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Alice Cooper|Detroit Stories

Detroit Stories

Alice Cooper

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What do you do when you're a 73-year-old shock rocker in a world where rock doesn't shock but you still have gas in the tank? Relive the glory days. Alice Cooper's 28th album and first since 2017's Paranormal is an ode to the city where Alice got his start as one of the godfathers of hard rock. It was recorded with longtime producer Bob Ezrin, features players from Motor City legends like the MC5 and The Detroit Wheels, and attempts to recapture the grimy magic of his once-subversive project's inception in the early '70s. The stakes couldn't be lower for new Alice Cooper music in 2021, and the record sees him acknowledge that and then choose to rock out anyways for himself and whoever's listening.

Even at 73, Alice is still a charismatic vocalist who sounds best when he's knee-deep in dirt-kicking blues-rock riffs, like on "Go Man Go," "Sister Anne," and the Sabbathy "East Side Story." Unlike '90s acolytes like Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, Cooper's strain of shock was always more silly than scary, and those sensibilities have aged nicely as the last few decades of culture have drained all the transgression out of his schtick. "Hail Mary" is a hammy hard-rock song about a woman who certainly doesn't invoke Virgin qualities, and when Cooper self-deprecatingly groans, "I'm dumb but even sometimes losers win," you can practically see his toothy grin materalize before you. Forty years ago, you would've been hard-pressed to see a critic describe Alice Cooper as comfort food, but now his nostalgically endearing antics have a warm, Grandpa-esque quality to them.

The inoffensively awkward swerves into funk ("$1000 High Heel Shoes") and industrial ("Wonderful World") are goofy but easily forgivable. Other gimmicky tracks like "Detroit City 2021," a lovably dated-sounding anthem, and "I Hate You," a song where each band member playfully roasts the others with schoolyard taunts, find the sweet-spot between shlocky and unapologetically fun. The only track on the record that really doesn't work is the sunny power-pop song "Our Love Will Change the World," which is so bright and uplifting that it's unclear whether Cooper is being cheeky or earnest. The grungey power-ballad, "Don't Give Up," is a well-intentioned fight song for COVID-era resilience, but Cooper's spoken-word plug for the Suicide Prevention Hotline feels out of sorts on an album with a burning building and blood-red lettering on its cover art. At the end of the day, Detroit Stories doesn't really have all that much to say about its namesake and most of the songs lack the narrative focus one would associate with a story, but that's OK. Just hearing Alice Cooper do his thing, as he's done with remarkable consistency for over 50 years, is good enough. © Eli Enis/Qobuz

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Detroit Stories

Alice Cooper

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1
Rock and Roll
00:04:43

Wayne Kramer, Backing Vocals - Steve Hunter, Guitar - Lou Reed, Composer, Lyricist - Bob Ezrin, Producer, Organ, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Alice Cooper, Backing Vocals, Artist, MainArtist - Joe Bonamassa, Guitar - James Shelton, Organ - Paul Randolph, Backing Vocals, Bass - Calico Cooper, Backing Vocals - Oakfield Avenue Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Johnny Bee, Backing Vocals - Sheryl Cooper, Backing Vocals - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

2
Go Man Go (Album Version)
00:02:40

Wayne Kramer, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar - Tommy Henriksen, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Vocals, Artist, MainArtist - Mark Farner, Guitar - Paul Randolph, Bass - Junkrock Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Thirteenth Hour Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

3
Our Love Will Change the World
00:03:39

Wayne Kramer, Guitar - Tommy Henriksen, Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Piano, Backing Vocals - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Paul Randolph, Bass - Matthew Smith, Composer, Lyricist - Calico Cooper, Backing Vocals - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Sheryl Cooper, Backing Vocals - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Legends Music Publishing Worldwide (BMI), administered by Sony ATV Music Publishing, MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

4
Social Debris
00:03:05

Michael Bruce, Guitar - Dennis Dunaway, Bass - Neal Smith, Composer, Lyricist, Drums - Tommy Henriksen, Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Rick Tedesco, Guitar - Neal Smith Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Steven Crayn, Lead Guitar

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

5
$1000 High Heel Shoes
00:03:29

Wayne Kramer, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Walter White, Trumpet - James Shelton, Organ - Paul Randolph, Producer, Bass - John Rutherford, Trombone - Keith Kaminski, Saxophone - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Tanya Thillet, Backing Vocals - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Thirteenth Hour Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Debra Sledge, Backing Vocals - Camilla Sledge, Backing Vocals - Carla Camarillo, Backing Vocals

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

6
Hail Mary
00:03:14

Wayne Kramer, Guitar - Tommy Henriksen, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Backing Vocals, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Paul Randolph, Bass - Junkrock Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

7
Detroit City 2021 (Album Version)
00:03:19

Wayne Kramer, Guitar - Tommy Henriksen, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Backing Vocals - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Backing Vocals, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Mark Farner, Guitar - Ryan Roxie, Composer, Lyricist - Paul Randolph, Bass - Chuck Garric, Composer, Lyricist - December Cat Songs (BMI), MusicPublisher - Junkrock Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Sadhana Productions (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

