#1
Welcome To My Nightmare
By Alice Cooper

Album Cover

General Information
Year Released: 1975
Record Label: Atlantic
Producer: Bob Ezrin
Highest Chart Position: 5#

After releasing timeless albums such as 'School's Out' and 'Billion Dollar Babies,' and then 'Muscle Of Love,' I'm sure that Alice Cooper decided to do something a little different, a concept album. 'Welcome To My Nightmare' became that album, with the concept being the mind of a killer. Of course, such a gruesome topic, only Alice Cooper could turn such an idea into a great album that would sell extremely well. However, shortly before this album was released, the rest of the classic band quit to form their own band, The Billion Dollar Babies, so Cooper enlisted a little bit of help on this album, from musicians to horror icon Vincent Price. This album of Alice Cooper's is a definate must have in anybody's collection.

Song Listing
1. Welcome To My Nightmare
Rating: 5/5
The album starts off with a seemingly slow opener, where the setting is proclaimed as a sort of nightmare, pretty obviously. However, after a while, the song picks up into a nice jam session, with some nice effects and a brass section.

2. Devil's Food
Rating: 4/5
This song has a strange guitar riff to it, sonn followed by Alice Cooper's regualr growling vocals, later followed by background vocals singing "Devil's Food." The song has something to do with him finding a woman who will be a 'treat.' The second half of this song is a speech by Vincent Price on spiders, mostly the black widow, proclaiming that it'll someday take man's place, the with a C5 and a D5 , the next song song starts...

3. Black Widow
Rating: 5/5
My second favorite song on the album, starting out with about ten seconds of Alice's line "These words he speaks are true, we're all humanary stew, unless we pledge alligence to...the black widow." The song is about a sort of monster, either the killer, or the killer's inspiration. The "black widow" devoured "his husbands and wives," and defloured "virgins and children." So, assumably the killer is probably some sort of sick pedophile. Great, timeless riff.

4. Some Folks
Rating: 4/5
Sort of cabaret, finger-snapping song. The song has something to do with the singer's need for his woman, all in all, it's a rather low point on the album.

5. Only Women Bleed
Rating: 5/5
Due to the rather gruesome/almost sexist sounding title(remember, this was released in 1975), this song's single was changed to "Only Women." This sad, acoustic song was protested often by women's rights groups, even though it is a song about the sadness of spousal abuse. This is a very well known Cooper song, one of the few where he takes the side of the victim, and one of his highest charting too, showcasing a Alice Cooper's vocal abilities.

6. Department Of Youth
Rating: 4/5
"School's Out," Part II would have an been an equally acceptable title to this song, as it seems to portray the same feeling of the song. However, it's still pretty good, but don't expect too much from this.

7. Cold Ethyl
Rating: 5/5
Often a favorite of Alice Cooper fans, this song is about Ethyl, a dead body(possible stolen from a mourge[sp]) in his refrigerator. The guitar part is pretty awesome, and there's plenty of cowbell in the drum part.

8. Years Ago
Rating: 5/5
An extremely creepy keyboard/guitar part leads into this childhood yearning song. The song seems a little weird, then the line "I'm a little a boy(sung normally[high pitched like a young boy])", then "I'm a great big man" sung low like a low is enough to scare the crap out you if you aren't expecting it. The song ends with Steven(the boy/man)'s mother(played by Trish McKinnon) calling him home.

9. Steven
Rating: Too high to be rated
This song is the highlight of Side II, and the best song on the album, and one of Cooper's greatest. It starts with a piano line, then a boy singing a about a woman screaming and crying, and wishing it would go away. The chorus kicks in, in a strong hard-hitting scream of "Steven." After an instrumental, it seems the woman is about to die, and the boy dosen't want her to, but she does, and he hears his name being called out again.

10. The Awakening
Rating: 5/5
Pretty soft song about a man waking up in his basemnet, sleepwaking. He follows a "trail of crimson," and unable to find his wife, has obviously been killed by him.

11. Escape
Rating: 4/5
Seems to be a song about Alice Cooper's view of himself, and how he needs to escape his life, which it seems that he isn't very content with.

Now, I haven't found an interpretation of this album, but here's one I've got...
"Welcome To My Nightmare" is the introduction to the mind of the madman, Steven, and he finds a woman that he decides he'll take for his prey("Devil's Food"). He then reaccounts what caused him to do this, as a boy he went on a tour of a wildlife museum or something of the sort, and learns about the black widow and wants to like it, then he kills the woman("Black Widow"). Then he tries to suduce another woman who he ends up marrying(?) and then becomes extremely violent towards her("Some Folks" and "Only Women Bleed"). Another flashback to his childhood comes back, and he finds the will to kill another innocent girl, and keeps her hidden in his refrigerator, where he can love her forever("Department Of Youth" and "Cold Ethyl"). Then the childhood personality goes out of control and he gets caught between childhood and adulthood, and is driven mad, and starts hearing things, and then kills his wife, and somehow dosen't remember it("Years Ago," "Steven," and "The Awakening"). Finally, "Escape," which may mean that he wants to get out of this personal hell he's trapped in.
This concpet would continue on to the album Alice Cooper Goes To Hell, but that's for another day.

We that's it, now buy it already!

Sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welcome_to_My_Nightmare
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000630YA.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg
ME!
"...And I'm pretty sure what you did to my children's snowman is illegal, if not, sodomy."
-Stephen Colbert: 'The Colbert Report'
Last edited by BlueOyster23 at Sep 17, 2006,