Acoustic Sounds

Alice Cooper

Welcome To My Nightmare



Alice Cooper Welcome to My Nightmare Atlantic 75th Anniversary Reissue

Label: Analogue Productions/Atlantic

Produced By: Bob Ezrin

Engineered By: Dave Palmer, Jim Frank, Ed Sprigg, Corky Stasiak, Rod O’Brien and Phil Ramone

Lacquers Cut By: Chris Bellman (Bernie Grundman Mastering)

By: Dylan Peggin

February 21st, 2024


Rock Glam Rock



Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Ensues

The king of shock rock’s solo debut never sounded better

With Love It To Death, Killer, School’s Out, and Billion Dollar Babies, The Alice Cooper group spent the first half of the 1970s cementing albums into the shock rock ethos. They found their niche by embracing the hard rock sounds from the motor city of Detroit, coupled with a stage show that included boa constrictors, chopped baby dolls, gallowses, and guillotines. Finding success after trial and flaw was a triumph, but, like all aspiring things, the cracks were starting to show.

The mass attention drawn to frontman Vincent Furnier, who took on the Alice stage name, brought on resentment from the other band members who felt like sidemen. Parting ways with producer/unofficial sixth member Bob Ezrin resulted in the group’s final album, Muscle of Love—an effort that lacked the focus and spark of previous albums. Conflicting accounts of band members wanting to pursue solo projects and steering away from theatrical productions contributed to the band’s demise. By 1974, Furnier found himself without a band.

Vincent’s decision to pursue a solo career transcended the Alice Cooper name from being the name of a collective unit to his own. Collaborating again with Bob Ezrin enabled Alice to embrace a more theatrical direction that drifted from the group’s glam rock sound. In need of players, Ezrin enlisted Lou Reed’s live backing band, consisting of guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, bassist Prakash John, and drummer Pentti “Whitey” Glan. In early 1975, Welcome To My Nightmare unleashed itself upon the public as Alice Cooper’s first solo offering. It was a concept album about a child named Steven and the nightmares he encounters. Storyline aside, Welcome To My Nightmare offers plenty of musical variety, between the disco-tinged title track, a Vincent Price monologue in “Devil’s Food,” and the old-timey cabaret stylings of “Some Folks.” Lyrically, the album managed to still play into the twisted nature of the Alice Cooper character, with demented tales of necrophilia in “Cold Ethyl” and domestic abuse in “Only Women Bleed,” the latter becoming a Top 20 hit. Welcome To My Nightmare is often regarded as Alice’s best solo album, and most of the album’s tracks would become staples in his stage show.

Despite the love from diehard fans, recent vinyl pressings of Welcome To My Nightmare aren’t too forgiving. Reissues by Friday Music and Rhino, cut by Ron McMaster, sound as if the life got sucked out of the recording. As a side note, the album stands out for being the sole Alice Cooper Atlantic Records release before he returned to his long-time Warner Bros. home. Welcome To My Nightmare's significance is sufficient enough for the label and Analogue Productions to release it as part of the Atlantic Records’ 75th anniversary series.

Drew Struzan’s artwork that gracefully adorns the laminated Stoughton tip-on jacket, has never looked this classy. The design of the original single-pocket jacket and accompanying printed inner sleeve reformats itself as a gatefold. The 2LP 45RPM treatment accompanies the deluxe nature of the packaging beautifully, not to mention the hefty weight of 200g for each LP and the iconic presence of Atlantic’s mid-70s green and red label.

The transparency of the acoustic guitar and Alice’s whispering vocals in the title track are luring, then the bass and drums lock into “unnecessary sedation.” Instead of providing two-dimensional shock value, Alice’s vocal delivery on “The Black Widow” comes across on this pressing as more confrontational and submissive. The Fender Rhodes glistens across the speakers during “Only Women Bleed,” and the strings sound as smooth as silk. The thumping bass tone on “Department of Youth” gives the track its march-like quality, while the contributions from the Summerhill Children’s Choir fill the soundstage. The demented carnival waltz of “Years Ago” creates an uneasy atmosphere. Alice’s bolstering “great big man” vocal line hard-panned to the left channel will frighten you. An arpeggiated piano sequence, the reversed echo on background vocals, and a dramatic orchestral arrangement finds “Steven” teetering between eerie and beautiful. 

