Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell II - Back Into Hell
Some albums in music history stand out as something really special. The first Bat Out Of Hell album was a minor revolution in 1977, thanks to its pompous and excessive arrangements. Lesser, but still huge, was the effect when the second part came out sixteen years later, it was built upon the same concept but a lot had happened in the years between. So while the first one was the most original and shocking, I still like the song writing and musical performances just a bit better on the sequel. Allow me to explain myself through a tour de hell, where my comments could end up being as long as the songs themselves, now you have at least been warned.

I guess we all to some extent have crossed the path of I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) at some point. This 11-minute giant wasn't exactly what I would call a radio friendly tune, but sometimes strange things happen.
The whole build up makes it a classic in its own right, a breathtaking opus being completely over the top.just as we love it from master Jim Steinman.
The powerful choirs make the hair on my arms rise a few times, especially when they help out with the infectious refrain. The break at 5.28 is just brilliant and incredible melodic too.
Just as the song was about to get a bit stretched out, the strong voice of the female counterpart enter and the song changes nature, if you listen carefully you can hear how the guitar keep teasing in the left speaker in the closing passage.

In my opinion the only really setback on this album comes with Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back. The rhythm is rather boring, the chorus dragging and the almost eight minutes become too much, on the positive side the ending instrumental jam session is a smart move.

The whole atmosphere covering Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through has always felt warm and uplifting to me. A great and harmonious song, once again ending with a playful guitar and piano closure, it's these minor details that keep popping up as the album progresses and eventually makes it that inch better than otherwise.

From the first time I heard It Just Won't Quit, it left a deep impression on me, the fantastic lyric about fighting the turmoil inside oneself is very recognisable.
The expressive vocals and sorrowful piano passages are excellent by the way.

I never really understood why Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire) wasn't a major hit from this album, I mean this song is divine.
Beginning with those melodic guitar licks, followed by inspiring piano notes and jamming bass lines, all leading into the heavy guitar explosion that opens up the thrilling mid-section. The break at 2:36 is as sent from heaven, the guitar soloing thrilling and the playful piano strokes are of the kind I have to imitate every time.
I could go on and on about his revelation, a true masterpiece.

Another song I would include in that category is the 10-minute epic Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are. I'm already sold with the first seconds of warm piano lines and embracing keys.
Meat Loaf's apathetic vocal delivery is simply phenomenal, he captures all of these messed up emotions so incredible well. He must have known exactly what Steinman wanted to express with these words, and what words. A stirring story dealing with two different kind of loss, now how clever is that.
The extremely powerful mid-section injects some real energy before the well-structured verses set in again. This song is the perfect example of how a successful piano can be used in a song, giving it a recurring melodic shine.

Wasted Youth is a funny little monolog from Steinman himself fittingly leading into Everything Louder Than Everything Else. I really dig the pompous chorus and the easy-going direction of the song, not taking things too seriously for once. Great forceful drumming and intelligent guitars add that something extra. Admitted that in the end it becomes a bit forced.

Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere) starts out with what could sound as a circus parade, but it quickly turns into a more serious tone, nevertheless remaining a very positive nucleus. The choirs work well but the only OK chorus gets repeated too much.

Back Into Hell is a short experimenting instrumental, combining familiar melodies with bombastic key scenarios. Nothing fantastic but not uninteresting either.

To round things off, Lost Boys And Golden Girls is the brilliant full-blown ballad we had been waiting for. Stunning vocals, a monster chorus, heavenly choirs, a sugar sweet piano melody, soaring keys and an overall great feeling of accomplishment.

The album is brilliantly produced, allowing room for every element and detail in a huge and bombastic sound landscape. The lyrics are meaningful, humorous and dealing with universal aspects as love, hope and pain, so not much to be wished for here either.

I can't wait to hear what Jim Steinman will come up with for the third part; hopefully it will be another elaborate chapter to this fabulous and effusive drama.
This is one of those albums where I find myself singing along most of the way through, I really think it is that memorable.

Written by Tommy
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Show all reviews by Tommy

Ratings

Tommy: 8/10

Members: 8.25/10 - Average of 2 ratings.



