Meatloaf Bat Out Of Hell 3 Universal Records
· Produced By: Desmond Child

· Running Time: 77.07

· Release Date: October 31

· Released: WORLD

· Musical Style: Melodic Rock

· Links: Meatloaf
Songs: 89%
Sound: 95%
Ah…yes indeed. I haven't heard anything quite like this since…well, since Bat Out Of Hell 2. Nobody does it like Meatloaf. No one throws themselves (literally) into each song with as much passion, heart and power as the big man himself.
For whatever reason, the records recorded in-between the Bat records don't come close to these three records.
When the Bat Out Of Hell moniker is used, Meatloaf applies himself to the concept with a passion that is missing from his other records.
In the end I think it all comes down to the songs and the fact Meatloaf believes in the songs used on each occasion. And of course we have the masterful Jim Steinman to thank for that.
Each of the 3 Bat records has been a little different and Bat 3 is no different.
Bat 1 was produced by Todd Rundgren and featured the songs of Jim Steinman; Bat 2 was written and produced entirely by Steinman and Bat 3 is a mix of the previous 2 – Jim Steinman was to produce but things got complicated and lawsuits ensued.
The end result was that Meatloaf gets to use 7 Steinman songs with hitmaker Desmond Child stepping into the producers chair. Keeping the thread between albums going, Todd Rungren also contributed, credited here for "Vocal arrangements by Todd Rundgren."
Bat 1 is legendary of course, but Bat 2 was an absolute masterpiece and my favourite of the three records. Jim Steinman gets the credit for that - his arrangements and attention to minute detail made that record an event. Jim's unique songs are what made Meatloaf great – although it is Meatloaf's unequalled passion that brings these songs to life.
Both artists achieve their best when they work together, so I was very skeptical about this release once I learnt that Steinman wouldn't be producing. Desmond Child is no slouch – he is an accomplished producer and also knows how to get the best from the artists he works with. However, he doesn't have that same Steinman flare for the dramatic.
But with Steinman's song contribution and Todd Rungren on board, the team assembled have managed to surpass my expectations and deliver a great album that is still worthy of the Bat Out Of Hell moniker.
Yes, Bat Of Out Hell 3 is a clear winner for Meatloaf and while I still miss that extra flair and attention to detail that Steinman brings to the studio, this album works so well and Meat is in absolute cracking vocal form, and as per usual, throws everything into the delivery of these songs.
I'll go through each track, but aside from the 7 Jim Steinman songs there are 7 others to comment on. Thankfully and wisely, the guys behind the album and in particular Desmond Child, have managed to come up with some killer songs that fit the Bat format and Meatloaf's larger than life vocal style and work will in conjunction with the Steinman originals.
The production is huge – absolutely over the top pomp rock glory – with particular attention paid to the Steinman trademarks such as backing vocals, orchestration and instrumental passages. While these trademarks are present, at times you can tell that Steinman wasn't at work himself, but this I think is as good as it could possibly be without him involved in the studio.
Track By Track:
Naturally the album opens in typically dramatic style, but for the first time ever on a Bat Out Of Hell record, a non-Steinman song gets the nod. On a couple of occasions this album sees Meatloaf gets all modern on us and The Monster Is Loose is one of those occasions. The 7 minute hard rock epic was written by Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx with Desmond Child and John 5. It's quite the modern rock marvel, with super intense, super heavy down-tuned guitars and added production effects, but it really works in the scheme of this album and gets things off to a powerful start.
There are parts within the song such as the mid-song bridge where things mellow out and take on a decisively Steinman-esque twist.
Blind As A Bat is written by Child with James Michael and again features the hallmarks of a Steinman/Meatloaf classic. A dramatic vocal intro builds to a more pacey verse before an absolute gem of a chorus bursts through. I love this song and the passion in Meat's vocals are second to none. A perfect song for the album and proof that a great deal of thought has gone into getting the songs for this album just right.
The first Steinman song of the album is the classic rock ballad It's All Coming Back to Me Now. Unfortunately sometimes referred to as a Celine Dion song (she did cover it with the help of Steinman), it is rather a song written for and featured on Steinman's all female star project Pandora's Box (Virgin Records, 1989). A couple of the songs from that album also appeared on Bat 2.
