Time away is excellent, but getting back in the swing of things is always good, and while away, we learned some pretty cool things about Alice and his music.
It began with a cover of one of Alice’s hits and led down a rabbit hole of other covers that bands have completed of Alice’s work. So, with that, we were prompted to have a little fun before returning to the relative breakdown of Biblical Truth.
This week’s post is a Top Ten list of what we believe to be some of the best covers of Alice’s music recorded. Of course, lists like this are always met with scrutiny – we don’t expect everyone to agree. However, many of the covers we found are incredibly diverse and exciting.
Dozens of covers could have made this list, and Alice Cooper has undoubtedly made an impression in music and show business. His work has influenced many genres and inspired musicians and showmen/women alike – it’s fascinating.
So without further ado, here are our picks:
“I Never Cry” was written about Alice’s experiences with alcoholism – according to him, it was “an alcoholic confession.” Interestingly enough, this song and “Poison” were his best-selling singles – both going Gold.
A cover of this song and an article on azcentral.com (Iink to the story) led us down the rabbit hole of Alice Cooper covers.
Sophie and Alex Dorsten, two musicians that have been a part of Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock for many years, recently released their version of “I Never Cry.” Alice was impressed with their spin on the classic.
“My version could be a broken-hearted guy sitting at a bar at 3 a.m. Sophie’s version is much more ethereal. More like an angel sitting on a cloud brushing her hair in slow motion. It’s quite haunting and beautiful.” – Alice Cooper
While Dorsten recorded an incredibly well-done version of “I Never Cry,” Poison’s 2007 version from their Poison’D! LP made our list.
C.C. Deville, Poison’s lead guitarist, was hesitant about recording “I Never Cry,” while the bassist, Bobby Dall, and Christopher Long (author of “A Shot Of Poison”) were convinced it was the proper cover ballad for the LP.
After the LP’s release, Long suggested the band’s cover of “I Never Cry” could replace “Every Rose Has its Thorn” as Poison’s best-known heartbreak ballad. He might be on to something – the band’s cover of Alice’s song is the best track on the Poison’D! LP by a mile.
Check out Christopher Long’s book, “A Shot Of Poison,” for more behind-the-scenes stories and the inner workings of the band and their music.
OTHER NOTABLE COVERS OF “I NEVER CRY”:
Dorsten (2023), Jerome Abalos (2002), Iya Villania (2008), Renz Verano (2000)
“Poison” is arguably one of Alice Cooper’s greatest hits following his comeback in the late ‘80s. This song’s influence on the “Hair Metal/Glam Rock” era is unquestionable. In addition, Alice introduced himself to a whole new generation of Rockers with this song and the Trash LP.
We found more than 20+ covers of “Poison,” ranging from a soulful rendition of the song to several punk renderings and the traditional Hard Rock versions.
We chose Hayseed Dixie’s Bluegrass version of the tune – found on their Weapons of Grass Destruction LP (2007).
Bluegrass isn’t necessarily our favorite music genre, but something must be said about a talented Bluegrass group’s talent and skill level.
Hayseed Dixie has covered several other Hard Rock/Metal songs; they are worth a listen if you are interested in Bluegrass music.
OTHER NOTABLE COVERS OF “POISON”:
Kaiak (2017), Groove Coverage (2003), The Vandals (1993), Bonsai Kitten (2007)
“He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)” meshed together Alice and Horror with a new twist. The Friday The 13th franchise embraced Alice as another part of its brand. He and Jason became synonymous in many photos and ad campaigns for the movie’s music.
A regular in Alice’s most recent tours, a Jason-themed sequence of the show was accompanied by a more rocked-up metal-esque version of “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask).”
Only one cover version of “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)” was found.
One Man Army and The Undead Quartet perfectly capture the song’s essence, covered on their 2007 LP, Error In Evolution.
What’s most interesting about One Man Army and The Undead Quartet’s version is the mixture of Metal, 80s-influenced guitar, growling Deathcore-like verses, and a traditional Alice-sounding chorus. As a result, the cover becomes their own while keeping just enough of the original – it’s brilliant!
