hell, Unbreakable, and Blaze of Glory, by example. Then there's metal anthems, always heavy, melodic, and catchy: Bad Guys Wear Black and Metal Nation. Never forget the power of Primal Fear's vocal harmonies, lead by the incomparable metal singer Ralf Scheepers and backed up by Matt Sinner, Erik Martensson, and Oliver Hartmann. The band can also be epic as on the the blistering Where Angels Die. Then, Primal Fear is both epic and simply soaring on the metal anthem Born Again. Along the way the songs are peppered generously with smashing guitar solos by that aforementioned dangerous duo.With Unbreakable, Primal Fear commits to what they do best which is melodic heavy power metal without compromise, and quite infectious. I would expect no less. Quite recommended." - Danger Dog
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition with two bonus tracks."After the failed experiment of Turbo, Judas Priest toned down the synths and returned to the basics, delivering a straight-ahead, much more typical Priest album with Ram It Down. The band's fan base was still devoted enough to consistently push each new album past the platinum sales mark, and perhaps that's part of the reason Ram It Down generally sounds like it's on autopilot. While there are some well-constructed songs, they tend toward the generic, and the songwriting is pretty lackluster overall, with the up-tempo title track easily standing out as the best tune here. And even though Ram It Down backed away from the territory explored on Turbo, much of the album still has a too-polished, mechanical-sounding production, especially the drums. Lyrically, Ram It Down is firmly entrenched in adolescent theatrics that lack the personality or toughness of Priest's best anthems, which -- coupled with the lack of much truly memorable music -- makes the record sound cynical and insincere, the lowest point in the Rob Halford era. Further debits are given for the cover of "Johnny B. Goode."" - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • New remastered and remixed edition of the band's sixth album.  Now with 2 previously unreleased tracks.  This was the band's last album for Cyclops, before they jumped over to KScope and has been out of print for years.
    $9.00
  • Beautiful new live recording from the Swedish prog ensemble led by guitarist Peter Bryngelsson.  The show was recorded at Silver Elephant in Tokyo on 11/23/11.  The material is drawn from their debut as well as their last studio album, released in 2008.  They close out with a cover of "21st Century Schizoid Man".  If you are unfamiliar with Ragnarok you really should check out their first two studio albums.  Their music blends symphonic rock a la Camel with the occasional edge of King Crimson as well as Swedish folk themes.  I love that echoplex'ed guitar sound.  This is the good stuff.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • Cynthesis is a new band that reunites three of the original members of Zero Hour (Jasun and Troy Tipton, and Erik Rosvold) along with Enchant drummer Sean Flanagan.ReEvolution is the middle part of a dystopian trilogy begun with 2011’s DeEvolution. The central character, a shaman, is sent out to gather more slaves. He comes across a tribe and senses a light within them that triggers a distant memory of his past.  He realizes this is the original tribe he was taken from.  He brings them back to the city and encounters what was done to the population and sets them free.While Cynthesis maintains much of the Zero Hour tech metal influence, it also demonstrates the more melodic and atmospheric side of Jasun Tipton’s songwriting.  ReEvolution will appeal to fans of both progressive rock and metal.
    $13.00
  • "After mining the Beatles gold mine for all those catchy hooks, by the time that Balance of Power was released, Jeff Lynne and company had pretty much found that once-rich vein going dry. This album did contain yet another Top 40 hit with "Calling America," but by the mid-'80s, ELO were finding their audience and their inspiration on the wane. Not truly memorable, but passable. [In 2007 Epic/Legacy reissued Balance of Power with seven bonus cuts, including alternate takes of "Heaven Only Knows," "Secret Lives" and "Sorrow About to Fall," U.K. b-sides "Caught in a Trap" and "Destination Unknown" and the previously unreleased "In for the Kill" and "Opening." - AllmusicExpanded edition with 5 bonus tracks.
    $5.00
  • "Steely Dan hadn't been a real working band since Pretzel Logic, but with Aja, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's obsession with sonic detail and fascination with composition reached new heights. A coolly textured and immaculately produced collection of sophisticated jazz-rock, Aja has none of the overt cynicism or self-consciously challenging music that distinguished previous Steely Dan records. Instead, it's a measured and textured album, filled with subtle melodies and accomplished, jazzy solos that blend easily into the lush instrumental backdrops. But Aja isn't just about texture, since Becker and Fagen's songs are their most complex and musically rich set of songs -- even the simplest song, the sunny pop of "Peg," has layers of jazzy vocal harmonies. In fact, Steely Dan ignores rock on Aja, preferring to fuse cool jazz, blues, and pop together in a seamless, seductive fashion. It's complex music delivered with ease, and although the duo's preoccupation with clean sound and self-consciously sophisticated arrangements would eventually lead to a dead end, Aja is a shining example of jazz-rock at its finest." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Perhaps I have a soft spot for this disc because I saw Mike twice on his first US tour in support of this album. The side long "Taurus II" is a stone cold killer. Mike wrote "Family Man" which wasn't much of a hit for him but made Hall & Oates some coin (well I guess Mike didn't do to badly on the publishing end). This was really the first album that represented a band approach as many of the members of his touring ensemble perform here. 2013 remastered edition on 180gram vinyl.  Highly recommended.
    $17.00
  • Out of print for some time, Bruce Soord freshed up the band's second album.  Originally released back in 2001, this version of 137 features a new mix, new mastering, and even new artwork.
    $13.00
  • Remastered edition with two bonus tracks."Searching for a way to retool their sound, Judas Priest attempted to accentuate their melodic side on Turbo by incorporating synthesizers and '80s pop-metal stylings ("Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days" sounds more like Poison, albeit with synths). The restrained songcraft sometimes pays dividends, especially on the synth-driven leadoff track, "Turbo Lover," easily the best song on the record and a successful reimagining of the Priest formula. But often, the band simply sounds directionless, unsure of exactly which path to accessibility it should follow; moreover, the synth-guitar backing and overly polished production give the album an oddly mechanized, processed feel. It certainly doesn't help most of the material, which is often at least competent but rarely inspired enough to make much of an impression. That's unfortunate because Turbo's best moments indicate that with a clearer focus, the album could have been a creative success; however, it's overall Judas Priest's weakest release since Rocka Rolla." - All Music Guide
    $5.00