This track is a duet in typical Meatloaf style – this time with the up and coming rocker Marion Raven. She has a great voice and suits the song perfectly.
Bad For Good reaches even further back into the Steinman archives – this time being the title track from his only solo album in the early 80s. Queen guitarist Brian May guests here – his contribution obvious – the intro and outro guitar riffs plus a classy mid-track solo are worthwhile additions to the song.
Meatloaf and producer Child stay true to the formula, style and personality of the original version of the song and I must say the updated version with Meatloaf's voice is killer. A great song that lives on again although I think Desomond Child underplays the important piano parts of the original.
Cry Over Me is a Diane Warren song. Now Dianne is a wonderful songwriter, but she has a bad habit of getting far too syrupy at times. Meatloaf has used her before – lastly on the Couldn't Have Said It Better album, but this song is a Meatloaf classic in waiting. A very powerful and emotion filled rock ballad, the songs is memorable from the outset.
Bat 2 featured a couple of left turns and I'm pleased that Bat 3 is the same – with both turns delivered at the hands of Steinman. In The Land Of The Pig, The Butcher Is King is a completely over the top aggressive modern rocker with that Steinman flair and some lead guitar parts from Steve Vai.
No one but Meatloaf could pull this vocal off – heavy, modern and out of character with the album it would seem, but it fits the flow of the album perfectly and adds to the whole theatrical experience a Bat album should be.
The sort instrumental Monstro (written by Child/Holly Knight/Elena Casals) is an orchestral segway that brings the dramatics of the last track together with the high octane, melodic rock anthem that is Alive.
I love this track. Perfect Steinman without even being written by him. Child/James Michael/Holly Knight and Andrea Remanda are responsible for this pure rock anthem with a huge chorus and some of that classic rocking piano that both previous Bat albums featured. Add in additional orchestration and a flying tempo and a classic is born.
Following this over the top rocker is a hard task, but again, the perfect song has been chosen. If God Could Talk (Child/Marti Frederiksen) is a mid-tempo rock ballad with more dramatic flair and orchestration and fits the flow of the album perfectly.
If It Ain't Broke, Break It is another of the album's left turns and again features a heavy, tuned down guitar sound. I didn't actually pick this for a Steinman song, but it is…and something akin to his Pandora's Box release where a couple of songs go heavy/high-tech. I have never heard brass mixed with modern rock, but here you have it. Completely over the top, but for some reason it works.
What About Love? Is another gem of a song from outside the Steinman circle. The Child/Frederiksen/Russ Irwin/John Gregory song is classic Meatloaf – changing tempo and featuring a female lead in places (courtesy of Patti Russo). Generally uptempo and featuring more classic Bat piano work, the song reminds me of Bat 1 in places. A strong chorus and those ever changing tempos make the song – especially when it gets even faster!
The dramatic and orchestral Seize The Night is another Steinman classic. Nearly 10 minutes in length, the song mixes Objects In the Rear View Mirror with Life Is A Lemon and even some Everything Louder – in other words, classic Steinman. The song has several different parts and passages, but you know the drill.
The Future Ain't What It Used To Be is another old Steinman solo album remake and again is kept very faithful in this version. Brilliant song made even better with the power and energy of Meatloaf.
Cry To Heaven is a short vocal only track written again by Steinman. I'd swap this with The Future to close the album, as after all the over the top moments, this seems just a little simple to close the album with. Pretty song, but perhaps the only disappointment for me on the whole record.
The Bottom Line
Meatloaf fans can breath easy – this is a great album and fits into the Bat Out Of Hell legacy. I do miss Jim Steinman – he didn't produce the original BOOH, but BOOH2 was a gem and he has a unique production style that isn't quite replicated here, not to mention I think Steinman would deliver a better guitar tone and more prominent piano parts.
The team assembled has done the right thing by Meatloaf and the good name of Bat Out Of Hell, and I think the majority will be impressed by this record.
I'd still love to hear more brand new Steinman songs though…and perhaps one more outing with the big man…
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Bat Out Of Hell
· Dead Ringer
· Midnight At The Lost And Found
· Bad Attitude
· Blind Before I Stop
· Bat Out Of Hell II
· Welcome To The Neighborhood
· Couldn't Have Said It Better
· Bat Out Of Hell 3

