Encouraged by the crossover success of "Only Women Bleed," Cooper returned to the rock ballad format with the single "I Never Cry." This proved to be a shrewd decision on Cooper's part, at least from a commercial standpoint. The track performed very well on the charts, peaking at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and rising to #23 on the singles chart in Australia. The song is about Cooper's long bout with alcoholism; he called the song "an alcoholic confession."
Cooper co-wrote this track with guitarist/songwriter Dick Wagner. The two were a highly productive songwriting team; they co-wrote more than 50 songs together, including many of Cooper's best-selling singles during the shock rocker's solo career. In addition to "I Never Cry," some of the other notable tracks the two penned together include "You And Me," "Only Women Bleed" and "Welcome To My Nightmare."
Cooper and Wagner wrote the song in Maui; while rock history is rife with destination songwriting excursions gone horribly wrong, this one was not just productive, but enjoyable. "We were there for a month and we were writing," Wagner told us. "I wrote the music for the song while Alice was off doing something. He came back and he liked that feel - the bluesy ballad situation - and he came up with the lyrics. And, man, we had it. It was a huge hit.
We were sitting on the veranda outside the house we were living in on Maui, right on the ocean. Sitting out there at night with a keyboard just trying to come up with stuff, and it happened. It was a full moon and it was a beautiful night. It's Hawaii - you couldn't get any better. I think we played golf that day. We were there for a month and we really enjoyed it. That song just came out naturally."
In the foreword of Dick Wagner's 2012 autobiography Not Only Women Bleed: Vignettes from the Heart of a Rock Musician, Cooper reflected on Wagner's talents as a guitarist and songwriter: "I first saw Dick Wagner while he was playing with the Frost and quickly filed him under 'Guitar players I'd like to steal.' But Dick isn't JUST a guitar player. He's a gifted writer, and I wrote most the Alice Cooper Hits with him."
This song was a hit, but it alienated some of Cooper's hardcore fans who felt that he was softening his sound too much in a calculated bid for more crossover success. They feared that he was losing his rebellious edge, but Cooper made sure that his stage show remained heavy on theatrical rock.
The Alice Cooper Goes to Hell album is sort of a sequel to Welcome to My Nightmare, a concept album that tells the story of a child named Steven told through a series of nightmares. Goes to Hell is a continuation of Steven's saga.
The album was produced by Bob Ezrin, who was a longtime collaborator of Cooper and Wagner. Outside of this song, the three co-wrote all the tracks on the album.