Prince of Darkness

by: Alice Cooper

After taking a break from releasing albums and touring in the early to mid-'80s (while battling alcoholism), Alice Cooper returned with a pair of hard rock albums for MCA: 1986's Constrictor and 1987's Raise Your Fist and Yell. While Cooper remained a popular concert attraction with heavy metallists from coast to coast, both albums were largely spotty affairs; instead of returning to the raw garage rock of his early-'70s peak, Cooper attempted to stay in step with the then-thriving pop-metal scene. After leaving MCA for Epic in 1989 (and scoring a hit the same year with Trash), his former label issued a best-of compilation from both of Cooper's comeback albums, entitled Prince of Darkness. Again, this wasn't Cooper at his peak, but such tracks as "Teenage Frankenstein" and the strangely new wave-ish "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)" prove to be highlights. Also of note to collectors is the inclusion of a rare live version of "Billion Dollar Babies," which was previously available only as a B-side. If you want to check out Cooper's late-'80s direction and don' t feel like buying both albums from the era, the midline-priced Prince of Darkness will do the trick. ~ Greg Prato

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