32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2002
This is my second favorite Alice Cooper CD. Second only to Welcome To My Nightmare. It was actually the first CD I bought when I finally got a CD player because it was the record I missed listening to the most. But all that aside-- if you are looking for a hard rocking classic rock album then let me direct you to Billion Dollar Babies or Killer because this is probably Alice's softest and most musically varied offering.
This record was unfortunately the beginning of Alice's decline as a rock star, but I think it has more to do with other factors than the quality of the music. Those factors being 1) KISS had hit the scene with 4 guys in makeup and Alice's producer, Bob Ezrin to boot! 2) Alice was unable to tour this record due to illness (likely alcohol related) and 3) there is a disco song on this album and in 1976 that was sinful verboten taboo for a hard rocker (which is probably why he did it-- the rascal). KISS would later put out a disco album that would hurt their career too.
All that aside, because frankly almost 30 years later, who cares? This album is nothing short of brilliant! It's Alice's tightest and most linear concept album. It is practically a soundtrack for a musical with Alice playing all the parts!
The tracks include the hard rocking Go To Hell (with some definite Latin-American inspired flavor) and the infamous disco tune, You Gotta Dance. Alice used this because he said, "Disco is Hell." He imagined Hell as doomed souls forced to dance in a disco for eternity-- which is pretty funny if you think about it. Next up is the jazzy I Am The Coolest, in which Alice uses a new voice to play the part of the Devil, whom Alice meets in the next song, Didn't We Meet, which is a very melodic tune, and one of my favorites. I Never Cry is the US #12 ballad that is one of his biggest hits ever, and is worth the price of the CD itself. Guilty is another hard rocking tune. Give the Kid a Break is a fifties style musical theatre number with Alice doing a duet with himself as the Devil-- who isn't about to give him a break! Wake Me Gently may be the best song on the album. Tender strings and gentle vocals evoke the misty images of someone lost in slumber. Wish You Were Here is hard rocking postcard from Hell. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows is a remake of a song from 1918. Going Home provides a happy ending to the journey through Hell with another soft ballad.
This album shows a soft side of Alice that may have turned some fans off. But I like both that and the variety of musical styles here. This is a fitting sequel to Welcome To My Nightmare. It is very funny. It has a few truly dark moments. And actually, it seems to me like a very close representation of an alcoholic nightmare/guilt trip-- which is probably pretty close to Hell. Taken that way some of the songs gather an extra layer of depth beneath the slick humor. There is a bit of a drunken quality to the whole thing, and taken together with Welcome To My Nightmare, Lace and Whiskey, and From The Inside (which is about Alice's experiences in rehab) it tells part of a story that Alice may have not originally intended.
All that musing aside-- it is a great listen! A solid concept, great rocking numbers, touching ballads and hilarious lyrics.
It's the greatest example of the unique entertainment that can only be found in Alice Cooper's music.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2006
If you are looking for somekind of a hard rocking halloween CD, don't buy this, because it is actually like soft and funny Broadway musical. This is his most diverse and music varied and has impressed me right after a first listening. Even thought it is very soft and ballad filled, it has some outstanding guitar work by Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter. Just listen to incredible guitar solo on Wish you were here and guitar riffs on Go to hell.
This album has some of the Alice's finest lyrics and humour. The ballads are some of the Cooper's best. I never cry is very touching and Wake me gently is even better. Alice Cooper's vocals are on the top notch and he offers us hard rock gems like Go to hell, Wish you were here, Didn't we meet and guilty. You gotta dance has a disco beat, Give the kid a break is 50's style musical number that would't be totally out of a place on Frank Zappa album and bluesy I'm the coolest is funny as hell.
This album is lyrically clever, very creative and listening this throught is like a good adventure. This is definately one of the best concept albums ever and very underrated. You can almost visualize the whole story from the beginning to the end. If you want tight atmosphere, good humour, excellent guitar work, touching ballads and a good musical in the same package, this album is for you.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2006
THE BAND: Alice Cooper / Vincent Furnier (vocals), Dick Wagner (guitar), Steve Hunter (guitar), John Tropea (guitar), Tony Levin (bass), Bob Ezrin (keyboards), Al Macmillan (piano), Allan Schwartzberg (drums & percussion).
THE DISC: (1976) 11 tracks clocking in at just over 43 minutes. Included with the disc is a 10-page booklet containing song titles/credits/times, song lyrics, musicians, and thank you's. Recorded at Soundstage (Toronto) and the Record Plant East (NY). This is the band's 9th album. All songs written by Cooper, guitarist Wagner and Ezrin. Produced by the notable Bob Ezrin (who has also produced band's like Kiss, Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, Peter Gabriel and Lou Reed). Label - Warner Bros.
