Welcome To My Nightmare ($5 Special)

"With the 1974 disintegration of the original Alice Cooper group, Alice was free to launch a solo career. He wisely decided to re-enlist the services of Bob Ezrin for his solo debut, Welcome to My Nightmare, which was a concept album tied into the story line of the highly theatrical concert tour he launched soon after the album's release. While the music lost most of the gritty edge of the original AC lineup, Welcome to My Nightmare remains Alice's best solo effort -- while some tracks stray from his expected hard rock direction, there's plenty of fist-pumping rock to go around. The disco-flavored, album-opening title track would be reworked on the stage as more of a hard rock tune, while "Some Folks" dips into cabaret territory, and "Only Women Bleed" is a sensitive ballad that became a Top Ten hit. But the rockers serve as the album's foundation -- "Devil's Food," "The Black Widow," "Department of Youth," and "Cold Ethyl" are all standouts, as is the more tranquil yet eerie epic "Steven." Despite this promising start to Cooper's solo career, the majority of his subsequent releases were often not as focused and were of varying quality." - Allmusic

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  • "Although Dennis De Young's concept about man being replaced by robots in the near future failed to get off the ground, Kilroy Was Here still harbored two of the band's best singles. "Don't Let It End" almost captures the same endearing qualities as their number one hit, "Babe," did four years earlier, peaking at number six, and the synthesized novelty of "Mr. Roboto" went all the way to number three, accompanied by a lively and rather extravagant Dennis De Young at the helm. It was the song's mechanically spoken chorus and slight disco beat that made it Styx's fifth Top Ten single up to that point, overshadowing the rest of the album's tracks. Pretentious, weakly composed, and rhythmically anemic, songs like "Cold War," "Heavy Metal Poisoning," and "Double Life" couldn't even keep the album's main idea interesting, solidifying the fact that Styx's forte was singles, not conceptual pieces. The saxophone playing from Steve Eison gathers some redemption, cropping up here and there, but even some decent guitar work from Shaw and Young can't save the rest of the album. Brought back to life in the late '90s in an automobile commercial, "Mr. Roboto" gained somewhat of a minor resurgence more than 15 years after its chart life." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • "Alice Cooper's third album, Love It to Death, can be pinpointed as the release when everything began to come together for the band. Their first couple of albums (Pretties for You and Easy Action) were both largely psychedelic/acid rock affairs and bore little comparison to the band's eventual rip-roaring, teenage-anthem direction. The main reason for the quintet's change was that the eventually legendary producer Bob Ezrin was on board for the first time and helped the Coopers focus their songwriting and sound, while they also perfected their trashy, violent, and theatrical stage show and image. One of the band's most instantly identifiable anthems, "I'm Eighteen," was what made the album a hit, as well as another classic, "Is It My Body." But like Alice Cooper's other albums from the early '70s, it was an incredibly consistent listen from beginning to end. The garage rocker "Caught in a Dream" as well as the ass-kicking "Long Way to Go" and a pair of epics -- the Doors-esque "Black Juju" and the eerie "Ballad of Dwight Fry" -- showed that Alice was easily in league with other high-energy Detroit bands of the era (MC5, Stooges). Love It to Death was the first of a string of classic releases from the original Alice Cooper group." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • While the Rising Force album was not Malmsteen's first entre into the metal world it certainly turned it upside down.  The Swedish guitarist was heavily influenced by Uli Roth and Ritchie Blackmore as well as classical composer/violinist Niccolo Paganini.  Essentially his extreme virtuosity defined the "neoclassical metal" sound and has remained a signature of his ever since.The Rising Force debut featured a killer lineup - Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull) on drums, Jens Johansson (keys), and Jeff Scott Soto (vocals),  Malmsteen handled all guitar and bass parts as well as the Moog Taurus pedals.  Very much a classic.  Highly recommended.
    $5.00
  • Awesome live album from the 1976 tour.  A stone cold killer.
    $5.00
  • Following the tour to support "World Record", Hugh Banton left the band and was shortly followed by David Jackson. Hammill and Evans reconstituted the band (name now shortened to Van Der Graaf) by adding Graham Smith (ex-String Driven Thing) on violin and Nic Potter on bass. The resulting album was more aggressive, more direct but somehow it was still VDGG (or at least a variation). This remastered set comes with three bonus tracks and plenty of extra stuff to look at in the booklet.
