I’m delving into the world of the single! I’ll buy a 7”, 12” or CD single every week and post my findings here. Who knows what musical discoveries will be made?
You can’t beat a bit of Coop but it was the cover that made this week’s single stick out from the pack. I was never that fussed about the Friday the 13th franchise but the image of Alice as Jason Vorhees is great fun. Two iconic Horror villains for the price of one! In the 70s Cooper usually assumed a “hapless victim” role, but in the 80s Alice’s onstage persona was definitely taking on the more predatory characteristics of a slasher movie baddie.
Both Alices appear here. We’ve got the A-Side “He’s Back” (The Man Behind The Mask) which is the poppy, keyboard-driven theme from Friday the 13th Part IV: Jason Lives but its title could equally apply to the masked Alice: this single and its parent album Constrictor saw Cooper’s return in 1986 after retiring from the music industry three years earlier. Representing the 70s era we have a live version of Billion Dollar Babies from 1976, presumably from the Go to Hell tour. This rendition is interesting: Alice sings well but the song’s performance is a touch loose with some of the studio version’s catchy guitar licks over-simplified or barely played at all. It’s good to hear the band playing around with the song though: the guitar solos are excellent and the whole performance sounds muscular.
At £2 I think I probably overspent on this a bit. If I’d poked around online I’d have found the 12” which also has a live I’m Eighteen from 1982. On one hand the 12” is the more appealing item but, on the other hand, if I hadn’t found this in the shop I wouldn’t have known about it at all. For subsequent Singles of the Week, however, I may start transferring my attention away from the High Street and onto the Interwebs to see what happens.