Alice Cooper released the first single off his upcoming album, Detroit Stories, a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll.” The album is set to be released Feb. 26 via earMUSIC.
Cooper’s version of the song, which first appeared on The Velvet Underground’s 1970 album Loaded, features Johnny Bee and Steve Hunter, who played on Mitch Ryder’s 1973 cover of the song. It also features Paul Randolph and Joe Bonamassa.
The original talks about a girl named Jenny whose life was “saved by rock n’ roll.” Cooper’s version is a theatrical take on the song that trades Lou Reed’s relaxed vocals for Cooper’s signature punchy, exaggerated voice. The acoustic guitar is replaced with an electric with an extra guitar solo placed right in the center of the track.
Cooper announced Detroit Stories on Nov. 12 and said it is an ode to the golden era of Detroit Rock. The album features other Detroit artists including MC5’s Wayne Kramer and Bob Seger’s Motor City Horns.
“Detroit was Heavy Rock central then,” Cooper said. “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.”
Last month, Cooper released a new campaign for his classic track, “Elected,” which was originally released in 1972. In May, he released a single called “Don’t Give Up,” addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a music video. His most recent studio album, Breadcrumbs, was released last October, and his planned tour was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Last month, Jarvis Cocker covered The Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs,” from their album The Velvet Underground & Nico. In September, Hot Chip covered the band’s “Candy Says,” which was dedicated to actress, Warhol darling and trans icon Candy Darling on the band’s 1969 self-titled album.
In 2018, a multi-media art and music exhibition opened in New York City celebrating The Velvet Underground titled The Velvet Underground Experience. That same year, the band released a limited edition vinyl box set.
Detroit Stories tracklist:
- Rock ‘n’ 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)