|Welcome 2 My Nightmare|
|Studio album by|
|Released||September 13, 2011|
|Alice Cooper chronology|
Welcome 2 My Nightmare (also known as Welcome to My Nightmare 2) is the nineteenth solo album by Alice Cooper, released in September 2011. Peaking at No. 22 in the Billboard 200 it is Cooper's highest-charting album in the US since 1989's Trash. The album is a sequel to his 1975 album Welcome to My Nightmare .
Welcome to My Nightmare is the first solo album by Alice Cooper, released in March 1975. It is Alice Cooper's first solo album, and his only album for the Atlantic Records label. Welcome to My Nightmare is a concept album. Played in sequence, the songs form a journey through the nightmares of a child named Steven. The album inspired the Alice Cooper: The Nightmare TV special, a worldwide concert tour in 1975, and the Welcome to My Nightmare concert film in 1976. The ensuing tour was one of the most over-the-top excursions of that era. Most of Lou Reed’s band joined Cooper for this record.
The idea for the album came about soon after the thirtieth anniversary of the original Welcome to My Nightmare album, while Cooper was talking with producer Bob Ezrin, who proposed the idea of a sequel to Welcome to My Nightmare.Cooper liked the idea, and decided to recruit previous members of the Alice Cooper band. The concept of the album was described by Cooper as "another nightmare, and this one is even worse than the last one." Cooper said that he had originally intended to make a sequel to his previous album, Along Came a Spider, but decided to make the Nightmare sequel after Ezrin explained that he "wasn't really into it."
The album was completed sometime during early 2011, with Cooper announcing its completion in February 2011 on his radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper. It was first scheduled to be released late in 2011 on Bob Ezrin's Bigger Picture labelas part of a deal involving marketing, touring and production work by Bigger Picture for Cooper in the future. The album was then announced as being delayed until some time in 2012 due to Cooper's touring commitments, however it was finally released on September 13, 2011.
Cooper began writing songs for the album during summer 2010, and by July 2010 there were a total of three songs completed.By October 2010, Cooper and Ezrin had written thirteen songs for the album, three of which had been recorded with Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and Michael Bruce, all members of the original incarnation of the Alice Cooper band. Regarding the sound of the album, Cooper said that parts of the album were intended to resemble the sound of Welcome to My Nightmare and music from the 1970s, and that "[i]f we can keep that going, it will really be something. It captures an era."
In addition to Cooper, Dunaway, Smith and Bruce and producer Ezrin, various outside artists co-wrote some songs on the album, including Producer, Singer Songwriter Tommy Henriksen, Buckcherry member Keith Nelson, songwriter Desmond Child, Dick Wagner (who had previously worked with Cooper), Chuck Garric (a member of Cooper's band for the 2011 tour), film composer Jeremy Rubolino, and Ke$ha, who also performed on the song "What Baby Wants."
Cooper compared this song to "Hello, Hooray" from his 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies, calling it a "masterpiece" and an "epic song." The song went through many changes and was worked on "more than any other song on the album." The guitars are played by Swedish studio guitarist Tommy Denander, American guitarist Tommy Henriksen, and the solo by original Welcome to my Nightmare guitar player Steve Hunter, which is one of Cooper's favorites among any of his previous albums.The song's intro contains the piano part from the original Nightmare song "Steven".
"Caffeine" was originally written as more of a rock-based song, but turned into more of a quirky and comical song that still kept the same energy that was originally intended. Cooper has said that a Big Bopper-like voice helped influence the chorus.The song was released as the album's second single.
The lyrics of the song show a similarity to the Nightmare on Elm Street series, and involves Alice frightened of going to sleep due to nightmares. The music attempts to portray a child creating lullabies at his piano.
"A Runaway Train" was based on the Dennis Dunaway Project's "Subway" from their 2006 album Bones From the Yard. Cooper decided to rework the song so it had no chorus; the track consists of only verse. The song also took inspiration from the classic song "Train Kept A-Rollin'". The way Alice Cooper sings it is very similar to how he sings in "Dance Yourself to Death", from the album Flush the Fashion. Country music star Vince Gill plays lead guitar on this song.This is one of three songs that the original Alice Cooper band performed on.
"Last Man on Earth" details what happens to Alice after the train wreck at the end of the song "A Runaway Train." It is reminiscent of a Tom Waits song, is similar to "Some Folks" from Welcome to My Nightmare, and has been described as unexpected and "out there." The melody is from the popular Yiddish song "Bei Mir Bistu Shein."
Cooper says that the song was heavily inspired by The Beatles. "The Congregation" details Alice's tour through Hell. Rob Zombie guest stars on this song as "The Guide", who is possibly "The Curator" from the original Nightmare (originally portrayed by Vincent Price).