Chris Bellman’s magic touch on the original tapes revives Bob Ezrin’s cinematic production style, Welcome To My Nightmare being a long-lasting testament. Finally, the Analogue Productions pressing enables listener to hear the album in a fitting style that matches the album’s hype. Skeptics of the 11 for sound and 10 for music ratings—or of Alice Cooper's intrinsically musical value ought to consider checking out this one. The sound, at the very least, will grab your attention and how!

Alice Cooper

Music Specifications

Catalog No: APA 015-45

Pressing Plant: Quality Record Pressings (QRP)


Speed/RPM: 45

Weight: 200 grams

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Source: Original analog master tapes

Presentation: Multi LP


  • 2024-02-21 01:18:54 PM

    bwb wrote:

    I know I've commented before, but shouldn't an 11 for sound be a reserved for the rare recordings that truly transcend, and a 10 should be superb in all respects? Ratings of 10-11 for sound are handed out here and other sites like tic tacs. They may not be meaningless, but they certainly don't serve to differentiate the very good from the truly great.

    • 2024-02-22 12:29:01 PM

      Malachi Lui wrote:

      every reviewer for this site uses the scale differently. some (like myself) are more conservative with their numerical ratings, others use the scale more generously. the scores are entirely the decision of the relevant reviewers.

  • 2024-02-21 03:02:45 PM

    Lemon Curry wrote:

    11 out of what? 11? 12? 15? It sounds like a fantastic pressing, but 10 does the trick to say it loud and proud. Lots of other integers below 10 to play with :-)

    • 2024-02-21 05:05:57 PM

      bwb wrote:

      Look at the knob with the numbers and it is clearly 11 out of 11, which in my mind says it is near perfect, one of the best sounding recordings of all time...... I sorta doubt that it is though.

      • 2024-02-21 08:06:22 PM

        Jim Shue wrote:

        Yeah, it's easily worth Dylan's 10/11 rating - this record blew me away on both my solid state ands tube based systems.

        Chad is killing it with the A75 Series! So far all of the records(Numbered Sub btw) have had perfect vinyl. In my books a value at $60 each. Keep em coming Chad!

    • 2024-02-21 08:02:30 PM

      Jim Shue wrote:

      It's one louder, innit?

  • 2024-02-21 09:07:32 PM

    Chris Kelly wrote:

    Glad to see you rated the sonics so highly. For me this is the best sounding title from the Atlantic 75 series thus far.

  • 2024-02-22 06:08:25 AM

    Martin Straub wrote:

    When is Chad Kassem going to release the Led Zeppelin 45 rpms doubles? The Led Zeppelin I - IV plates, but by Bernie Grundman he must be sitting on? Including the 45 rpm 12" single plates for Stairway to Heaven?

    Go Chad go

    • 2024-02-22 12:22:30 PM

      Malachi Lui wrote:

      there was a recent video about the rhino high fidelity series where reissue producer patrick milligan said something along the lines of 'we'd love to do an all-analog reissue of a led zeppelin album, it just depends if jimmy page will allow it.'

      so the answer must be similar for analogue productions. any reissue producer would LOVE to use the classic records metal parts for some AAA zep reissues, but licensing those albums seems a bit more difficult.

  • 2024-02-22 12:59:27 PM

    Martin Straub wrote:

    I have the 45 rpm, single sided, 4 record clarity test press of Led Zepp IV. I can assure you it's worth going in to fight for. It's great. LZ I must be as good, LZ II unfortunately is old tape copies, LZ III also must be great. But LZ IV !!! I have around ten copies, originals, Porky, etc, but 45 rpm 😃

  • 2024-02-22 12:59:30 PM

    Martin Straub wrote:

    I have the 45 rpm, single sided, 4 record clarity test press of Led Zepp IV. I can assure you it's worth going in to fight for. It's great. LZ I must be as good, LZ II unfortunately is old tape copies, LZ III also must be great. But LZ IV !!! I have around ten copies, originals, Porky, etc, but 45 rpm 😃

    • 2024-02-27 01:49:55 AM

      Sam Casanzio wrote:

      I HAD the 180 gram Classic Records pressing of IV, but sold it as originals had it beat. Have you compared the 45 rpm to the 33 Classic Records pressing? If so, what did you hear?