Billion Dollar Babies by Alice Cooper 1973, on Warner Brothers label, value £50

THEY say that if you want to get noticed, you have to stand out from the crowd, writes MICHAEL BROOKS.

Alice Cooper did just that. Born Vincent Furnier in 1948 in Detroit, Michigan, he was inspired by the music of Chuck Berry and The Beatles. He formed the first of many bands that he appeared with in the mid-sixties. He experimented with a number of musical styles such as art rock, hard rock, new wave, glam rock and is credited as the inventor of what became known as shock-rock leading him to be described as the most "beloved heavy metal entertainer."

The name Alice Cooper was the band's original name, chosen because it sounded wholesome and innocent despite the band's macabre image. The stage performance was intended to shock people and it did. Cooper had adapted extreme tactics in his live shows, using a guillotine, fake blood, an electric chair as props, including a live snake that slithered around his upper body. His facial image was inspired by the actress Bette Davis in the film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane; he applied heavily caked makeup on his face with a deep, dark, eyeliner which gave him a demonic appearance. He eventually adopted the name Alice Cooper as his own to avoid possible legal complications over ownership of the band's name.

The album Billion Dollar babies was their sixth studio album. It became their biggest seller, which probably accounts for why it does not have a particular high monetary value despite reaching number one in the UK and USA album charts, but it is in demand for AC collectors. It sparked four hit singles, the title track, Elected, Hello Hooray and No More Mr Nice Guy. The snakeskin cover of the album makes this a unique collectable. Enclosed in the insert are a collection of printed cards, with a counterfeit $ Billion Dollar cheque in the lining. After this release, the band went on a tour which broke the box office record previously held by The Rolling Stones playing 64 concerts in 59 cities throughout America. This remains a very dark and unusual record containing lyrical topics with themes such as harassment, horror, fear of the dentist, political ambitions even necrophilia. Controversial perhaps? But rather very much tongue in cheek, Alice Cooper did make great records but I think he will be remembered more for his stage performances rather than his music.