Alice Cooper – Welcome to my nightmare – 1975
Since the previous album, Muscle of Love was the last with the original Alice Cooper group, Welcome to my Nightmare is the first by the solo artist. It’s a theme album of course and I think it’s pretty obvious what the theme is. If not, there’s a hint in the title. Welcome to my Nightmare might also be the definite album that Alice Cooper is most associated with.
There is a couple of song that I don’t get the association to a genuine nightmare though. First of is Department of youth but even the song Escape. But on the other hand, I guess you would like to escape from your nightmare. It’s not a pleasant place to be, caught in your own bad dream.
That the songs are written for a theatrical show is obvious. There is a story to be told. It has a start a finish and a middle. Come to think of it… maybe there’ isn’t any finish to the story. Considering Alice made a follow-up album to this some 35 years later – Welcome 2 my Nightmare.
Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, that had worked with the band in the past plays the guitars and producer legend Bob Ezrin produces. He has something like a Midas touch and a wizard. In other word, he makes everything sound good if not great! He also plays some synthesizer on the album and is co-responsible for many of the song together with Alice Cooper himself and Dick Wagner.
As film buff I’m extremely pleased to hear Vincent Price recite some spoken like words between Devils Food and The Black Widow. He’s absolutely fantastic! He gets more and more eccentric and at the end of his performance I’m almost a bit scared for what he’s going to do next. He propagates the Black Widows superiority over us human with great conviction.
As far as I know this is the first time we’re introduced to the character Steven. That’s the little boy having the nightmares. But if he’s a little boy or a great big man can be debated. Listen to the lyrics and decide for yourselves. It’s a interesting character to be sure and he has been included in later songs as well. Maybe not as prominent as here but he’s been around.
Some classic songs is sprung from this album too. I think Cold Ethyl, with it’s necrophilia theme (like I love the Dead on Billion Dollar Babies), is one of the best Alice Cooper songs of all time. Just taste these lines; She’s cool in bed/she’s gotta be ’cause Ethyl’s dead or one thing no lie/Ethyl’s frigid as an Eskimo pie. Great poetry indeed! Only Women bleed is another great song. I’m sure there’s a few versions of this out there. A Great cover of Lite Ford is at least available. There’s a lot of favorite on this album and personally I would raise the a-typical Alice Cooper songs a bit. There’s the jazzy Some Folks, and the merry-go-round kind of Years Ago. There are no way I can recommend this album enough. There aren’t enough words in the universe for it!