WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE
There’s really no other musician’s name that is so tied into the spirit of Halloween that it’s their face the pops to mind the moment you even utter the word “Halloween” other than the man, the myth, the legend that is Alice Cooper. They say that if you say the word “Halloween” three times into a mirror, Alice Cooper will appear behind you. Okay, maybe I made that last part up, but darned if I don’t keep trying in hopes of it actually working one night. Anyway…
Welcome To My Nightmare is considered by many to be Alice Cooper’s magnum opus. His first release as a solo artist (with seven releases prior to this as the Alice Cooper Band before taking the name with him), Welcome To My Nightmare is a concept album about the goings-on inside the head of a crazy person named Steven as he’s trapped in his nightmares, trying to wake up.
The best way to listen to this album is back-to-back, without skipping around. I mean, you probably could, but then you’ll miss the building dread that the songs really hit you with. There’s the spooky, jazzy fun of the opening title track, the fantastic Vincint Price monologue that leads into “The Black Widow”, the heart-felt yet chilling “Only Women Bleed”, and the morbid and black humor of “Cold Ethyl”. But the thing that really sets this as a musical psychological horror movie is the unofficial Steven Trilogy: “Years Ago”, “Steven” and “The Awakening”. This is the point where Steven manages to wake up from his inner nightmare, only to realize that he’s stepped into a far worse nightmare in reality.
In 2011, Alice Cooper released a sequel to Welcome To My Nightmare, one that many consider just as good as the original. Sure, why not. But, for all intents and purposes for this post, check out the original Nightmare some time. And try not to fall asleep…