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Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare Special Edition featuring The Nightmare 1975 TV Special DVD

Yet another reissue of Alice Cooper's TV document of his first foray as a solo act (being Alice Cooper the man, rather than Alice Cooper the band from here on in), is hardly reason for Cooper-ites to get all a tither. However, what this latest release of the 1976 show that gives a close representation of the Welcome To My Nightmare tour comes paired with, is more likely to raise expectations.

A year prior to ABC bringing Welcome To My Nightmare to TV screens around America, Alice would also offer up The Nightmare; a studio spectacle that amounts to an album long promo-video of an Alice Cooper "nightmare". Featuring esteemed horror actor Vincent Price and Alice going head to head in the most OTT fashion, this is the much talked of show's first appearance on DVD and for Alice devotees, it's going to be worth the wait. In fairness, you have to take into account that over 40 years have passed between the first broadcast of this recording and it's DVD release and age hasn't been particularly kind, grainy visuals tied to what now seems a remarkably twee representation of "evil". With Alice using all his powers to over act at every opportunity and the numerous appearances from Price hamming it up even further, the battle for who overdoes things most is a close run thing.

As was the way back then, numerous dance routines play out, ballet dancers in strange costumes and headdresses all feeling a little like safe, family entertainment. However with the full Welcome To My Nightmare album represented - although slightly out of running order - there's no denying that this was Alice at the peak of his powers, both as a "pop act" (as the talking heads outside the Wembley show in the Welcome To My Nightmare portion describe him…) and a groundbreaking performer. By today's standards the effects are thoroughly unremarkable and yet taking the age of this recording into account, the stops really were pulled out to add as much spooky horror to the music and the man as possible. Always an engaging performer Alice laps it up, the (at the time) new material performed with gusto, while the only older cut, "Ballad Of Dwight Fry" slips into the 'set' nicely.

The Nightmare 1975 TV Special will be a welcome addition to Alice Cooper fans' collections and doubtless will be given numerous spins as they get to grips with this vintage performance. However, for everyone else, the sheer age and over-played horror aspect may well make this latest reissue of Welcome To My Nightmare - which with hindsight suffers from similar fates, but somehow stands up oh so much better to current scrutiny - a niche release.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare Special Edition featuring The Nightmare 1975 TV Special DVD
1. The Awakening
2. Welcome To My Nightmare
3. Years Ago
4. No More Mr. Nice Guy
5. I'm Eighteen
6. Some Folks
7. Cold Ethyl
8. Only Women Bleed
9. Billion Dollar Babies
10. Devil's Food
11. The Black Widow
12. Steven
13. Escape
14. School's Out
15. Department Of Youth

'Alice Cooper: The Nightmare'
1. Welcome To My Nightmare
2. Devil's Food
3. Some Folks
4. Only Women Bleed
5. Cold Ethyl
6. The Black Widow
7. Years Ago
8. Department Of Youth
9. Years Ago (Reprise)
10. Steven
11. The Awakening
12. Ballad Of Dwight Fry
13. Escape
14. The Awakening (Reprise)

Added: September 20th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Alice Cooper online
Hits: 1278
Language: english

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Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare Special Edition featuring The Nightmare 1975 TV Special DVD
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-09-20 14:11:04
My Score:

Though most folks have probably had Alice Cooper's 1976 concert film Welcome to My Nightmare in some video capacity over the years, this Eagle Vision reissue is noteworthy for the inclusion of the 1975 TV special Alice Cooper: The Nightmare, which originally aired on NBC and is here now making its first appearance ever on DVD.

The concert film itself is a good one, full of bombast and theatrics as Cooper and his new band (remember, this was Alice moving from the 'Alice Cooper Band' into 'Alice Cooper the solo performer') tear through the then new concept album with a few older classics sprinkled in between and at the end. Video quality isn't the greatest here, but that's something that appeared on previous releases as well, and though the band is red hot (look for a thrilling guitar duel between Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner just prior to "The Black Widow"...easily the highlight of the set) Cooper's vocals are often a bit rough, no thanks to him running all over the stage at a frantic pace throughout. Still, this is vintage Alice Cooper, and you get hard rocking renditions of "No More Mr. Nice Guy", "School's Out", "I'm Eighteen", "Cold Ethyl", "Billion Dollar Babies", and a chilling "Steven" among many others.

The TV special is another story altogether. Campy but kind of fun, here you have Alice basically lip synching to tracks off the Welcome to My Nightmare album in various costumes and sets, complete with a wonderfully devious Vincent Price in a few scenes, lots of dancers, props, and special effects. Though dated now and somewhat hokey, this program won many accolades for the set designs, costumes, and studio effects back when it first aired. It's a fun view, and mandatory for any serious Alice Cooper fan, but I don't know how much repeated visits it will bring despite its historical significance. Housed in a smaller Blu-ray styled case complete with booklet, it's another solid product from the folks at Eagle Vision.

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