"Halo of Flies" is a 1973 single by rock band Alice Cooper taken from their 1971 album Killer. The single was only released in the Netherlands, two years after the song appeared on the album.
From the Album "Billion Dollar Babies" 1973
Alice Cooper - School's Out (1972 UK TV Top Of The Pops Performance)
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Alice Cooper was an American rock band formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1964. The band consisted of lead singer Vince Furnier, Glen Buxton (lead guitar), Michael Bruce (rhythm guitar, keyboards), Dennis Dunaway (bass guitar), and Neal Smith (drums). Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper and has had a solo career under that name since the band became inactive in 1975. The band was notorious for their elaborate, theatrical shock rock stage shows. In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
After several years of little success, the Alice Cooper band rose to fame in 1971 with the success of the single "I'm Eighteen" and the album Love It to Death. The band peaked in popularity in 1973 with the album Billion Dollar Babies and its tour, which broke box-office records previously held by The Rolling Stones.
The band consisted of former members from the previous 60s garage rock band, the Spiders. They created everything as a group and wrote virtually the lion's share of what was to become the classic Alice Cooper canon. Neal Smith's sister Cindy Smith Dunaway (Dennis Dunaway's wife) designed the band's costumes and also performed in the stage show (she was the "dancing tooth" during the band's Billion Dollar Babies tour).
The Alice Cooper band was the subject of media criticism after Furnier (Alice Cooper) threw a live chicken into the audience during the 1969 Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival Festival. The audience ripped the chicken to shreds.
The band was featured on a Warner Bros sampler album Zapped of bands produced by Frank Zappa for the label, and then went on to release several chart-topping albums and headlining major tours before breaking up in 1975. Vincent Furnier took "Alice Cooper" as his own name and carried on with a new group of musicians, the original band becoming officially defunct. The band played their final show on April 8, 1974 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In autumn 1970, the Alice Cooper group teamed with producer Bob Ezrin for the recording of their third album, Love It to Death. This was the final album in their Straight Records contract and the band's last chance to create a hit. That first success came with the single "I'm Eighteen", released in November 1970, which reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1971. Not long after the album's release in January 1971, Warner Bros. Records purchased Alice Cooper's contract from Straight and re-issued the album, giving the group a higher level of promotion.
Love It to Death proved to be their breakthrough album, reaching number 35 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album charts. It would be the first of eleven[fn 5] Alice Cooper group and solo albums produced by Ezrin, who is widely seen as being pivotal in helping to create and develop the band's definitive sound.
The group's 1971 tour featured a stage show involving mock fights and gothic torture modes being imposed on Cooper, climaxing in a staged execution by electric chair, with the band sporting tight, sequined, color-contrasting glam rock-style costumes made by prominent rock-fashion designer Cindy Dunaway (sister of band member Neal Smith, and wife of band member Dennis Dunaway). Cooper's androgynous stage role had developed to present a villainous side, portraying a potential threat to modern society. The success of the band's single and album, and their tour of 1971, which included their first tour of Europe (audience members reportedly included Elton John and a pre-Ziggy David Bowie), provided enough encouragement for Warner Bros. to offer the band a new multi-album contract.
Their follow-up album Killer, released in late 1971, continued the commercial success of Love It to Death and included further single success with "Under My Wheels", "Be My Lover" in early 1972, and "Halo of Flies", which became a Top 10 hit in the Netherlands in 1972. Thematically, Killer expanded on the villainous side of Cooper's androgynous stage role, with its music becoming the soundtrack to the group's morality-based stage show, which by then featured a boa constrictor hugging Cooper on-stage, the murderous axe chopping of bloodied baby dolls, and execution by hanging at the gallows. In January 1972, Cooper was again asked about his peculiar name, and told talk-show hostess Dinah Shore that he took the name from a "Mayberry RFD" character.