Member ratings

RevelationZ StaffStuart (Staff)

Rating: 9.5/10
Hard to describe how much this album means to me. Its one of those records that I've alway... · Read more ·
Profile pictureSteen (Staff)

Rating: 7/10
I don't agree on the classic status of this one. I think it misses the spark and the intui... · Read more ·

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RevelationZ Comments


Comment by PG (Anonymous) - Thursday, December 15, 2005
meat loaf sucks


Comment by MeatTycoon (Anonymous) - Saturday, December 24, 2005
I think it's important, at least for the reason of information, to mention that most of the songs from this album weren't actually written for it, but are covers of old Steinman's records. Meat Loaf fans usually don't care about these old versions, being sure that Meat does these songs better anyway, but in my opinion all of them are better in their original performances.

Rock Anr Roll Dreams Come Through,
Out Of The Frying Pan, Wasted Youth and Lost Boys And Golden Girls all come from Jim Steinman's
solo album "Bad For Good" (1981),
and It Just Won't Quit and Good Girls Go To Heaven come from the album Original Sin by Steinman's project Pandora's Box from 1989 (yeah, the song "Original Sin" is there too).

Out Of The Frying Pan was originally sung by Jim himself, and, though many will think i'm an
idiot after this, i think that Jim
is a much more interesting singer than Meat. Steen mentioned in the Bat 1 review that Meat isn't the best singer technically - well, Jim is even worse when it comes to technique, when it comes to emotions, he's second to none.
He's just got tons of balls - while Meat just tries to make us think he's got any balls at all. Also, Jim's much more intlligible. Have you noticed Meat's stupid accent? Just compare
the way these two sing the opening
lines of Out Of The Frying Pan, and you'll see what i mean.

Rock And Roll Dreams and Lost Boys And Golden Girls were originally sung by Rory Dodd, not a very emotional, but still a very pleasant and honest-sounding singer. I much prefer his honest non-emotionality than Meat's imitated unnatural emotions.

Wasted Youth was originally called Love And Death And An American Guitar, and Bat 2 version is the same recording as Bad For Good, just with kinda changed background
noises, but the Bad For Good version still works better for me.

Also, arrangements on the whole Bad For Good album are all live instruments and symphonic orchestra, without those stupid electronics that ruin Bat 2 sound.

It Just Won't Quit was originally sung by The Awesome Elaine Caswell, one of my absolutely favourite female singers, and she kicks Meat's stinky ass nicely all the way through.

Good Girls Go To Heaven was originally performed by Holly Sherwood, and though i don't like her as much as some Steinman fans do, she's still much better than Meat. And the arrangements, again are much better in original, especially that instrumental part that comes after the words "every time i dream, it's just a little bit stronger than real life". The original instrumental break there was totally extatic, and what they dit there on Bat 2 was horrible beyond belief.

As for the new songs, they're all
real damn good, and they're longer than the old ones, but there's still only 4 of them. Together with Back Into Hell instrumental, they make about 40 minutes of music, so they could as well release it that way, but they didn't. Probably 'cause they were scared to release an album with 5 tracks that last 40 minutes.

I Would Do Anything For Love might me one of the defining songs about love for me, and Everything Louder Than Everything Else is a great (and probably the only) personal statement from Steinman about his life and music, but thins album gets what it deserves from me -
4/10. And i listened to Pandora's Box and especially Bad For Good countless times more than to this piece of music making.

And yes, one more thing: Jim should sing his own songs himself, and Meat Loaf can suck my ass.

Cheers.


Comment by Steen (Staff) - Sunday, December 25, 2005
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Comments: 518
Thanks for the info! I was actually not aware of most of that. I will see if I can find those Steinman records and post my opinion here.

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Sunday, December 25, 2005

Comment by m00 (Anonymous) - Wednesday, January 4, 2006
PG - 12/15/2005
---------------
you suck you cock


Comment by purple@home.ro (Anonymous) - Thursday, January 5, 2006
i have a question.Can anyone please tell me who is the voice of the female counterpart in
I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) ?
manny thanks !


Comment by MeatTycoon (Anonymous) - Friday, January 6, 2006
purple@home.ro - thie woman's name is Lorraine Crosby, though she was credited as Mrs. Loud on Bat 2. As far as i'm concerned, she sent a tape of her singing to Jim Steinman, he liked it and wanted to work with her. However, all she did with him was recording the demo of I Would Do Anything For Love (the whole song), and her vocal on the album was taken from this demo.
BTW, she didn't appear in the video for this song, the "singing" woman in it was some stupid supermodel who can't sing (i guess she was one of the singing models in George Michael's "Freedom" video, though i'm not sure about this one). Big mistake IMHO - a woman in Jim Steinman music video should look special, not like some generic half-starved brainless supermodel. Lorraine herself would be just perfect.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorraine_Crosby

m00 - you don't mean me, don't you?

