Originally Published: March 01, 1975
Author: Pete Makowski
'Welcome To My Nightmare' (ANCHOR 2011).
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'. 'Devils 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 the 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' 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 the 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!