Thursday, August 8, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Love It To Death" (1971)

"Love It To Death" - Alice Cooper (1971)

I'm not going to regurgitate more hyperboles about “Love It To Death” and the Alice Cooper band.  Both were a welcome branch for the direction of rock music.  But I do want to speak about the infamous "Love It To Death” album cover.  When the album was first released in early 1971, the cover had an outrageous group photo of the band with frontman Alice extending his thumb through a buttonhole or opening of his coat giving the appearance that he was exposing his uncle jack.  It was just some juvenile shenanigans, but it soon became known as..." the thumb album."

The Thumb Album Cover

But it wasn't on the shelves too long, because record peep uppity-ups decided to pull “the thumb album” and release it with a new censored cover.  In December, Warner Bros. released it again with the same photo but only showing the band members from the waist up with the addition of two thick white strips appearing above and below the picture.  But the strips almost feel like Plan B after the photo was lowered a third of the way down and still didn't cover up "the thumb.”  You can almost feel the pressure of the Xmas holiday shopping season on their shoulders.  Plus, for some strange reason, they decided to censor the back of the album cover, too.  Thus, “the white album” was born.  At the beginning of the new year, WB issued yet another censored cover.  This time simply airbrushing the thumb away.  This is the album most commonly seen today.

Which brings me to the point.  For vinyl collectors, the short window of time that the censored "white album" was made available...makes it as hard, if not harder, to find than the original "LITD" album.  I seldom come across this one anymore.  Probably because those who do find it...are hanging on to it.  It's not an expensive purchase, but the prices are starting to rise.  Anyway, besides "Love It To Death" being an essential album...(#452 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time)'s also a fun one to pick up to bookend your other copies.   Here is a recent interview I had with bassist Dennis Dunaway earlier this year.

"Love It To Death" (back)

"Love It To Death" (inside)

Warner Bros. Records / Straight label

"Second Coming" - Alice Cooper / "Love It To Death" (1971)

A1  "Caught in a Dream" 3:10
A2  "I'm Eighteen" 3:00
A3  "Long Way to Go" 3:04
A4  "Black Juju" 9:11
B1  "Is It My Body" 2:39
B2  "Hallowed Be My Name" 2:29
B3  "Second Coming" 3:04
B4  "Ballad of Dwight Fry" 6:33
B5  "Sun Arise" 3:50

Alice Cooper – vocals, harmonica
Glen Buxton – lead guitar
Michael Bruce – rhythm guitar, keyboards, b-vocals
Dennis Dunaway – bass, b-vocals
Neal Smith – drums, b-vocals
Bob Ezrin – keyboards, producer

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

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