Legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper has released his latest studio album, Detroit Stories.
The record’s 15 tracks act as a concept album about Cooper’s native city — a historic hotbed for rock and roll in the ’60s and ‘70s. Cooper was one of the most active members of the scene, fronting the band Alice Cooper before the group’s moniker took on a personality of its own, becoming the man Alice Cooper as he’s known today.
“Detroit was Heavy Rock central then,” Cooper said in a press release. “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.”
Detroit would become famous for the gritty brand of adrenaline fueled rock played by the aforementioned bands. While much of the country fell under the sway of the “flower power” and post-Woodstock hippie movement, the music coming out of Detroit had a raw and edgier sound — retroactively described as proto-punk.
“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,” Cooper continued. “Detroit was a haven for the outcasts. And when they found out I was born in East Detroit… we were home.”
This era inspired Cooper’s latest album, and he even brought in a few musicians from the Motor City’s storied past to help fulfill his vision for the project. MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, Detroit Wheels’ drummer Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, well-traveled jazz and R&B bassist Paul Randolph, and the Motor City Horns all make an appearance. The LP is produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin.
The combined talent has lent to a strong set of singles leading up to the record’s release, including a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll” and the passionate number “Our Love Will Change the World”. For his 73rd birthday, he would unveil the third single, “Social Debris”, a song written by the original Alice Cooper band.