Hard Rock Hideout has an autographed copy of Alice Cooper’s excellent new CD, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, and unsigned copy to giveaway, to two lucky winners.
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Can’t wait for the drawing? You can purchase the digital download of Welcome 2 My Nightmare at iTunes at this link!
Some things get better with age. With Vincent Furnier aka Alice Cooper (who turned 63 in February) this is truly the case. With Alice Cooper’s latest effort, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, Alice has turned in one of his most creative pieces of work yet.
Producer Bob Ezrin came up with the idea for Alice to do the sequel to Welcome to My Nightmare. I don’t know if anyone could have guessed what Alice would come up with after that. Alice Cooper brought in several of his old bandmates including Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, Steve Hunter, and Dick Wagner, as well as a cast of many others to help create a brand new nightmare, which to my ears is one Alice Cooper’s finest works to date.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare somehow manages to recapture that classic 70′s sound of the original, without sounding dated. Welcome 2 My Nightmare incorporates the sounds of classic and hard rock, and little bit of disco. It is hard to compare it to the monsterous album Welcome to My Nightmare, which spawned such great songs like “Cold Ethyl”, “Only Women Bleed” and “Welcome to My Nightmare”. You won’t find Vincent Price (God rest his soul) narratives on Welcome 2 My Nightmare either, but you are going to find a whole bunch of new tunes that you will be sure to love.
There are several songs on Welcome 2 My Nightmare which could easily be worked in to Alice’s live set for years to come. This album is so strong that he could probably do a tour playing the entire album live. The album isn’t perfect, but it is pretty close to it. I could have lived without the auto tune effect on Alice’s vocals on the opening cut “I Am Made of You”. Luckily, this is the only song plagued by that ill-used effect. (Note: To all artists and producers of rock music, Auto Tune is NEVER ok to use in rock music; No one wants to hear that crap.) “I Am Made To You” is a pretty strong opener, and a really good song. Bob Ezrin should have known better than to use those effects in my opinion.
While Alice Cooper’s previous effort Along Came a Spider was an outstanding effort, it pales in comparison to the creative and enthusiastic offering Welcome 2 My Nightmare from the Alice Cooper and company. There are many classic moments, and too many cool tunes to mention on this CD. Some of my favorites are the catchy “Caffeine”, to the Vaudeville fun of “Last Man on Earth”, and the cool rocker “I’ll Bit Your Face Off”. I will be playing this one a ton for years to come.
Voting is now closed, throw away your unused ballots, Welcome 2 My Nightmare will be the easy choice for album of the year in 2011. Highly Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
1. I Am Made of You
3. The Nightmare Returns
4. A Runaway Train
5. Last Man on Earth
6. The Congregation
7. I’ll Bite Your Face Off
8. Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
9. Ghouls Gone Wild
10. Something To Remember
11. When Hell Comes Home
12. What Baby Wants
13. I Gotta Get Outta Here
14. The Underture
Alice Cooper – Vocals, Harmonica
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”
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”
Steve Hunter – guitars on “Something To Remember Me By”, “When Hell Comes Home” and “What Baby Wants”
Keith Nelson – Guitars, backing vocals on “Caffeine”
Desmond Child – Co-songwriter
Dick Wagner – Co-songwriter / Lead guitar on “The Underture”
Rob Zombie – Backing vocals on “The Congregation”
John 5 – guitar on “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever”
Tommy Denander – Guitars on “I Am Made of You”
Vince Gill – Lead guitar on “A Runaway Train” and “Gotta Get Outta Here”
Chuck Garric – Bass
Jeremy Rubolino – Co-songwriter
Ke$ha – Guest vocals on “What Baby Wants”
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”
Quite honestly, after listening to the Judas Priest debacle called Nostradamus, I was not looking forward to hearing another concept album in 2008. Nonetheless, Alice Cooper has unleashed his latest batch of hard rock horror in the form of a concept album. The difference between this and Nostradamus is quite simple, this album has good songs, and a whole bunch of them to boot.
The songs on Along Came A Spider follow the story of the serial killer named Spider. I wont give up all of the secrets of the story of Spider, but this is pretty good song material. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed an Alice Cooper CD this much.
The sounds on Along Came A Spider is a pretty good balance of 70′s era Alice Cooper mixed with 80′s and 90′s style rock. Kerri Kelli and Jason Hook handle the guitar work, and they do an excellent job. The production quality on this disc is fantastic. Alice also enlists the help of a couple of friends on this disc. Slash cuts loose playing guitar on the track “Vengeance is Mine“. Ozzy Osbourne helped Alice write the tune “Wake The Dead“. Ozzy handles the harmonica solo on this song. There is no mention of Ozzy singing on this album, but If you listen closely enough, you can hear what appears to be his background vocals on this tune.
