An Amazon gift card is an open invitation to buy yourself something you might not otherwise in your right mind. With $25 in my clammy fist I trolled the vinyl on Amazon and had my finger on the button to purchase “The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania” album when a tiny little voice spoke up… “I wonder if?…”
There was an album in the back of my mind, one I haven’t listened to in many years, but that all of a sudden I couldn’t be without. It happens to be my favorite from Alice Cooper, but the vinyl version especially. When I bought it way back in the day, I am pretty sure I got it from the cut-out bins at Meijer’s Superstore, it came in what looked like a stained box. I wondered if that version was still available anywhere.
Turns out it is, and I ordered a copy.
It comes packaged in a cardboard box, that intentionally looks stained. So cool.
It opens in the back.
There is the record sleeve and to my surprise, it still had the other insert, which has instructions on how to fold it as a book cover. I’m sure that went over well at school.
When I bought this a long time ago, I didn’t know any of the songs listed on the back except for “Muscle Of Love” and it was a sort of gamble.
Turns our I had heard “Teenage Lament” before too, but I didn’t recognize it by the title.
I love this album. It is in a weird place in his catalog, after “Billion Dollar Babies” and before “Welcome To My Nightmare” and this collection of songs is less weirdness and shock and theatrics and more straight up rock music.
The song “Man With The Golden Gun” was indeed intended for the James Bond movie of the same name, but, was delivered to the record company just shy of the cut-off and they went a different way. Remember Lulu?
At any rate, I went on to get many Alice Cooper albums, but this one is always my favorite. I know Josh likes the newer Alice, the hard almost metal Alice, but this is my album of choice. I give a lot of credit to Alice. He was on top, fell hard with a string of utterly (in my opinion) unlistenable albums, but was able to reinvent himself and come back in a big way.
This album is nestled quite nicely between the super produced albums before it and the transition albums after it. Well worth having.
I wonder if this album would have done better or worse if it was packaged “normally”. Were people put off by the whole box thing? I happen to think it’s very cool, but there were probably some that expected Alice’s picture on the cover, or some weird art like previous albums. This one was kind of… it’s what’s inside that matters. I think it works.
I’m glad I ordered this one. I like it as much now as I did when I had it back in the Ann Arbor days. Nice work Alice.