Alien Sex Fiend

A Purple Glistener + Liquid Head in Tokyo [DVD]

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Originally released as separate films, subsequently reissued as a generous 90-minute VHS tape, and finally transferred to DVD with 5.1 surround sound, this package combines two classic Alien Sex Fiend live shows, from Birmingham, England in September 1983 (A Purple Glistener), and Tokyo, Japan, in January 1985 (Liquid Head In Tokyo). Both are somewhat rough -- the Birmingham show in particular was shot on a very low budget, but thrills via its preservation of the Fiends at their most vital; Who's Been Sleeping in My Brain, the band's debut album, was still new on the shelves, the Batcave was still a going concern, and Nik Fiend's vision of Alice Cooper colliding with Vincent Price in a high-rise building filled with embalming fluid represented one of the most astonishing visual phenomenon of the age. Clash those three in one place, and A Purple Glistener represents one of the most exciting video reissues of its age. A Liquid Head is more professional, musically, visually, and cinematically -- which may or may not be a good thing, depending upon just how tacky you like your schlock to appear. Armed with the money to make the special effects look especially special, and with a live set that showed off several albums to choose from, Alien Sex Fiend were as close to a well-oiled machine as they were ever going to get, and there are a few moments here when it seems impossible to believe that the band wasn't going to get any bigger than this. Rock & roll is all about showmanship, after all, and there were no greater showmen than Alien Sex Fiend.

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