Welcome 2 My Nightmare

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Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Studio album by Alice Cooper
Released September 13, 2011
Genre Rock, hard rock, heavy metal, jazz rock
Length 52:44
Label UMe
Producer Bob Ezrin
Alice Cooper chronology
Alice Does Alice (EP)
(2010)
Welcome 2 My Nightmare
(2011)

Welcome 2 My Nightmare is the 26th studio 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 1991's Hey Stoopid.

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.[1] Cooper liked the idea, and decided to recruit previous members of the Alice Cooper band.[1] The concept of the album was described by Cooper as "another nightmare, and this one is even worse than the last one."[1] 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."[2]

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 label[3] as part of a deal involving marketing, touring and production work by Bigger Picture for Cooper in the future.[4] The album was then announced as being delayed until some time in 2012 due to Cooper's touring commitments,[5] however it was finally released on September 13, 2011.[6]

Songs[edit]

Cooper began writing songs for the album during summer 2010, and by July 2010 there were a total of three songs completed.[1] 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.[7] 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."[8]

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."[9]

"I Am Made of You"[edit]

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 guitarists Tommy Denander and 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.[10] The song's intro contains the piano part from the original Nightmare song "Steven".

"Caffeine"[edit]

"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.[11] The song was released as the album's second single.

"The Nightmare Returns"[edit]

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.[12]

"A Runaway Train"[edit]

"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.[13] One of three songs that the original Alice Cooper band performed on.[14]

"Last Man on Earth"[edit]

"Last Man on Earth" details what happens to Alice after the train wreck at the end of the song "A Runaway Train". The song (described as unexpected and "out there") is reminiscent of a Tom Waits song, and is also similar to "Some Folks" from Welcome to My Nightmare.[15]

"The Congregation"[edit]

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).[16]

"I'll Bite Your Face Off"[edit]

The song's classic rock tone was Cooper's nod to the early 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 Johnny Depp on guitar.[17] The single was another song on the album played by the original Alice Cooper band.[18]

"Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever"[edit]

"Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever" continues Cooper's idea that "no matter what you do, you can't kill disco." The song is strikingly similar to the Alice Cooper Goes to Hell song "You Gotta Dance", where disco is used as an eternal punishment in Hell. The guitar solo at the end of the song, played by John 5, is representative of disco being overtaken by rock.[19]

"Ghouls Gone Wild"[edit]

The album shifts from the disco vibe of "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever" to that of a surf rock beach party in "Ghouls Gone Wild". Mark Volman, singer of the Turtles, provides backing vocals for the song.[20]

"Something to Remember Me By"[edit]

"Something to Remember Me By" was originally written by Wagner and Cooper in the late '70s, around the time "I Never Cry" was written. The song was not used sooner due to Cooper's inability to sing the part. Ezrin convinced Cooper to put it on the album because it was "the prettiest song (they had) ever written." Cooper says that his recording was very difficult but heartfelt. The song parallels "Cold Ethyl" from the original Nightmare in that Alice is singing to the pieces of a corpse (which seems to make sense in the nightmare).[21]

"When Hell Comes Home"[edit]

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 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.[22]

"What Baby Wants"[edit]

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.[23] 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."[24] 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.[25]

"I Gotta Get Outta Here"[edit]

"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.[26]

Vince Gill again plays lead guitar on this track.

"The Underture"[edit]

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."[27]

"Under the Bed"[edit]

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 Nightmare 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"[edit]

"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"[edit]

"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".

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 68%[28]
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4.5/5 stars[29]
AllMusic 4/5 stars[30]
Blabbermouth.net 8.5/10[31]
Daily Express 3/5[32]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[33]
Jukebox:Metal 3/5 stars[34]
Metaholic Magazine 7.8/10[35]
PopMatters 5/10 stars[36]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[37]
Ultimate Classic Rock 4/5 stars[38]

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."[39] 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."[39]

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".[40] Allmusic also gave the album a four out of five star review.[41]

Track listing[edit]

Standard Edition[9]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
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"   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. Ke$ha) Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen, Kesha 3:43
13. "I Gotta Get Outta Here"   Cooper, Ezrin, Patterson Hood 4:20
14. "The Underture" (Instrumental) Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen, Child, Wagner, Jeremy Rubolino, Kelly Jay Fordham 4:37

Bonus tracks[edit]

