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Alice Cooper in Paris
Alice Cooper in Paris at the Olympia

Music Review: Alice Cooper – ‘A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris’

I have a confession. Or better yet, an admission. When I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, I was not a fan of Alice Cooper. In the ’90s, something happened that changed all that. Cooper changed. He recognized his weakness in faith and accepted the God of his youth – the God his dad used to preach about all those years ago. His band quit and he put together a new one and released that first album that I fell in love with, The Last Temptation. That was 1994. Now 24 years later, I had the chance to have a listen and review his latest album, A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris.

This album follows last year’s (2017) release of the studio album Paranormal (Cooper’s first in six years), which was the best chart-performing album by Cooper in decades. That album had the American rock legend taking his exciting live show all over the world, accompanied by “the best band he has ever had.” That tour ended in Paris on December 7, 2017, in Paris at the Olympia Theater, where this album was recorded.

This live album is a 90-minute release featuring classics such as “Poison,” “School’s Out,” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” gems like “Pain,” and newer numbers like (Paranormal single) “Paranoiac Personality.”

“The album captures a rock ‘n’ roll show at its peak and is one of the best live releases by Alice Cooper, featuring his longtime band guitarists Nita Strauss, Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie, bassist Chuck Garric, and drummer Glen Sobel in front of an excited audience,” says the promotional media release.

Awesome Music with a Message

The music still has that sarcasm that his fans have come to love, but there is a message. It may not be the overt, in your face message that Stryper and other Christian bands do. However, for a band that isn’t thought to be Christian at all, the message is there and can be seen for those that take time to actually listen to the lyrics. In my effort to write this, I listened and then listened again to each song – sometimes three or four times.

In the first song, “Brutal Planet,” Cooper sings about how horrible this world is. His lyrics include the words: “Right here we stoned the prophets/Built idols out of mud/Right here we fed the lions/Christian flesh and Christian blood/Down here is where we hung him/Upon an ugly cross/Over there we filled the ovens/Right here the holocaust.”

Granted it is not as good, in my humble opinion, as “Lost in America,” my favorite Alice Cooper song, but it is still a fantastic song. I could certainly have it as the first song to be added to my cell phone’s music player. Other songs on the album include the following, which was released on earMusic and on a two-CD set and (colored) two-LP set:

Compact Disc Set

CD1:

  1. “Brutal Planet”
  2. “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
  3. “Under My Wheels”
  4. “Department of Youth”
  5. “Pain”
  6. “Billion Dollar Babies”
  7. “The World Needs Guts”
  8. “Woman of Mass Distraction”
  9. “Poison”
  10. “Halo of Flies”

CD2:

  1. “Feed My Frankenstein”
  2. “Cold Ethyl”
  3. “Only Women Bleed”
  4. “Paranoiac Personality”
  5. “Ballad of Dwight Fry”
  6. “Killer/I Love the Dead” themes
  7. “I’m Eighteen”
  8. “School’s Out”

LP (colored) Set

SIDE A:

  1. “Brutal Planet”
  2. “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
  3. “Under My Wheels”
  4. “Department of Youth”
  5. “Pain”
  6. “Billion Dollar Babies”

SIDE B:

  1. “The World Needs Guts”
  2. “Woman of Mass Distraction”
  3. “Poison”
  4. “Halo of Flies”

SIDE C:

  1. “Feed My Frankenstein”
  2. “Cold Ethyl”
  3. “Only Women Bleed”
  4. “Paranoiac Personality”

SIDE D:

  1. “Ballad of Dwight Fry”
  2. “Killer/I Love the Dead” themes
  3. “I’m Eighteen”
  4. “School’s Out”
  5. On Tour

Overall, even though it is not my favorite, I would still give it four and a half stars our of five. As for Cooper, he is touring the country and has the following upcoming concerts.

    • 10/4 — Albany, NY — Palace Theater
    • 10/9 — Charlotte, NC — Ovens Auditorium
    • 10/10 — Atlanta, GA — Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
    • 10/12 — Chattanooga, TN — Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium
    • 10/13 — Biloxi, MS — Beau Rivage
    • 10/14 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hill Lawn
    • 10/16 — Irving, TX — The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
    • 10/17 — Park City, KS — Hartman Arena
    • 10/19 — Memphis, TN — Orpheum Theater
    • 10/20 — St. Louis, MO — Peabody Opera House
    • 10/21 — Cedar Rapids, IA — Paramount Theater
    • 10/23 — Des Moines, IA — Des Moines Civic Center
    • 10/24 — Rockford, IL — Coronado Performing Arts Center

About Kevin Surbaugh

Kevin Surbaugh has blogged about many different subjects over the years. Personal Finance, Politics, Local News for Baldwin City, KS, and an occasional review of books, music, and movies. In addition, he has had the rare opportunity to work as a model and even as an extra in a few commercials and even a television show.

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