"Detroit Rock City - Music From the Motion Picture" (Mercury/Island Def Jam) drc.jpg (7512 bytes)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


There's a lot to like in the soundtrack to the KISS-related movie. Unfortunately, there's a lot to dislike as well.

On the bright side, there's the killer cover of THIN LIZZY's "The Boys Are Back In Town" by EVERCLEAR. The new version has an extra thick beat going through it and yet doesn't stray too far from the original. It's a great cover of a great tune.

PANTERA's cover of TED NUGENT's "Cat Scratch Fever" is also killer - with a deeper thrust to it and Phil's much more gravelly vocals. It works and works well.

THE DONNAS also do a nice job with KISS' "Strutter." It's not much of a cover, really. Basically, they play the song note-for-note as KISS did. But that's why it works. "Strutter" is one of KISS' classic rock songs, a timeless rocker that hasn't lost an ounce of its power with time. THE DONNAS version here proves that.

Too bad we can't say the same for KISS. Their new contribution to this CD, "Nothing Can Keep Me From You," is a lifeless ballad that even the underrated pipes of KISS vocalist Paul Stanley can't bring to life. This is the last song on the CD and easily the most disappointing.

Also disappointing is MARILYN MANSON's cover of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell." Imagine, if you can, that NINE INCH NAILS was talentless and did a half-assed cover of the classic AC/DC song. You've got a pretty good idea what Manson's done here. Their "Highway to Hell" is an industrial nightmare that sounds more like a steel mill than a heavy metal song.

Also included on the CD are classic 80s rockers by VAN HALEN, KISS, CHEAP TRICK, THIN LIZZY, DAVID BOWIE and THE RUNAWAYS. Each of these songs were well chosen as they are ageless classics which still contain a serious kick (although KISS' "Shout It Out Loud" sounds a little flat, more due to the engineering here than to age).

Overall, "Detroit Rock City" is a pretty cool disc, especially since we live in an age where CD players can be programmed to skip certain tracks.

For more information on "Detroit Rock City" please visit

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Page

Back to home page

Copyright 1998 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2018 19:54:49 -0400.