You gotta give it to Alice Cooper — he’s always been supportive of the bands he came up with. While plenty of other legendary rockers act like music begins and ends with them, the Motor City madman has been perpetually vocal about his love of the hard rock crews around whom his own star rose. Now, Alice has released a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll,” paying homage to the New York City genre-defiers with his own gritty take.
As you’ll hear, Alice’s version of “Rock & Roll,” which is one of the tracks off of his upcoming covers album Detroit Stories, is a little louder and more hard rock than the jangling 1970 classic. That said, he definitely errs on the side of bombastic ’70s arena rock like Kiss or Meat Loaf rather than his more aggressive and metallic side. It’s a solid nod from one gender-bending rock act to another.
“Detroit was Heavy Rock central then,” says Alice 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.
“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.”
Check out Alice Cooper’s cover of “Rock & Roll” below:
Alice Cooper’s Detroit Stories comes out February 26 on earMusic, and is available for preorder.
Words by Chris Krovatin