“I’m Eighteen” was Alice Cooper’s first Top 40 hit, peaking at #21, but more important than that, it proved to Warner Bros. Records that Alice Cooper was more than theatrics; they were savvy musicians as well. The music was just as good, if not better, than the show.
“I’m Eighteen” captures a teenager’s heart, mind, and soul in the middle of puberty – somewhere between a child and an adult. It speaks to transition, change, and confusion, which influence us all.
For this list, we chose Anthrax’s cover of the song found on their debut LP Fistful Of Metal, released in 1984. They chose “I’m Eighteen” as a cover track paying homage to Alice and his influence on a new genre in Rock music – Thrash Metal.
The cover has a faster tempo and a bit more screaming but still has an original vibe.
Alice’s influence on Heavy Metal and the transformation of 70s Rock to the 80s, 90s, and beyond is unarguably evident.
OTHER NOTABLE COVERS OF “I’M EIGHTEEN”:
Creed (1998), Dave (Gruber) Allen (2004), Don Dokken (2004)
“No More Mister Nice Guy” is a testament to Alice Cooper and Michael Bruce’s combined ability to write stellar songs together. The lyrics and riffs convey an array of disgust and distrust, which the public predisposed upon Alice Cooper (the man) and the band.
There were many covers of this song, yet Megadeth’s version of “No More Mister Nice Guy” from the motion picture Shocker soundtrack made our list.
At a time when soundtracks were just as popular as individual artists and band LPs, Heavy Metal tracks were used to complement the film and sell the movie.
Megadeth’s version of “No More Mr. Nice Guy” was used in the movie, and the MTV music video used clips to market the film. The video introduced us to a classic Alice Cooper track and Megadeth – a two-for-one deal.
OTHER NOTABLE COVERS OF “NO MORE MR. NICE GUY”:
Roger Daltrey, Slash, Mike Inez (1999), Pat Boone (1997), Electric Six (2021), The Starlite Singers (2012)
“Pass The Gun Around” is an incredible song on one of the most underrated Alice Cooper LPs in his career. DaDa, released in 1983, was Alice’s last album recorded with Warner Brothers Records.
Given the time and struggles Alice was experiencing in his personal life, it’s difficult not to read the lyrics and equate them to an autobiographical narrative.
As life slips further and further away from Sonny, the song’s subject, he pleads with someone to just dispose of him in the local river, leaving him to float away.
The Mugshots produce a convincing rendition of this little-known classic on their 2013 EP, Love, Lust, and Revenge. The same level of desperation can be felt as the track spins bar for bar through Sonny’s ordeal.
Finding a band willing to cover such a lesser-known gem was incredible.
“Welcome To My Nightmare” is the title track of Alice Cooper’s breakaway LP. The band was no more; only the lead singer was left to carry on the name and legacy of Alice Cooper.
The song lives up to its name. You are slowly and melodiously sucked into the Nightmare with Alice’s eerie and whispered voice inviting you to partake in his “nocturnal vacation.”
The listener is drawn in and on edge – what dreadful thing will happen?
We only found a few cover versions of “Welcome To My Nightmare,” which was a little surprising. This song is quintessential Alice Cooper. What and whom would Alice Cooper be without this song (and LP)?
Selected for our list, we feel Ronnie James Dio’s cover of this classic is spot-on. One of the paramount and most prominent heavy metal vocalists of all time, Dio delivers a powerful rendition of “Welcome To My Nightmare.”
The cover carries a unique vibe that is fully Dio yet manages to spin the Nightmare in a new direction without losing its original appeal and creepiness.
“School’s Out” is perhaps the most well-known song from Alice Cooper’s catalog. The band knew they were on to something. They knew this song was destined for greatness.
“‘School’s Out’ was designed to be a hit. It was intended to be an anthem. It was designed to appeal to every single person in the world because everybody has sat through school in the last three minutes before school is out – for Summer. Forever.
