Alice Cooper - “A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris” [Album Review]

- Aug 18, 2018 at 11:00AM
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Rating: 8 out of 10
He’s undeniably one of rock’s most iconic, infamous and influential artists — the original founding father of “shock rock” and the primary architect of (near) countless classic rock staples. But when he first cracked the Top 40 with his timeless teen-targeted anthem, “I’m Eighteen,” back in 1971, it would have been hard to imagine Alice Cooper still engaging a global audience nearly 50 years later. Yet, it’s an impressive distinction he maintains quite famously.

Recorded live in Paris on December 7, 2017 — the final night of Cooper’s enormously successful “Paranormal” world tour, A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris is fresh and ferocious — a relevant and raw, career-spanning collection. Fuelled from front to back by the heart-stopping triple-threat guitar team of Nita Strauss, Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie, the expansive, 18-track, two-disc set kicks off with the brilliantly blistering, new millennium era “Brutal Planet” — “brutal,” indeed.

Check out a venomous version of Alice Cooper’s “Poison” here.


In short order, Cooper leads his band of merry musical misfits into a batch of bona fide biggies, including “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Under My Wheels” and “Billion Dollar Babies” — all performed to perfection and delivered with a level of gusto and conviction that arguably rivals the original Alice Cooper Band from back in the day.

Brimming with other classic tracks, including “Poison,” “Only Women Bleed” and the aforementioned “I’m Eighteen,” A Paranormal Evening provides perhaps the greatest payoff when taking the road less travelled, offering such sweet surprises as “Pain” (from the 1980 experimental record, Flush the Fashion), “The World Needs Guts” (from Cooper’s 1986 comeback release, Constrictor), and “Woman of Mass Distraction” (from 2005’s Dirty Diamonds). However, for the most passionate purists, the pair of 1971 deep cuts, the ever-chilling “Ballad of Dwight Fry” and the drum-driven, 11-minute opus “Halo of Flies” serve as super-satisfying and authentic recreations.

In his legendary, ringleader fashion, Cooper brings the 90-minute juggernaut to an amazingly glorious conclusion with his signature, fist-pumping standard, “School’s Out” — an extended, eight-minute rendition that segues cleverly in and out of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” A true rock treasure trove, A Paranormal Evening at The Olympia Paris will be released as a two-CD digipak and a two-LP gatefold (white and red vinyl), as well as digitally via earMUSIC on August 31.

“Ballad Of Dwight Fry” live at the Olympia in Paris... just, wow!


A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris Track Listing:

CD1
01. Brutal Planet
02. No More Mr. Nice Guy
03. Under My Wheels
04. Department of Youth
05. Pain
06. Billion Dollar Babies
07. The World Needs Guts
08. Woman of Mass Distraction
09. Poison
10. Halo of Flies

CD2
01. Feed My Frankenstein
02. Cold Ethyl
03. Only Women Bleed
04. Paranoiac Personality
05. Ballad of Dwight Fry
06. Killer/I Love the Dead themes
07. I'm Eighteen
08. School's Out

Run Time: 90 minutes
Release Date: August 31, 2018
Record Label: earMUSIC
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