Line Up:
Promo: Not Listed
Essential For Fans Of:
· Bat Out Of Hell
· Jim Steinman
Track Listing
· The Monster Is Loose *
· Blind As A Bat *
· It's All Coming Back To Me Now
· Bad For Good *
· Cry Over Me *
· In The Land of the Pig, The Butcher Is King
· Monstro
· Alive *
· If God Could Talk *
· If It Ain't Broke Break It
· What About Love *
· Seize the Night
· The Future Ain't What It Used To Be
· Cry To Heaven

--*Best Tracks

25/03/07: Matthew Davis -
Rating: 98
Meat has delivered a flat out classic again! So many good songs here and such good arrangement and production! Not that any of Meat's albums have been bad,but there is always some filler,but not on BOH3! Docked two points for a questionable instrumental Monstro,which would have been a great outro if done right! Pick this one up in a hurry if you love good melodic rock!

09/12/06: FooD -
Rating: 99
This album kick butts!!!

BLIND AS A BAT and CRY OVER ME are the best songs i have ever heard ever!....they are unforgettable and i listened to them since i got the album when it came out (about a month) and still going strong, they cannot tire you at all unlike other classics.

the rest of the songs are also great....especially THE MONSTER'S LOOSE....WOW!!!!.....that song is amazing, also classic.

the rest is good to great.

Excellent album and a must buy....and believe me, i like it a lot more than BOOH 1 and 2. you can go on and disagree with me but you will not change my mind, each song in BOOH 3 are a pleasure to hear over and over, BOOH 1 and 2 were classic and that's true but tire you, something BOOH 3 doesn't.

so please buy BOOH 3 it is superb!

28/11/06: Mark Ridout -
Rating: 89
I really enjoyed most of the songs except In The Land Of The Pig, Butcher is King. WTF was that (lol)

Some great ballads on here and my favoutite one is Blind As A Bat. The songs are not collectively as strong as the previous BOOH albums, however Meats vocals are very good. The Monster Is Loose kicks ass!

25/11/06: Niraj Kapur -
Rating: 85
Meat Loaf works best with Jim Steinman so I was surprised when Desmond Child, a producer who used to be a songwriting genius and now turns belongs to the cliche factory, was a producer. Desmond handles the job well. Blind as a Bat is a truly remarkable song. It's All Coming Back To Me Now is beautifully sung with Marion Raven. Bad For Good is a memorable update from Steinman's 1979 album. Alive is pure kick-ass, a terrific song to wake up to. The biggest disappointment are the other Steinman tracks. In the Land of The Pig and If It Ain't Broke are so average despite genuis of Steve Vai on the former. The last four tracks of the album add nothing. Still, it's worth owning. Welcome back Meat Loaf and let's hope Desmong Child keeps up this high standard with the next Scorpions album.

24/11/06: Mari -
Rating: 70
I couldn't really get into this cd. It is just below average in my opinion.

18/11/06: Paul -
Rating: 75
Upon further reflection, I have to adjust my original rating on this cd. The reason for this is Meat Loaf's vocal performance, which I failed to make mention of in my initial review. It is fantastic, filled with the emotion and power we've come to expect. I still think many of the songs and production are a serious step or two below the first two BOOH albums, but Meat Loaf's vocals earn this a "Good" rating of 75, as opposed to my initial 65.

