Alice Cooper on New Single “Social Debris” and Upcoming Album ‘Detroit Stories’

It’s tempting to say “He’s back,” but frankly Alice Cooper never left. Ever since the band was formed in 1966 and their 1971 album Love It to Death splashed all over America (and the world), Alice Cooper has been an institution in so many ways. For his birthday yesterday (number 73 on February 4), he gave us a gift!

“The single ‘Social Debris’ is a gift to Detroit, to my fans and to myself. The track was written by the original Alice Cooper band. We never thought that we would ever fit in; the Alice Cooper band didn’t fit in with anybody, because we were doing things that no other band did. We didn’t fit in with the folk scene, we didn’t fit in with the metal scene, we really didn’t fit in with anything that was going on at that time. We just always felt like we were outsiders. We felt like we were social debris, we were in our own little world. So ‘Social Debris’ was just the original band writing a song about us, essentially. And it came out sounding like it belonged to 1971. That’s just the original band – you can’t change that; it’s great.”

New album Detroit Stories celebrates the sound and spirit of the Golden Era of Detroit rock. The band moved in 1969 from L.A. to Detroit just to be near that sound. 

“Detroit was Heavy Rock central then. 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.”

“Los Angeles had its sound with The Doors, Love, and Buffalo Springfield. 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.”

“Nobody plays like the original band. They were more dangerous than any other band. If you take this song and listen to Love It to Death and Killer, the song seems to go right back to that era. We are social debris and so are you.”

This new song could easily have been on either of those albums. The superb video shows old abandoned and decrepit factories primarily in shades of black, white, and gray, while Cooper’s face is projected on numerous surfaces as he is singing. There is a bass line right at the beginning taken directly from “Elected.” The raw power of the music is the delivery vehicle, jangly guitars , pounding bass and drums, a solid guitar solo, and Cooper’s voice, which is as strong and raw and powerful as it was 50 years ago when most of us first heard it. And the message is ripped from today’s psyche:

I don’t commit, I just collide
I won’t submit, I’ll just decide
On where to run or where to hide

Their eyes are everywhere
I see them spying there
At my face, at my hair

I won’t plug in, to their machine
I hate the sound, I hate that scene
I sure ain’t hip, I sure can’t hop
I lost the script, I lost the plot

Their spies are everywhere
I feel them hiding there
On my face, in my hair
I just can’t cope with all this disease
It’s pushing down, down, down
Down on me
Look at me, what you see

Is social debris

You said you’d treat me, but tried to delete me
You think I’m tragic, but I know I’m magic
Your eyes are everywhere
I see you spying there
At my face, at my hair
I just can’t cope with all this disease
Pushing down, down, down
Down on me
Look at me, look at me
I’m social debris

I just can’t cope with all this disease
Look at me, look at me
Social debris
Look at me, look at me
Social debris
Look at me, look at me
I’m social debris


Detroit Stories Tracklist

  1. Rock & 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)


“Detroit City 2021” is an updated version of “Detroit City” from the 2003 album The Eyes of Alice Cooper.


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