Fan Pack[9]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
15. "Under the Bed"   Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen 4:00
16. "Poison" (Live at Download Festival) Cooper, Child, McCurry 5:01
Deluxe,[9] Deluxe Digipak[9]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
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
No. Title Writer(s) Length
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
Vinyl Edition[9]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
15. "Flatline"     3:27
iTunes Edition[9]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
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

Personnel[edit]

Additional Musicians[edit]

  • Tommy Henriksen – (Associate Producer) Co-songwriter,Guitars,Bass,Keyboards,Vocals,Programming,Engineer,Mixing
  • Michael Bruce – Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals on "A Runaway Train", "I'll Bite Your Face Off" and "When Hell Comes Home"
  • Dennis Dunaway – Bass, backing vocals on "A Runaway Train", "I'll Bite Your Face Off" and "When Hell Comes Home"
  • Neal Smith – Drums, percussion, backing vocals on "A Runaway Train", "I'll Bite Your Face Off" and "When Hell Comes Home"
  • Steve Hunter – Guitars on "I Am Made Of You", "Something To Remember Me By", "When Hell Comes Home", "What Baby Wants" and "The Underture"
  • Keith Nelson – Guitars, backing vocals on "Caffeine"
  • Desmond Child – Co-songwriter
  • Dick Wagner – Co-songwriter / Lead guitar on "The Underture"
  • Tommy Denander – Guitars on "I Am Made of You"
  • Vince Gill – Lead guitar on "A Runaway Train" and "Gotta Get Outta Here"
  • Ke$ha – Guest vocals on "What Baby Wants"
  • Rob Zombie – Backing vocals on "The Congregation"
  • John 5 – guitar on "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever"
  • Chuck Garric – Bass
  • Jeremy Rubolino – Co-songwriter
  • Piggy D – Co-songwriter, and bass on "Last Man On Earth"
  • David Spreng – Co-songwriter and drums on "Last Man On Earth"
  • Kip Winger – backing vocals on "Ghouls Gone Wild" & "The Congregation"
  • Patterson Hood – guitar on "Gotta Get Outta Here"
  • Damon Johnson – guitar on "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"
  • Keri Kelli – guitar on "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"
  • Jimmy DeGrasso – drums on "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" & "I Gotta Get Outta Here"
  • Pat Buchanan – Guitars
  • Vicki Hampton – Backing vocals
  • Wendy Moten – Backing vocals
  • Hank Williams – Mastering
  • Scott Williamson – Drums
  • Jimmie Lee Sloas – Bass

Charts and sales[edit]

Welcome 2 My Nightmare was expected to sell between 20,000 and 22,000 copies in the US during its first week on sale,[6] though it actually ended up selling about 18,000.[2] Album debuted at No. 22 on US Billboard chart which marked the highest debut for an album by Cooper in more than 20 years.[42] The album also debuted on US Hard Rock Albums chart at No. 6 and Rock Albums chart at No. 11.[42] In other countries, the album charted at No. 7 on the UK Top 40 Rock Albums,[43] No. 16 in Australia,[44] No. 17 in Finland,[45] No. 19 in Sweden,[46] No. 23 in Norway,[47] No. 23 in New Zealand,[48] No. 25 in Austria,[49] No. 26 in Germany,[50] No. 28 in Canada,[51] also No. 2 on the Canadian Hard Rock Album Chart,[52] No. 49 in Switzerland,[53] No. 60 in Italy,[54] No. 73 in France[55] and No. 74 in Spain.[56]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[57] 16
Billboard 200 (United States)[2] 22
Canadian Albums Chart[58] 28
Finnish Albums Chart[59] 17