13/11/06: bob -
Rating: 88
BOOH2 is still my fave, but I liked 'Welcome To The Neighborhood' and 'Couldn't Have Said It Better' also. BOOH3 is pretty good, but it lulls a bit in the middle. Still, its a very good effort, especially since its not all Steinman material. I enjoy the new record. What I like the most about it is it's a different kind of the record from BOOH1.

11/11/06: Michael -
Rating: 100
It has the melodies, the voice, the bombast... everything to make it huge and over the top! There is a gospel choir alongside an orchestra, records are rarely be made with such enormous effort these days. Jim Steinmans and Desmond Childs songs make it 77 minutes of joy! If only Andrew would write Meat Loaf in two words from now on...

10/11/06: Guy -
Rating: 94
Comeback of the year, period. Meat Loaf saves his career by pulling off one of the best "Wagnerian-Theartrical" rock albums of all-time. Jim Steinman will be sorely missed, but Desmond Child is no puppet. HE can write and produce, no kidding. Starts out thunderous and ends with something to be desired, adding a little mystical element to the entire album. Perfectly planned and flawlessly executed. Simply genius... Might not be up there with Pt I and Pt II in "dramatic" department, but this is possibly the best Meat Loaf could have done, and he did it. Deserves to be a No.1 album all around. We'll see.

10/11/06: buho -
Rating: 99
Amazing would be the better word to describe this album. i'm in love with it since i bought it. The production is perfect and the songs are great. BOH I and BOH II were great albums, especially BOH II, but i prefear this. It's more for my taste, more commercial. Anyway, a great album for lovers of melodic rock.

10/11/06: Pete -
Rating: 93
I can't help but review this record against BOAH II, one of my all-time favorites. Overall It has earned the moniker of BOAH, so the below 'criticisms' are simply observations on an oustanding record for all MeatLoaf/Steinman fans:

1) I have two issues with the Steinman tracks, specifically Butcher is King and Seize the Night: Too much Broadway flare. I appreciate (and am thankful for) the rock-operatic flare in much of his material, but these tunes seemed like they were pulled straight out of a Cameron/Macintosh production. Great tunes! But one thing about all of the songs on BOAH II - they were unmistakenly rock songs.
The second issue is that the redone Steinman tracks - B for G, All coming back, The Future - aren't necessarily improvements on the originals. If you haven't, grab Steinman's only solo CD from '81 - most of those originals have been redone by MeatLoaf throughout the years, including B for G on this one. For whatever reason, I've enjoyed the original versions of these songs, as well as Surf's Up, Left in the Dark,Rock and Roll Dreams, etc. over the MeatLoaf redo's. I'm perhaps in the minority on that one. I do need to put a shout out for Brian May's guitar work on Bad For Good. If you are a Queen fan, this alone is worth the price for admission!

My second criticism is the anti-climatic ending of the album. Simply put, the last two songs don't hold up in quality nor in-your-face attitude of the rest. With 14 songs, BAOH III could have afforded dropping a song or two. Ending the album with songs more reflective of the atmosphere the first 12 collectively provided would have greatly increased my impression and score.

The biggest surprise for me is that my favorite tracks are not the Steinman tracks. Alive, What about Love, Blind as a Bat, and Monster is Loose are my personal highlights. However, I think a Steinman production on these songs - especially his uncanny ability to bring BOTH piano and guitar to the front of the sound - would have put these songs in another stratisphere.

With all that said, I am expecting to be listening to III for weeks to come. When I listen to a BOAH record, I expect to experience 'an event'. BAOH III fits the bill

10/11/06: Nicodim -
Rating: 80
Hard 2 say what I don't like here in this CD. If 2 B honest I liked it a lot. But... But still it's a head below the BOOH2. I will never say any "boo" about this newest record - it's great, heavier than any other Meat Loaf album, full of his classic stuff, but it's lackin' of those fantastic atmosphere, which made BOOH2 absolutely great.
After Andrew's review I expected something huge and unforgetable, but recieved just another big record, but not a classic 2 remember.

