MEAT LOAF: BAT OUT OF HELL III- CD

MEAT LOAF BAT OUT OF HELL III- THE MONSTER IS LOOSE

The Monster Is Loose ♦ Blind As A Bat ♦ It’s All Coming Back To Me Now ♦ Bad For Good ♦ Cry For 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 (Epilogue)

The Bat Out Of Hell story line is about lovers who face challenges in love, sex, pain, their dreams and downfalls.
This installment (and supposedly the final) of a trilogy spanning over three decades in the making, is a collection of songs showcasing Meat Loaf’s vocals with several different award winning songwriters. While the first two: Bat Out Of Hell (1977), and the follow up Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell (1983) all the songs and arrangements were by Jim Steinman. BOOH III has contributions not only by Steinman but Desmond Child, Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie) and Diane Warren.

The title track “The Monster Is Loose” (Child, Sixx, John 5) makes the listener feel just like that…breaking loose from whatever “monster” has been keeping them down. “Blind As A Bat” (Child, James Michael) is about conquering all for love. Listeners will recognize “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” as one of the songs that Celine Dion took to the top of the charts. In this version Meat sings with newcomer Marion Raven as a duet. Steinman had written and recorded this song for his “Pandora’s Box” project and then offered it to Meat for BOOH II before Celine, but it was turned down. Meat Loaf and duets are like peanut butter and jelly…made for each other. “Bad For Good” is another Steinman track that was written for the follow up to BOOH I but Steinman put it on his solo project and used it for the title track due to Meat’s inability to record. This time Brian May (Queen) plays lead guitar and it really rocks! “Cry Over Me” is contributed by Diane Warren (Because You Loved Me, My Heart Will Go On). The song is of lost love and pain.

Now, on to one of the heaviest tracks on the cd…”In The Land Of The Pigs, The Butcher Is King” (Steinman) This is where Meat really comes to operatic life! “Monstro” (Child) is a song that if this was used for a movie soundtrack…would be when the gigantic bat arises from the depths of hell. “Alive” (Child) is an upbeat “sing out loud” song. “If God Could Talk” (Child) is about breaking up and wanting answers. “If It Ain’t Broke” (Steinman) has the felling of knowing what’s right but making your own rules. “What About Love” (Child) a duet that brings back Patti Russo who sang with Meat on “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That). The song has the same vibe as the duet part in “Anything For Love” and feels like a continuation from there.

“Seize The Night” (Steinman) starts with the arrangement from another Steinman song: “The Storm” and borrows a guitar riff from “Back Into Hell” (Steinman is known for intertwining and reworking his songs). It’s about rejoicing the night and doing everything where there is a time without rules. “The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be” (Steinman) is another song that Steinman had on the “Pandora’s Box” cd but on this cd…is turned into another duet with Jennifer Hudson. It gives the feeling of someone realizing that their life isn’t going to get any better than the present. “Cry To Heaven” (Steinman) is the ending of the journey for our hero throughout the trilogy.

The cd is a great listen to any Meat Loaf/Jim Steinman fan even though Steinman didn’t write/arrange all of it like the previous two due to legal issues. While Child, Warren, Sixx, John 5 and James Michael all are great writers of music, this Bat falls short in being the musically epic masterpiece that the first two were. Many BOOH Fans, including myself, feel that this project should not have been a “Bat” cd due to that fact. Of the fourteen tracks offered, the seven written by Steinman are the shining moments.

On another note, the dedication from Meat in the liner notes “For Thirty Years Of Friendship And Inspiration, Bat Out Of Hell III Is Dedicated To Jim Steinman may ease the sting”.

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