The song's classic rock tone was Cooper's nod to the Rolling Stones. In this song, Alice is introduced to the devil, his female guide in Hell (the same from "What Baby Wants"). "I'll Bite Your Face Off" was the album's first single and was released with a music video which features various live performances. One of these includes Cooper's show at the 100 Club in London with on guitar.The single was another song on the album played by the original Alice Cooper"Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever"
This song deals with a more matured nightmare that Alice would deal with 35 years later. He watches himself as a young boy being raised by an alcoholic father and an abused mother. The boy eventually snaps, and plans on murdering his father by putting one "right between his eyes." "When Hell Comes Home" is dark and macabre, and it sets itself apart from the previous songs, which are less serious and more comical. At the end of the solo, a man (supposedly the abusive father) is heard faintly yelling out "Steven", the name of the main character from the original Nightmare, hinting the fact he is the main character in this album as well. The song was played with the original band, who gave it a '70s feel that Cooper wanted.
While Cooper was thinking of a character to play the devil on Welcome 2 My Nightmare, he came across Kesha at the Grammys and said that she had the qualities of a "rock singer." In typical Alice Cooper fashion (harkening back to Billion Dollar Babies when Donovan sang with Cooper on the title track), he decided to bring Kesha in to work on the album because it would be unexpected.Cooper said about Kesha, "I think a lot of my audience is going to go KESHA!?, but she probably wrote the most disgusting lyrics in the song – we had to rein her in." According to Cooper, many of her lyrics had to be toned down for the album. Kesha plays the part of the devil, continuing from "I'll Bite Your Face Off", telling Alice that it's time to pay the ultimate price: his soul.
"I Gotta Get Outta Here" ends the album with Alice finally accepting that he's going through a nightmare, and is ready to wake up. However, a choir of voices responds with "What part of dead don't you get?" Alice starts to protest, but with the repeated question, he begins to wonder what his reality is: Is he actually dead, left to forever live his nightmare, or is this taunt just another part of the dream? The conclusion of the song leaves the ending open to the listener.
Vince Gill again plays lead guitar on this track.
Cooper compares the instrumental final track to a Broadway overture, filled with pieces of songs from the show. In this case, "The Underture" feature themes and music from the two Nightmares. In order, these are "Welcome to My Nightmare," "The Awakening," "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever," "Only Women Bleed," "Something to Remember Me By," "Devil's Food," "The Black Widow," "Ghouls Gone Wild," "I Am Made of You," "Years Ago," and concludes with "Steven."
Continues with the overall theme of the nightmare by describing "they" who live "Under The Bed" and torment the narrator at night. The song contains a snippet of the guitar riff from "Welcome to My Nightmare" around the 3-minute mark and a brief guitar riff at various points that is reminiscent of "The Black Widow" from the original album. The song was made available only on the fan pack and Best Buy release. Small parts of the song seem to mirror the rhythm of the chorus to "Black Widow".
"A Bad Situation" was based on the idea of Alice's worst nightmare: Sitting in a cubicle in a nine-to-five job. Originally titled "My Favorite Mutation." The song was an iTunes bonus track.
"Flatline" is a track released only on the vinyl edition of the album. The dark ambient song starts out with the sound of a heart rate monitor that beeps every couple of seconds (making the heart rate approximately 22 beats per minute). 46 seconds into the song, the monitor flatlines and remains this way almost until the end of the song. During this time, ambient sounds play in the background of the beep. Twelve seconds from the track's end, a deep, dark voice (similar to the one heard at the end of "What Baby Wants") can be heard saying Steven's name. This song implies that Steven has died, answering the question posed in "I Gotta Get Outta Here".
|Ultimate Classic Rock|
The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, based on an aggregate score of 68/100 from Metacritic. Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles reviewer Mitch Lafon issued a review of the album on August 11. Noting that sequel albums are a "risky proposition", Welcome 2 My Nightmare was deemed "an equally comparable chef d’oeuvre."Lafon also praised the diverse sound on the album, explaining that it varies "from trashing disco to garage punk, pop balladry to a rocking number, very much in the spirit of the Rolling Stones."