09/11/06: Scott Watson -
Rating: 95
I agree with Andrews review. I was not as big a fan of BOOH II as most people are, it was too mellow for me. Now BOOH III is the heavest of the the 3 releases in my opinion, and my second favorite BOOH release. Nothing will ever top the original.

The production is perfect on this cd and by listening I could not tell that Jim Steinman wasn't involved in the production.

I'm not going to do a track by track review. To sum things up, if you are a fan of the Bat out of Hell music and sound then this release will not disappoint. I look forward to BOOH 4 regardless of who's involved.

09/11/06: Paul -
Rating: 65
This is one difficult cd to review. I'm a huge fan of Meat Loaf, both the BOOH cds as well as his non-Steinman works. As any fan knows, there is a distinct difference between these two sides of Meat Loaf. The reality here is that this is NOT a true BOOH album, however hard it may try. Half of the tracks are Jim Steinman penned, but the majority of those are retreads from previous Steinman projects. Now, the same was done to a lesser degree in BOOH2, but at least there one had the Steinman magic in production. Here we have Desmond Child doing his best Steinman impersonation, but that's all it is, an impersonation. So the question remains, should one review this as a BOOH cd or a non-BOOH Meat Loaf effort?

Sad to say, it really doesn't matter, because either way this cd comes up short. The cd kicks off promisingly enough with the title track, THE MONSTER IS LOOSE, which is a cool enough track, but not in any way did I feel it resembled anything Steinman would have written. BLIND AS A BAT has a Steinman-esque title and a great piano and vocal intro, but fails to hold together like a Steinman ballad. Not a bad song, though. IT'S ALL COMING BACK TO ME NOW is such a great song. I never thought anyone should do this song after Celine Dion's version, but this is definitely a highlight. BAD FOR GOOD continues to show why Steinman is the genius he is, and why Meat Loaf is the true voice of his works. While this song was good on Steinman's solo album, it excels here. The only downside is the production/arrangements. I can't help but wonder how great this song would've sounded if Steinman had been in charge. CRY OVER ME is an okay Meat Loaf track, but completely out of place on BOOH. IN THE LAND OF THE KING, THE BUTCHER IS KING is one of the new Steinman songs, and quite frankly it made me wonder if this was why Steinman wasn't more involved. Not a good track at all. Maybe Steinman just doesn't have it anymore. MONSTRO is a completely unnecessary mostly instrumental intro... I would've preferred a spoken word intro like the first two BOOH's instead. ALIVE is a great pop-rock anthem, but, again, does not have that Steinman magic. This track would've been a great addition to any Meat Loaf cd sans Steinman, but it's clearly not BOOH. IF GOD COULD TALK is, in my opinion, the exception to the rule... a non-Steinman track that feels like Steinman. Solid track and perfect length to be a single. IF IT AIN'T BROKE BREAK IT returns to Steinman writing, if not production and arrangement. Disappointing tune. WHAT ABOUT LOVE is the highlight to this cd... sounds like Steinman written and produced tune. SEIZE THE NIGHT returns to Steinman work, unfortunately it copies music from a couple of other Steinman efforts, further making me wonder if Steinman just doesn't have anything left in him artistically. A weak track taking almost 10 minutes to get through. THE FUTURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE, another Steinman retread, is reminiscent of OBJECTS IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR, without the lyrical substance. CRY TO HEAVEN closes out the cd in an unusual way... a Steinman tune coming in under 3 minutes. Actually a nice simple tune.

So what does all this add up to? As a BOOH cd, this is seriously lacking. Additionally of concern though, is the fact that the Steinman tracks are either retreads or lackluster originals. I'm not sure an all-Steinman penned BOOH3 would've been any better. Desmond Child does his best, but his production is a cheap carbon copy of what comes to Steinman naturally.

So if we just evaluate the cd as a Meat Loaf cd, it fares a little better, but not much. I know there's already been discussion of the possibility of a BOOH4, but if BOOH3 is any indication, well, then the future ain't what it used to be.

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