I’ve been an Alice Cooper fan since I was five years old and my older brother played me School’s Out. I used to beg him to play that song over and over again. Alice Cooper has been a huge influence on my stage shows with my live band as well. So I’ve got all of Alice Cooper’s albums and he’s had some great ones as well as some not-so-great ones. Alice was due for a great album and I really feel like he’s delivered a great album with his new release titled Welcome 2 My Nightmare.
What makes a great Alice Cooper album? His best albums all have a theme such as Billion Dollar Babies, Killer or School’s Out. His best albums are full of cutting edge, excellent guitar playing along with a super tight band. His best albums are filled with a variety of musical styles instead of just pounding rock from start to finish. Welcome 2 My Nightmare has every one of these qualities in high doses.
Alice has teamed once again with legendary producer Bob Ezrin on Welcome 2 My Nightmare. Bob produced the best of the best Alice Cooper albums including Billion Dollar Babies, Killer and the original Welcome To My Nightmare. Bob brings that classic feel to Welcome 2 My Nightmare as he is credited as co-writer on every track except “Something To Remember Me By”. Having Bob so involved gives the album that classic Alice Cooper sound and feel. Bob’s style has also improved with age so Welcome 2 My Nightmare sounds modern, full and punchy at the same time.
Another great bonus on this album is the return of the living members of the original Alice Cooper Band; Drummer – Neil Smith, Bassist – Dennis Dunaway and guitarist/keyboardist – Michael Bruce. It’s such a sweet sound to hear the original band that started Alice Cooper not only playing together but co-writing the songs together as well. Let’s be honest, that original band put out the best albums in terms of originality. Smith, Dunaway and Bruce play on the songs “A Runaway Train“, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “When Hell Comes Home”. Also writing and playing on this album is Alice Cooper’s guitarist from his early solo years, Dick Wagner.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare is a sequel to the 1975 Welcome To My Nightmare album which was also Alice Cooper’s first solo album. Welcome 2 My Nightmare follows a theme of a young man afraid to fall asleep where he will slip into a nightmare. As the album progresses there are hints that the lead character on the album is Steven. Each song on the album represents a facet of the man’s nightmare. Another thing I love about this album that hearkens back to Alice’s greatest albums is the diverse musical stylings. The songs run the gamut from modern heavy metal to classic hard rock to rockabilly to disco and vaudeville. Each musical style is chosen to support the lyrics of the songs building the tapestry of the nightmare. The album at first can seem disjointed but upon repeat listenings a flow becomes apparent and it really recaptures the feel of the album Billion Dollar Babies.
There are tributes to the original Welcome To My Nightmare all over Welcome 2 My Nightmare. For instance, the beautiful ballad “Something To Remember Me By” is the parallel to “Cold Ethyl” in that it features Alice singing to a piece of a corpse. Standard fare for Alice Cooper to take something beautiful and twist it ever so much. But that’s why Alice Cooper fans love Alice Cooper! Another very obvious and fun tribute is the final song “The Underture” which features pieces of songs from the original Welcome To My Nightmare album as well as songs from Welcome 2 My Nightmare. Not only that but “The Underture” features bits of songs from other Alice Cooper songs as well.
I am very impressed and happy with Welcome 2 My Nightmare. I really feel like it’s the best Alice Cooper album since the 1991 album “Hey Stoopid“. It has everything you love about the best Alice Cooper albums which is sure to please old fans and new fans alike. I’m sure it will translate beautifully to a live show with each song lending itself to an onstage mini-opera which is where Alice Cooper really excels. I highly recommend adding Welcome 2 My Nightmare to your music collection.
Here is a video that Alice Cooper posted up where he speaks about each track on the album and how it fits within the album sequence. There are some nice insights about each one of the songs and you can click on each song title to hear about that track.
Alice Cooper Explains Welcome 2 My Nightmare