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53
4.5 out of 5 stars
Welcome To My Nightmare
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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2002
When the remastered 'Billion Dollar Babies' came out, it was muted that the remastered 'Welcome To My Nightmare' was to follow, and here it is.
My only criticism of this remaster is, unlike the 'Billion Dollar Babies' remaster which had an extra cd, containing live material from the time as well as studio rarities, all we get here are three extra alternate version tracks.
What can't be understated though, is that quite simply, 'Welcome To My Nightmare' remains not only the best Alice Cooper album since the original group split up, but one of the best rock albums of the 1970's. An epic piece of concept rock featuring the musical macarbe character 'Steven', the climax of the album, but so much more in addition to one of the most disturbing songs ever written. Some of the finest guitar playing ever recorded from Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, check out the riff on 'Devils' Food' and the solos on most of the tracks, with a production from Bob Ezrin to die for, (This man was to Alice what George Martin was to the Beatles!).
The black sense of humour on tracks like 'Cold Ethyl', boasting the lyrics "She's cool in bed, well she ought to be, coz Ethyls' dead!", provide light relief from really disturbing visions of insanity on 'Some Folks', and the previously mentioned 'Steven'. Ezrins virtuoso piano playing on both epics.
The title track sets the scene with haunting strings disorientating the listener, as if the lyric wasn't enough!, "We sweat and laugh and scream here, coz life is just a dream here, you know inside you feel right at home, welcome to my nightmare, welcome to my breakdown".Even the title of the ballad 'Only Women Bleed ' was shortened to 'Only Women' when released as a single, because the radio stations didn't like the menstrual connotations!
Alice Coopers' maelovance really scared the crap out of a lot of kids, and we loved it! It was like in the final track, an 'Escape' from the clean cut Donny Osmond, who gets a mention on the song 'Department Of Youth', which was the anthem for Cooper fans in 1975, just as 'Schools Out' had been three years earlier.
A horror movie on wax, even featuring the late great Vincent Price on 'Black Widow', way before Michael Jackson stole the idea on 'Thriller'. Now remastered on CD, a must for any lover of rock music at it's best!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2008
I was nine years old in 1975 and somehow I missed out on this great album (I liked the Wombles at the time).Now at 42 I finally get to hear an amazing piece of work.It never ceases to amaze me how some of my generation dismissed the 70's as a time of old dinosaur rock,hippy noodling and middle of the road soft rock tosh when there was such diverse and creative music around.Alice influenced the punks,the rockers,yet still manages to sound unlike anyone else here with a creepy cinematic rock opus of unparalled magnificance,or something like that.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2001
This is the Alice album that has it all. No, really! "Schools Out" had the hit single and a couple of other good tunes but the rest of albums were always a bit "hit single and filler" style. This one was a return to the glories of "Killer" and has all the horror, humour and atmosphere that you could ask for. As well as housing some of the best tunes Alice had done for years.
Having ditched the original Alice Cooper Band (Bruce, Buxton, etc.) Vince (as his mum knows him) pulled together a dazzling array of session musicians - some of whom went on to tour the album with him. That would have been worth seeing.
This was also the first time he used Bob Ezrin as producer and those of you familiar with Pink Floyd's "The Wall" (also co-produced with Ezrin) will recognize some of the ideas from Welcome to my nightmare. Especially in the mini soap opera "Steven/Years Ago" - an everyday tale of "boy 's mind goes blank, boy wakes up in basement covered in blood and wonders where all his friends have gone". See? - classic Alice.
The album also features our first hearing of Only Women Bleed (later a hit for Julie Covington) and my own favourite "The Department of Youth". Listen for the fade out when Alice asks the kids who gave them the power. Donny Osmond? WHAT!!!
This is easily the most rounded and accomplished Alice Cooper album - all the fimiliar themes are there but bigger and better. Listen to "Cold Ethyl" - yes, it's as tasteless as you'd expect.
"Welcome To My Nightmare" would be worth the cash just to hear Vincent Price's talkover between "Devil's Food" and "The Black Widow".
Buy it and enjoy it in complete confidence. And marvel at how Marilyn Manson gets away with it. He's to Alice, what Oasis are to the Beatles.
Mike.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2008
Absolute without question one of the greatest albums ever written!! from start to finish its classic! all tracks blend into each other with ghoulish ease, not a down momment just pure brilliance from the master!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2008
Alice's triumph. A dark,creepy, thrill a minute rock album which hits the heights at every turn.
A concept album of vaudeville horror, its camp, its scary & its superb. From the title track to the Vincent Price narration on "Black Widow", to the finger clicking "Some Folks",the raucous "Department Of Youth" & the eerie "Steven" this is a record that takes you on a journey to some unsavoury places.
This is not a record that is distasteful, its more like a 1950's monster movie or "Hammer House Of Horror" production, consigned to vinyl.
This is the album (& the show) that made the name synonymous with extravagance & excess.
There are a variety of styles on the album but it all seems to fit effortlessly,it really is a classic in every way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2005
From the days when albums were an experience! The journey through takes your breath away. The diversity, songwriting and production is from a time when it mattered. Very rarely has there been such a complete album of superb rock, dark humour and unsettling undertones as this one. Others may try, but they will be pale imitations compared to Alice Cooper's masterpiece.
If you had the LP in the 70s, buy it again - it sounds just as good now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2004
Something was different, Alice in a tuxedo,Alice without makeup.The band had gone taking some of their spark with them, but Nightmare had suprsing depths.
The guttral rasp of Devil's Food, the suprise of Only Women Bleed are the first indications that Alice Cooper MK2 was going to be worthwhile.
Nightmare introduced a hitherto lacking element, humour, into the music. Department of Youth, with it's unforgetable slant on Donny Osmond is the surely the best line i have ever heard in the midst of such heavy music.
Cold Ethyl needs just one play to suggest it was sure to become a stage favourite.The soundtrack trilogy Years Ago/Steven/Awakening requires classical music levels of listening to appreciate the true strength present.
The album closes with Escape, one of the most underated of all Alice tracks.This surely is John Lennon just back from his very first LSD trip and wanting to tell the whole world. A great song to close a fine album.Alice without his band could still be wild and interesting,and could still make great music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2010
Alice's first foray into the music industry as a solo artist proved to be a major turning point. After this stunning classic however his succeeding albums became less and less interesting until he discovered heavy metal in the mid '80s. But he started off very well indeed and in no small part thanks to the Alice Cooper band and their output. It seemed almost impossible to top the phenomenal Billion Dollar Babies, even after a relatively short career that had already produced such other classics as Love It To Death, Killer and the track (not the album, unfortunately), 'School's Out'. Muscle of Love didn't really come close but it was a fantastic album in its own right and ended the classic partnership on a rocking high.

