Dirty Diamonds Era

Background

Dirty Diamonds is the 24th 'Alice Cooper' studio album and was released in 2005. Following closely in the footsteps of The Eyes Of Alice Cooper, this again saw Alice revisiting his garage rock roots with an ensemble of generally short tracks written mainly with Chuck Garrick, Damon Johnson and Ryan Roxie from his touring band at the time.

 

Although following a similar path to 'Eyes', Dirty Diamonds has an extra-raw feel to it in places. Opener Woman Of Mass Distraction initially sounds like it could have been on Pretties For You, before morphing into thumping hard-rock mode. You Make Me Wanna and the Bond-inspired Dirty Diamonds are equally accessible up-tempo numbers that are impossible to dislike.    

 

Perfect, The Saga Of Jesse Jane, the anti-Hollywood Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies) and Steal That Car are all unique in their own twisted way but share the hard-to-find sweet-spot between rock acceptability and the tongue-in-cheek humour that Alice loves to indulge in from time-to-time.

 

The exquisite Pretty Ballerina, a Left Banke cover, is a marvellous curveball ballad devoted to his very own dancer, Sheryl Cooper. The moody and highly sophisticated Zombie Dance is the creepiest track on offer and sees Alice in the finest of voice in the kind of territory he is most comfortable in.

 

The plodding Run Down The Devil, the subdued Six Hours and boppy Your Own Worst Enemy are neither terrible, nor excellent, but do not offer the same high charisma across the rest of the album.

 

The freely packaged 'bonus track' Stand (originally recorded for the official Athens Olympic Games album and featuring American rapper Xzibit) is a fairly bizarre fusion of rock and rap with a fairly predictable message of positivity. It's completely harmless but feels grossly out-of-place here.

 

Overall, Dirty Diamonds is a largely triumphant album and offers the very best of 'modern classic' Alice.

Dirty Diamonds Album Cover

Dirty Diamonds 12" Vinyl Album

2010, Night Of The Vinyl Dead, NIGHT 090

Like Brutal Planet and Dragontown, Dirty Diamonds was not subject to an initial vinyl version when it was released in 2005 as the format had near-enough died out by that stage. It wasn't until 2010 (around the time of its revival) that Night Of The Vinyl Dead addressed this with this European limited-to-500-copies edition.

 

As with the original release, the front cover features a close-up image of Alice's eyes sparkling like diamonds. On the back is a further image of a mysterious looking Alice dressed in all-black. The limited edition number is hand-written on the back of the sleeve (this one being #063).

 

This release features a gatefold sleeve and features a neat pop-up Alice when you open it up. Also included is a lyric sheet complete with image of Alice playing poker on the other side. The black vinyl disc comes in an inner sleeve featuring an image of Alice on one side and the touring band of 2005 on the reverse.

 

As with most other copies of Dirty Diamonds, the 'bonus track' Stand from the Athens 2004 Olympic Games CD Album is also included (although it isn't listed as a bonus track on this release).

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds 12" Vinyl Album

2011, Back On Black, RCV060LP

For those who missed out on the excellent Night Of The Vinyl Dead version of Dirty Diamonds (above), Back On Black released this alternative European 180 gram version a year later. Initially on limited edition translucent red vinyl (like this one), and later on black vinyl, this version features a gatefold design complete with image of Alice playing poker, track listings, lyrics and credits. Stand is again included.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds 12" Vinyl Album

2019, New West Records, 52772

Dirty Diamonds was subject to a 3rd vinyl pressing as a limited edition 140 gram release for the USA Record Store Day 2019 event. With only 900 copies produced, this became a sought after release for Alice Cooper fans.  

 

As is always the case for Record Store Day releases, copies quickly appeared on eBay and Discogs at vastly inflated prices with many fans forced to shell out well above the $25 retail price. Thankfully, the brilliant Good Records of Dallas, Texas were able to help hardcore overseas fans obtain a copy at the correct price, meaning that they were able to avoid the aftermarket profiteers. Thank you Good Records for looking after real fans!

 

Back to the release and it's not hard to see why it was so popular. Although the simple sleeve design is the weakest of the 3 versions to date, the translucent 'Blood Splatter' vinyl disc is quite brilliant and nicely suits the albums artwork and theme. Stand is again included.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds 12" Vinyl Album

2019, New West Records, 52772

For those who missed the USA Record Store Day release (above), New West Records issued a further USA 140 gram pressing about 6 months later. This time on translucent red vinyl, and limited to just 1,000 copies, it is otherwise exactly the same as the previous release only that it features a different barcode on the back (that is stuck over the original one).

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds 12" Vinyl Album

2019, New West Records, 52772

New West Records made it a hat-trick of Dirty Diamonds USA 140 gram vinyl releases in 2019 with this very limited Black Friday version. Subject to just 100 pressings, and limited to two copies per customer, this was only advertised on the New West Records website and sold for just $10 per copy. Despite being kept somewhat under the radar, demand was very high with all copies selling out just a few minutes after they became available.

 

This time on translucent 'Galaxy Black / Red' vinyl, it is otherwise exactly the same as the previous two releases (above) only that it features a different barcode on the back (that is stuck over the original one). 

 

Unfortunately, as with pretty much all special edition releases, eBay re-sellers were quick to jump in and make an instant profit and I counted about a dozen up for sale at 10 times+ the original price within 24 hours (see image below). Quite why New West Records allowed people to buy two copies is beyond me, but it at least meant that I could nip in and secure one for myself and another for a fellow collector.

 

Whether or not this becomes a highly sought-after piece remains to be seen, but with such a limited production run, it's a steal for $10!

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds 12" Vinyl Album

2020, Ear Music, 0214319EMX

This 'Limited Edition' European 12" vinyl re-issue of Dirty Diamonds by Ear Music features a gatefold sleeve and includes a black 180 gram disc. This is exactly the same as the copy included in the 2019 Treasures box set (also by Ear Music) only that the disc is no longer coloured and a 'Virgin Vinyl' hype sticker is provided on the front of the sleeve.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds 12" Vinyl Album

2020, Ear Music, 0214319EMX

Following the multiple vinyl re-issues of this album (above and the copy from the Treasures boxset), yet another version of Dirty Diamonds was released in 2020. This time it was a European 180 gram exclusive edition by Ear Music as part of the October Record Store Day 'Drop 3' event and was limited to 2,000 hand-numbered copies (mine being #0,728).

 

I think it's fair to say that appetite for this one was already pretty low. To make matters worse, this release was essentially the same as the copy provided in the Treasures boxset and the subsequent re-issue (above) only that it featured a translucent red disc (rather than clear or black), had a unique hype sticker on the front and included the aforementioned hand-numbering (in silver pen, on the rear of the sleeve).

 

A combination of the above points, and the fact that this was now the 8th pressing of the album on vinyl, meant that it was pretty easy to get hold of a copy at the standard price without having to queue for hours outside your local record store.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

NOTE: A further vinyl copy of this album is included in 'Treasures' boxset and can be seen here.

Dirty Diamonds Promotional CD Album

2005, New West Records, NWA3014

This USA promotional CD album comes in a jewel case and features all the material from the album, including the 'Bonus Track' Stand. The rear of the case features track listings plus contact details for radio and publicity.

 

Both the blue CD and rear of the case state 'PROMOTIONAL ONLY / NOT FOR SALE' and 'Street Date: August 2, 2005'.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds Promotional CD Album

2005, New West Records, NW6078

This further USA promotional CD album comes in a jewel case and again features all the material from the album, including Stand. The rear of the case features track listings, whereas both this and the CD provide contact details for publicity and state 'Release Date: August 2, 2005'.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds Promotional CD Album

2005, Spitfire Records, SPITCD257

This European promotional CD features a simple wrap-around paper sleeve and includes all the material from the final album, including the 'Bonus' track Stand. A notable observation, however, is that the running order is different to that of the final version, with only Woman Of Mass Distraction, Dirty Diamonds, Sunset Babies and Stand in the same / correct place.

 

Both the CD (which is a blue CD-R type variety) and sleeve state 'Promotional copy - Not for sale'.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds Promotional CD Album

2005, Spitfire Records, SPITCD257

This further European promotional CD has the same code as the above version but does not feature any artwork. Interestingly, the CD states 'Temporary Visual' which indicates that it was originally intended to carry the temporary artwork that was originally produced for this album (see below).

 

Also, instead of Stand, the bonus track provided is the hard-to-find The Sharpest Pain, which only featured on the official album releases in Russia and Australia (in the case of the latter, I believe it wasn't actually included in the printed track listings).

 

As with the above version, the running order is different to that of the final version, with only Woman Of Mass Distraction, Dirty Diamonds, Sunset Babies and Stand in the same / correct place.

 

The CD (which is a blue CD-R type variety) states 'Promotional Copy - Not For Sale'.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds Promotional CD Album

2005, Spitfire Records

This hard-to-find European promotional CD is similar to the above version but this time includes the 'Temporary Visual' artwork on the front of the paper wrap-around sleeve. I have never seen this confirmed, but it looks it may have been derived from the photos originally taken for use on the The Eyes Of Alice Cooper album. 

 

As with the above version, the bonus track provided is The Sharpest Pain (rather than Stand) and the running order is different to that of the final version, with only Woman Of Mass Distraction, Dirty Diamonds, Sunset Babies and Stand in the same / correct place.

 

Both the CD (which is a blue CD-R type variety with sticker label) and sleeve state 'Promotional copy - Not for sale'.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds CD Album

2005, New West Records, NW6078

This USA CD version of Dirty Diamonds comes in a Digipak case and includes the 'Bonus Track' Stand. The 12-page booklet features track listings, lyrics and credits plus both colour and black-and-white images of Alice and, following their appearance in The Eyes Of Alice Cooper artwork, his touring band of the time.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds CD Album

2005, Spitfire Records, SPITCD257

This European CD version of Dirty Diamonds comes in a jewel case and includes the 'Bonus Track' Stand. The booklet is almost identical to the USA version (above) only that the artwork is slightly re-arranged to reflect the slightly different presentation of Digipak and jewel case releases. 

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds CD Album

2009, Spitfire Records, SPITCD257

This budget Czech Republic CD re-issue of Dirty Diamonds features a unique A5 card sleeve that includes the same artwork as the original release (above) on the front and back. Additional 'CD Sport' branding and promotional material for other releases are also provided. 

 

The CD simply slots into the top of the sleeve. No booklet is provided, making this a very basic package.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

NOTE: Further CD copies of this album are featured in the Compilations section of this website.

Dirty Diamonds Promotional CD Single

2005, Spitfire Records, SPITCD257

This hard-to-find European promotional CD comes in a simple paper sleeve and contains only the album version of Dirty Diamonds.

 

Both the CD (which is a blue CD-R type variety) and sleeve state 'PROMOTIONAL COPY - NOT FOR SALE'.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Sunset Babies Promotional CD Single

2005, New West Records, NWS1038

This USA promotional CD comes in a clear jewel case and features Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies) only (from the Dirty Diamonds album).

 

The blue CD states 'PROMOTIONAL ONLY / NOT FOR SALE' and confirms a 'Street Date: August 2, 2005' for the release of the Dirty Diamonds album.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Dirty Diamonds 2005 Tour Shirt

2005

This Dirty Diamonds 2005 tour shirt was purchased at the Bournemouth International Centre, UK on 17th November. The front features the artwork from the Dirty Diamonds album, with the back listing all the dates from the 2005 world tour (the Bournemouth show being the very last).

 

The shirt is hand-signed and personalised on the front by Alice. 

Dirty Diamonds Platinum Club 2005 Tour Shirt

2005

This 'Platinum Club' 2005 tour shirt was given to fans with VIP tickets to shows and features alternative artwork from the Dirty Diamonds album on the front. The back is blank. 

Dirty Diamonds Tour Keyring

2005, Nightmare Inc.

This simple plastic keyring was sold at merchandise stalls during the 2005 and 2006 UK Dirty Diamonds tour.

For the Along Came A Spider era Click Here.