The Alice Cooper Story

The Alice Cooper Story (2001)
BMG Entertainment
Cast: Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce
Extras: Bonus Disc, Photo Gallery, Cooper Jukebox, Coopergame

If ever you doubted that Alice Cooper is some sort of undead incarnation, stop doubting – he is. At age 53, Cooper (aka Vincent Furnier) seems more vibrant and vigorous than ever, still touring, still releasing new material (with 2001’s ’Dragontown’ being a very welcome follow up to 2000’s ’Brutal Planet’) and still on the tips of people’s tongues, be it for better or for worse. Now, Sanctuary Records presents a limited 2-disc edition of 1991’s ’Alice Cooper – Prime Cuts,’ this one featuring an updated widescreen presentation and 16×9 enhancement plus a highly satisfying bonus disc that includes March 2001 interviews with the ‘Coop as he readies for his new ’Dragontown’ tour, as well as interviews with former Alice Cooper band members Smith, Dunaway, and Bruce. It all goes into making this new ’Alice Cooper Story’ DVD a sick and slick delight that Cooper fans will devour with glee.

Disc One is, as mentioned, an anamorphically enhanced rendition of the previously-released ’Prime Cuts’ disc that sports the same PCM stereo soundtrack. Though visually enhanced and audibly astute, expect to find the same variation of sound and picture quality as before since much of the concert and television clips are quite rare and, therefore, less than optimal in quality (yet delicious all the same).

Disc Two is worth the purchase price alone, as it includes full-length concert excerpts and music videos in wonderful 5.1 sound. The real treat here is the bevy of material from a rehearsal of the ’Shake Your Fist and Yell’ tour plus interspersed interview clips from the VH1 Behind the Music special on Alice Cooper. There’s also the terrific title track from the ’Brutal Planet – Brutally Live’ DVD. Image and sound quality on this one is better than Disc One yet still varies.

Extras on this disc set include a nice little photo gallery, direct song access via a Cooper Jukebox, and the bizarre Coopergame in which the player rolls the dice and attempts to ascend the gameboard made up of snakes and chains (a twisted variation of the kiddie favorite, Chutes and Ladders). It’s kind of amusing but loses its novelty as it’s required playing in order to access the material on Disc Two. Along the way, viewers can see various interview clips from the 80-minute presentation, or reach 100 on the gameboard to watch the entire presentation uninterrupted. The only cheat I’ve been able to find thus far is that, after pressing ‘Enter’ on your remote for the initial roll of the dice, selecting ‘Title’ will scoot you up the board without fear of slipping back down on those slithery snakes. After about twelve rolls, you’ll have arrived at 100.

’The Alice Cooper Story’ is a must-have for any dis-respectable Cooper fan and offers enough extra material to make the veritable re-purchasing of ’Prime Cuts’ irrelevant. And, as the master of shock rock is presently on his ’Dragontown’ tour, be sure to catch him when he comes to your town. If you miss out, you’ll definitely regret it.