Steen - I'm still waiting for your review of Bad For Good. I hope you'll like the album and Jimmy's singing.

To everybody - cheers and best wishes in the new year!


Comment by Steen (Staff) - Saturday, January 7, 2006
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Comments: 518
Found and ordered Bad For Good today, so I should have it within a week or so.

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Saturday, January 7, 2006

Comment by purple@homr.ro (Anonymous) - Thursday, January 12, 2006
manny thanks MeatTycoon !
I allways thought that Bonnie Tyler was the female voice in
"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)".It is a really good song.Too bad for Lorraine that she didn't appear in the video for this song.
mamny thanks again.


Comment by Steen (Staff) - Sunday, March 12, 2006
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Comments: 518
Hey MeatTycoon,

Saw your comment before it was somehow deleted.

I mentioned Bad For Good in my Playlist for January/February 2006. Check the article for my initial impression. I think it is a fantastic album album and I'm still listening to it regularly. I have a feeling that over time it will grow even more.

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Sunday, March 12, 2006

Comment by m00 (Anonymous) - Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Of course I mean you, you idiot.

MeatTycoon quote:
"And yes, one more thing: Jim should sing his own songs himself, and Meat Loaf can suck my ass."

Well, I suggest you first remove that big cock up your ass before you use the internet again and post shit like that...


Review by Steen (Staff) - Wednesday, April 26, 2006
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Comments: 518
I don't agree on the classic status of this one. I think it misses the spark and the intuitive feeling that made the first one so special. Pretty much every song going past the 7 minute mark could have benefitted from a tighter structure. It is unfortunate since all the right ingredients are here, but it doesn't fully come together for me.

My absolute favorites are Good Girls Go To Heaven which has a superb melodyline and Lost Boys And Golden Girls which is just breathtaking. I can't say there are any songs that I dislike and every song has its moments of greatness, but there are too many times when I think "Come on! Get on with it!". Especially when a refrain is repeated four times too many.

In the end this in a very ambitious album with many involving moments but overall it falls short because it loses focus too often and doesn't know when to stop. It is still a very good album, especially when I'm in the right mood.

Rating: 7/10

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Review by Stuart (Staff) - Tuesday, January 6, 2009
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Comments: 116
Hard to describe how much this album means to me. Its one of those records that I've always had a copy of ever since it was released.

Sure there were times when I went a good long while without ever listening to it but every time it managed to find its way back onto my cassette deck/CD Player/Ipod it confirmed why it's so special.

Christ, even if the rest of the album was only half as thrilling as the multi faceted opener I'd Do Anything For Love (stop trying to be aloof, you all know its wonderful) it would be excellent. But not only do most of the later tracks equal it but a one in particular (Objects In The Rear View Mirror) manages to better it.

Jim Steinman spent years compiling songs for this album and I could talk for just as long about how many great moments there are on it. Every time I listen to the record I find some new heart stopping moment of melodrama, a little guitar part that makes a song complete or some knew meaning to a lyric.

Its got a song for ever mood you could possibly have, Pissed off? Listen to Life Is A Lemon, In love? Listen to Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through, Lovelorn? Listen to It Just Won't Quit, Defiant? Well how about Every Thing Louder Than Everything Else?

If you don't own this album then I strongly advise you to pick it up, listen to it, then listen to it again and again and again. It's just that exceptional.

Rating: 9.5/10

Posted by Stuart (Staff)
Tuesday, January 6, 2009










Review by Tommy

Released by
Virgin Records - 1993

Tracklisting
1. I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Wont Do That)
2. Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back
3. Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through
4. It Just Won't Quit
5. Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire)
6. Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are
7. Wasted Youth
8. Everything Louder Than Everything Else
9. Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere)
10. Back Into Hell
11. Lost Boys And Golden Girls


Style
Symphonic Rock

Related links
Visit the band page

Meat Loaf - Official Website

Other articles
Bat Out Of Hell - (Steen)

Bat Out Of Hell III - The Monster Is Loose - (Steen)

Bad Attitude - (Stuart)



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Ratings
1 - Horrifying
2 - Terrible
3 - Bad
4 - Below average
5 - Average
6 - Good
7 - Very good
8 - Outstanding
9 - Genius
10 - Masterpiece
666 - Unrated

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