Well, I will give it you straight: This is one of my favourite albums ever. I have played it so much that I`ve had a break from it for some years now. I almost overdosed on the sounds from this album. There is much to like here, but I would recommend playing “Steven” loud in a darkened rooom. What joy to listen to this – I think I need to play it again just because I`m writing this…
Necrophiliac nightmare boogie
Alice Cooper: `Welcome To My Nightmare` (Anchor 2011).
Record review by Pete Makowski
This is Alice`s soundtrack album… when you come to think of it, weren`t all his others? Mr Cooper has finally left the golf course to make a very welcome comeback to horrorock and rollsville. It`s strange, I wasn`t particularly enamoured by Cooper`s efforts on `Muscle Of Love` while a lot of people who were previously adverse to him went bananas over the album. Now with the arrival of this disc the same clan yell abuse when it touches the turntable. I think this is definitely Alice`s best offering yet. If you`ve never heard him before this is undoubtedly the one to get, it encapsulates all his previous ideas into one neat package – in fact Alice features a lot of his previous themes. This may be due to lack of ideas, but still the whole thing makes Alice sound fuller, more potent than ever before. A lot of credit must be given to the band backing him. Who could ask for a stronger line up than Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner (guitars), Johnny (Bee) Badanjek (drums), Jozef Chirowski (keyboards), Bob Ezrin (keyboards), Whitey Glan (drums), Tony Levin (bass)? A gathering of the finest session men who manage to inject a limitless amount of feel and excitement into Coopers work. Credit go to an assortment of writers, including Wagner, Ezrin (who also produced the album), Kim Fowley, and, of course, dear old Vinnie Furnier who spits and snarls those vocals with that lovable venomous fury as he takes you through his nightmare. The atmosphere is enhanced by a particularly powerful, maybe a bit corny, narrative from Vincent Price who is featured as the curator in `The Black Widow`.
`Devil`s Food` has that same sinister phasing that can be found on `I Love The Dead`, although the necrophiliac boogie is reserved for `Cold Ethyl` on side two which features some searing guitar work from Steve Hunter. `Department Of Youth` is a tailor-made `Schools Out` type single that has a demented chorus line sung by Dave Ezrin and The Summerhill Children`s Choir. `Years Ago`, `Steven` and `The Awakening` is a trilogy (I think) about Steven going through phases of madness which still leaves you unsure whether he`s insane or not.
The final track `Escape` is almost Alice`s anthem and features those familiar screams of `I wanna get out of here` that can also be heard on the `Love It To Death` album. The playing and arrangements are solid and consistent throughout, the only place this album falls short is in the lyrics which are a little corny at times. Apart from that, this platter confirms the return of the mascara-covered shock rocker. Now that I`ve heard the album I can`t wait to see the film!
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Joe Cocker, Argent, Paul McCartney, The Troggs, Chaka Khan, Lindisfarne, Rupert Holmes, Black Oak Arkansas, Labelle, Return To Forever, Arthur Lee, Flying Burrito Brothers, Glitter Band, Andy Fraser, John Entwistle, The Sound of Philly, Back Door, Ronnie Lane, ELO, Tom Paxton.
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