Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell II (1993)

FrontCover1Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell is the sixth studio album by American rock singer Meat Loaf and was written and produced by Jim Steinman. It was released in September 1993, sixteen years after Meat Loaf’s first solo album Bat Out of Hell. The album reached number 1 in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Five tracks were released as singles, including “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”, which reached number 1 in 28 countries.

The album was released by Virgin Records outside of North America, where it was released by MCA. The third part of the Bat trilogy, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose, was released in 2006.

Just like the first album of the trilogy, Bat Out of Hell II was a huge commercial success and sold over 14 million copies worldwide.

The cover art was illustrated by sci-fi/fantasy artist Michael Whelan, following the style of Richard Corben’s cover for Bat Out of Hell. It features the biker from the first cover flying on his motorcycle towards a giant bat perched on top of New York City’s Chrysler Building, to which an angel is bound. Echoing the gravestones of the first cover, partially destroyed skyscrapers inhabit the lava landscape. Also like the first album, it features a ‘Songs by Jim Steinman’ credit, although smaller and located at the bottom of the cover. (by wikipedia)

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Although Meat Loaf has made several albums since Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell is an explicit sequel to that milestone of ’70s pop culture. Reprising the formula of the original nearly to the letter, Back Into Hell is bombastic and has too much detail, thanks to the pseudo-operatic splendor of Jim Steinman’s grandly cinematic songs. From the arrangements to the lengths of the tracks, everything on the album is overstated; even the album version of the hit single, “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” is 12 minutes long. Yet that’s precisely the point of this album, and is also why it works so well. No other rock & roller besides Meat Loaf could pull off the humor and theatricality of Back Into Hell and make it seem real. In that sense, it’s a worthy successor to the original. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Like a lot of cinematic sequels, Bat Out Of Hell II is a disappointment when compared to it’s killer predecessor. Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman try to recreate the operatic bluster that made the original so wonderful, and it sometimes works with tracks like “I’d Do Anything For Love” and “Out Of The Frying Pan”, but the arrangements and production values sound remarkably synthetic when compared to the dense, Spector-like work on the original 1977 classic.

Even when you don’t compare it to Meat Loaf’s star-making album, it’s still noticeably lacklustre; Steinman’s songs just don’t cut it most of the time. The complaints about overlength in his songwriting never seemed valid to me before listening to this, but it is true that several songs here could use some trimming and some could have been left off altogether.

Bat Out Of Hell had an effortlessly epic feel, with it’s silly but operatic tone feeling earned through the well-written songs and the wonderful production; Bat Out Of Hell II is obviously a deliberate stab at re-creating the power and fun of that album, but the calculating approach definitely takes away from the entertainment. It has enjoyable moments in the songs I mentioned above, but overall, it’s far too overlong and a bit too mechanical to compete with it’s predecessor. (by Richard Trapp)

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Personnel:
Kenny Aronoff (drums)
Roy Bittan (keyboards)
Jeff Bova (organ on 08., synthesizer, programming)
Jimmy Bralower (drums)
Steve Buslowe (bass)
Meat Loaf (vocals)
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Lorraine Crosby (vocals on 01.)
Ellen Foley (ocals on 06.)
Rick Marotta (drums on 06. + 08.)
Eddie Martinez (guitar on 01., 02., 06., 08. + 09.)
Brian Meagher (bagpipes on 08, drums on 09.)
Brian Meagher, Jr. (bagpipes, drums on 08.)
Justin Meagher (bagpipes, drums on 08.)
Bill Payne (piano on 06., 08. + 11.)
Lenny Pickett (saxophone on 03. + 09.)
Tim Pierce (guitar on 01. – 05.)
Jim Steinman (spoken word (on 07.)
Pat Thrall (guitar on 04. + 05.)
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background vocals:
Robert Coron – Lorraine Crosby – Brett Cullen – Rory Dodd – Stuart Emerson – Cynthia Geary – Amy Goff – Elaine Goff – Max Haskett – Curtis King – Michelle Little – Gunnar Nelson – Matthew Nelson – Todd Rundgren – Jim Steinman – Kasim Sulton – Eric Troyer

