Alice Cooper Releases ‘Detroit Stories’ Album: Listen

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Alice Cooper (Photo: Jenny Risher)

Alice Cooper has a new studio album, Detroit Stories, which arrived February 26, 2021, on earMUSIC. Named for the city that launched the original Alice Cooper band on the road to success, the album follows 2019’s Breadcrumbs EP. Detroit Stories was produced by longtime collaborator Bob Ezrin and features several Detroit 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.

“Detroit was about attitude,” Cooper says. “All about attitude.”

Watch the trailer

“Social Debris” was released in advance on Feb. 4, for Cooper’s 73rd birthday.

On Nov. 13, Cooper released his cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Written by Lou Reed, the song was famously recorded by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels. Bee and Hunter reprise their roles, adding Joe Bonamassa as a bonus.

From the Nov. 11 announcement: In 1970, fledgling producer Bob Ezrin walked into a farmhouse on the outskirts of Detroit to work with the Alice Cooper band. Abandoning flower power Los Angeles, because they were the opposite of the hippie peace and love ideal, Alice had brought his decidedly darker gang back to his birthplace to the legendary rock scene that gave birth to hard rock, garage rock, soul, funk, punk… and more.

Ezrin drilled the band for 10 hours a day to define their signature sound. Whenever they nailed a song, the inmates at the hospital for the criminally insane across the road cheered and thus the classic Alice Cooper sound was born.

“Detroit was heavy rock central then,” says Cooper. “You’d play the Eastown [Theatre] 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,” he adds, “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 U.S. (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.”

Listen to “Detroit City 2021”

Of “Our Love Will Change the World,” Cooper calls it “one of the oddest songs I’ve ever done. It was so strange, because it was happy and what it was saying was anything but happy – it was simply a great juxtaposition. And I got it immediately and said ‘okay, this is going to be great’. The music saying one thing and the lyrics saying something else, I love that song. It is totally different from anything else on the album.”

The DVD and Blu-ray will feature the live performance, “A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris,” for the first time on video.

Detroit Stories Tracklist
1. Rock ‘n’ Roll
2. Go Man Go (Album Version)
3. Our Love Will Change the World
4. Social Debris
5. $1000 High Heel Shoes
6. Hail Mary
7. Detroit City 2021 (Album Version)
8. Drunk and in Love
9. Independence Dave
10. I Hate You
11. Wonderful World
12. Sister Anne (Album Version)
13. Hanging On By a Thread (Don’t Give Up)
14. Shut Up and Rock
15. East Side Story (Album Version)

Listen to a straight-ahead rocker, “Hail Mary”

Listen to “East Side Story”

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6 Comments so far

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  1. Timflyte
    #1 Timflyte 14 November, 2020, 23:45

    Finally a old voice from the past who can still rock !!! Covering ” rock n roll ” is as ballsy as it gets nowadays. Hopefully the rest is as powerful. Great drumming and lead guitar. Great to hear a rocker singing rock n roll instead of some political crap. Alice is and was a great entertainer. It would’ve been cool if some of the original band was in on this.

    Reply this comment
    • Joe
      Joe 20 January, 2021, 04:46

      All surviving members of the original have participated on this album, including three tracks written by them together.

      Reply this comment
  2. Bluzrider
    #2 Bluzrider 13 December, 2020, 07:23

    Being from Detroit, I can say for a fact that Alice knows of what he speaks about this city.
    This city is where anyone who wanted a job at the time could have a job, making good money as well. We worked hard, and played even harder, and had money to burn. So going to concerts was just what we did to let off the steam that the work week would bring.

    Throw in the ’67 race riots, and this town tried real hard to get along with the African American community. We did this mostly because of the music coming out of Motown, It brought us together more effectively than any other resource. If there wasn’t anything going on at the venues we usually went to on the weekends, there was always a Motown show you could go to, and the Black people accepted us, Rock and Rollers, as if we were one of them, and we did the same when they would go to a Rock and Roll show.

    Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all peachy between the races, but music brought us together more effectively than any other big city in America.

    This town rocked harder, with more concerts than any other place in the country as well, we had some great venues. That includes the two biggies on the coasts, New York, and L.A.

    Alice captured the hearts of Detroiters because at the time, he put rock and roll into a vaudeville show, you got more than just music from that band, and you got an experience.

    This city always has been a tough town. The music needed to reflect that, The MC-5, Iggy, and the Stooges, are only some of the names you know about, but there were a lot of local bands that were just as tough. In the bars, at Armory’s, Roller Skating rinks, and just about any other place were you could get a crowd together, Rock and Roll ruled the day,

    I am still proudly here in Detroit, growing up here toughened you up for the game called life, and the music was a huge part of that education, and it taught you how to handle the tough times, of which there were many.

    Rock and Roll still runs deep in the bloodstream of every Detroiter who had the benefit of growing up here during the Sixties, and Seventies.

    All hail Detroit, the home of Rock and Roll.

    Reply this comment
    • Detroit lady
      Detroit lady 1 January, 2021, 10:04

      Right there with you! I know have 2 grown children and 3 grown grandsons that are all classic Detroit rockers as well! They know their history and they know rock n roll! And talent!

      Reply this comment
      • Bluzrider
        Bluzrider 5 February, 2021, 08:46

        You taught them well, Detroit Lady. I bet the backyard Bar-B- Q’s at your house are music to everyone’s Ears. I bet you know who the Rockets were, one of the best bands to come out of Detroit, just a little bit later in the seventies, but they played Kick Ass Rock and Roll, and never made it to the top of the heap, but should have.

        Reply this comment
  3. The Csar
    #3 The Csar 6 February, 2021, 07:50

    Detroit Rock was always in the shadows of Motown. Not a bad thing, just omnipresent. The Frost, SRC, The Rationals and the many iterations of Bob Seger were all there. Ambassador’s of Detroit Music. Bars with live rock were everywhere. A great time to enjoy music.

    Reply this comment

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