Welcome 2 My Nightmare Era

Background

 

Welcome 2 My Nightmare is the 26th studio album by Alice Cooper (both as a group and a solo artist) and was released in September 2011. The album is a sequel to the 1975 hit Welcome To My Nightmare (see what he did there!) and again focuses on the nightmares of Alice's alter ego Steven.

 

Despite there being 36 years between them, the albums are closely linked with references to the original release present in the overall concept, the musical content and even the front cover.

Welcome 2 My Nightmare Vinyl Album

2011, Spinefarm Records, 602527805474

The European vinyl copy of Welcome 2 My Nightmare features a gatefold sleeve and includes 2 tranluscent 'Blood Red' discs, a striking double-sided poster, a large glossy booklet and a coupon allowing you to download the album in MP3 format.  

 

As with Welcome To My Nightmare, the front of the sleeve features an image of (an older looking) Alice / Steven emerging from a dark triangle surrounded by bugs. Sadly, the subdued majesty of the original is not matched, as the new incarnation is based on a rather poor, comic-like, photograph that not only looks somewhat tacky, but also negatively impacts your initial perception of the album. A further image, with Alice's back turned away, is provided on the rear of the sleeve.

 

Inside the gatefold sleeve, some impressive further artwork is provided including a nice re-creation of the original Welcome To My Nightmare album cover (which would have looked much better on the front!). The large booklet contains further impressive artwork and includes track listings, lyrics and credits. The double-sided poster features the re-created Welcome To My Nightmare image on one side and a really sinister looking drawing of Alice, which is the polar opposite of that found on the album front cover! 

 

Like other editions of the album (below), this version features an exclusive bonus track. This time it's Flatline, which is not really a track as such and more a series of beeps from a life support machine in a hospital. Certainly not essential by any means, but it does provide an interesting alternative end to the album!

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Welcome 2 My Nightmare 'The Radio Show' Promotional CD

2011, UMe

This USA CD was produced for radio shows as a means of promoting the Welcome 2 My Nightmare album. It is hosted by Gary Moore and features a biography, generic interviews with Alice and extracts of tracks from the new album (i.e. I'll Bite Your Face Off, Last Man On Earth, Runaway Train, Something To Remember Me By, Caffeine and I Gotta Get Out Of Here) and some of his classic ones (I'm Eighteen, Welcome To My Nightmare, No More Mr Nice Guy and Poison). It is spread over 3 segments which presented radio stations with the opportunity to easily slot adverts between.  Also included are 2 short promotional soundbites.

 

The CD comes in a jewel case complete with simple paper inlay. On the back are track listings and together with information for radio stations. A release date of Tuesday, September 13th 2011 is stated.

 

Both the CD and rear of the case state 'FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY - NOT FOR SALE'.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Welcome 2 My Nightmare CD Album

2011, Spinefarm Records, 0602527805276

This European CD version of Welcome 2 My Nightmare comes in a jewel case and includes a simple booklet featuring track listings, lyrics and credits.

 

In addition to the standard 14 album tracks, this version contains the bonus track We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, which is a pretty decent cover of the 1965 song of the same name by The Animals.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Welcome 2 My Nightmare CD Deluxe Album

2011, Spinefarm Records, 0602527805504

This 'Limited Edition Deluxe Album' CD version of Welcome 2 My Nightmare is a nicer offering than the standard edition (above). It comes in a 'Digibook' case and offers a superior booklet with lots of additional artwork, a beautifully illustrated 'Nightmare Express' ticket and the excellent double-sided poster that was included with the vinyl version (above). 

 

This version also includes 3 bonus tracks, which are We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (again) plus live versions of No More Mr Nice Guy and The Black Widow from the 2011 Download festival). I have to say, I'm not a fan of live material being included on studio albums, so don't really understand why it was thought necessary to do this.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Welcome 2 My Nightmare Classic Rock CD Fan Pack

2011, Future Publishing, 1-858704-20-0

Welcome 2 My Nightmare was subject to a 'Limited Edition' UK release as a Classic Rock 'Fan Pack' in September 2011 (nearly a month before the official album release date). The packs were available via mail order and at music stores / newsagents and cost a very reasonable £14.99. Similar releases had previously seen artists like Slash and Whitesnake featured. To entice fans further, the following was on offer:

 

1. The CD album in exclusive Digibook format including 2 bonus tracks (the exceptional Under The Bed and a non-essential live version of Poison from the 2011 Download festival). The booklet was the same as that provided in the Deluxe Edition CD (above) only that it was part of the Digibook;

 

2. A fantastic 132-page magazine almost entirely devoted to Alice, which included a track-by-track guide to the album, a biography, reviews of historical releases, a pick of the top 40 Alice songs from across his career to-date plus some other interesting material;

 

3. A metal pin badge;

 

4. A double-sided Alice poster; and

 

5. An Alice card face mask.

 

Furthermore, those who pre-ordered also received an additional double-sided poster with their name printed in small writing on one of the images. Last but not least, some packs also come bundled with an unadvertised Alice make-up set. My version includes both of these items.

 

All-in-all this is an outstanding offering with the magazine and, of course, the album itself being the highlights. It was therefore well worth the asking price and I highly recommend hunting out a copy if you don't already have one!

