ALICE COOPER – The Last Temptation [HNE Remaster + Japan Edition Bonus Disc] *EXCLUSIVE*
Alongside the recently posted ALICE COOPER remasters, it was requested some time ago as well “The Last Temptation” from the Cherry Red / Hear No Evil same remastered reissue series, now out of print and very hard to find. The sound quality is outstanding, and really improves the surprisingly flat original version. Additionally, we have as extra the bonus disc from the original Japanese limited edition, also a rarity nowadays.
This “The Last Temptation” remastered reissue – also titled “20th Anniversary Edition” – it was indeed released in 2014, twenty years after its original edition, and soon became out of stock.
After the more hair metal, mainstream “Hey Stoopid” in 1991, which followed the worldwide smash “Trash” in 1989, the conceptual nature of “The Last Temptation” was a major departure from the two more commercially orientated predecessors, whilst resurrecting some of the darker, macabre themes from earlier Alice’s career.
The story of the album centers on a boy named Steven (also the name of the protagonist in Cooper’s earlier work, Welcome To My Nightmare), and a mysterious showman. The showman, with apparent supernatural abilities, attempted with the use of twisted versions of morality plays to persuade Steven to join his traveling show, “The Theater of the Real”, where he would “never grow up”.
Steven takes a ticket and watches the show on a dare, but getting out of the performance will be harder than he ever imagined. And then Steven learns what it is to be truly afraid…
The songs themselves were composed with the help of several key players, specifically awesome guitarist Dan Wexler (Icon) and Bud Saylor, who would contribute to the writing of four of the ten songs.
Other collaborators would include Jim Vallance, best known as the long-time writing partner of Bryan Adams, and Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, who would also lend his vocal talents to the tracks ‘Stolen Prayer’ and ‘Unholy War’.
Both Trash and Hey Stoopid had been dominated by a slew of guest musicians, which included members of Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe, along with Ozzy Osbourne and guitar legends Joe Satriani and Slash. But with “The Last Temptation”, Cooper decided to work with the same small group of musicians throughout the album.
Returning from his duties on Hey Stoopid was skilled guitarist Stef Burns (Y & T), while the bass was handled by Greg Smith, who had previously worked with Wendy O. Williams during the mid-Eighties.
Keyboards were performed by Derek Sherinian who, following completion of the album, would join Dream Theater for the remainder of the decade. The new member of Cooper’s band was David Uosikkinen, a founding member and drummer from The Hooters, who had enjoyed success a few years earlier.
Among my favorite tracks there’s ‘Sideshow’ which makes you swing, and ‘Lost In America’ grabs you by the throat and demands to be considered a standout, while ‘Nothing’s Free’ rocks. The album feature slower tracks too like ‘Stolen Prayer’ (great one), the acoustically based and sinister ‘Lullaby’, or ‘It’s Me’, a prototypical Eighties ballad with a huge chorus.
But this is an ‘album’, and should be listened to from start to finish.
“The Last Temptation” remains one of the most overlooked and underrated albums of Alice Cooper’s long and prolific career. Following on from the phenomenal success of Trash and the impressive performance of its successor, Hey Stoopid, “The Last Temptation” faced a near-impossible task of meeting the expectations of both fans and critics.
Intelligent, elaborated and refusing to repeat the formula that had served him well a few years earlier, the album is one of the bravest and most accomplished of his career.
In a true Cooper horror-fashion, “The Last Temptation” is one of Alice’s most captivating albums.
This HNE release / remaster is excellent, fuller, plenty of dynamics. And as extra there’s the collectors bonus disc from the rare original Japan limited edition ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy / Billion Dollar Babies’, and if you like his ‘hairy’ era; ‘Poison’, ‘Hey Stoopid’ and ‘Wind-Up Toy’.
Only at 0dayrox
01 – Sideshow
02 – Nothing’s Free
03 – Lost in America
04 – Bad Place Alone
05 – You’re My Temptation
06 – Stolen Prayer
07 – Unholy War
08 – Lullaby
09 – It’s Me
10 – Cleansed By Fire
The Last Temptation [Japan Edition Bonus Disc] Live At Electric Lady
01 – Sick Things [live at Electric Lady]
02 – Only Women Bleed / Wind-Up Toy [live at Electric Lady]
03 – No More Mr. Nice Guy / Billion Dollar Babies [live at Electric Lady]
04 – Poison [live at Electric Lady]
05 – Hey Stoopid [live at Electric Lady]
Alice Cooper – vocals
Stef Burns – guitar, background vocals
Greg Smith – bass, background vocals
Derek Sherinian – keyboards, background vocals
David Uosikkinen – drums
Chris Cornell – songwriter, vocals on “Stolen Prayer” and “Unholy War”
Dan Wexler – songwriter, guitar on “Lost In America”
John Purdell – keyboards on “You’re My Temptation”, “Lullaby” and “It’s Me”
Lou Merlino – background vocals
Mark Hudson – background vocals
Craig Copeland – background vocals
Brett Hudson – background vocals
Out Of Print: