Love It To Death Era

Background

Love It To Death is the 3rd Alice Cooper album and was released in 1971. If Easy Action was a step up in class from Pretties For You, then Love It To Death demonstrates a stratospheric shift into a well-polished group ready for commercial success. It’s for this reason that many people recognise this as the first ‘proper’ Alice Cooper album. 

 

This is an injustice somewhat to both Pretties For You and Easy Action, but the sentiment is understandable nontheless. The main reason is that it's rammed full of hits (thanks largely to the introduction of producer Bob Ezrin) and found the perfect balance between catchy, radio friendly, tunes and the macabre theme for which the Group became famous for. 

 

If you’re going to start an Alice Cooper collection, then with iconic tracks like Caught In A Dream, I'm Eighteen and Ballad Of Dwight Fry, this is definitely the right album to begin with.

Love It To Death Album Cover

Love It To Death 12" Promotional Vinyl Album

1971, Straight Records, WS 1883

This USA 12" 1st pressing promotional vinyl album comes in a gatefold sleeve and includes the infamous 'Thumb' cover of the Alice Cooper Group, which was removed from subsequent versions due to controversy about the position and look of Alice's thumb appearing like something else (a Muscle Of Love if you will)! Inside is a close-up image of Alice's eyes complete with newly-introduced make-up. If you look closely into either eye, you will find images of the rest of the Alice Cooper Group hiding away! On the rear of the sleeve is an alternative (less controversial) image of the Group taken from the same photo session as the front cover.

 

As this is a promotional copy, it includes white 2nd generation Straight vinyl labels and two additional stickers on the front. The first (blue) sticker provides three 'SUGGESTED CUTS FOR AIR PLAY' (I'm Eighteen, Caught In A Dream and Is It My Body) whereas the second is a DJ timing strip, which provides the track titles and durations of every song together with the total running time of each side of the album. Copies of this album with both stickers complete / in good condition, and the original Straight inner sleeve, are quite rare so this is a great addition to my Love It To Death collection.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

1971, Straight Records, WS 1883

This USA 2nd pressing of Love It To Death is almost identical to the 1st pressing promotional copy (above) but instead features pink 2nd generation Straight vinyl labels and no DJ timing strip or promotional sticker.

 

This copy retains the infamous 'Thumb' cover, plus includes a banner on the front advertising that the album includes 'Their Hit "I'm Eighteen"' which was added as the song became a hit single around the world.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

1971, Straight Records, 1C 062-92 463

This German 1st pressing of Love It To Death features the unique-to-Germany pink, white and black 2nd generation Straight vinyl labels, which only appeared on one other Alice Cooper album, Pretties For You (Easy Action did not see such a release for some reason). 

 

This copy retains the infamous 'Thumb' cover, plus includes a banner on the front advertising that the album includes 'Their Hit "I'm Eighteen"' which was added as the song became a hit single around the world. Also provided is the Straight logo on the front and back (rather than Warner Brothers).

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

1971, Straight Records, STS 1065

This UK 1st pressing of Love It To Death features 2nd generation Straight vinyl labels and the Straight logo on the front and back cover. Unlike the USA and German first press copies (above), Alice's thumb and forearm are airbrushed off the front cover.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

1971, Warner Brothers, WS 1883

This Canadian 1st pressing of Love It To Death features green Warner Brothers vinyl labels. Similar to the UK version (above) this version was also censored, but this time only Alice's thumb was airbrushed off the front cover (i.e. his forearm remained). As far as I can tell, this form of censorship only occured in Canada.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

1972, Warner Brothers, K46177

This UK 2nd pressing of Love It To Death features green Warner Brothers vinyl labels and retains the same censored image as the Straight 1st UK pressing (above).

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

1973, Warner Brothers, WS 1883

The front cover of Love It To Death was subject to 3 notable attempts to censor Alice's thumb (see above for 2 other examples). This USA re-issue shows the most extreme solution, where large white banners were applied to the top and bottom of the sleeve, thereby reducing the original image to a 'letterbox' effect. In a somewhat unnecessary attempt at consistency, the same treatment is applied to the image on the rear of the sleeve. As far as I can tell, this form of censorship only occured in the USA.

 

These notable aspects aside, the remainder of the packaging remains the same, albeit with the vinyl labels switching to the 'Palm Tree' Warner Brothers design. Some fans have made best use of the blank canvas provided to them by getting the dead space autographed (see below)!

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death Original Front Cover Variations

To summarise the information above, here are the 4 different variants of the original Love It To Death front cover...

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

1977, Midi, MID 26033

This German 12" vinyl re-issue of Love It To Death by Midi was part of a budget 'Star Collection' range that included many different artists of the time (some of whom are featured on the rear of the sleeve). Interestingly, the actual album title isn't mentioned by name anywhere!

 

The front cover features an image of Alice only from the School Days complication album and on the back is a short biography which, like the front, rather tastelessly excludes the other members of the Alice Cooper Group from the background story (this is an especially heinous crime given which album is included). The inner sleeve includes promotional material for further releases of the time, including the From The Inside album.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

2006, Unknown Label, P-8094W-P

This great looking unofficial Japanese version of Love It To Death was a very kind gift from UK-based Alice Cooper Group superfan Chris Daniels (see below for more information on this great guy).

 

The picture disc features the iconic thumb cover in full glory on Side A with Side B replicating the rear cover of the original album. Also provided is a card insert featuring the album cover on one side and promotional material for other Alice Cooper releases on the rear.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

2009, Rhino Records, WS 1883

Picking up a decent condition vinyl copy of Love It To Death, at a good price, is not easy. Thankfully, Rhino Records re-issued the album in the USA on chunky 180 gram vinyl in 2009. Similar versions were also produced for the Pretties For You and Easy Action albums.

 

This is a rather basic reproduction, with a simple card sleeve in place of the original gatefold design. Additionally, the vinyl labels feature the latter 'Palm Tree' Warner Brothers design. Nevertheless, this, or one of the subsequent re-issues (below), are definitely worth obtaining to use as a playable copy of this iconic album.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

2009, Rhino Records, WS 1883

This 'Collectors Limited Edition' USA vinyl re-issue of Love It To Death is the same as the above version only that it features an alternative hype sticker on the front and a transluscent red disc. Similar versions were also produced for the Pretties For You and Easy Action albums.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 12" Vinyl Album

2017, Rhino Entertainment, RCV1 1883

This 140 gram vinyl re-issue of Love It To Death features a gatefold sleeve design (which closely resembles the original release, above) and a nice opaque black / white swirl effect vinyl. The disc features the familiar green Warner Brothers labels and was limited to 6,500 copies worldwide.  

 

It was released as part of the 2017 'Rocktober' event along with re-issues of Pretties For You and Special Forces, all of which followed on from the 2016 Rocktober re-issue of Billion Dollar Babies.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 8-Track Album

1971, Warner Brothers, M 81883

This USA 8-track album features a black cartridge and includes the original 'Thumb' cover artwork and track listings on the front. This copy also includes a matching generic card sleeve.

 

One notable aspect of this release is that the track order is different to the usual arrangement, with the majority of the them appearing out-of-place. This was presumably due to the need to adequately fit everything into the four 'programs' on the cartridge. 

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death Cassette Album

1973 (Approx), Warner Brothers, M51833

This USA 1st edition cassette copy of Love It To Death is understood to have been released in the early to mid 70's and features a black 'Snapcase' box with wraparound paper cover with abridged artwork and track listings. The cover retains the infamous thumb image, with track listings provided beneath. The white cassette also includes the track listings, plus the transitional Straight / Warner Brothers 'Ruler' logo.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death CD Album

1990, Warner Brothers, 7599-27187-2

This European CD version of Love It To Death comes in a jewel case and features an 8-page booklet containing track listings, credits and a replica of the original vinyl centrefold (featuring a closeup of Alice's, eyes complete with makeup). There is also a useful 'Notes' page featuring a short history of the Alice Cooper Group up to and including the Love It To Death era. This copy features the censored version of the front cover.
 
Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death '24KT + Gold' CD Album

2009, Audio Fidelity, AFZ 057

This USA version of Love It To Death comes on a '24KT+ Gold' CD, which is stated as having a superior quality to standard aluminium discs. Additionally, the original recording has been subject to digital remastering to provide a "warmer" sound.

 

Quite what improvement the above has had on an already classic album is, in my opinion, questionable. I'm no expert when it comes to the technical merits of remastering music, however, what is presented here merely sounds slightly different rather than better to me.

 

The inlay is nothing to write home about with just a fold out sheet featuring stock images plus some of the disc labels of the original vinyl release. The gold CD is beautiful though.

 

This release is quite rare / expensive as it was limited to 5,000 individually numbered copies (of which this is #3,178). Bearing in mind the minimal improvements on offer these releases are for ardent fans only.

 

Further 24KT+ Gold releases were also made by Audio Fidelity for both the Killer and School's Out albums.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Love It To Death 'Mini LP' SHM CD Album

2011, Warner Brothers, WPCR-14301

In 2011, all the Alice Cooper albums from Pretties For You through to From The Inside were re-issued in Japan on 'Super High Material' (SHM) CD format. SHM CD's are, apparently, made of improved material, that provides a clearer medium for the reading of the data and so reduces read errors and thus can improve sound quality.

 

A notable feature of all the SHM releases is that they closely replicate the original packaging of the vinyl releases. In the case of Love It To Death, this is a fairly basic gatefold sleeve, so this is obviously reflected here (including the uncensored front cover). An additional black-and-white bilingual lyric booklet and external 'Obi Strip' are also provided (both of which are common features of Japanese music releases).

 

What would have been really cool though is if they had made the CDs look more like minature vinyl discs. What is offered is still more than satisfactory though and the SHM releases are definitely the quintessential Alice Cooper CD editions of all the available variants out there.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

NOTE: Further CD copies of this album are featured in the Compilations and The Studio Albums 1969-1983 sections of this website.

Eighteen 7" Promotional Vinyl Single

1970, Warner Brothers, 7449

I was extremely lucky to be gifted three versions of the Eighteen / Body 7" single by Alice Cooper Group superfan Christopher (Chris) Daniels in 2017.

 

Chris and I became friends through our mutual love of the Live From The Astroturf 7" release, which also features Eighteen and Body, and he undoubtably has the best fan-kept collection in the world of them (at last count he had 12 different copies, including 1 of every variant). He also has an incredible range of Alice Cooper Group vinyl albums and singles.

 

Chris had known for some time how keen I was to start building my own collection of 7" vinyl singles (particularly for this release) and these fantastic gifts really inspired to push forward with this in 2018.  

 

Thank you Chris, you're a legend!

 

This USA 7" promotional vinyl single features white Warner Brothers labels, comes in a Warner Brothers paper sleeve, and includes I'm Eighteen on Side A and Is It My Body on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album). As with most other copies of this single, the track titles were abbreviated to 'Eighteen' and 'Body' respectively.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Eighteen 7" Vinyl Single

1970, Warner Brothers, 7449

This is the 2nd copy of Eighteen that Chris gifted me.

 

This USA copy features green Warner Brothers labels, comes in a Warner Brothers paper sleeve, and includes Eighteen on Side A and Body on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album).

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Eighteen 7" Vinyl Single

1971, Straight Records, STR S 7209

This is the 3rd copy of Eighteen that Chris gifted me.

 

This very rare UK 7" vinyl single features pink Straight labels and includes Eighteen on Side A and Body on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album).

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Eighteen 7" Vinyl Single

1971, Stateside, 1C006 92 345

Eighteen was the first Alice Cooper single to see a release outside of North America, reaching numerous countries around the world. In addition to the UK version on the Straight label (above), bespoke European versions were seen in fairly limited numbers in Denmark, Holland, Germany, Greece, Italy and Portugal (the first three were released under the 'Stateside' label, whereas the others were under the more familiar Warner Brothers label).

 

Unlike the USA and UK versions, and in another first for Alice Cooper, many of these releases featured picture sleeves, making them highly desirable to collectors. 

 

This German version on the Stateside label features one such picture sleeve, a pink-toned offering complete with picture of Alice (from the Pretties For You era) on the front. On the back is promotional material for other Stateside releases.

 

As with almost all other pressings of Eighteen, Body is the track on Side B.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here 

Eighteen 7" Vinyl Single

1971, Stateside, 6E 006-92345

This rare Danish 7" vinyl single features black Stateside labels, comes in a paper sleeve, and includes Eighteen on Side A and Body on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album). Interestingly, the Stateside labels are slightly different in design to the German version (above).

 

The sleeve has a black-and-white version of a topless Alice Cooper Group,

with their backs turned away from the camera, as featured on the Easy Action album artwork. On the back is promotional material for other Stateside releases.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Eighteen 7" Vinyl Single

1971, Warner Brothers, N-63-2

This rare Portuguese 7" vinyl single features green Warner Brothers labels, comes in a paper sleeve, and includes Eighteen on Side A and Body on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album).

 

The sleeve has a purple-tone image of the Alice Cooper Group, which was originally shot for potential use on the Love It To Death album sleeve (but ultimately discarded). On the back are track listings and credits.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Eighteen 7" Vinyl Single

1971, Warner Brothers, WB 7449

This very rare Italian 7" vinyl single features green Warner Brothers labels, comes in a paper sleeve, and includes Eighteen on Side A and Body on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album). Unlike other versions of this single, the tracks are titled '(I'm) Eighteen' and '(Is It My) Body' on the vinyl labels, making them similar to the original titles used on Love It To Death. The abbreviated titles are still used on the sleeve, however. 

 

The sleeve has a black-and-white image of the Alice Cooper Group, as featured on the Love It To Death album artwork, on the front and back.

 

All copies of this single appear to feature a small red 'SIRE' stamp on the Side A vinyl label, which I believe was a subsidiary label of Warner Brothers.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Eighteen 7" Promotional Vinyl Single

1971, Warner Brothers, P-1036W

This Japanese 7" promotional vinyl single features unique blue Warner Brothers labels, comes in a Warner Brothers paper sleeve complete with fold-out colour insert, and includes Eighteen (uniquely titled as simply '18') on Side A and Body on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album).  

 

The insert has a two-tone image of the Alice Cooper Group, as featured on the Love It To Death album artwork, on the front, track listings, lyrics and credits on the inside and promotional material for other artists on the back.

 

This copy is in near-perfect condition, so at the time of typing, it's difficult to imagine that it's almost 50 years old!

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Eighteen 7" Vinyl Single

1971, Warner Brothers, P-1036W

This Japanese 7" vinyl single is exactly the same as the promotional copy (above) only that it instead features green Warner Brothers labels.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Eighteen 7" Vinyl Single

Unknown Year, Warner Brothers, GWB 7141

This USA 'Back To Back Hits' 7" vinyl single features 'Palm Tree' Warner Brothers labels and includes Eighteen on Side A and Caught In A Dream on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album).

 

The year of release is not known, but it is likely to have been some years after the original releases of Eighteen (above) and Caught In A Dream (below). My guess would be around the mid to late '70s. Interestingly, the release dates of both singles (i.e. 'Fall 1970' and 'Spring 1971') are also provided on the labels.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Eighteen 7" Vinyl Single

Unknown Year, Warner Brothers, WB 7141

This Canadian 'Back To Back Hits' 7" vinyl single is almost exactly the same as the USA version (above) only that it features green Warner Brothers labels. The year of release is again unknown, but it is also likely to have been around the mid to late '70s.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Caught In A Dream 7" Promotional Vinyl Single

1971, Warner Brothers, 7490

This USA 7" promotional vinyl single features white Warner Brothers labels and includes Caught In A Dream on Side A and Hallowed Be My Name on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album).  

 

Each label includes an 'Intro' time, which helped DJs to understand how long they had to introduce a song prior to the lyrics beginning.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Caught In A Dream 7" Vinyl Single

1971, Warner Brothers, 7490

This USA 7" vinyl single features green Warner Brothers labels and includes Caught In A Dream on Side A and Hallowed Be My Name on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album).

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Caught In A Dream 7" Vinyl Single

1971, Warner Brothers, P-1055W

This rare Japanese 7" vinyl single features green Warner Brothers labels, comes in a Warner Brothers paper sleeve complete with fold-out colour insert, and includes Caught In A Dream on Side A and Hallowed Be My Name on Side B (both from the Love It To Death album).

 

The insert has an image of the Alice Cooper Group, as featured on the Love It To Death album artwork, set against a yellow background on the front, track listings, lyrics and credits on the inside and promotional material for other artists on the back.

 

This release is notable in that it is the only version of Caught In A Dream that features any kind of picture sleeve (which I'd say this technically has). A promotional copy also exists, which is identical except that it features blue vinyl labels instead.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

For the Killer era Click Here.