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."