    $12.00
  • Arjen Lucassen's long awaited Ayreon project is a total blast.  Like some of the earlier Ayreon albums, it owes as much to prog rock as it does metal.  All the old school heroes like Emerson, Wakeman, Wetton get to strut their stuff showing a young stud like Rudess a thing or two.  As always Lucassen latches on to some of the best vocalists around and this one is no exception.  Highly recommended.PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A VERY EXPENSIVE IMPORT "ART BOOK" EDITION FORTHCOMING."You know what the metal world needs more of? Musicals. I'm not saying that ironically either. Sure, we have plenty of prog bands putting out concept albums, but cool as these records many be, the story themselves are not the focus of the album. Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen has resurrected his grandest of all projects to continue showing these folks how to tell an epic story the right way.With 01011001 the Ayreon story came to an end, or so we thought. Arjen instead decided to focus on projects like Star One, Guilt Machine, and his solo album Lost in the New Real. When he revealed not too long ago that he was working on a new project, it wasn't a surprise to discover it was new Ayreon, but I was still plenty excited.Lucassen said of the newest record, "It's not science fiction, but a human story set in a science context." So no aliens or battling emotions or any of that. So, in an attempt to better understand the story, I contacting him for the lyrics and much to my surprise, he sent them to me saying, "Oh yes, you need the lyrics, definitely." Holy hell, was he right. The story is indeed more grounded than previous records, but there are still layers to this beast.Fans of Ayreon should know what to expect here. The Theory of Everything has seven guest singers and each singer plays a part in the story. They are JB (Grand Magus) as the Teacher, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as the Mother, Michael Mills (Toehider) as the Father, Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) as the Prodigy, Marco Hietala (Nightwish) as the Rival, John Wetton (Asia/ex-King Crimson) as the Psychiatrist, and Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as the Girl.Of these singers, the most impressive is the relatively unknown Sara Squadrani. She performs on a large portion of the story and shines every time, especially on "Love and Envy". I was also surprised to be so enamored with the performance of Christina Scabbia. She's always had  a wonderful voice, but her performance in this record might be her finest. Her harmonies with Squadrani stand out particularly on "Mirror of Dreams". This isn't to say only the performances by the female singers are worth mentioning. Tommy Karevik's introduction in "The Prodigy's World" is one of the strongest moments on the album.Press_Photo_01Every Ayreon album comes an eclectic group of guest musicians. This round primarily consisted of guest keyboardists. Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes) handles a good portion of the record, while Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) both make excellent solo appearances on "Progressive Waves".Having listened to all of Lucassen's albums at least once, I can say The Theory of Everything is the most musically diverse offering he's had a hand in, perhaps with the exception of his solo record. This isn't as heavy as previous Ayreon titles, but it has its driving moments like "Collision" and the Dream Theather-esque "Frequency Modulation." The aforementioned "Love and Envy" is a slower introspective song, while "Diagnosis" is massive and a little cheesy, but so awesome. "Transformation" has a Middle Eastern feel to it, and  "The Eleventh Dimension" sounds like intergalactic renaissance faire music.Often times there are jumps in mood, genre, etc in the middle of a song. This is fairly typical for an Ayreon release; what isn't typical is that technically this record consists of only four songs. These four songs are each at least twenty-one minutes, but they are cut up into forty-two pieces (yes, that's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference) .This is a fun record. It's a record that does require a time commitment. I'd say listeners should treat it as a proper musical or film in a theater. Try to experience it all in one sitting for the full effect. It's absolutely worth it." - Metal Injection
    $17.00
  • For my taste this is one of the best PT albums in years. Highly recommended.
    $8.00
  • This is John Carpenter's first non-soundtrack album and its a killer.  Carpenter always provided the soundtracks to all his movies.  If you are a fan of Goblin or Fabio Frizzi this will blow your mind."The films of John Carpenter are perhaps best known for their atmospheric qualities. His horror classics are drenched in a level of darkness that owes a great deal to the films’ score. Who doesn’t immediately get chills down their spine when they hear the foreboding piano theme to Michael Myers in Halloween? These cult classics are almost universally recognizable. Few others have been able to achieve the kind of nostalgia and level of influence as Carpenter has in his almost half-a-century long career. The announcement that Sacred Bones Records were releasing an album’s worth of newly recorded stand-alone John Carpenter material not intended for any particular film score brought forth a unanimous level of excitement from fans of his previous work. Carpenter’s music has always played an integral role in what made his films so exciting.Lost Themes is a record that is immediately characteristic of the John Carpenter name. The title is actually a bit misleading, as these themes were not collected over the course of his career but recorded for fun during jam sessions with his son. Each of these nine tracks are separate themes and tell their own self contained story, but it is worth noting how complete and cohesive the album feels from start to finish. In a Pitchfork interview, Carpenter stated that he viewed the record as “a soundtrack for the movies that you have in your mind. Everybody walks around with a movie playing in their head. Just imagine this is the soundtrack for you.”From the opening piano chords of “Vortex” we are thrust into an ominous realm reminiscent of Carpenter’s ‘80s films. The song plays out as less Halloween inspired and more Escape from New York. He uses the same kind of progressions here that are present in his previous scores by letting the original melody to each theme transition to something entirely different before coming back full circle near the end. This only adds to the thrilling presence that dominates each of these themes. “Obsidian” utilizes this technique in a profound way. The soundscape unfolds from the background music of an eerie midnight drive through a dystopian metropolis into an organ driven chamber music style interlude. “Domain” serves as one of the most fun tracks here, somehow managing to be groovy and danceable yet still somewhat sinister in nature. Its synth arpeggios harken back to Carpenter classics such as “Pork Chop Express” from Big Trouble in Little China. “Mystery” boasts twinkly synths that evoke the classic science fiction nostalgia from films like Prince of Darkness or The Thing. “Abyss” moves in much the same fashion, with a neat rhythm progression near the end that further builds the tension the track begins on. Fans of Escape from New York’s ascending and descending synth patterns need look no further than the true gem of the record, “Purgatory” which builds from a quiet and dissonant opening minute into an ‘80’s style jazz laden groove.Lost Themes further cements John Carpenter’s legacy as a master composer. His music remains as relevant today as it was forty years ago. Carpenter brilliantly utilizes a plethora of musical influences in these nine tracks including ‘70s and ‘80s prog rock, synth rock, chamber music, disco, electronica, and hints of jazz fusion. Though we may not have any images to accompany these themes, what dwells within our minds could very well prove to be much more effective." - Sputnik Music
    $14.00
  • EMI is breaking up the Genesis remix/remaster boxes and making the individual albums available. This features the Nick Davis remixed version of Nursery Cryme .
