In 1986, audiences were treated to the sixth, and possibly best, entry in the Friday the 13th film franchise: Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI. The conclusion of the Tommy Jarvis trilogy, the movie had the highest budget yet, and was accompanied by a massive marketing campaign, including an American Express product placement and an original song by none other than Alice Cooper on the film’s soundtrack.
This Friday the 13th, we’ve been listening to He’s Back all day long, but in order to make a four-minute song last all day, we created a playlist of covers. Here’s our list of the best covers of Alice Cooper’s He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) that we could find (in alphabetical order):
1. Alice Cooper
While not a cover at all, we felt it best to start the list off with Alice Cooper’s original tune.
2. 331Erock & Anthony Vincent
A great cover, and possibly the most emotive performance of Alice Cooper’s original tune that we’ve come across. 331Erock and Anthony Vincent are immensely talented and always entertaining.
3. Andy Kimberly & Jesse Easter
The version performed by Andy Kimberly with Jesse Easter on vocals a pretty straightforward cover with a little extra synth.
4. The Appreciation Post
The Appreciation Post does a good neo-punk cover of The Man Behind The Mask, similar to bands like Blink182.
5. Carl Roberge & John Castillo
Carl Roberge, with John Catillo of Still Flux on vocals, do another pretty straightforward cover with more of an electronic sound.
6. Cornelia Hellstrom
Surprisingly, Cornelia Hellstrom has the only He’s Back cover to feature a female vocalist.
7. Greg Stanina (Acoustic)
There are a handful of acoustic versions of The Man Behind The Mask out there, but Greg Stanina’s cover is pretty well done, and more importantly, the audio recording is very clean.
8. Johnny Thunderstrike
Johnny Thunderstrike does a hard rock version of the song with a slight rockabilly attitude.
9. Klak Guguilje (8-Bit)
Considering the era, it needed to be done, and Klak Guguilje delivered a fantastic 8-Bit version of He’s Back. The track clips off before the final repetitive verse because it’s meant to be repeated over and over again like a video game soundtrack.
While Lordi was one of the first bands to cover this song, the basic metal interpretation has since been overshadowed by heavier renditions, although we doubt other bands can match Lordi‘s stage show.
11. Nick Troller (Nightcore)
While technically not a cover, we felt that Nick Troller produced the best (of many) Nightcore remixes of Alice Cooper’s original tune. It’s fast enough to not be recognizable as Alice, but slow enough to not sound like Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.
12. One Man Army And The Undead Quartet
One Man Army And The Undead Quartet do the hands-down best heavy metal cover of He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) – this one has been a favorite of ours for several years.
This cover by Revenge appeared on French metal band’s 2005 album eXplicit. This is another heavy metal interpretation of He’s Back.
14. Richard Ruzkai (Instrumental)
One of our favorites, Richard Ruzkai’s heavy metal instrumental cover is crunchy, with clean guitar riffs that slice right through the deep bass and crashing cymbals.
RoseSycthe does another, more traditional heavy metal instrumental version of the song.
16. Shuriken Sun
Shuriken Sun does an electronic version with some oddball, almost David Byrne-like vocals with a little Limahl in the mix.
17. Southern Cumfort
Southern Cumfort gives He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) a deep, crunchy heavy metal treatment with a southern flair.
18. Still Life
Yet another heavy metal interpretation of the song, this cover of He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) by Brazilian metal band Still Life is from their 2007 EP Hellcome.
Strvngers perform a superb new wave-esque version that’s evocative of bands like Sisters of Mercy. A perfect rendition considering the time period of the original song and film. This is a newer cover (2017) and already one of our favorites.
20. Warmen & Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom
This track by Finnish metal band Warmen features Children of Bodom lead singer Alexi Laiho, and his unique style, on vocals.