“School’s Out” singer Alice Cooper dropped a cool cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll” today (Nov. 13) ahead of the Feb. 26, 2021, release of his album Detroit Stories via earMUSIC.
Helmed by longtime Cooper producer by Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Lou Reed), the LP follows the 2019 EP Breadcrumbs as a continuing homage to Detroit, where Cooper was born and initially found fame at that city’s famed Grande Ballroom alongside other legendary city denizens including The Stooges and Ted Nugent.
“Detroit was Heavy Rock central then,” explains Cooper in a statement. “You’d play the Eastown and it would be Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, the Stooges and the Who, for $4! The next weekend at the Grande it was MC5, Brownsville Station and Fleetwood Mac, or Savoy Brown or the Small Faces. You couldn’t be a soft-rock band or you’d get your ass kicked.”
Though the Cooper group initially moved to Hollywood from its hometown of Phoenix, Ariz., and were famously signed by Frank Zappa, the band was almost too weird for L.A.
“Los Angeles had its sound with The Doors, Love and Buffalo Springfield,” Cooper said. “San Francisco had the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. New York had The Rascals and The Velvet Underground. But Detroit was the birthplace of angry hard rock. After not fitting in anywhere in the US (musically or image-wise) Detroit was the only place that recognized the Alice Cooper guitar-driven, hard rock sound and our crazy stage show. Detroit was a haven for the outcasts. And when they found out I was born in East Detroit… we were home.”
The single and album feature several Motor City music legends, including the MC5’s Wayne Kramer, the Detroit Wheels’ drummer Johnny “Bee” Badanjek and guitarist Steve Hunter, Paul Randolph, as well as the Motor City Horns and other local musicians. Written by Reed, the song was famously recorded by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels. Bee and Hunter reprise their roles, adding guitarist Joe Bonamassa as a bonus.
Check the tune below.
Detroit Stories arrives in numerous formats: CD, CD+DVD Digipak, CD Box Set (including CD, Blu-ray, T-shirt, face mask, torchlight and three stickers), and two-LP Gatefold. Pre-Order here:
Detroit Stories tracklist
- “Rock & Roll”
- “Go Man Go” (Album Version)
- “Our Love Will Change The World”
- “Social Debris”
- “$1000 High Heel Shoes”
- “Hail Mary”
- “Detroit City 2021” (Album Version)
- “Drunk And In Love”
- “Independence Dave”
- “I Hate You”
- “Wonderful World”
- “Sister Anne” (Album Version)
- “Hanging On By A Thread (Don’t Give Up)”
- “Shut Up And Rock”
- “East Side Story” (Album Version)
Additionally, since the lockdown halted all touring, Cooper fans can still see him live, as a DVD and Blu-ray of the last show of the 2019 “Paranormal” tour – A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia Paris is available for the first time on video.
Cooper has continued to do his long-lived, five-night-a-week syndicated classic rock and talk radio show throughout the pandemic. Tonight (Nov. 13) Cooper interviews AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson on the release night of the band’s anticipated Power Up album.