William Clark of Guitar International wrote, "Every song off of this new record are absolutely noteworthy, and are bound to be stuck in your head for hours. And although voices in your head are a very serious and legitimate medical condition, I think we can make an exception with Alice Cooper".Allmusic also gave the album a four out of five star review.
|1.||"I Am Made of You"||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Desmond Child||5:32|
|2.||"Caffeine"||Cooper, Ezrin, Tommy Henriksen, Keith Nelson||3:23|
|3.||"The Nightmare Returns"||Cooper, Ezrin||1:14|
|4.||"A Runaway Train" (feat. Vince Gill)||Cooper, Ezrin, Dennis Dunaway||3:51|
|5.||"Last Man on Earth"||Cooper, Ezrin, Piggy D, David Spreng||3:47|
|6.||"The Congregation" (feat. Rob Zombie)||Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen||3:59|
|7.||"I'll Bite Your Face Off"||Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen, Neal Smith||4:25|
|8.||"Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever" (feat. John 5)||Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen||3:35|
|9.||"Ghouls Gone Wild"||Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen||2:33|
|10.||"Something to Remember Me By"||Cooper, Dick Wagner||3:16|
|11.||"When Hell Comes Home"||Cooper, Ezrin, Michael Bruce||4:29|
|12.||"What Baby Wants" (feat. Kesha)||Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen, Kesha||3:43|
|13.||"I Gotta Get Outta Here" (feat. Vince Gill)||Cooper, Ezrin, Patterson Hood||4:20|
|14.||"The Underture" (Instrumental)||Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen, Child, Wagner, Jeremy Rubolino, Kelly Jay Fordham||4:37|
|15.||"Under the Bed"||Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen||4:00|
|16.||"Poison" (Live at Download Festival)||Cooper, Child, McCurry||5:01|
|Deluxe, Deluxe Digipak|
|15.||"We Gotta Get Out of This Place"||Mann, Weil||3:09|
|16.||"No More Mr. Nice Guy" (Live at Download Festival)||Cooper, Bruce||3:14|
|17.||"The Black Widow" (Live at Download Festival)||Cooper, Ezrin, Wagner||5:24|
|Deluxe Edition (Canada) / Best Buy Exclusive Edition / Japan Edition|
|15.||"Under the Bed"||Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen||4:00|
|16.||"Poison" (Live at Download Festival)||Cooper, Child, McCurry||5:01|
|17.||"No More Mr. Nice Guy" (Live at Download Festival)||Cooper, Bruce||3:14|
|18.||"The Black Widow" (Live at Download Festival)||Cooper, Ezrin, Wagner||5:24|
|15.||"A Bad Situation"||Cooper, Garric, Jim Bachi, Ezrin||3:43|
|16.||"We Gotta Get Out of This Place"||Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil||3:09|
|17.||"Dialogue – How They Came to Be"||Cooper (interview)||25:42|
Welcome 2 My Nightmare was expected to sell between 20,000 and 22,000 copies in the US during its first week on sale,though it actually ended up selling about 18,000. Album debuted at No. 22 on US Billboard chart which marked the highest debut for an album by Cooper in more than 20 years. The album also debuted on US Hard Rock Albums chart at No. 6 and Rock Albums chart at No. 11. In other countries, the album charted at No. 7 on the UK Top 40 Rock Albums, No. 16 in Australia, No. 17 in Finland, No. 19 in Sweden, No. 23 in Norway, No. 23 in New Zealand, No. 25 in Austria, No. 26 in Germany, No. 28 in Canada, also No. 2 on the Canadian Hard Rock Album Chart, No. 49 in Switzerland, No. 60 in Italy, No. 73 in France and No. 74 in Spain.
|Australian Albums Chart||16|
|US Billboard 200||22|
|Canadian Albums Chart||28|
|Finnish Albums Chart||17|
Alice Cooper is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over 50 years. With his distinctive raspy voice and a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers alike to be "The Godfather of Shock Rock", even being referred to as the "Father of Shock Rock" in the same circles. He has drawn equally from horror films, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock people.
Robert Alan Ezrin is a Canadian music producer and keyboardist, best known for his work with Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, and Phish. As of 2010, Ezrin's career in music had spanned four decades and his production work continued into the 21st century, with acts such as Deftones and Thirty Seconds to Mars.
Neal Smith is an American musician, best known as the drummer for the rock group Alice Cooper from 1967 to 1974. He performed on the group's early albums Pretties for You and Easy Action, their breakout album Love It to Death and the subsequent successful albums Killer, School's Out, and Billion Dollar Babies. The last new studio album with the five original Alice Cooper group members participating in new music was Muscle of Love in 1973. The original group's Greatest Hits studio album was released in 1974. In 2018, a live performance album Live From The Astroturf, Alice Cooper recorded in 2015 was released, featuring four of the original group members performing eight of their hit songs, with long-time Alice Cooper solo band guitarist and friend Ryan Roxie interplaying lead guitar parts with original group rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, on behalf of original group lead guitarist Glen Buxton, who died in 1997 of pneumonia three weeks before his 50th birthday.
Destroyer is the fourth studio album by American rock band Kiss, released on March 15, 1976 by Casablanca Records in the US. It was the third successive Kiss album to reach the top 40 in the US, as well as the first to chart in Germany and New Zealand. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on April 22, 1976, and platinum on November 11 of the same year, the first Kiss album to achieve platinum. The album marked a departure from the raw sound of the band's first three albums.