The summer of 1972 saw the release of the single "School's Out". It went Top 10 in the USA and to number 1 in the UK, and remains a staple on classic rock radio to this day. The album School's Out reached No. 2 on the US charts and sold over a million copies. The band relocated to their new mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. With Cooper's on-stage androgynous persona completely replaced with brattiness and machismo, the band solidified their success with subsequent tours in the United States and Europe, and won over devoted fans in droves while at the same time horrifying parents and outraging the social establishment. In the United Kingdom, Mary Whitehouse, a Christian morality campaigner, persuaded the BBC to ban the video for "School's Out", although Whitehouse's campaign did not prevent the single also reaching number one in the UK. Cooper sent her a bunch of flowers in gratitude for the publicity. Meanwhile, British Labour Member of Parliament Leo Abse petitioned Home Secretary Reginald Maudling to have the group banned altogether from performing in the country.
In February 1973, Billion Dollar Babies was released worldwide and became the band's most commercially successful album, reaching No. 1 in both the US and UK. "Elected", a late-1972 Top 10 UK hit from the album, which inspired one of the first MTV-style story-line promo videos ever made for a song (three years before Queen's promotional video for "Bohemian Rhapsody"), was followed by two more UK Top 10 singles, "Hello Hooray" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy", the latter of which was the last UK single from the album; it reached No. 25 in the US. The title track, featuring guest vocals by Donovan, was also a US hit single. Around this time Glen Buxton left Alice Cooper briefly because of waning health.
With a string of successful concept albums and several hit singles, the band continued their grueling schedule and toured the United States again. Continued attempts by politicians and pressure groups to ban their shocking act only served to fuel the myth of Alice Cooper further and generate even greater public interest. Their 1973 US tour broke box-office records previously set by The Rolling Stones and raised rock theatrics to new heights; the multi-level stage show by then featured numerous special effects, including Billion Dollar Bills, decapitated baby dolls and mannequins, a dental psychosis scene complete with dancing teeth, and the ultimate execution prop and highlight of the show: the guillotine.
The guillotine and other stage effects were designed for the band by magician James Randi, who appeared on stage during some of the shows as executioner. The Alice Cooper group had now reached its peak and it was among the most visible and successful acts in the industry. Beneath the surface, however, the repetitive schedule of recording and touring had begun to take its toll on the band, and Cooper, who was under the constant pressure of getting into character for that night's show, was consistently sighted nursing a can of beer.
"Billion Dollar Babies Live in Houston 1973"
Alice Cooper band
★ Alice Cooper – vocals, harmonica
★ Glen Buxton – guitar
★ Michael Bruce – rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
★ Dennis Dunaway – bass, backing vocals
★ Neal Smith – drums, backing vocals
★ Donovan – vocals on the song "Billion Dollar Babies"
★ Steve "The Deacon" Hunter – guitar - Solos on "Generation Landslide", "Billion Dollar Babies", "Sick Things", "Raped and Freezing", "Unfinished Sweet" and pedal steel on "Hello Hurray"
★ Mick Mashbir – guitar
★ Dick Wagner – guitar
★ Bob Dolin – keyboards
★ David Libert – backing vocals
★ Bob Ezrin – keyboards, producer
01. "Hello Hooray" (Live) (Kempf) - 03:04
02. "Billion Dollar Babies" (Live) (Cooper, Bruce, Smith) - 03:47
03. "Elected" (Live) (Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith) - 02:28
04. "I'm Eighteen" (Live) (Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith) - 04:50
05. "Raped and Freezin'" (Live) (Cooper, Bruce) - 03:14
06. "No More Mr. Nice Guy" (Live) (Cooper, Bruce) - 03:07
07. "My Stars" (Live) (Cooper, Ezrin) - 07:32
08. "Unfinished Sweet" (Live) (Cooper, Bruce, Smith) - 06:01
09. "Sick Things" (Live) (Cooper, Bruce, Ezrin) - 03:16
10. "Dead Babies" (Live) (Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith) - 02:58
11. "I Love the Dead" (Live) (Cooper, Ezrin) - 04:48
12. "Coal Black Model T" - 02:28
13. "Son of Billion Dollar Babies" - 03:45
14. "Slick Black Limousine" (Cooper, Dunaway) - 04:26
Track 1 to 11 are recorded live in Houston 1973, previously unreleased on CD
Track 12 is an early version of "Slick Black Limousine", previously unreleased
Track 13 is a "Generation Landslide" outtake, previously unreleased
Track 14 was previously released in the UK only in 1973 as a free Flexi disc in NME magazine
2. Alice Live 1973
3. Alice Live 1973