The early eighties was a rough time for Alice Cooper. After releasing a string of commercially unsuccessful albums that he to this day can’t recall making due to heavy substance abuse (Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin and DaDa), the shock rockin’ son of a preacher opted to take a three year break from writing and recording music.
“The first one is the best.” This is widely regarded as a universal truth when it comes to films, books and albums that are part of a series. Certainly there are exceptions to the rule; I’ve always preferred The Empire Strikes Back to Star Wars and Aliens to Alien, although I’m sure that many will disagree. But by and large, the first piece of work in a series is superior to its sequels, as it is typically the freshest and most original installment, breaking new ground and setting the tone for everything that follows. It also sets the bar, often setting it too high; the more highly regarded the original becomes, the more difficult it is for sequels to do anything but pale in comparison. Continue reading