Label: Mercury - 170 999-9 • Format: CD Album, Limited Edition DVD Limited Edition • Country: Europe • Genre: Rock • Style: Hard Rock, Pop Rock, Arena Rock, Classic Rock
Truth be told, once Meat Loaf had a blockbuster with Bat Out of Hell inhe never really left the bombastic sound of that Todd Rundgren -produced, Jim Steinman -written classic behind.
He went through a long stretch where he didn't have any hits -- it's popularly known as the '80s -- but he kept reworking the album, never quite getting it right until he reteamed with Steinman for 's Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hellwhich became a surprise international hit, re-establishing Meat Loaf as a major star.
After that record, he never went away, continuing to record, tour, and act, but nothing quite matched the success of either Bat Out of Hellso Bad For Good - Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell III - The Monster Is Loose made perfect sense for Meat to go back to the Bat well a third time in the mids -- over 12 years since the second Bat and nearly 30 years on from the first. But there was a hitch in his well-laid plan: Steinman didn't want to participate.
This was a problem, because the Bat albums were as much Steinman 's as they were Meat Loaf 's -- and this point was never hidden, either, as Steinman 's name was prominent on the cover of both Bats. König-Ludwig-Lied - Weiß Ferdl - König-Ludwig-Lied / Prinz-Alfons-Lied (Shellac) the album's fall release date approached, Steinman took Meat Suburban Pittsburgh - Randy Edelman - Diabolique (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) to court over the record -- after all, not only had he written the Bat Out of Hell albums, but he owned the copyright to the phrase, so Meat needed permission in order to release the record.
Permission was eventually granted in an out-of-court settlement, paving the way for the October release of Bat Out of Hell IIIa record that had many Steinman songs but in no way features his involvement in the recording or production of the album. And, boy, is his absence ever felt!
His presence looms large over the record -- quite obviously on the songs he wrote, but the very aesthetic of the album is copied wholesale from his blueprints -- yet it's the ways that Bat III is different, both big and small, that points out who is missing at this party.
For one, this Above The Threshold - Dephosphorus - Impossible Orbits is quite obviously a patchwork, pieced together from things borrowed and re-created, never quite gelling the way either of the previous Bats did.
And if there's one thing that theatrical rock like this needs, it's a narrative through-line or at least a concrete goal. Child and Meat Loaf do have a goal, but it's merely to re-create the glory days; they're not quite so picky on how they get there. Such jarring shifts in tone are common throughout The Monster Is Loosenot just as it moves from song to song, but within the tunes themselves, as Child 's compositions chase after the grandeur of Steinman 's work yet bear all the marks of a professional who is playing a game without bothering to learn the rules.
The same is true for the very sound of Bat III. Although original Bat producer Bad For Good - Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell III - The Monster Is Loose Rundgren adds some necessary pomp with his vocal arrangements, the album is at once too heavy and too clinical, lacking the gaudy, gonzo soul that made Bat Out of Hell irresistible camp.
Track Listing. The Monster Is Loose. Meat Loaf. Blind as a Bat. Jim Steinman. Bad for Good. Cry Over Me. Diane Warren. If God Could Talk. What About Love. Seize the Night. Cry to Heaven. Meat Loaf feat: Marion Raven. Bad for Good Jim Steinman. Cry Over Me Diane Warren. Meat Loaf feat: Patti Russo. Seize the Night Jim Steinman. Meat Loaf feat: Jennifer Hudson.
Cry to Heaven Jim Steinman.
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