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The "Man Behind the Mask" is back! Considering the fact that Alice Cooper hasn't had an album peak in the top 25 on the U.S. charts since 1989's seminal TRASH, it should come as a pleasant surprise that his latest offering, WELCOME 2 MY NIGHTMARE, debuted at #22 last week, making it the third highest performing album of his solo career. The long-awaited follow-up to his classic 1975 freshman solo release WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE finds ol' black eyes feeling musically adventurous, with themes ranging from eerie instrumentals to poppy surf to fist pumping metal, and everything in-between.
Sitting in the good company of commercial darlings Lady Gaga, Bush and Beyonce, the first week performance of W2MN stands as a testament to the endurance of Cooper's brand of sideshow curtain pulling. Before the album was released, its first single "I'll Bite Your Face Off" was a hit, and currently sits at #2 on rock radio. A sequel in tone-only, the story of Steven from WTMN has been shelved in favor of a grander approach to more of a "roots" project exploring the varied styles from throughout Cooper's career and digging deeper into his current heavy leanings.
The line-up is key to this approach, starting with producer Bob Ezrin, longtime collaborator and the visionary behind the original WTMN. Original Alice Cooper touring band members Denis Dunaway, Michael Bruce and Neal Smith reunited on three tracks ("A Runaway Train," "I'll Bite Your Face Off," and "When Hell Comes Home"), and legendary guitarist Steve Hunter makes a return to the Coop camp ("Something To Remember Me By," "What Baby Wants," and "When Hell Comes Home"). Frequent tour-mate Rob Zombie checks in for backing vocals on "The Congregation," bringing along with his six string maelstrom sidekick John 5, who blazes on "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever." Even Kip Winger ("Ghouls Gone Wild," and "The Congregation") and country picker Vince Gill ("A Runaway Train," and "Gotta Get Out Of Here") lend themselves to the proceedings.
Perhaps the most surprising new voice heard on W2MN is that of international pop megastar Ke$ha, who has a duet with Coop on "What Baby Wants," a track already turning heads in both the rock and pop worlds. Bridging gaps and exploring the unexpected is what Alice has always been about, and between the auto-tune darkness of "I Am Made of You," the titular approach to "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever," and the "California Sun" riff that underscores the kiddie-monster-record reminiscent "Ghouls Gone Wild," you have what likely stands as the most genre-spanning album in this icon's career. And he isn't stopping there...
In addition to his worldwide touring schedule, Cooper, considered by many to be the masterminded behind the rock-horror genre, spins his new collection of disturbing horror imagery in “Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare,” an outrageous new “Halloween Horror Nights” maze at Universal Studios Hollywood. The event launched on September 23 and continues on select nights through October 31. Inspired by Cooper’s landmark concept album WTMN and its sequel W2MN the new attraction takes guests on a terrifying trip through Alice Cooper’s twisted mind, where his most famous songs, bizarre themes and demented characters collide inside a living horror movie.
And, of course, it should be noted that our cover story in Fango #307 is a one-of-a-kind interview with Mr. School's Out himself, focusing on his cinematic and television exploits, mad nights with Jim Morrison and his fear of J Edgar Hoover. A must read, on newsstands NOW!
Alice Cooper’s Worldwide “No More Mr. Nice Guy” 2011 Tour Continues:
September 24 Brisbane, Australia Convention & Entertainment Centre
September 26 Sydney, Australia Enmore Theatre
September 29 Melbourne, Australia Palais
September 30 Melbourne, Australia Palais
October 2 Perth, Australia Challenge Stadium
October 5 Singapore The Coliseum
October 7 Jakarta, Indonesia Ex-Park Plaza
October 12 Rome, Italy Atlantico
October 13 Padova, Italy Gran Teatro Geox
October 14 Milan/Bergamo, Italy Live Club
October 16 Basel, Switzerland St Jakobshalle
October 17 Graz, Austria Steiermarkhalle
October 18 Vienna, Austria Gasometer
October 20 Chemnitz, Germany Stadthalle
October 21 Goppingen, Germany EWS Arena
October 22 Mannheim, Germany Rosengarten
October 23 Zoetermoor, Holland Silverdome
October 25 Sheffield, England City Hall
October 26 Bristol, England Colston Hall
October 27 Birmingham, England NIA
October 29 London, England Alexandra Palace
October 30 Manchester, England O2 Apollo
October 31 Glasgow, Scotland Clyde Auditorium
November 2 Brussels, Belgium Ancienne Belgique
November 3 Lille, France Zenith
November 5 Toulouse, France Zenith
November 6 Lyon, France Halle Tony Garnier
November 8 Paris, France Zenith
November 9 Rouen, France Zenith
November 10 Rennes, France Liberte
November 12 Bremen, Germany Pier III
November 13 Mulheim An Der Ruhr, Germany RWE Arena
November 14 Berlin, Germany Columbiahalle
November 17 St Petersburg, Russia Oktiaborski
November 19 Moscow, Russia Crocus City Hall Expo, 3rd Pavilion
November 26 Mt Pleasant, Michigan Soaring Eagle
November 27 Huntington, W Virginia Keith Albee Theatre
November 29 Verona NY Turning Stone
November 30 Albany, NY Palace Theatre
December 2 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
December 3 Bridgeport, CT The Klein
December 5 Kingston, ON K-Rock Centre
December 6 Kitchener, ON Centre On The Square
December 7 Oshawa, ON GM Centre
December 9 Merrillville, IN Star Plaza Theatre
December 10 Erie, PA Warner Theatre
December 12 Cincinnati, OH Taft Theatre
December 13 Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Center
December 14 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
December 15 Hollywood, FL Hard Rock Live Arena
WELCOME 2 MY NIGHTMARE can be found wherever music is sold, and in several variant special edition versions featuring exclusive studio and live tracks. For more information on Alice visit his official site.
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