As promised, today one Mr. Alice Cooper has released the first single from his new album, Detroit Stories. It’s a cover of “Rock & Roll” from the Velvet Underground’s Loaded… which, probably not coincidentally, celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this Sunday, November 15.
The cover seems like an odd choice for an album called Detroit Stories — the Velvet Underground were from New York. Adding to the confusion is the fact that Cooper’s take on the song features Johnny “Bee” Badanjek (Detroit Wheels), Steve Hunter (Detroit), Paul Randolph (legendary Detroit jazz and R&B bassist)… and special guests Joe Bonamassa and Tommy Henriksen, who are not from Detroit… but also the press release has this quote from Alice all about how much he loves Detroit:
“Detroit was Heavy Rock central then. 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.
“Los Angeles had its sound with The Doors, Love and Buffalo Springfield. 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.”
So. Like. I dunno what the fuck is going on here.
ANYWAY, Cooper’s version of the song isn’t as good as the original. But it is better than anyone on Lulu, Metallica’s collaboration with the Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed. So that’s something!
Check out Alice Cooper’s Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll” via the below visualizer.
Detroit Stories comes out February 26 on earMUSIC. Pre-order it here.