“Welcome 2 My Nightmare”, the new album from legendary rocker Alice Cooper, sold 18,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 22 on The Billboard 200 chart. Cooper‘s previous CD, 2008’s “Along Came A Spider”, opened with just under 10,000 copies to debut at No. 53.
Recorded with longtime collaborator Bob Ezrin, who produced the original multi-platinum “Welcome To My Nightmare” album in 1975, “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” picks up right where they left off, with Alice trapped in his own warped mind.
That original album is an all-time rock classic that spawned a worldwide theatrical tour and pioneering U.S. TV special and cemented Alice Cooper as a visionary trailblazer whose influence persists today in rock, metal, pop, punk, theater, television, film and much more.
More than 35 years later, Alice and Ezrin have resurrected the horror and humor for a new generation.
“This is Alice‘s nightmare 35 years later,” explains Alice, “Bob and I created this character and we know how to write for him. I play the part but we’re not writing for me, we’re writing for Alice. We kept the first ‘Nightmare’ album very personal to us, on this one we found more humor and we were more open. This was our world and we want to present it to the fans. The original album was my first solo album after all those huge hit records with the original band and now that nightmare is exposed, this one can be a little bit more open. The music crosses all sorts of boundaries; we went where the lyrics took us.”
There is an array of collaborators on the new album, including original Alice Cooper members Denis Dunaway, Michael Bruce and Neal Smith reunited on three tracks; global pop superstar Ke$ha, who affectionately calls Alice “dad”; and legendary Alice and Lou Reed guitarist Steve Hunter, who is part of Alice‘s current touring band and featured prominently on the first “Nightmare” album.
Musically, the album ranges far and wide, from trashing disco to garage punk, pop balladry to a rocking number very much in the spirit of THE ROLLING STONES. And then there’s the ballad “Something To Remember Me By”, described by Alice as “the prettiest song we have ever released.”
Glimpses of themes from the original album are intertwined throughout, each track representing a different aspect of Alice‘s nightmare.
From the opener, “I Am Made Of You”, through the already established live favorite and first single “I’ll Bite Your Face Off”, to the surprising duet with Ke$ha, “What Baby Wants”, this album is a reminder that albums just aren’t made this way anymore.
And musicians do not play together like Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce and Neal Smith anymore.
“I wanted a ’70s feel for ‘When Hell Comes Home’,” says Alice, “and I didn’t even have to ask for it, it’s just how they play and they did it live in the studio. When they got done playing the basic track, Bob and I just looked at each other, that sound is built into their DNA. We didn’t need to go and fix anything. The way they finished was a little bit ragged and that’s the way we used to finish songs, that’s what I like about it.”
Co-writers on various songs include the aforementioned Bob Ezrin, Ke$ha, Neal, Dennis, Michael, plus BUCKCHERRY‘s Keith Nelson, Desmond Child (who famously co-wrote and produced “Poison” with Alice), longtime collaborator Dick Wagner, current touring band member Chuck Garric and film composer Jeremy Rubolino.
“That’s my rebellion,” says Alice of the more surprising guests, “I like people that don’t belong and yet what they’re doing works perfectly. I don’t care where it comes from, as long as it’s right. If you tell me something doesn’t work, I’ll work my head of until it does then shove it down your throat.
“I think a lot of my audience is going to go ‘KE$HA!?’, but she probably wrote the most disgusting lyrics in the song — we had to rein her in. I like people to know that just because artists are put in a pigeon hole, that doesn’t mean that’s what they are. Give people a little room.”
With Steve Hunter, one of rock’s great guitarists, added to the band’s line-up of guitarists Damon Johnson and Tommy Henriksen, bassist Chuck Garric, and drummer Glen Sobel, Alice has been tearing up venues worldwide on his 2011 “No More Mr. Nice Guy” tour.