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

Welcome 2 My Nightmare Classic Rock iPad Fan Pack

2011, Future Publishing

Following hot on the heals of the Classic Rock Fan Pack (above) came this innovative iPad App. It essentially included the same content in digital form as the magazine from the original Fan Pack, but with some great video interview with Alice (in full make-up) thrown in for good measure. Users are also treated to the promotional video of I'll Bite Your Face Off plus some footage from the iconic Club 100 gig in London from 2011.

 

Also included was a digital copy of the album andlinks to iTunes versions of Alice's back-catalogue. There was, of course, none of the physical items that came bundled with the original Fan Pack but it was still good value for the £14.99 charge.

Which Version of Welcome 2 My Nightmare Should I Buy?

 

There are 6 different UK versions of the album for fans to choose from (all featured above):

 

>  Vinyl edition;

>  Standard CD edition in jewel case; 

>  Deluxe Edition CD in Digibook case;

>  Classic Rock Fan Pack CD in Digibook case; 

>  iPad App; and

>  Digital download (inluding a further original bonus track, A Bad Situation).

 

If I was going to have only one then it would definitely be the Classic Rock Fan Pack. If you can still track it down (original retail price was £14.99) then it's a must have product as it comes with the CD in hard back case, an Alice magazine and some other goodies. It also features the excellent Under The Bed, which is easily the best of the bonus material that's available. 

 

If you can't find a copy of the Classic Rock Fan Pack, and are lucky enough to own an iPad, then go for the Welcome 2 My Nightmare App, which features most of the Fan Pack magazine content plus video introductions from Alice himself. A major downside is that the music does not become available on iTunes and therefore cannot be burnt to CD or moved onto your other digital music players.

Welcome 2 My Nightmare SHM CD Album

2012, Spinefarm Records, UICY-15123

The first thing you notice about this release is that it's not a replica Mini LP like all the other Japanese Alice Cooper SHM CD's (which cover the period from Pretties For You through to From The Inside). This is a bit of a shame as they were such impressive products. Instead, the packaging is similar to the standard CD version (above) but with a near identical version of the Deluxe Edition booklet. An additional black-and-white bilingual lyric booklet and external 'Obi Strip' are also provided (both of which are common features of Japanese music releases).

 

The most notable difference, however, is that this version comes with yet another variation of material to all the UK releases. Here we get the standard 14 tracks plus Under The Bed and Poison live (originally from the Classic Rock Fan Pack version) and No More Mr Nice Guy and The Black Widow live (originally from the Limited Edition Deluxe Album version).

 

Being an SHM version the audio (apparently) sounds louder and crisper than the standard UK versions, so this is probably worth picking up and using as your master copy.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

I'll Bite Your Face Off Promotional CD Single

2011, Spinefarm Records

This rare UK promotional CD single comes in a simple folded paper sleeve and includes the 'Single Edit' of I'll Bite Your Face Off (which is very similar to the album version, only with the instrumental section in the middle of the song shortened) and the album version of Caffeine (the disc is a blue CD-R type offering).

 

The back of the sleeve includes the 2011 UK tour dates. There is also a sticker on the clear wallet stating:

 

I'll Bite Your Face Off' released August 22nd on Spinefarm Records

 

Alice Cooper pays tribute to The Rolling Stones on new single 'I'll Bite Your Face Off / Caffeine' released August 22nd, taken from the forthcoming album 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' released September 12th. Recorded with longtime collaborator Bob Ezrin, who produced the original multi-platinum Welcome To My Nightmare album in 1975, the record picks up right where they left off, with Alice trapped in his own warped mind.

 

'I'll Bite Your Face Off' delivers a Rolling Stones-esque groove featuring an iconic chorus that has already become a crowd favourite at Alice's live gigs around the world.

 

Both the CD and rear of the sleeve state 'PROMO USE ONLY'.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

I'll Bite Your Face Off 7" Vinyl Single

2011, Spinefarm Records, LC 01846

This 'Limited Edition' European 7" picture disc features the 'Single Edit' of I'll Bite Your Face Off (which is very similar to the album version, only with the instrumental section in the middle of the song shortened) and a live version of the song from Download Festival, Donnington, UK on 11th June 2011.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

A Runaway Train Promotional CD Single

2011, Universal Music

This USA promotional CD comes in a jewel case and features a single-sided paper insert. On the back is the following text:

 

"A Runaway Train" is the scorching follow-up up to his Top 5 Classic Rock (#2) and Top 30 Mainstream Rock (#30) first single from Welcome 2 My Nightmare "I'll Bite Your Face Off" - and offers its own powerhouse audio non-stop cinematic thrill ride - and check out that madcap guitar solo break courtesy of Vince Gill!

 

We hope you get creative with us and celebrate Halloween in true "Alice style" with this killer rock track, guaranteed to shock and spook your audience in the best way - Alice's current tour returns stateside on November 29th, check out the details on www.alicecooper.com - and let's partner up for Halloween and Alice's tour dates in a big way!

 

Promotional opportunities are available. 

 

Both the CD and rear of the case state 'FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY NOT FOR SALE'.

 

Discogs Link: Click Here

For the Paranormal era Click Here.