What separates me from Meat Loaf is that my qualities are of the
heroic Star Wars effect. Sweeping and theatrical. Blood and
thunder, iron and guts.
So says Jim Steinman, author of Meat Loafs mega platinum Bat
Out Of Hell LP, whose own debut album Bad For Good on
Cleveland International/Epic was recently released.
Steinman, who again has written all the material for Meat Loafs
long-awaited follow-up says the Meat Loaf album will be intentionally
dissimilar from Bat Out Of Hell and Bad For Good
expressing obvious concern that both LPs wouldnt conflict.
My record follows the personality of Bat Out Of Hell,
says Steinman. Meat Loafs album are more personal love songs.
My songs are darker and wilder, kind of thunder and lightening - like
God hit the world and the world hit back.
Steinmans LP was originally intended to be Meat Loafs follow-up
until it was time to lay down the vocals. It was then, says Steinman,
that Meat Loaf opened his mouth and no sound came out.
He went to see doctors, coaches, anyone associated with the human
voice. It was 50% psychological having to follow-up a big album and the
other half ripping his voice touring. He came back six months later and
still couldnt sing. It was a mental block. Those songs represented
failure to him.
So Steinman, who was going to record his own LP anyway, picked up the
ball and recorded his own songs with Todd Rundgren producing.
As a result, Steinman juggled his own album with the writing of Meat
Loafs LP, all the time tying to give both albums separate identities.
To the surprise of many, Steinmans vocals sounded stronger than
expected, unusual in as much as he hasnt sung since 1973. He couldnt
sing for two years after that, the result of a broken nose sustained in
a bar fight.
I always liked singing more than writing, he confesses. I
taught the songs to Meat Loaf. He became my voice. I used to sing Doors
and Stones rockers in 1972. My voice is edgier and theres a different
texture to it. Drummer Max Weinberg describes it as sounding like I
have to go to the bathroom.
Surprisingly, Steinman grew up with opera, so one of his seven or eight
minute epics sounds like a jingle to him when compared to
a five-hour opera.
Steinman says that when writing songs he thinks of movies: I make
cinematic adventures with edits built in.
He is currently writing Neverland for CBS films which he
describes as a rock and roll Peter Pan.
Half of the songs on Bad For Good were actually written for
it. Im into the idea of someone putting on the headphones
and listening to a film, he says.
Steinman admits that when working on Bad For Good he wanted
each song to be of anthem like proportion, which explains the passionate,
urgently charged personality of the music.
Included is a duet with Karla DeVito, reminiscent of her duet with Meat
Loaf on Paradise By The Dashboard Light.
It was part of the game plan, says Steinman. Karla
is the link with Bat Out Of Hell. I wanted to see if I could
do it again and take it farther.
The release of Steinmans LP has caused some confusion at the radio
and retail level. Some people thought of my record as Meat Loafs
second LP. Stations expected it to be. They had to be told it wasnt
Meat Loaf. But you have to get the consumer to know the connection though.
Steinman hints at a few possible dates with Rundgren and DeVito and then
a tour with Meat Loaf where both albums will be incorporated. And then
again, DeVito has her own LP due so there could even be a three-way tour.
Steinman intends to continue recording although he says this is
the end of the line for Bat Out Of Hell type material.