Welcome to my Nightmare marked a more sombre, introspective and progressive Alice Cooper. The title track starts like a supernatural western with a creepy, scratchy warbling effect on the guitars, builds to a crescendo fanfare of brass and pomp and ends breathlessly. It is and always will be a classic track in any genre. 'Devil's Food' is another stunning track that isn't really a song as such but an interlude that is just extremely catchy (a bit like 'I Love the Dead' from Billion...) and is worth the money for the unsurpassably iconic cameo from the legendary Vincent Price. Which segues effortlessly into 'The Black Widow', which is simply one of the darkest, catchiest and most brilliant tracks ever. 'Some Folks' changes tack slightly with a very western-sounding piano-driven track that is similar to 'Crazy Little Child' from Muscle of Love but far, far better. An underrated classic in my opinion. So far everything seems to work perfectly together and the effort that has gone into producing the album is evident throughout. Strangely, 'Only Women Bleed' is the one song from this album that has survived the ages and is still played occasionally today, as well as being covered by many artists, including Tina Turner, Etta James, Elkie Brooks, Tori Amos and Guns and Roses. It is obvious why - it's a great song and a classic(another!) - but it is in good company as most of the accompanying tracks are just as good.

'Department of Youth' is Alice at his best. It is a playful, fun song with a dark edge. And, as usual, it's catchy as hell. 'Cold Ethyl' is still played live today and it is a 2 minute slice of pure rock-music genius. 'Years Ago' returns to the territorial denizens of the beginning of the album. It's nicely disjointed and a great introduction to one of the creepiest songs ever, 'Steven'. Just so well written, played, acted, everything, etc, etc. Stunning. 'Steven' links into 'The Awakening' which is basically another interlude, almost a come-down from the darkness of the album. It is needed to bridge the gap between the deranged beauty of 'Steven' and the foot-tapping genius of final track, 'Escape'. It finishes it all off brilliantly, on a high and positive. It literally brings a smile to your face. Suffice it to say that it is one of my all-time favourite tracks ever.

It has been a classic now for 35 years and still sounds fresh. If you have never been introduced to this album before I am red with envy. Shake its hand and be ushered over the threshold. You won't want to leave...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2012
Take one newly liberated, lyrically gifted, solo artist then add a seasoned producer and finally mix with two ace guitarists. Result? A masterpiece!

Alice, Bob Ezrin, Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner took the original Alice Cooper group template as the album's foundation but then broadened the musical palette. So we get jazzy brass on the title track and strings on Only Women Bleed plus a touch of Cabaret on Some Folks. There's the mini-musical suite Steven plus some blistering guitar rockers with Department of Youth, Cold Ethyl and Escape. Oh and a genius cameo from Vincent Price for The Black Widow.

The lyrics range from dark and twisted to thought-provoking to truly bonkers whilst Alice's vocals are as sneeringly good as ever. Yes, it's more 'showbizzy' than the original Cooper group records but that's no bad thing. It touches all the right bases and was quite rightly a massive hit back in 1975.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2013
Following the "poor" Muscle of Love album and after splitting up the original band Alice Cooper enlisted a new bunch of great musicians in 1975 to give him a new lease of life.
With the "Great" Bob Ezrin at the helm Alice produced a ROCK MASTERPIECE with the standouts being:
*Devil's Food*.
*The Black Widow*(With a Brilliant intro from the master of Gothic Horror Vincent Price).
*Cold Ethyl* (His homage to all things dead).
This AWESOME album also contains one of the greatest Rock Ballads of all time, the SUBLIME *Only Women Bleed*.
A MUST HAVE Album
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