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "ALICE COOPER Talks About Forthcoming Sequel To 'Welcome to my Nightmare'". Blbbermouth.net. July 1, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Alice Cooper Calls Rock Hall Induction 'A Dream,' Plots 'Nightmare' Sequel". Billboard. March 14, 2011. Archived from the original on March 15, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ "ALICE COOPER Completes Work On 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare'". Blabbermouth.net. February 20, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Alice Cooper Reunites with Bob Ezrin through Bigger Picture". Bigger Picture Music Group. May 25, 2010. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Alice Cooper Talks 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' Album and Lady Gaga". Noisecreep. March 25, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "ALICE COOPER's 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' Projected To Sell 20K-22K First Week". Blabbermouth.net. September 14, 2011. Archived from the original on September 20, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2011. 
  7. ^ "ALICE COOPER Talks To BILLBOARD Magazine About 'Welcome II My Nightmare'". Blabbermouth.net. October 6, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ "ALICE COOPER TALKS ABOUT HIS NIGHTMARE…". Radio Metal. June 28, 2011. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
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  10. ^ "I Am Made of You". 
  11. ^ "Caffeine". 
  12. ^ "The Nightmare Returns". 
  13. ^ Vince Gill Helps Rocker Alice Cooper on New Song ‘A Runaway Train’. Tasteofcountry.com (August 22, 2011).
  14. ^ "A Runaway Train". 
  15. ^ "Last Man On Earth". 
  16. ^ "The Congregation". 
  17. ^ "I'll Bite Your Face Off". 
  18. ^ "Johnny Depp rocks with Alice Cooper". 
  19. ^ "Ghouls Gone Wild". 
  20. ^ "Ghouls Gone Wild". 
  21. ^ "Something to Remember Me By". 
  22. ^ "When Hell Comes Home". 
  23. ^ Bell, Crystal (August 24, 2011). "Alice Cooper On Collaborating With Ke$ha: 'This Girl Is Not A Pop Diva'". Huffington Post. 
  24. ^ "Ke$ha to appear on new Alice Cooper album". 
  25. ^ "What Baby Wants". 
  26. ^ "I Gotta Get Outta Here". 
  27. ^ "The Underture". 
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  29. ^ Pacheco, George. "Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare Review". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 25, 2014. 
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  32. ^ Townsend, Martin (September 11, 2011). "CD review - Alice Cooper: Welcome 2 My Nightmare". Daily Express. Northern & Shell. Retrieved January 25, 2014. 
  33. ^ Simpson, Daveurl=http://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/oct/13/alice-cooper-welcome-2-nightmare (October 13, 2011). "Alice Cooper: Welcome 2 My Nightmare – review". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 
  34. ^ Andy Lye. "Welcome 2 My Nightmare Jukebox:Metal review". 
  35. ^ "Metalholic.com: Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare". Metalholic Magazine. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  36. ^ Valdivia, Victor (September 15, 2011). "Alice Cooper: Welcome 2 My Nightmare". PopMatters. Sarah Rupko. Retrieved January 25, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Rolling Stone: Welcome 2 My Nightmare". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Archived from the original on September 19, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Ultimate Classic Rock: Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  39. ^ a b Lafon, Mitch. "ALICE COOPER – Welcome 2 My Nightmare Reviewed!". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  40. ^ "Alice Cooper Shock Rocks on Welcome 2 My Nightmare". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  41. ^ "Welcome 2 My Nightmare Metacritic reviews". 
  42. ^ a b "ALICE COOPER DEBUTS TOP OF THE CHARTS WITH WELCOME 2 MY NIGHTMARE". Alice Cooper official website. September 21, 2011. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  43. ^ "UK Top 40 Rock Albums". BBC News. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  44. ^ Australia Albums Top 50 (October 3, 2011) – Music Charts. Acharts.us (October 3, 2011).
  45. ^ "Finnish Albums Chart". Allcharts.org. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  46. ^ "Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare". ACharts.us. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Topp 40 Album". VG Lista. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  48. ^ NZ Albums Top 40 (September 26, 2011) – Music Charts. Acharts.us (September 26, 2011).
  49. ^ Austria Albums Top 75 (September 28, 2011) – Music Charts. Acharts.us (September 28, 2011).
  50. ^ charts.de. charts.de (September 16, 2011).
  51. ^ "ALBUMS : Top 100". Jam! Music. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  52. ^ "METAL : Top 50". Jam! Music. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  53. ^ Swiss Albums Top 100 (September 25, 2011) – Music Charts. Acharts.us (September 25, 2011).
  54. ^ Italy Albums Top 100 (September 20, 2011) – Music Charts. Acharts.us (September 20, 2011).
  55. ^ France Albums Top 150 (September 17, 2011) – Music Charts. Acharts.us (September 17, 2011).
  56. ^ Spain Albums Top 100 (September 18, 2011) – Music Charts. Acharts.us (September 18, 2011).
  57. ^ "Top 50 Albums Chart – Australian Recording Industry Association". ARIA. Retrieved October 2, 2011. 
  58. ^ CANOE – JAM! Music – SoundScan Charts. Jam.canoe.ca.
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