Once upon a time there was a band called Alice Cooper led by a singer named Vincent Furnier. Under his direction, Alice Cooper pioneered a theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock. Drawing from horror movies, vaudeville, heavy metal, and garage rock, he created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood, and huge boa constrictors. While the visuals were extremely important to the group's impact, the band's music was nearly as distinctive. Driven by raw, simple riffs and melodies that derived from '60s guitar pop, it was rock & roll at its most basic, even when the band ventured into psychedelia. After the original group broke up and Furnier began a solo career as Alice Cooper, his  music lost most of its theatrics , becoming straightforward heavy metal, yet his stage show retained all of the trademark props that made him the king of shock rock.

According to the band, the name Alice Cooper came to Furnier during a Ouija board session, where he was told he was the reincarnation of a 17th century witch of the same name.