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Tracklist:
01. I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) 12.00
02. Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back 7.59
03. Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through 5.50
04. It Just Won’t Quit 7.21
05. Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire) 7.24
06. Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are 10.15
07. Wasted Youth 2.41
08. Everything Louder Than Everything Else 7.59
09. Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere) 6.53
10. Back Into Hell 2.46
11. Lost Boys And Golden Girls 4.20

All songs written by Jim Steinman

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Meat Loaf – Bad Attitude (1984)

FrontCover1Bad Attitude is a 1984 album by Meat Loaf, recorded in England. It features two songs by Jim Steinman, both previously recorded, and a duet with Roger Daltrey. According to Meat Loaf’s autobiography, he approached Steinman about writing the entire album, but waiting for new songs wound up taking so long that Meat Loaf recorded two previously released Steinman songs and moved on with other writers.[2] The album concentrates more on the hard rock side of Meat Loaf, was a minor success around the globe and released a few hit singles, the most successful being “Modern Girl”.

The US release on RCA Records was on April 1985 and features a slightly different track list as well as alternate mixes for some songs. (by wikipedia)

MeatLoafBandWhen Meat Loaf split with Jim Steinman, the man who wrote all the songs for two fantastic albums (Bat out of Hell, over 35 million copies sold, end of ad, and Dead Ringer, the ‘failure’ that ‘only’ sold 6 million or so), fans thought it was over, and with good reason. Meat’s first non-Steinman effort, Midnight at the Lost and Found, is easily the Loaf’s worst effort and a flat out poor record. Bad Attitude, released only a year later, didn’t exactly have high expectations.
Suprisingly, this is a good album, the best of Meat’s non-Jim collaborations (There are two Steinman penned songs, but he was absent from the studio). The sound is revitalized and very 80’s rockish, unlike the flat rockabilly tone of Midnight… . Meat’s 80’s band, the Neverland Express, does a fantastic job at attempting to capture the bombast and spirit of Steinman’s music.
The Steinman tunes (Surf’s Up and Nowhere Fast) are the best on the album, but non-Jim songs like Sailor to a Siren, Peice of the Action, Don’t Leave your Mark on Me, and Modern Girl are all great songs, the latter two were big hits in the UK, but forgotten stateside. The title track opens the album off with a bang, and ‘Cheatin in your dreams’ the closer, ends it with a harsh infidelity tune that nonetheless rocks.
Bad Attitude is a must-have for any Meat Loaf fan’s collection, simply because it’s the best of his non-Steinman efforts. (by Karl John Krumrey)

MeatLoaf1985Personnel:
Paul Jacobs (keyboards, background vocals)
Wells Kelly (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Bob Kulick (guitar)
Meat Loaf (vocals)
John Siegler (bass)
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Ronnie Asprey (saxophone on 07.)
Zee Carling (vocals on 06.)
Curt Cress (drums on 04.)
Roger Daltrey (vocals on 01.)
Mo Foster (bass on 05.)
Frank Ricotti percussion (03. + 06.)
Stephanie de Sykes (background vocals)
Clare Torry (vocals on 02., background vocals)
Paul Vincent (guitar on 04. + 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Bad Attitude (Duet with Roger Daltrey) (Durkee/Jacobs) 4.44
02. Modern Girl” (Duet with Clare Torry) (Durkee/Jacobs) 4.24
03. Nowhere Fast (Steinman) 5.12
04. Surf’s Up (Steinman) 4.23
05. Piece Of The Action (Durkee/Jacobs) 4.15
06. Jumpin’ The Gun (Duet with Zee Carling) (Durkee/Jacobs) 3.12
07. Sailor To A Siren (Durkee/Jacobs) 5.05
08. Don’t Leave Your Mark On Me (Downes/Parr) 4.08
09. Cheatin’ in Your Dreams (Parr) 4.08

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