The History of Rock is a compilation album released by Kid Rock in 2000, as the unofficial follow up to Devil Without a Cause. After acquiring the rights to his indie-label recordings, Rock decided to release a compilation of older material. The album contains material from the albums The Polyfuze Method and Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp. The liner notes state that Rock re-recorded the songs from Polyfuze because he could not find the master recordings, and "remixed and touched up" the EMSP tracks to show how they would have sounded if Rock had the money to record them properly at the time. There are also three previously unreleased songs from those album sessions ("Born 2 B A Hick" from the Polyfuze sessions in 1992, "Dark and Grey" and "Abortion" from the EMSP sessions in 1994). The only new tracks were "American Bad Ass", which was the first single from the album, and "Fuck That", which had been used previously for the Any Given Sundaysoundtrack. "Fuck U Blind" was re-written from the original version and was more funk than the original rap metal version. Foreshadowing his move out of hip hop, he remade both "Prodigal Son" and "My Oedipus Complex" as southern rock songs. Even though they were recorded in 1992, "Born 2 B A Hick" was a rockabilly song and "Abortion" was a dark blues ballad.
A clean version of the album is also available, removing all of the profanity and the song "Fuck U Blind". The clean version of the album also removes a photo of Rock dressed as a barbarian and gesturing an upraised middle finger from the inside of the booklet and all of the other photos of people making the same gesture.
The album was released on May 30, 2000 and debuted at number two, selling 450,000 copies. The lone single was "American Bad Ass". It was performed on Saturday Night Live along with "Only God Knows Why", The Tonight Show with Kirk Hammett and Lars Ulrich of Metallica and on WWF Raw for its promotional first week push. Kid Rock would perform several TV concerts Live at Much Music (Now Fuse), EMP Seattle and USA Farmclub. Kid Rock then went on the Summer Sanitiurm Tour with Metallica, Korn, System of a Down, and Powerman 5000. He filled in on vocals for Metallica in Atlanta and Sparta when James Hetfield was involved in a jet skiing accident. MTV aired the special All Access showing performance from Baltimore, MD on July 4, 2000. In August 2000 Kid Rock began the "History Of Rock Tour". "Fuck That" was featured on the Any Given Sunday soundtrack in 1999. "Early Mornin Stoned Pimp" was in the soundtrack to 2000's Road Trip. "3 Sheets To The Wind" was in 2003's Matchstick Men. "American Bad Ass" has been used for three movie trailers: GI Joe, Battleship, and The Gunman.
American Bad Ass - "Sad But True" by Metallica (uses structure of the song) & "Hobo Scratch" by Malcolm McLaren (vocal sample only)
Prodigal Son - "When The Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin (drums), " Never Had A Reason" by Head East (guitar riff on verses) and " Dear Mr Fantasy" by Traffic (vocal cadence and guitar and drums on chorus)
Paid - "Love Me In A Special Way" by El DeBarge (piano) and Pusherman by Curtis Mayfield ( bass line)
Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp-"Lucille" ( hook/riff) and "How Blue Can You Get" ( piano) by BB King and "Rock Steady" by Aretha Franklin (vocal sample only) and Pink Panther Theme (bass line)
Dark & Grey - "Rock And Roll" Led Zeppelin (drums on outro)