Review Summary: Possibly Alice Coopers strongest album, Billion Dollar Babies contains many great songs, many of which became top radio hits. It is highly recomended to anybody who enjoy good old rock and roll or for those trying to get into Alice Cooper's earlier work.(
Last year, the only song by Alice Cooper that I could name was the infamous 'School's Out', which is played on the radio 24/7 where I live. Then I watched Wayne's World, and laughed my ass off at how cheesy and ridiculous Alice Cooper portrayed himself. Believing I would never enjoy this ridiculous characters music, I decided to not check him out at all.
Then I heard that Alice Cooper hosted a local radio station. Interested, I tuned in to see what the old creeper had to say. I soon found out after only several minutes of listening that Alice Cooper is actually quite an intelligent individual, with a good perspective of the world. Convinced by this brief radio jaunt, I went out and bought Billion Dollar Babies, which I originally liked for its cover.
This album, upon first listen, comes off as being very instrumentally sound. The drums are above average, the guitar and bass mix to make earcandy, and the piano is near perfect. Alice Cooper's growls and shouts are well polished and recorded, making his vocals easily enjoyable.
TRACK BY TRACK REVIEW
Hello, Hooray (4:14)
An excellent opener, starting off with some flashy guitar, piano and bass. Alice sings very well, mostly welcoming the listener to the album and proclaiming how he has been waiting forever to sing his song. At about 3/4 through the song, there is a very pretty blues guitar solo that accompanies the rest of the instruments very well. The song eventually gradually fades out into nothing. A very strong opener, and contender for best song off the album. 5/5
Raped And Freezin' (3:19)
Some dark lyrics here tell a story of somebody who is chased into the mexico desert, naked and freezing, probably after being raped. It picks up very nicely after Hello, Hooray, and once again has very good instruments, with the guitar being very prominent. A very catchy chorus picks up the song, as well as some sparkly guitar solos. The drum interlude with cowbells followed by cheering near the end make a very good ending to a very good song. 4.5/5
Not as good as the two before it, this song is fairly simple, with some entertaining lyrics making fun of politicians and their false promises. There are some horn and orchestral sections that give the song an epic feel, as well as some more nice guitar/bass melodies. 4/5
Billion Dollar Babies (3:42)
Drums start this song, and guitar and bass soon join in in a very catchy way. Alice's voice soon follows, taking on two sides of his vocal range, one harsh and sinister, and the other dramatic and flamboyant. These voices come together, making a very interesting effect, especially with headphones. The song wraps up with a nice, catchy guitar solo. 4.5/5
Unfinished Sweet (6:19)
The longest song on the album, a cool bassline opens, almost dripping with strange distortion and some wah wah effect. Half way through the song changes into an almost psychedelic, dreamlike trance, sounding very nice and dark. This continues for a little longer, still being led by the distorted bassline. It eventually builds up back to the original chorus, then slowly fades out. A very psychedelic, interesting song, and one of my favourites. 5/5
No More Mr. Nice Guy (3:07)
One of Alice's biggest hits, I am not the largest fan of this overplayed tune. It is very catchy, with some excellent vocals from Alice. However, the chorus sounds very cheesy and uninteresting. Not a bad song, but certainly not the best here. 3.5/5
Generation Landslide (4:30)
My favourite song off this album, many people have not heard this song as it was not released as a single. It fortells the apocalypse, with some acoustic guitar and nice drumming. The chorus and lyric are very catchy. Somehow this reminds me of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity', which had been released several years earlier. Alice sounds very evil and sarcastic here, also providing a cool harmonica solo near the finale of the song. 5/5
Sick Things (4:16)
Probably the worst song on the album, with some rather poor lyrics, especially in the opening verse. This is a much less poppy, much darker song than all previous songs, with some good orchestral backing. The solo near the end is good, ending off a debatably okay song. 3/5
Mary Ann (2:22)
A short, almost ballad like song, with gorgeous piano and some clever lyrics. Although very simple, with only some progressive piano, this is still a good song. 4/5
I Love The Dead (5:07)
More piano, as well as some ominous guitar and bass start off this song. The lyrics are dark and creepy, with Alice speaking them or reading them as though a poem. One word to describe this song could be melancholy, with vocal ad libbing and eerie slide guitar. The chorus sounds almost like it should be a song suitable for children. There is an excellent guitar solo, and some well orchestrated string backings. This masterpiece ends strangely, with some sharp horn blasts. A fitting conclusion to an excellent album. 5/5
In conclusion, Billion Dollar Babies is a rock masterpiece, with no exceptionally weak tracks and nothing that can really be considered filler. This instruments and Alice Coopers voice come together for a truly uplifting experience. Sadly, this was one of the last albums done by Alice Cooper and his band. After this, his magnum opus, the mascara king left and started a solo career that would eventually become disastrous.
ALBUM RATING: 4.7/5