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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Pop > Concert > Comedy > Counterculture > Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper (1974/Shout! Factory Blu-ray)

Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper (1974/Shout! Factory Blu-ray)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B-     Film: B-



At his peak, Alice Cooper was the most popular music act on tour in the world, was releasing over an album a year (they were all selling well) and was having more hit singles than many remember.  In all this, he was a unique stage performer and hit album Billion Dollar Babies was a huge hit in 1973; his only #1 album to this day.  On the long-lost Joe Gannon-directed Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper (1974), we get to see footage of Cooper and his original band in action, now for all too finally see on Blu-ray.


How the film was lost is odd, though Penthouse Magazine of all sources seems to have been involved in the production and like many Rock films of the day (even with major stars like Ringo Starr in the case of the T-Rex film Born To Boogie), these films have become some of the most important orphan films around, because they represent the counterculture discourse on film, are priceless music films, often have remarkable concert footage (Rock was thriving at its peak at this time) and they are also among the most interesting experimental films of the time that are least likely to get the credit for being so.


Mainstream feature films were already taking breaks in their narratives to insert a song (often at full length) that put the storyline on hold (Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Play Misty For Me) and at the same time, music films like these were adding narrative and set pieces that interrupted what might have been a Rockumentary or just another outright concert film, even as it always resulted in awkward, surreal releases like Bob Rafelson’s Head (1968 with The Monkees) Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains The Same (1976, reviewed elsewhere on this site) that have their fans and were always written off as “head trip movies” when they did not make sense, as if that explained them and is the reason they made some other kind of sense.


Two versions of this film were made, one of which pitted the Cooper Band against a mad film director for ruining his masterpiece with them as the subject, but a new version with vintage film clips and old movie clips was also made and that became the film that got the most release, though the older film version also made it to theaters.  This Blu-ray has the older “mad director” cut and the concert footage is the same in either case.  The film itself is every bit as interesting as its many counterparts at the time and is an excellent record of the energy, showmanship and wildness that put Cooper on the map and so many acts have tried to imitate.  Few have even come close, though KISS would be a rare exception.


Songs featured include the mega-hits School’s Out and No More Mr. Nice Guy, plus hits Eighteen, Elected and Hello Hooray, plus Billion Dollar Babies, Raped & Freezin’, My Stars, Unfinished Sweet, Sick Things, Dead Babies, I Love The Dead and Under My Wheels.  Cooper is one of the key Rock performers from the peak era who does not always get the credit, recognition and respect he deserves, but he turned out to be very influential (Ozzy Osbourne gets Cooper’s credit way too often, for instance though no fault on either’s part) and Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper is a minor classic finally saved.  Hopefully, the other version of the film will turn up soon.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is from a source that is uneven, can be rough and even faded and apparently originates on 16mm film, with some good shots here and there, but not enough.  Unless some concert footage and set piece footage was 35mm, it is hard to say, but this is off of a surviving print and more restoration work is needed.  Some purists might argue this should have been a 1.33 X 1 release or that the Blu-ray should have offered that option.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is the only one listed on the case, but there is also a PCM 2.0 Stereo option and they are too often evenly matched, as the sound master here is dated and even having a 16-track multi-channel master only yields so much information in this case.  I expected the music to sound better, but it does not, but this can sound good despite showing some compression and its age, especially in the non-music sequences.


Extras include the original theatrical trailer at 1.33, a feature length audio commentary with Cooper, Poster Gallery with Original Promotional Materials, Deleted Scenes & Outtakes, the option to play only the concert footage and text Band Biographies.



For a more recent 2005 Cooper concert, try this link to our Blu-ray coverage:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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