I remember when Welcome To My Nightmare came out back in 1977 (I’ll refer to it from here on out as “#1”). A die-hard Alice Cooper fan, on the day it was released, I ran down to my favorite record store and plopped down my $3.99 (plus tax, of course), raced back home, unwrapped the vinyl disc and promptly dropped it on my stereo’s turntable to let the fun begin.
Brilliant lyrics, amazing melodies and instrumentation and, as an extra added bonus, incredible, scary oratory by Vincent Price, the album intrigued me with each and every play.
The funny thing is, 30-something years later, I did the same thing with the release of the sequel, Welcome 2 My Nightmare. I could also say the same exact thing about this album that I did about #1 except that I would be selling this new CD short. It’s nothing short of brilliant.
Before Alice Cooper’s induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I used to say that he was the most unappreciated, brilliant songwriter on the planet. Now that the Hall has recognized him, I can’t make that statement quite so forcibly but it can still be made.
Nightmare starts out with the mesmerizing, brilliantly written Boomerocity favorite, I Am Made of You. I have worn this song out! Laced with some of the same creepy piano lines as #1, it crescendo’s into power anthem that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Caffeine follows and offers a straight-forward rock ‘n roller in the spirit of Cold Ethyl from #1 and segues into the short but oh-so-sweet, The Nightmare Returns, which is then broadsided by the heavy duty, Under My Wheels-esque, A Runaway Train. Bringing back former band mates, Neal Smith, Michael Bruce and Dennis Dunaway (as well as on I’ll Bite Your Face Off as well as on When Hell Comes Home), Coop also adds a little surprise guitar work in the person of Vince Gill. Yes! Vince Gill! Vince lays down some great rock and roll on this tune. Who knew? Vince also lays down some great guitar work on the funny-loving – in not macabre – I Gotta Get Outta Here.
The instrumental, The Underture, which floods the listener with all sorts of musical images from #1. Intricate melodies and rich orchestration laced with great guitar work make this tune another Boomerocity favorite.
The album includes four bonus tracks: Under The Bed and live versions of Poison (the audience sings along with Alice through the entire song. Amazing!), No More Mr. Nice Guy and The Black Widow (complete with Vincent Price’s scary little speech).
My only question really doesn’t involve this album but Alice’s career: When the heck is someone like Wes Craven going to place Alice in a movie about his character’s life? I mean, what could be a more humorously horrifying movie than that?
But I digress.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare is a great, fun album that will bring back lots of memories to long time Alice Cooper fans as well as give yet more evidence to Coop’s amazing songwriting talent. You’re really going to love it . . . to death . . .