Artist: Hollywood Vampires
Title: “Hollywood Vampires” (Deluxe)
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 9-11-2015
Genre: Hard Rock
Have you heard about these guys yet? If you haven’t let me borrow a line from their Official Wikipedia entry since it gets right to the point. Those who are on point please mark your Facebook Status as “waiting for PiercingMetal to get on with the review” or something.
“Hollywood Vampires is an American rock supergroup formed in 2015 by Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry to honor the music of the rock stars who died from excess in the 1970s. The band name derives from The Hollywood Vampires, a celebrity drinking club formed by Cooper in the 1970s whose members included Ringo Starr of The Beatles and Keith Moon of The Who.”
The album begins with a dramatic reading from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” by the late and still so very great Christopher Lee who seemed to be a class act all around when you look back on his life. Not only was he a resounding acting presence but he also loved the Metal so it was great to find him reading at the opening of this release. “Raise The Dead” is the first original that we get from the band and it’s got a real live sound to it. I can see the band onstage doing this one and the fans rallying behind them. What follows are a LOT of cover versions of tunes that are nothing less than classics and we begin with “My Generation” by The Who and as you saw above, the late Keith Moon was a part of this drinking club. Cooper knocks this out which was great to hear since it’s a different register. During “Whole Lotta Love” you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear ACDC’s Brian Johnson belting it out like he was 25 years younger. I almost thought it was someone else. I didn’t recall a few of the songs immediately but after a couple of listens knew that they were in my musical mind in regions not checked in some time, one of these was the Spirit inclusion of “I Got A Line On You” which is fantastic. Cooper calls upon the spirit of Jim Morrison for The Doors inclusions and I felt Jim was smiling down on him from the great beyond and perhaps even toasting a drink like they used to do so many times in the past.
The Harry Nilsson penned “One” has a nice creepy heaviness to it and I should say that the larger work has a bit of a Metal feel to it in the first place but that never mattered to me. I am quite fine with this. Having been a fan of the Badfinger classic “Come And Get It” I was pleased to see it included and think the band delivers it with skill. They do the same with the Small Faces “Itchycoo Park” with each tune getting a slight modern makeover that don’t take you away from what made the original so special in the first place. I’ll close my own track by track opinion with their delivery of “School’s Out/Another Brick In The Wall” which Alice has just a little familiarity with in case you weren’t aware. From beginning to end I was singing along with the tunes that I knew and by the second and third listen I was tapping along with the drums and offered up the occasional guitar strumming (but not too much since I was trying to type of the review copy). Joining the aforementioned vamps for this recording are also Joe Walsh, Zak Starkey and Paul McCartney and a whole bunch of others that I cannot remember offhand. Generally speaking, the “cover album” has grown thin for me and the less of them that I hear the better that my week becomes but this one was an excellent inclusion for my to do list for sure. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in Alice Cooper and the side projects of the other musicians involved. It should be something you enjoy as well. Hopefully I’ll get to see them in concert if they ever get to my neck of the woods and since that is NYC I think the odds are in my favor. Get bitten by the Hollywood Vampires my friend and stay in the shadows.
As I was working with a digital streaming copy of this I could not speak to any of the artwork outside of the cover which I did like and felt was rather dramatic. Should I end up with a physical copy in the future I will amend this part.
1. The Last Vampire
2. Raise The Dead
3. My Generation (The Who)
4. Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin)
5. I Got a Line on You (Spirit)
6. Five to One / Break On Through (To the Other Side) (The Doors)
7. One/Jump into the Fire (Harry Nilsson)
8. Come and Get It (Badfinger)
9. Jeepster (T. Rex)
10. Cold Turkey (Plastic Ono Band)
11. Manic Depression (Jimi Hendrix)
12. Itchycoo Park (Small Faces)
13. School’s Out/Another Brick in the Wall part 2 (Alice Cooper/Pink Floyd)
14. My Dead Drunk Friends
15. I’m a Boy (The Who)
16. Seven and Seven Is
17. As Bad as I Am”
Official Website: http://www.hollywoodvampires.com/