Along Came A Spider Era

Along Came A Spider Promotional CD Album

2008, Steamhammer, SPV 90643 CDS

This promotional CD comes in a slimline Jewel case and features artwork from the mass release version of the album.  The inlay card states the release date of the full album being 25th July (2008) in Germany, 28th July in Europe and 29th July in the USA.  It also promotes the fact that there will be a 'Limited First Edition' CD (90602) and a 'Vinyl' (90601) release. 

 

This is not a full promotional CD and features just 4 tracks which are Catch Me If You Can, Vengance Is Mine, Killed By Love and (In Touch With) Your Feminine Side.

Along Came A Spider Promotional CD Album

2008, Steamhammer, SPV 80002004 CD

This promotional CD features the full version of the album (excluding the iTunes bonus tracks) and comes in a simple card sleeve complete with blue outline.  The CD provides the German, Europe and USA release dates and on the back of the sleeve is an interesting overview explaining the album concept:

 

Though it is often said about artists with as rich a history as Alice that their newest albums capture the essence of their greatest work, it may honestly be proposed that 'Along Came A Spider' does exactly that.  It's got hard rock with hooks, an Alice trademark ("Vengance is Mine," "I Know Where You Live"), classic balladry, another Alice trademark ("Killed by Love," "Salvation"), and always with an overtone of evil, yet another Alice trademark.  Throughout the album, Alice BECOMES Spider, bringing the story of a cold-blooded killer to life vocally, as if this were the soundtrack to an as-yet unmade horror film.

 

Co-produced by Danny Saber, Greg Hampton and Alice himself, 'Along Came A Spider' manages to marry both vintage and modern day Alice.  As theatrical as ever, the album is a sonic combination of familiar Alice musical elements from albums as diverse as 'Billion Dollar Babies' and 'Brutal Planet,' with the storytelling of "Welcome To My Nightmare," capturing the historic dark side of Alice in peak form, an instantly recognizable presence that will be welcomed by his fans.  Joining Alice on the album are members of his touring band - longtime Alice drummer Eric Singer, bassist Chuck Garrick, and guitarists Keri Kelli and Jason Hook, with additional contributions from others, including Saber, Hampton, and renowned backing vocalist Bernard Fowler.  Slash also lends some guitar style to "Vengance Is Mine".

 

'A dark and menacing album for dark and menacing times' is perhaps the most fitting description of Alice's 25th studio album overall, as a chilling conceptual thread runs through the songs, which are told through the voice of a serial killer named Spider - one that Alice describes as "an archnophobic psychopath" (in the song "Catch Me If You Can").  Alice, the master storyteller, weaves a web of danger, intrigue and death thatt rivals his best work.

Along Came A Spider CD Album

2008, Steamhammer, SPV 90602 CD

The standard version of Along Came A Spider on CD features a jewel case and a beautifully illustrated 22-page booklet plus track listings, lyrics and credits.  As implied, this features only the standard 11 studio tracks.

Along Came A Spider CD Album

2008, Steamhammer, SPV 90602 CD Ltd

This limited edition CD digi-book version of Along Came A Spider features a slightly smaller 20-page booklet than the standard release (above) as some of the missing images feature in the packaging itself.

 

There is no additional musical content though, with just the standard 11 album tracks present.  It would have been nice if the 3 bonus tracks that were initially made available only on iTunes (i.e. Shadow Of Yourself, I'll Still Be There and the 'Acoustic Unplugged' version of Salvation) were also provided here so that fans had them available in physical format.

Along Came A Spider CD Album (Bonus Tracks)

2008, Bigger Picture, 093624 963387

This German CD of Along Came A Spider comes in jewel case and features just a 4-page booklet that is vastly inferior to that provided in the above CD versions.

 

Crucially though, this is the only version of the album that features the 3 bonus tracks that were initially made available only on iTunes (i.e. Shadow Of Yourself, I'll Still Be There and the 'Acoustic Unplugged' version of Salvation).  It is therefore a crucial purchase as the first 2 are really good and should probably have made it onto the album in the first place.

Along Came A Spider Vinyl Album

2008, Steamhammer, SPV 90601 LP

This vinyl edition of Along Came A Spider comes in a gatefold sleeve design and features a clear vinyl disc.  Inside are a selection of images of Alice / Spider and his victims.   

 

Unusually, it also features a different front cover than the CD album with an image of Alice reading an 'Along Came A Spider Book' (this featured in the booklet of the CD version).  The CD cover artwork is relegated to the vinyl sleeve, which also contains track listings, lyrics and credits.  Sadly, all the nice images that were present in the CD version booklet are absent.