8
Drunk and in Love
00:03:51

Dennis Dunaway, Composer, Lyricist - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Harp, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Joe Bonamassa, Guitar - Paul Randolph, Bass - Dreary Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

9
Independence Dave
00:02:56

Wayne Kramer, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar - Tommy Henriksen, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Paul Randolph, Bass - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Thirteenth Hour Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Carla Camarillo, Backing Vocals

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

10
I Hate You
00:02:34

Michael Bruce, Guitar, Singer - Dennis Dunaway, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, Bass, Singer - Neal Smith, Drums, Singer - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Rick Tedesco, Guitar - Dreary Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

11
Wonderful World
00:03:20

Wayne Kramer, Guitar - Tommy Henriksen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Programming - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Backing Vocals, Programming - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Tommy Denander, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards - Paul Randolph, Bass - Junkrock Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Copyright Control (SAMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

12
Sister Anne (Album Version)
00:04:47

Wayne Kramer, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Fred Smith, Composer, Lyricist - Bob Ezrin, Producer - Alice Cooper, Harp, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Mark Farner, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Paul Randolph, Backing Vocals, Bass - Cotillion Music Inc (BMI), MusicPublisher - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Amyandtaidusmusicpublishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Dennis Thompson Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Lt Debek Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Motor City Music, MusicPublisher - RTX2 Productions (BMI), MusicPublisher - Speakercranker Songs (BMI), MusicPublisher - Svengirly Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

13
Hanging on by a Thread (Don't Give Up)
00:03:36

Wayne Kramer, Guitar - Tommy Henriksen, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Programming - Steve Hunter, Lead Guitar - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Programming - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Tommy Denander, Keyboards - Paul Randolph, Bass - Matthew Smith, Guitar - Junkrock Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

14
Shut up and Rock
00:02:09

Tommy Henriksen, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Jimmy Lee Sloas, Bass - Bob Ezrin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Backing Vocals - Alice Cooper, Composer, Lyricist, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Larry Mullen Jr, Drums - Tommy Denander, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar - Junkrock Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Ezra Music (BMI), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Ezrinized Tunes (SOCAN), administered by Universal Music Publishing for Primary Wave Music, MusicPublisher - Copyright Control (SAMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

15
East Side Story (Album Version)
00:02:52

Wayne Kramer, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Bob Ezrin, Producer, Backing Vocals - Alice Cooper, Harp, Artist, Singer, MainArtist - Bob Seger, Composer, Lyricist - Mark Farner, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Paul Randolph, Backing Vocals, Bass - Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Drums - Garret Bielaniec, Guitar - Gear Publishing Company Inc (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. 2021 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel.

Album Description

What do you do when you're a 73-year-old shock rocker in a world where rock doesn't shock but you still have gas in the tank? Relive the glory days. Alice Cooper's 28th album and first since 2017's Paranormal is an ode to the city where Alice got his start as one of the godfathers of hard rock. It was recorded with longtime producer Bob Ezrin, features players from Motor City legends like the MC5 and The Detroit Wheels, and attempts to recapture the grimy magic of his once-subversive project's inception in the early '70s. The stakes couldn't be lower for new Alice Cooper music in 2021, and the record sees him acknowledge that and then choose to rock out anyways for himself and whoever's listening.

Even at 73, Alice is still a charismatic vocalist who sounds best when he's knee-deep in dirt-kicking blues-rock riffs, like on "Go Man Go," "Sister Anne," and the Sabbathy "East Side Story." Unlike '90s acolytes like Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, Cooper's strain of shock was always more silly than scary, and those sensibilities have aged nicely as the last few decades of culture have drained all the transgression out of his schtick. "Hail Mary" is a hammy hard-rock song about a woman who certainly doesn't invoke Virgin qualities, and when Cooper self-deprecatingly groans, "I'm dumb but even sometimes losers win," you can practically see his toothy grin materalize before you. Forty years ago, you would've been hard-pressed to see a critic describe Alice Cooper as comfort food, but now his nostalgically endearing antics have a warm, Grandpa-esque quality to them.

The inoffensively awkward swerves into funk ("$1000 High Heel Shoes") and industrial ("Wonderful World") are goofy but easily forgivable. Other gimmicky tracks like "Detroit City 2021," a lovably dated-sounding anthem, and "I Hate You," a song where each band member playfully roasts the others with schoolyard taunts, find the sweet-spot between shlocky and unapologetically fun. The only track on the record that really doesn't work is the sunny power-pop song "Our Love Will Change the World," which is so bright and uplifting that it's unclear whether Cooper is being cheeky or earnest. The grungey power-ballad, "Don't Give Up," is a well-intentioned fight song for COVID-era resilience, but Cooper's spoken-word plug for the Suicide Prevention Hotline feels out of sorts on an album with a burning building and blood-red lettering on its cover art. At the end of the day, Detroit Stories doesn't really have all that much to say about its namesake and most of the songs lack the narrative focus one would associate with a story, but that's OK. Just hearing Alice Cooper do his thing, as he's done with remarkable consistency for over 50 years, is good enough. © Eli Enis/Qobuz

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