Alice Cooper, the unclassifiable rock phenomena who brought rock theater into the lives of fans so many years ago, has consistently delivered throughout his career. Whether those albums arrived from the collective, short-lived original band, or from his solo years, the Alice Cooper “shock rock” show with all of its horror elements intact was, and is, an ongoing entertainment commodity.
The rise of Alice Cooper is something of a fairy (or should I say scary) tale. The origin story suggests the band met with Frank Zappa, and eventually signed to his label, but it is no surprise that the band, once inserted into the stream, would do what was necessary to rise to the top. With two under-performing early albums (Pretties For You - 1969, Easy Action - 1970) to learn from, the band began its meteoric climb with the release of Love It To Death (1970), which generated the big hit, “I'm Eighteen.” It was rapidly followed by Killer (1971), and the conceptual School's Out in 1972. The band's high-water mark, Billion Dollar Babies (1973), was a hit-laden album released not eight months after School's Out.
The final round for the original group came with the underrated Muscle of Love later in 1973 (I know! So much great stuff in rapid succession. How?). At that point, the band had too many internal problems. Mix that with the accelerated release schedules, the constant touring, and the rock 'n' roll plagues, it is no wonder the burn-out didn't happen sooner.
Alice Cooper (the band) split, and the man born Vince Furnier absorbed the persona of Alice Cooper. The first solo album after the demise of the band was a meticulously designed theatrical release well-known for its cartoon-like presentation, Welcome To My Nightmare (1975). The album caught on quickly, generating the ballad “Only Women Bleed” as its flagship track.
Nightmare was an elaborate undertaking that centered around the “horrifying” nightmare of a young child named Steven. The album certainly had a different feel from earlier Alice Cooper efforts, but that didn't stop the fans from multiplying as the album evolved into a TV special, a concert film, and a massive world tour. Steven's nightmare was in full bloom, his toys all broken, his fear at a heightened stage for all to see - and enjoy!
Recently, Alice Cooper returned to the thought of nightmares, and a new nightmare erupted. Suggested by the album's original producer, Bob Ezrin, Alice Cooper decided to explore the concept once again. Gathering forces like Welcome To My Nightmare alumni Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, the album became a reality.
Cleverly titled, Welcome 2 My Nightmare was born.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare is scheduled for CD, DD, and LP release on September 13 via Hip-O Records in the US. In the UK, the first release date is September 16 for a fattened package that adds two bonus songs as well as an exclusive 132-page AC-dedicated magazine, all sponsored by the UK magazine, Classic Rock. Pre-orders for this special set offers a personalized poster with the names of those who pre-order the Fan Pack incorporated into the poster. But for this to happen, you must order no later than August 15. This UK Fan Pack will be released a month prior to the record store standard CD issue, which should drop sometime in October.
A classy part of the new album will be the inclusion of a track recorded by the original Alice Cooper band, “When Hell Comes Home.” After their deserved induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and their well-received performances, it will be nice to hear what magic the old band could conjure up once more.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare tracklist:
I Am Made Of You
The Nightmare Returns
A Runaway Train
Last Man On Earth
I'll Bite Your Face Off
Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
Ghouls Gone Wild
Something To Remember Me By
When Hell Comes Home
What Baby Wants
I Gotta Get Outta Here
UK Fan Pack Bonus Tracks:
Under The Bed
Poison - Live From Download Festival