I must admit that some of Alice Cooper’s releases have always been a bit hit or miss with me. I had low expectations for Along Came A Spider. With that being said, this disc is one of the nice surprises of 2008. This is one of my favorite discs so far this year. I had a lot of fun listening to this, and I think you will too.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Prologue / I Know Where You Live
2. Vengeance Is Mine (Featuring Slash)
3. Wake The Dead
4. Catch Me If You Can
5. (In Touch With) Your Feminine Side
6. Wrapped In Silk
7. Killed By Love
8. I’m Hungry
9. The One That Got Away
11. I Am The Spider / Epilogue
Alice Cooper band is:
Alice Cooper – Vocals
Keri Kelli – Guitar
Jason Hook – Guitar
Chuck Garric – Bass
Eric Singer – Drums
Great rock music should stand the test of time, Alice Cooper’s song, School’s Out does just that. This disc starts off with the anthemic title track which has been played on rock radio thousands of times around the world. It is the only hit worthy tune on this record, but the rest of the tracks have some merit.
The songs Gutter Cat Vs. The Jets, and Grande Finale have some credible lyrical contenta, as both were written as satirical pieces about West Side Story. They are an interesting listen, and worth spinning a couple of times. Luney Tune is a fun little trippy tune, that I would love to see get reworked.
By today’s standards, the School’s Out album sounds a little dated, but in 1972, this had to blow people’s minds. This disc sounds like a rock and roll, acid trip. The music is funky, and at times a little psychedelic.
This isn’t a record that I can get a lot of replay value out of, but it is interesting to hear the roots of Alice Cooper’s music. There are other discs (Billion Dollar Babies, Welcome To My Nightmare) that are better o start off with in the early Alice Cooper discography.
Rating:Out of 10
1. School’s Out
2. Luney Tune
3. Gutter Cat Vs. The Jets
4. Street Fight
5. Blue Turk
6. My Stars
7. Public Animal #9
8. Alma Mater
9. Grande Finale
The Alice Cooper roster for School’s Out:
Alice Cooper – lead vocals
Glen Buxton – guitars
Michael Bruce – guitars / keyboards
Dennis Dunaway – bass
Neil Smith – drummer
This disc was produced, recorded and mixed by Michael Wagener (Ozzy, Dokken, Metallica, Motley Crue) which explains the near perfect sound on this disc.
Alice Cooper has a very good band backing him up on this release: Kane Roberts on guitar, Kip Winger on bass, Ken Mary on drums, and Paul Horowitz on keyboards.
This is definitely 80′s style metal, but it is lacking a lot (but not all) of the cheese found on his late 80′s releases, Trash and Hey Stoopid.
Kane Roberts guitar work on this disc is very good. There is plenty of solos to sink your teeth into. Kip Winger surprises me how good he is on bass here. I can hear some of the bass sounds that are commonplace on the future Winger discs here.
Most of lyrics are fairly simple on this record, but that is ok, as the songs are definitely rocking!
The opening track Freedom just explodes on this disc. This is very cool stuff!
Lock Me Up keeps the energy going with an upbeat rocker, with a sing along chorus. This is a fun song.
Give the Radio Back is a song that is kind of silly, yet terribly infectious. I bet you will find yourself singing “give the radio back to the maniac” in no time.
One of the songs that has got a lot of repeated plays from me is Step on You. Kane Roberts has some very tasty guitar licks on this song.
Not That Kind of Love has this killer bass groove that will get you headbanging in no time. Great Stuff!
Another song that seems to jump out at me every time is Prince of Darkness. This is another song that is very catchy.
Time to Kill is another solid track with excellent guitar work by Kane Roberts.
I can deal with a goofy tune now and then, but Chop, Chop, Chop might be a little bit too silly, even for me.
Gail is a horror like, keyboard driven tune, that doesn’t really add anything to Raise Your Fist and Yell, except to cement Alice Cooper’s love of the horror element into the music.
Roses on White Lace isn’t the best album closer, but it is listenable. The chorus is kind of catchy, and the music is good.
As a whole, I have enjoyed Raise Your Fist and Yell. It is a good CD, and one that is still worth picking up in 2007.
This disc is still in print, and can be purchased at Amazon.com for less than $10.00. At that price, this disc is a steal. If you don’t own this one, check it out. I think you will like it. I am surprised that I didn’t buy this one up sooner. This is must own for 80′s hard rock and hair metal fans.
Special thanks to Metal Mark who suggested this disc to me.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Lock Me Up
3. Give the Radio Back
4. Step on You
5. Not That Kind of Love
6. Prince of Darkness
7. Time to Kill
8. Chop, Chop, Chop
10. Roses on White Lace