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Killer

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The album reached number 21 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and the two singles “Under My Wheels” and “Be My Lover” made the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Released in 1971, KILLER was the fourth studio album recorded by the founding quintet of singer Alice Cooper, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith. Steve Paul scenester/ex-McCoys guitarist Rick Derringer supplies rip-roaring guitar here and it sets up the rest of the album for off-the-cuff, sleazy racket-making perfectly. Vinyl pressings are so good these days that it's like listening to the clarity of CDs but with the warmth of analogue. He explained that "it brings all the elements of the band's approach to sound and texture to a totally integrated pinnacle that fulfills all the promise of their erratic first two albums" and that "each song on [the] album finds him in a different role in the endless movie he is projecting on them.

Dunaway’s zooming basslines, Smith drops in on a dime every time and Buxton burns down on a stuck riff much like he did previously at the end of “Ballad Of Dwight Fry” only here it’s even more of an ear-ringing, circular op-art pattern AND threatens to go on for even longer, if you can believe it.Yeah Yeah Yeah” follows, rocking out over the introductory riff to Cream’s “Toad” played by twin SG guitars free of the fear of any ponderous drum solo to follow. The collection also gives fans an unreleased live recording of the band’s performance at Mar Y Sol Pop Festival in Puerto Rico on April 2, 1972. And it sees Alice rollin’ hastily outta bed out from under a mountain of empty Budweiser cans, applying his smeared, runny mascara all around his glazballs with a clawed, talon’d hand then running his fingers through his ratty, knotted black mane, quickly hooking Katchina the snake ‘round his neck, throws back the warm backwash from the last beer of the afternoon and he’s off -- And so are The Coopers, in full force for the duration of this airtight, upright and skintight rock’n’roll album. Alice’s vocals are at their roughest and razor-gargled best on “Killer,” too: They scrawl all over “Under My Wheels” like the retardedly etched lettering on the cover and open up the proceedings with all the teenaged head rush of a highly anticipated Friday night concert just after racing directly home from school.

Is this why the calendar was demoted to a small slot hidden in the internal booklet and not in prominence where it belongs? The doomy bass line of Dennis Dunaway runs counterpoint to the dank, Leslie-amplified guitar of Michael Bruce as Alice gently intones the sad tale of a lost little one. The bonus material features alternate takes for “You Drive Me Nervous,” “Under My Wheels,” and “Dead Babies. Beginning with the same phased snare drums that Neal Smith employed on “Refrigerator Heaven,” double, roughhewn guitars of the utmost attack that push forward in nail-biting fretting-ness to underscore the same frustration Alice voiced in “I’m Eighteen” only reinforced by a low, authoritative refrain straight offa “Summertime Blues” when a parental unit laments: “Honey, where did we fail?

If you ask any rock fan for the best album of 1971,your likely to get the following answer - Zep 4,Sabbath's Master of Reality or maybe At The Filmore by the Allman's,all are excellent choices as is this album 'KILLER'. Along with the singles “Under My Wheels” and “Be My Lover,” the record also includes “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” “Desperado,” and the prog-rock-inspired epic “Halo Of Flies. It slows down into the sudden calm of rapid drum rolls and funereal guitar slashing as cries and screams tear away in the background, then cryptic and near-confessional whispering.

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