GET YOUR COPY OF THE NEW HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES ALBUM NOW, FEATURING ALICE COOPER, JOE PERRY, JOHNNY DEPP, PAUL MCCARTNEY, JOE WALSH, DAVE GROHL AND CHRISTOPHER LEE HERE!
BY KORY GROW
ALICE COOPER has said the debut from Hollywood Vampires — a supergroup led by Cooper, Joe Perry and a flashy guitar upstart named Johnny Depp — is a tribute to his “dead drunk friends” (also the title of a chantey-like original tune here). But it’s mostly made of surprisingly upbeat cover songs, with hard-rocking renditions of “My Generation,” “Break on Through” and “Manic Depression.” Better still, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Joe Walsh and even late Dracula star Christopher Lee make guest appearances. What holds it all together is Cooper, who, at 67, still possesses one of the best and grittiest voices in rock and the endless charisma of the undead.
By Wayne Parry Associated Press
Hollywood Vampires, “Hollywood Vampires” (Universal Music Enterprises)
Alice Cooper has made a career out of keeping the creepiness front and center in hard rock.
His latest project Hollywood Vampires — a true supergroup including Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and actor-guitarist Johnny Depp — is an outgrowth of his most recent “Raise the Dead” tour, which featured Cooper covering classic rock songs from bands who had a member die from drug or alcohol abuse. Offerings include covers of The Doors (Jim Morrison), The Who (Keith Moon), Led Zeppelin (John Bonham) and T-Rex (Marc Bolan).
Cameos from classic rock legends abound here, as well, including contributions from Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Zak Starkey, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Perry Farrell, Robby Krieger and Dave Grohl. Most (but not all) the tracks are from artists who saw members die from substance abuse. Among the strongest on “Hollywood Vampires” are a pounding cover of The Who’s “My Generation,” a Krieger-powered Doors medley of “Five to One/Break on Through,” and a version of T-Rex’s “Jeepster” that manages to be heavy and pop-y all at once.
Cooper’s nasal sneer is perfect on Three Dog Night’s “One,” and Perry’s slashing guitar powers the still-iconic “Cold Turkey,” John Lennon’s ode to drug withdrawal.
The band title refers to a ’70s drinking club Cooper was part of that also included Lennon, Moon, Harry Nilsson, Bernie Taupin and Micky Dolenz of the Monkees.
By Sarah Rodman GLOBE STAFF
When it comes to rock lore, the saga of the Hollywood Vampires, a loose group of rock-star friends who enjoyed drinking on the Sunset Strip in the ’70s, ranks high. The “Vampires” roster at various times included Keith Moon, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees, Elton John’s songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, and Jim Morrison. They were led by Alice Cooper, who pays tribute to members past and passed on with this fun, star-studded tribute, recorded with new Vampires Johnny Depp and Joe Perry. Fittingly, the album opens with Christopher Lee reading from “Dracula,” and then musically pours one out with raucous takes of everything from the Who’s “My Generation” — featuring Zak Starkey, Ringo’s son — to Badfinger’s “Come and Get It” with the song’s writer, Paul McCartney. Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl, and more also sat in for a spell, paying rollicking and bittersweet homage to, as Cooper puts it in the album’s best original track, “Dead Drunk Friends.”