Dennis Dunaway is an American musician, best known as the original bass guitarist for Alice Cooper . He co-wrote some of the band's most notable songs, including "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out".
Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits is the only greatest hits album by American rock band Alice Cooper, and their last release as a band. Released in 1974, it features hit songs from five of the band's seven studio albums. It does not include any material from their first two albums, Pretties for You and Easy Action.
Alice Cooper Goes to Hell is the second solo album by Alice Cooper, released in 1976. A continuation of Welcome to My Nightmare as it continues the story of Steven, this concept album was written almost exclusively by Cooper with guitar player Dick Wagner and producer Bob Ezrin.
Muscle of Love is the seventh and final studio album by rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1973.
Love It to Death is the third studio album by the American rock band Alice Cooper, released in March 1971. It was the band's first commercially successful album, and is considered to be where the band first consolidated its aggressive hard-rocking sound. The album's best-known track, "I'm Eighteen", was released as a single to test the band's commercial viability before the album was recorded.
School's Out is the fifth studio album by American rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1972. Following on from the success of Killer, School's Out reached No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Canadian RPM 100 Top Albums chart, holding the top position for four weeks. The single "School's Out" reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 3 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles Chart and went to No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart. The album achieved sales of over 50,000 copies in Australia, being eligible for the award of a Gold Disc.
Richard Allen "Dick" Wagner was an American rock music guitarist, songwriter and author best known for his work with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, and KISS. He also fronted his own Michigan-based bands, The Frost and The Bossmen.
"I'm Eighteen" is a song by rock band Alice Cooper, first released as a single in November 1970 backed with "Is It My Body". It was the band's first top-forty success—peaking at number 21—and convinced Warner Bros. that Alice Cooper had the commercial potential to release an album. The song and its B-side feature on the band's first major-label album Love It to Death (1971).
The Strange Case of Alice Cooper is a live concert video released in September 1979, of Alice Cooper performing with his backing band The Ultra Latex Band. The concert was filmed on April 9, 1979 during Cooper's 'Madhouse Rock' Tour in San Diego, California, at the San Diego Sports Arena, in support of the album From The Inside.
Stephen John Hunter is an American guitarist, primarily a session player. He has worked with Lou Reed and Alice Cooper, acquiring the moniker "The Deacon". Hunter first played with Mitch Ryder's Detroit, beginning a long association with record producer Bob Ezrin who has said Steve Hunter has contributed so much to rock music in general that he truly deserves the designation of "Guitar Hero". Steve Hunter has played some of the greatest riffs in rock history - that first slamming solo that rings in Aerosmith's "Train Kept A Rollin'", the acoustic intro on Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" and he wrote the legendary intro interlude that made Lou Reed's live version of "Sweet Jane" Reed's first gold record.
Along Came a Spider is the eighteenth solo album by singer-songwriter Alice Cooper, released on July 2008 by Steamhammer/SPV. A hard rock/heavy metal concept album, it chronicles the activities of a psychopathic serial killer known as 'Spider' and the eventual undoing of his plans. A commercial success, it ended up becoming Cooper's highest-charting studio effort in the United States since Hey Stoopid (1991).
"Halo of Flies" is a 1973 single by rock band Alice Cooper taken from their 1971 album Killer. The single was only released in the Netherlands, two years after the song appeared on the album. The song was, according to Cooper's liner notes in the compilation The Definitive Alice Cooper, an attempt by the band to prove that they could perform King Crimson-like progressive rock suites, and was supposedly about a spy organization.
"Welcome to My Nightmare" is the title track to Alice Cooper's eighth studio album. The song is written by Cooper, Dick Wagner and Bob Ezrin. It peaked at 45 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song itself mixes elements from disco, jazz, hard rock, and keeps a "heavy-yet-funky beat". Cooper would later perform the song on The Muppet Show. The tune was placed tenth on a list AOL Radio made of the "10 Best Halloween Songs".
Kesha Rose Sebert, known mononymously as Kesha, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and actress. In 2005, at age 18, Kesha was signed to Kemosabe Records. Her first major success came in early 2009 after she was featured on American rapper Flo Rida's number-one single "Right Round".
Tommy Henriksen is an American musician from Port Jefferson, New York, best known for his work as a guitarist, bassist and songwriter with Alice Cooper, Hollywood Vampires and German metal band Warlock. He has also fronted punk rockers P.O.L. and released several albums as a solo artist. In addition, Henriksen is a songwriter, arranger, producer and mixer who has worked with artists such as Lady Gaga, Meat Loaf, Lou Reed, Halestorm, Kesha, and Daughtry. Henriksen is currently based out of Zurich, Switzerland where he lives with his family.