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4.27 | 38 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1975

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Welcome To My Nightmare (5:20)
2. Devil's Food (3:35)
3. The Black Widow (3:37)
4. Some Folks (4:18)
5. Only Women Bleed (5:49)
6. Department Of Youth (3:20)
7. Cold Ethyl (2:57)
8. Years Ago (2:51)
9. Steven (5:46)
10. The Awakening (2:30)
11. Escape (3:15)

Total Time 43:23


- Alice Cooper / vocals
- Bob Ezrin / Fender Rhodes, synthesizers, keyboards, vocals
- Vincent Price / special effects and vocals
- Dick Wagner / electric and acoustic guitars and vocals
- Steve Hunter / electric and acoustic guitars
- Josef Chirowski / synthesizers, keyboards, vocals, clavinet
- Prakash John / bass
- Tony Levin / bass
- Penti Glan / drums
- Johnny Badanjek / drums
- David Ezrin / vocals
- Gary Lyons / vocals
- Michael Sherman / vocals
- Gerry Yons / guitars

About this release

February 1975
Atlantic, Anchor, ABC

Reissued in 2002 with the following bonus tracks:

12. Devils' Food (alternate version) (5:13)
13. Cold Ethyl (alternate version) (2:56)
14. The Awakening (alternate version) (4:20)

Thanks to progshine, Pekka, Time Signature, Lynx33 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Alice Cooper the band was no more, but Alice Cooper the frontman was still going strong, and Welcome To My Nightmare is probably the best of his "solo" albums. Although his bandmates had gone, and with them the sense of genuine filth that clung to the edges of classic albums like Billion Dollar Babies, Alice had kept custody of Bob Ezrin after the divorce, and Ezrin was able to get some session musicians together to wheel out some hard glam rock that at least superficially resembles the band's old sound, plus a few guest spots like Vincent Price offering a classic monologue on The Black Widow.

It's certainly a well-polished spectacle, and Cooper has been riffing on the general ideas developed here intermittently ever since - see not just the misguided idea of producing an actual sequel to the album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, but also the Along Came a Spider album, which took the imagery of The Black Widow and essentially expanded it into a serial killer-themed concept album.

But as lyricalsly evocative and competently produced as the album is, there's something about it which leaves me a little cold every time. It just feels a little bit calculated - a little too slick, a little too polished, a little too absent of the rough edges and out-of-left-field departures the band brought to the table. The cover art here is particularly apt - this is Alice Cooper cleaned up and made ready for prime time, and thus the danger feels nullified, rendered safe and tame by the campy flair of it all. This is a matter of taste, of course, but it remains consistent no matter how often I give the album a fair chance.
Welcome To My Nightmare is the magnum opus of shock rock pioneer Alice Cooper. Every track breathes a sinister fiery intensity and seems to be based upon the nightmarish visions of Mr Cooper including, black widows, corpses, and the disturbed. It is all delightfully tongue in cheek and won't offend easily these days. In it's time this caused quite a stir especially Only Women Bleed about female abuse, though it is now hailed as a classic song, played live every time Alice gets on stage.

Devil's Food is a throwaway track that I always liked due to it's heavy guitars but my favourite is the awesome The Black Widow. It begins with Vincent Price's chilling tones as he hails the black widows dominance to rise as man's fitting successor in the food chain. Cooper revels in the dark caverns of a spider rampaging, and indeed in concert had fun with the female waifs dressed as spiders crawling over the stage and up webs. The riff is a killer and it never fails to impress me.

Some Folks is the worst song on the album and I rarely play it. Skip to Only Women Bleed, a quintessential treasure.

Department Of Youth is a glorious tongue in cheek stab at the uprising of young anarchists.

Cold Ethyl is Alice making love to a corpse, but it is simply a fun horror tale.

Years Ago is a weird chiller that always makes me feel uneasy, and Steven is perhaps the scariest song on the album. The album ends with a couple of rockers and thus a fantastic album is created.

Get this at your nearest opportunity.

Members reviews

Alice Cooper's masterpiece. His first solo album and for me the best thing he ever did. After the break up of the Alice Cooper Band, Alice was undeterred, and quickly recruited a bunch of studio musicians and recorded Welcome To My Nightmare. The result contains many of his most memorable songs.

The title track is a catchy disco funk number that introduces the album perfectly, preparing the listener for the tongue in cheek horror movie imagery to follow. Alice is characteristically witty when dealing with taboo and macabre topics. "Devil's Food" is about cannibalism, and "Cold Ethyl" is about necrophilia. Despite his reputation as a "shock rocker" Alice deals with these subjects tastefully and with enough humor that's it's obvious he does not intend to be taken seriously. "The Black Widow" features a vocal cameo by horror movie legend Vincent Price. His voice is so distinctive that it's a real treat to hear him here. "Some Folks" is a high-kicking music hall number that's quite catchy and "Department of Youth" is a powerful rocker. There's a even a hit single, the surprisingly sensitive power ballad "Only Women Bleed" (it's about domestic violence, despite what you might expect from the title.)

However, the jewel in Alice's crown comes with the three part "Steven" suite, a running storyline that goes through "Years Ago," "Steven," and "The Awakening." The story deals with a poor insane boy named Steven and the disturbing inner workings of his mind. Insanity is Alice's favorite lyrical subject and this suite surpasses even "The Ballad of Dwight Fry" for its vivid creepiness. The character of Steven will reappear on several other Alice Cooper records, but this is where he was born and it's his best moment.

Finally, the tension built by "The Awakening" is released by the catchy lightweight rocker "Escape." It's such a fun song that it almost makes me forget about all the great tracks that came before. There's not a weak moment here and while instrumental virtuosity is not on the menu, all the musicians play well. Most of all, Cooper's songwriting would never again be quite so inspired and energetic as it is here.

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