COMMENTS: Alice Cooper's original 'classic' line up (Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith) was gone, and the band's music was changing... fans certainly got a small taste of that with "Welcome To My Nightmare". Alice Cooper had a string of solid rock albums from 1971-74 with "Love It To Death", "Killer", "School's Out", "Billion Dollar Babies", and "Muscle Of Love". "Welcome To My Nigthmare" (1975) had some rock songs mixed with pop theatrics, where "Alice Cooper Goes To Hell" contained much more of the latter. A loose concept album fused with rock, pop, theater, and ballads. As much as I loved this album, I feel it was the start of their decline. During their peak years from 1971-75, many of Alice Cooper's albums reached Top 10 status on the charts. "Goes To Hell" peaked at 27, and every album afterward through "Trash" (1989) charted worse or not at all. The title track is still my favorite - a slow and creepy tune with a tribalistic drum beat. The lyrics are clever and witty - "You'd poison a blind man's dog and steal his cane / You'd gift wrap a leper and mail him to your Aunt Jane / You'd even force feed a diabetic a candy cane". Upbeat rockers include "You Gotta Dance", "Didn't We Meet", and "Guilty". Perhaps Cooper's best ballad, "I Never Cry", reached #12. The only thing I hate about this album is the ending. "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" and "Going Home" are piano and orchestrated lullabies better suited for the Broadway stage. "Goes To Hell" is and up and down album. Better yet, fast and slow... and very diverse - more so than anything the band's done to this point. I admire the step to try something poles apart from his previous albums. Colorful, yet contrasting... and overall still a solid release (4 stars).
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2005
"ALICE COOPER GOES TO HELL"
This highly underrated follow-up to "Welcome To My Nightmare" is once again produced by the brilliant Bob Ezrin and features a slew of great Cooper classics. Conceptually, "Goes To Hell" is a bedtime story Alice is reading to Steven (remember 'Nightmare'?) that revolves around Alice going to a Disco Hell due to all the sins he had committed while on Earth. Soon Alice discovers he can only escape Hell by singing The Devil a song he doesn't like ... nor does the listener. That song, "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" is the only blemish on an otherwise exceptionally well-written and constructed album. Standout tracks are "Go To Hell," "Didn't We Meet," "I Never Cry," "Guilty" and "Wish You Were Here".
Dick Wagner - Guitars and Vocals (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Steve Hunter - Guitars (all)
John Tropea - Guitars (tracks 1, 2, 6, 8, 9)
Tony Levin - Bass (tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
Babbitt - Bass (track 1)
Allan Schwartzberg - Drums (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Jim Gordon - Drums (tracks 3, 10, 11)
Jim Maelan - Percussion and Soft Shoes (all)
Bob Ezrin - Keyboards, Vocals (tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11)
Al Macmillan - Piano
Dick Berg - French Horn (track 5)
Backing Vocals - Michael Sherman, Shawn Jackson, Colina Phillips, Joe Gannon, Shep Gordon,
Denny Vosburgh, Bill Misener, Laurel Ward, Sharon-Lee Williams
1. Released in June of 1976 and it peaked at #27 on the Billboard Top 200. Certified Gold in November of 1976. Meanwhile, the single "I Never Cry" peaked on US singles chart at #12 and was certified Gold in May of 1977.
2. The song "Didn't We Meet" was originally conceived with different lyrics and was called "Satan's Floor".
3. Originally, Alice wanted Henry "Fonzie" Winkler to sing the song "I'm The Coolest" but Winkler declined in fear of being typecasted.
4. "Goes To Hell" was initially intended to be called "Hell".
5. The Alice Cooper Goes To Hell tour was cancelled due to Alice being under medical care after being diagnosed with anemia.
The album cover - which is actually just a photo from the inside cover of his 1973 album "Billion Dollar Babies" was just adjusted and tinted green for this release - is nothing special. The booklet features the usual credits, "A Bedtime Story," and the album's lyrics.
APPROX. RUNNING TIME:
41 min. and 7 sec.
Part fantasy, part autobiographical --- "Goes To Hell" is an impressive album. ****1/2 out of 5.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2005
Whoever knew that Going to Hell was so much fun--at least this album was.
This one has a special place because it was one of my first albums I remember buying.
Although this is his first album without original band members, it still has some great songs like Didn't We Meet, Going Home, I Never Cry, and of course, the title track, Go to Hell (which is great to play at the end of a bad day).