If we can capture the joy of the kids screaming, knowing they have three months off of school, well, that will be a big hit.” – Alice Cooper
“School’s Out” has been covered by many bands and artists from numerous genres – Metal, Rock, Punk, Pop, etc. And as Alice states above, this song resonates with EVERYONE!
We could have chosen another cover of this classic (and almost did), but the Hollywood Vampires version found on their 2015 debut LP made our list.
Many might claim this isn’t a cover, with Alice being one of the artists on the track. However, we feel differently.
One could argue that Brian Johnson’s (AC/DC) addition to the track and that the Hollywood Vampires is a band, NOT just Alice, makes this track a cover.
Add with that the addition of “Another Brick In The Wall” gives the song something special – something Alice has added to his live performances of “School’s Out” in recent years.
No matter what artist or band covers this song, the message remains the same – “School’s Out” for Summer (for some Forever), and that’s always something to celebrate.
OTHER NOTABLE COVERS OF “SCHOOL’S OUT”:
Sevendust (1999), GWAR (2006), A*Teens (2003), Toyah (1985), Soul Asylum (1998), The Donnas (2019)
“Only Women Bleed” is the beautiful ballad that no one expected from the Welcome To My Nightmare LP released in 1975 – Alice’s first solo album after the band parted ways.
The song was initially considered controversial because many believed it was about a woman’s menstrual cycle, which is absurd. The narrative is obviously about domestic abuse. The song became the crime for which Alice would be executed many times in his shows for years to come.
Of all the songs we researched, this one surprised us most. “Only Women Bleed” has been covered by numerous artists, and the most compelling versions of the song are covered by women – some of whom were in abusive relationships. One of those women was Etta James.
James’s version of “Only Women Bleed” is haunting, not only because of her powerful performance but also her story. As a child, she was abused by her vocal instructor, being punched in the chest while she sang to force her voice to come from her gut. Her full story is tragic.
Other accounts of abuse have followed many female artists and musicians, making this song relevant not just to some in the audience but also to many who performed the song.
It remains one of Cooper’s most powerful songs.
OTHER NOTABLE COVERS OF “ONLY WOMEN BLEED”:
Lita Ford (2017), Tori Amos (2003), Carmen McRae (1976), Ike & Tina Turner (1975?)
“Feed My Frankenstein” fits perfectly into the Alice Cooper experience and helped carry on the comeback banner “Poison,” and the Trash LP had firmly planted into the music scene.
The song’s appearance in the motion picture Wayne’s World and Alice’s cameo in the film catapulted him back into the forefront of Hard Rock, introducing him to young Rockers and many Saturday Night Live enthusiasts as well.
We have to admit it caught us by complete surprise to find out “Feed My Frankenstein” was initially recorded by Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction. The track was included on their Hoodlum Thunder LP, released in 1991.
Beasto Blanco’s version was recorded in 2016 on their self-titled LP, which tops our list.
The cover manages to pay homage to the original, but the track comes alive with new blood as the intro and verses are painted with a new flare. If that wasn’t enough, Calico Cooper, Alice’s daughter, delivers an eerily similar yet completely different version of the song’s unforgettable lyrics.
ORIGINAL VERSION OF “FEED MY FRANKENSTEIN”:
Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction (1991)
In conclusion, this was fun. Alice’s catalog is so diverse and full of insight – it’s unique and special. It’s something different for each individual.
May God bless you and the Cooper family as we progress with FWA.
Our Creator loves each of you – fearfully and wonderfully made by Him (Proverbs 139:14).
Be well, and God Bless You on this Holy Weekend. HE IS RISEN!
Until next week, Keep Walkin’ In Faith and Rockin’ with Alice! Alice
Etta James has a live version of ‘Only Women Bleed’ on a 1986 album called ‘The Late Show’, recorded with Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson. It is an incredibly powerful performance, IMHO. God’s blessings!
Could not agree more! A powerful woman singing a powerful song! Incredible combination.