Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Bat is Back

Yes that human mountain of a rock singer Meatloaf is back with Bat Out of Hell III - The Monster is Loose.

The original Bat Out of Hell was one of the first albums I bought and was a great favourite of my mates as a teenager. Arriving at the height of punk it was derided by the music press at the time but it went on to sell 30 million copies worldwide (3rd biggest selling album ever - fact fans) and stayed on the UK album chart for most of a decade.

It graced the front of the recent 'Guilty Pleasures' edition of Q magazine, although why anyone should feel the slightest guilt at owning such a fantastic record is beyond me. Jim Steinman's song-writing is simply epic, the musicianship top notch (most of the musicians were from Springsteen's E-Street Band) and the production (by Todd Rundgren) is perfect.

Title track Bat Out of Hell is simply one of the most epic rock tracks ever, Paradise by the Dashboard Light a hilarious take on teenage lust while Heaven Can Wait and Two Out of Three Aint Bad are beautiful love songs (or in the case of the latter a non-love song).

And even more importantly there was no better record for jumping around and miming to at teenage parties.

Meat and Steinman had a falling out after Bat Out of Hell with Meatloaf going on to do a series of albums while Jim Steinman recorded what was intended as the follow up as a solo album 'Bad For Good'. (He's not a bad singer but not a patch on the Meaty one!). The album also featured many of the same musicians as Bat Out of Hell.

16 years later Meatloaf recorded Bat Out of Hell II - Back Into Hell. This featured several tracks from Steinman's Bad for Good album - with full on Meat effect - and also spawned a massive international hit with I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) with it's Beauty and the Beast video. A bit of a slacker unit wise - it only clocked up a mere 15 million sales.

Well now - 13 years further on - the Loaf is back with the third album in the trilogy. Using up the remaining decent tracks on Bad for Good and also songs by Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) and John 5 (Marylin Manson) and produced by the rocktastic Desmond Child - it even features Queen's Brian May on guitar.

He is doing a one off show at the Royal Albert Hall which sadly sold out in seconds.

Will it sell as much as Bats I & II? Probably not.

Will it be derided by the NME and other trendy music journalists? Almost certainly.

But will it ROCK?

Of course!


Jock Coats said...

Rabid bats!

Did ML not perform at the Warwick Castle "festival" last summer when Bonnie Tyler played at Cornbury. I seem to remember wondering if they would meet up for a duet at some services station on the M40...:)

Liberal Neil said...

Indeed he did.

For most of his acreer he has actually been more successful in the Uk than anywhere else and his gigs are always popular.

Personally I much prefer his interpretations of Jim Steinman's work than Ms Tyler's - by some margin.