The album is probably one of his first "concept" albums that seems to tell a story. Moreover, he tries a good range of songs, with even a little disco (the only drawback).
In any case, this is a very under-rated album--but will always be in my disc player every Halloween.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 1999
Alice Cooper goes to hell is the follow up to the all time classic, "Welcome to my nightmare" and it is a very good record, but not as good as "Welcome". "Goes to hell" is another concept album by coop, which in general marks out the period 75-78. The hell-trip wasn't really that exiting that I hoped for. The album is very "rock-opera-theater"-like and maybe it has most obvios "concept-feel" to it of all albums he've done when listened to it. The songs goes into different landscapes and the feel is very visual. There are many slow and soft songs on this album. The only really heavy rock song is "Go to hell". There are of course some more rock n roll songs here but not in the same great standard as the rock n roll songs on "Welcome". There are great ballads on this one, maybe the best element on the records varity of styles example (wake me gently, i never cry and goin home). The album grows with every listening but I would only recomand this one to the more die-hard alice fans.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 1999
This my favorite Alice Cooper solo album from the 1970's. It is a much, much better concept recording than "Welcome to My Nightmare." Alice Cooper does indeed go to hell in this story, but the ending reminds me of Jimmy Stewart's classic film, "It's a Wonderful Life. The songs are just incredible! Great rockers. Beautiful ballads. Some very, very funny songs. Some very moving songs like, "Wake Me Gently." All styles of music are here....and they are all fantastic! Don't pass it up! A classic!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 1999
This is a worthy follow-up to "Welcome To My Nightmare" in which sick Alice finally is sent to the place where we all knew he would end up . .and escapes in the end!Alice shows his sense of humour on this release with "I'm The Coolest";"Give The Kid A Break";"Guilty" and "Wish You Were Here" .Great storyline;best ballads.I defy anyone to call this a "disco"album.It is worth money alone to here the Coop sneer,"I'm guilty,and I don't care!".
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2005
This has always been my favorite album by Alice Cooper. I bought it on vinyl back in 1976 and from that very day it has remained the one album I consistently play more than any other. AC sure has plenty of great albums: "Killer," "Billion Dollar Babies," "Love It To Death," "From The Inside" etc...but this is the one I have always held above them all. Personal preference of course. (By the way, his newest, "Dirty Diamonds" is awesome...as was 2003's "The Eyes Of Alice Cooper")
Anyway, this is simply a fun and enjoyable ride from the opening notes of "Go To Hell" - continuing all the way through to the final notes of "Going Home." Alice's trip into the firey pit has plenty of twists and turns that make this a very worthwile musical adventure any rock fan will love taking over and over again.
Some true Alice gems came out of this nightmare: "I'm The Coolest," "Didn't We Meet," "I Never Cry," "Give The Kid A Break," "Guilty," and one of my favorite Cooper songs ever: "Wish You Were Here."
"Alice Cooper Goes To Hell" and brings us a bit of rock n' roll Heaven in doing so...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2008
Thank goodness for all the people who've been saying Alice Cooper's late 70's music is good, because thankfully, they are RIGHT! There's a small chance I would have ignored these late 70's albums had no one mentioned them.
Alice Cooper Goes to Hell is just a great pop album from beginning to end. You have his usual whacky and dark theater elements, and you have really good songwriting that *is* on the same level as the music he was making in the early 70's. This is just really good music that deserves more attention than what it's been getting so far. The same goes for the other Alice Cooper albums released directly after this one (and continuing through the early 80's).
"Guilty" is classic glam/hard rock Alice, the title song has a memorable chant that makes up the chorus, there's elements of disco that appear in SMALL doses (thankfully- I'm not a disco fan), "I'm the Coolest" has a groovy rhythm, and the EXCELLENT ballad called "I Never Cry is probably his very best ballad. Why doesn't it appear on radio stations? WHY!
"Give the Kid a Break" is probably a perfect example of underrated experimental brilliance. I can't explain it, but this song reminds me of John Lennon a little bit- perhaps I'm thinking about that album Lennon made featuring nothing but cover songs from the 50's. I love the lyrics too. I can't tell if that's Alice imitating TWO separate voices, or if there's another person singing (talking actually) over the song. Maybe it's Alice Cooper having a conversation with himself!
"Wake Me Gently" has a really good spooky verse melody, that reminds me of "Steven". "Going Home" is a nice pleasant way to end the album.
Anyway, this is GOOD stuff that is easily on the same level as excellence as all his early albums.