Welcome to My Nightmare – album by Alice Cooper


Welcome to My Nightmare is the eighth studio album by Alice Cooper, released in 1975. This was Alice Cooper’s first solo album (all previous Alice Cooper releases were band efforts). It is a semi-conceptual album; the songs, heard in sequence, form a journey through the nightmares of a child named Steven, although some – ‘Department of Youth’, ‘Escape’ and others – do not seem to be a part of any narrative story. It inspired the Alice Cooper: The Nightmare TV special, a worldwide concert tour in 1975, and the surprisingly lacklustre Welcome to My Nightmare concert film, shot in London in 1976.

videoalicecooperwelcome The cover artwork was created by Drew Struzan for Pacific Eye & Ear. Rolling Stone would later rank it 90th on the list of the “Top 100 Album Covers Of All Time”. The remastered CD version adds three alternate version bonus tracks. Horror film star Vincent Price provided the introductory monologue in the song “The Black Widow”.

Track listing:

  1. “Welcome to My Nightmare” (Alice Cooper, Dick Wagner) – 5:19
  2. “Devil’s Food” (Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Kelley Jay) – 3:38
  3. “The Black Widow” (Cooper, Wagner, Ezrin) – 3:37
  4. “Some Folks” (Cooper, Ezrin, Alan Gordon) – 4:19
  5. “Only Women Bleed” (Cooper, Wagner) – 5:49
  6. “Department of Youth” (Cooper, Wagner, Ezrin) – 3:18
  7. “Cold Ethyl” (Cooper, Ezrin) – 2:51
  8. “Years Ago” (Cooper, Wagner) – 2:51
  9. “Steven” (Cooper, Ezrin) – 5:52
  10. “The Awakening” (Cooper, Wagner, Ezrin) – 2:25
  11. “Escape” (Cooper, Mark Anthony, Kim Fowley) – 3:20

Reissue bonus tracks:

  1. “Devils’ Food” (Alternate Version) – 5:13
  2. “Cold Ethyl” (Alternate Version) – 2:56
  3. “The Awakening” (Alternate Version) – 4:20

    Buy Expanded and Remastered CD from Amazon.com

004737-Cooper-Alice-Some-Folks-Welcome-To-My-Nightmare-1975 Welcome to My Nightmare received mixed reviews. Dave Marsh of Rolling Stone called the album “a TV soundtrack that sounds like one. The horn parts are so corny you might imagine that you’re listening to the heavy-metal Ann-Margret.” He noted the absence of the original Alice Cooper band, stating, “without the wildness and drive of the sound the Cooper troupe had, the gimmicks on which Alice the performer must rely are flat and obvious.” He concluded by saying that it “is simply a synthesis of every mildly wicked, tepidly controversial trick in the Cooper handbook. But in escaping from the mask of rock singer which he claimed he found so confining, Cooper has found just another false face.” In addition, Robert Christgau rated the album a B- grade, stating that it “actually ain’t so bad – no worse than all the others.” He stated that the varying compositions of the songs would potentially cause the album to influence younger listeners, saying: “Alice’s nose for what the kids want to hear is as discriminating as it is impervious to moral suasion, so perhaps this means that the more obvious feminist truisms have become conventional wisdom among at least half our adolescents.” dec05-8 However, a retrospective review by Allmusic’s Greg Prato was more positive. Prato considered the album as Cooper’s best solo work, despite the absence of the original band: “While the music lost most of the gritty edge of the original AC lineup, Welcome to My Nightmare remains Alice’s best solo effort – while some tracks stray from his expected hard rock direction, there’s plenty of fist-pumping rock to go around.” However, he maintained that “the rockers serve as the album’s foundation – “Devil’s Food,” “The Black Widow,” “Department of Youth,” and “Cold Ethyl” are all standouts, as is the more tranquil yet eerie epic “Steven.” He concluded by comparing the album to Cooper’s next solo efforts by stating: “Despite this promising start to Cooper’s solo career, the majority of his subsequent releases were often not as focused and were of varying quality.”

In 2011, the sequel Welcome 2 My Nightmare was released, having been originally announced in the mid-1980s. $(KGrHqN,!g8E6Z+HzLiSBOur(No(Bg~~60_35

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