    $10.00
  • One of the most important progressive rock albums ever recorded. New 2007 Nick Davis remix. 
    $12.00
  • "'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' is the highly anticipated fourth studio album from Steven Wilson - four-time Grammy nominee and founder member of cult legends, Porcupine Tree.Hand. Cannot. Erase. follows the critical and commercial success of The Raven That Refused To Sing, released in February 2013, and a run of sold-out shows around the world including London's Royal Albert Hall. Steven will embark on an extensive 'An Evening With Steven Wilson' European tour in March & April 2015.Recorded at London's illustrious Air Studios, Hand. Cannot. Erase, reunited Steven with Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keyboards), Nick Beggs (bass / stick), and Marco Minneman (drums), the spectacular band responsible for The Raven That Refused To Sing album and world tour.The album is presented in an elaborately designed 96 page case-bound book, with several additional inserts - including a diary, a sketchbook, newspaper cutting, a letter etc - featuring artwork by long-term SW collaborators Lasse Hoile (photography), Hajo Mueller (illustrations) and Carl Glover (design).Blu-Ray contents include hi resolution stereo & 5.1 audio (96/24 5.1 LPCM & DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), seven additional alternative versions, mixes & radio edits, half-hour studio documentary, studio sessions photo gallery.The album follows the critical and commercial success of 2013's 'The Raven That Refused To Sing' (Germany #3, UK# 28) and an international run of sold-out shows, including London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall.Joined by Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keyboards), Nick Beggs (bass / stick), and Marco Minneman (drums) - all part of the world-class band that graced The Raven and the 2013/2014 world tours - Wilson recorded 'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' at the renowned Air Studios in London."
    $16.00
  • "Alice Cooper wasted little time following up the breakthrough success of Love It to Death with another album released the same year, Killer. Again, producer Bob Ezrin was on board and helps the group solidify their heavy rock (yet wide-ranging) style even further. The band's stage show dealt with the macabre, and such disturbing tracks as "Dead Babies" and the title track fit in perfectly. Other songs were even more exceptional, such as the perennial barnstorming concert standard "Under My Wheels," the melodic yet gritty "Be My Lover," and the tribute to their fallen friend Jim Morrison, "Desperado." The long and winding "Halo of Flies" correctly hinted that the band would be tackling more complex song structures on future albums, while "You Drive Me Nervous" and "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" showed that Alice Cooper hadn't completely abandoned their early garage rock direction. With Killer, they became one of the world's top rock bands and concert attractions; it rewarded them as being among the most notorious and misunderstood entertainers, thoroughly despised by grownups." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • This is the last of the Porcupine Tree back catalog to be remixed/remastered by Steven Wilson. I'm not sure why he has a affection for DVD-A discs as opposed to hybrid SACD but he does so we live with it. Here is what is hidden inside the sexy super jewelbox: first off you get a CD with the entire album remixed into glorious 2.0 stereo. The second disc is a DVD-A (make sure it is compatible with your DVD player as not all of them can play these discs - most can). The album is remixed into 5.1 surround sound plus you get the stereo mix in 24 bit hi-rez. The DVD-A also features three bonus tracks (also mixed into 5.1).
    $16.00
  • "School's Out catapulted Alice Cooper into the hard rock stratosphere, largely due to its timeless, all-time classic title track. But while the song became Alice's highest-charting single ever (reaching number seven on the U.S. charts) and recalled the brash, three-and-a-half-minute garage rock of yore, the majority of the album signaled a more complex compositional directional for the band. Unlike Cooper's previous releases (Love It to Death, Killer), which contained several instantly identifiable hard rock classics, School's Out appears to be a concept album, and aside from the aforementioned title track anthem, few of the other tracks have ever popped up in concert. That's not to say they weren't still strong and memorable; while such cuts as "Gutter Cat vs. the Jets," "Street Fight," "My Stars," and "Grande Finale" came off like mini-epics with a slightly progressive edge, Alice Cooper still managed to maintain their raw, unrefined punk edges, regardless. Other highlights included the rowdy "Public Animal #9," the mid-paced "Luney Tune," and the sinister, cabaret-esque "Blue Turk."" - Allmusic
    $5.00