The Best of Both Worlds
L. Bloom | Hollywood | 09/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am in agreement with those who conclude that this is more for the fans of Alice solo than the fans of the original band. The track list reads more like a best of collection than a comprehensive set containing everything he ever did. The majority of AC fans at least as I know them are more concerned with the early AC years when ACG was a major concert draw. This is the period from Love it To Death, Killer, School's Out, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love. The first 2 albums produced for Frank Zappa's label are rarely mentioned amongst orignal ACG fans because there are no hits from either of those and also, truth be knownst, they are really bad albums that border on being unlistenable, sloppy, recordings of second rate Pink Floyd imitations that are just plain boring and directionless. Not until Love it To Death does ACG find a hit as well as their distinctive sound largely thanks to Bob Ezrin. The first 2 albums have their moments of what you might call curious interest, like playing your guitar out of tune might give you an interesting sound, but are largely unworthy of time, money or comment. Alice's solo career presents the idea that the Coop grew up and out of whatever possessed him in the first place, settled down, married and now views the onstage and offstage Alice as 2 entirely different people, and has a sense of humor about his image as it were, including his age. All very well and good but the most interesting part of ACG was the original band which is summarized here as well as the solo albums. For fans of the original band who don't want to spend money on the number of god awful solo albums he's produced, but rather prefer a comprehensive overview of the solo albums best moments and the best known cuts from the originals, this is for you. What would be nice would be 2 seperate box sets, one from each era."
MRT | 12/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Quite simply the finest collection of songs from the greatest showman to walk this planet. Every song is a telling story of how Alice has developed his creative persona over the last 30+ years. First 2cds in particular are just mindblowing. Rhino have certainly given value for money, with an incredible 81 tracks, including loads of rare stuff. A must for fans, and recommended for anyone even remotely interested in this hugely underrated performer."