Alice Cooper - Welcome to My Nightmare (1975): album, film and theater show

"Welcome To My Nightmare" is one of the most unusual albums of the 70s. Why is the album titled that way and how did Alice Cooper get the idea to turn his work into a stage show? About this - in our article.

Alice Cooper's first solo record

Alice Cooper is an American singer and songwriter. He is considered king genre shock rock. Through his activities, the musician expanded a framework for what a rock artist's performances should look like. In 1975, the singer released his first solo album "Welcome To My Nightmare", from which in the future they will create a grandiose show with an actor Vincent Price.

Alice Cooper (Alice Cooper) in his youth
Alice Cooper (Alice Cooper) in his youth


In 1964 year from the ashes of the group "The Nazz" (previous names - "The Earwigs", "The Spiders") formed Alice Cooper Band. IN composition The band included: Vince Furnier (the same Alice Cooper, vocalist), Glen Buxton (guitarist), Michael Bruce (keyboardist), Dennis Dunaway (bass guitarist) and Neil Smith (drummer). About, why Vince took alias Alice Cooper, the musician said the following:

"People came to our speeches and thought that since I'm a vocalist, it means I and eat Alice Cooper, head of our gang. After that the name Alice got accustomed and I began to call myself that.

The Alice Copper Band in the 60s
The Alice Cooper Band in the 60s

Initially, not everyone reacted positively to the work of the group. Of people embarrassed external view groups, in particular Alice Cooper himself. Despite this, the Alice Cooper Band caught the attention of a music producer and composer. Frank Zappa, and she signed deal with his label "Straight". Their debut album "Pretty For You" was ignored by listeners, but after a performance in Toronto in 1969, the group was mentioned in all newspapers due to "chicken incident". Alice said:

“I don’t know how the chicken ended up on stage. For some reason I thought he could fly, so threw his into the crowd. He was in the front rows, where they sat disabled people. It's easy to imagine what it produced the furor".

Frank Zappa in rehearsal
Frank Zappa in rehearsal

The group later began working with Bob Ezrin, and it was with him that the Alice Cooper Band managed to achieve success. Songs Killer, "School's Out" and "Billion Dollar Babies" were the first in all sorts of charts. Each performance the group was outrageous and brave: musicians committed outrageous tricksbrought to the stage boas etc. Due to their scandalous behavior, the team soon had Problems. Clip for the song "School's Out" banned from the BBC, the UK Home Secretary was asked to ban musicians to perform throughout the country. Conflicts begin to arise within the group. In the words of Alice:

«Everyone of us wanted to try ourselves in solo career. But seriously we didn't think about disbanding the Alice Cooper Band, but in the end the band still fell apart".

Bob Ezrin in our time
Bob Ezrin in our time

Solo album

Cooper starts thinking about writing music album. It is important to note that by the time of the release of "Welcome To My Nightmare" Alice Cooper was already one of the most famous rockers worldwide. On the record, he decided to work with Bob Ezrin. Alice himself says the following about him:

"Bob- genius. He can hear things that normal people can't hear. His contributions to "Welcome To My Nightmare" invaluable. We wouldn't be able to do anything without him."

Alice Cooper in concert
Alice Cooper in concert

Central elements of the album is the main concept Elisa: the songs are about the night nightmaresfrom which suffers child named Steven. The musician has always dreamed that the album was not just a set of songs, but theatrical staging. The musician confesses:

“I always wanted to make an album that could also be used as a stage show. The whole idea was to make it soundtrack for a movie or play. I think we made it."

Musician's idea supported famous horror film actor Vincent Pricewho agreed to be the narrator for the album. Many people knew his voice and associated it with horror films. The musicians realized that they wanted to create an additional effect story, stories. Voice Vincenta fit perfectly into the album and became his highlight. The actor even took part in the television special issue, dedicated to the release of "Welcome To My Nightmare".

Vincent Price (Vinsent Price) at a photo shoot
Vincent Price (Vinsent Price) at a photo shoot

The album was released on the label Atlantic in February 1975. The cover art was created by Drew Struzan. Rolling Stone would later rank his work at number ninety on their "Top 100 Album Covers of All Time" list. On the American channel ABC the episode was broadcast "Alice Cooper: Nightmare", in which the musician played Stephen and Vincent Price played the spirit. The film received an award "Emmy" and was later released on VHS and DVD.

"Welcome To My Nightmare" was ambiguous accepted by the public. For example, Dave Marsh from Rolling Stone named the album "TV soundtrack"that sound the same. In his opinion, parties the horns were very same type. Robert Christgau, "the elder of American rock critics", on the contrary, praised the album positively: "He's not that bad - no worse than everyone else." A biographer Greg Prato considered "Welcome To My Nightmare" to be Alice Cooper's finest work. That's what myself Alice talking about his child:

“For a first solo album, this is very good start! We have implemented everything that I wanted. Album popularwhich means we did everything right.”

Drew Struzan in our time
Drew Struzan in our time

Since the release of "Welcome To My Nightmare", he has become the most submitted album in Alice Cooper's live setlists. This is the last record from which all the songs were performed. live. Based on the music of Alice, in 1976 there will be filmed with the same name. And even though he suffered failure at the box office, the work was later recognized classic.

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