Flash Fearless Versus The Zorg Women Parts 5 & 6 12" Vinyl Album
1975, Chrysalis, CHR. 1081
This intriguing concept was a musical set to a comic book, both of which were provided as part of the same package. Although suggested otherwise by the title, there were no previous (or indeed subsequent) releases so Parts 5 and 6 are all that ever existed. Both Parts feature in the comic book that was included with this release.
I picked up my copy of this album from an excellent record store in Exeter and it is not only in great condition, but also includes the comic. The vinyl comes in a simple card sleeve with a Zorg Woman on the front and track listings and credits on the back.
Flash Fearless is a 24th century Superman-style hero from the USA who takes on the ranchy Zorg Women after his spaceship crashes on the planet Zorg. Thankfully, everyone speaks English so it's easy to keep up with the rather amusing storyline. Clearly, more editions were planned as Part 6 concludes with a cliffhanger ending!
Despite the rather obscure nature of the release, some high profile artists appeared took part. These included The Who's John Entwistle and Keith Moon, Justin Haywood of the Moody Blues plus Alice Cooper, of course, who appeared on 2 of the 11 all-new tracks (I'm Flash and Space Pirates).
These 2 Alice tracks were later included on the The Life And Crimes Of Alice Cooper boxset, offering fans the chance to have them on CD. Both tracks pretty decent and are well worth ensuring that you have them in your Alice music collection. It is also notable in that they are effectively his first tracks as a solo artist, as this album was released between Muscle Of Love (the last Alice Cooper Group album) and Welcome To My Nightmare.
Finally, I wonder if this project inspired Alice's The Last Temptation album some 20 years later?
Prime Cuts LaserDisc
1991, Image Entertainment, ID8575CA
LaserDiscs were the first home-based optical media format and were introduced way back in the late 1970's. As you will appreciate from the images below, they were typically 12" in diameter meaning that they looked like a DVD, but were actually the size of a typical vinyl album. Unlike DVDs they were also double-sided, but with only about 60 minutes of storage time on each side, viewers typically had to change sides at least once per movie (Terminator 2, for example, came on 2 discs and required 3 changes from start to finish).
Although revolutionary at the time, and despite surviving for about 20 years, they failed to topple the monopoly of the VHS videotape due to the very high purchase costs of the players and discs (a good player could cost more than double that of an equivalent VHS player) and the fact that you couldn't record your own media on them. That said, the high image and audio quality meant they enjoyed (and in some cases, still do enjoy) a cult following amongst videophiles in regions like North America and Japan. The advent of the DVD around the turn of the 21st century acted as the final nail in the coffin for LaserDiscs.
Several Alice Cooper LaserDisc releases were made, incuding Trashes The World, Video Trash, Welcome To My Nightmare (the live show) and this version of Prime Cuts, which features the famous glam image of Alice holding a flower on the front. This is quirky item and a nice nod back to the time when digital media was still finding its feet in the world.
'Alice Cooper' 3" CD Single (1989, Warner Brother 921132-2)
This 3" CD single is believed to originate from Germany, comes in a simple card sleeve and includes the album versions of Hello Hooray, Billion Dollar Babies and Elected (from the Billion Dollar Babies album) plus the album version of School's Out (from the School's Out album).
This is an interesting, and rather bizarre release, considering that the CD was released in 1989 (about 16 years after these songs were first recorded).
My Valuation: £20
Keepin' Halloween Alive 7" Vinyl (2009, Nightmare Records)
Not as rare as the CD version (see below) but still very cool with it's glow-in-the-dark disc. This item is interesting in that it shares nothing in common with the artwork of either the CD or MP3 versions.
It should be noted that this release was bootlegged (see image below), this release featured the cover of the CD and MP3 versions and was supposedly available in 7 different vinyl colours.
My Valuation: £20
Keepin' Halloween Alive CD (2009, Nightmare Records)
It took me ages to track this one down as I missed out on the original CD release, which was only available to the masses via the official Alice Cooper website for a limited period (including a huge postage cost to the UK).
This is a lovely mint copy which I believe was purchased at the London Roundhouse show in November 2010 (they were sold at the merchandise stalls at just a handful of shows) and hand signed by Alice at a VIP event after his performance.
My Valuation: £100
Peter And The Wolf In Hollywood (2015, Giants Are Small 4794888)
This unusual release features Alice narrating a modern, Hollwood-based, adaption of the classic Sergei Prokofiev composition Peter And The Wolf. The story lasts approximately 50 minutes with Alice featuring throughout as he narrates the story inbetween various classical music excerpts.
Alice speaks in a child friendly manner throughout but with the occasional snarl that we're so used to. Additionally, the producers also manage to include a small sample of School's Out (which is being played on a car stereo). The booklet features a picture of Alice and a complementary paragraph about him.
An iPad App was also produced, this featured the same narration as the CD but with animated graphics to watch as you listen to Alice. A short video clip of Alice recording his spoken parts can be seen in the end credits (see screen grab below). See here for more information on the App.
My Valuation: £15