Now They See It...
Now They Don't

Now You See It...

"The success of Bat Out Of Hell II owes to Meat Loaf's renewed collaboration with songwriter Jim Steinman...And, like the first album, you can call it melodramatic, bombastic, mock-operatic, and grandiose."
-The Chicago Sun Times

"[Bat Out Of Hell II : Back Into Hell is] an oversized, hook-laden melodrama...As subtle as a flying mallet."
-The Boston Globe

"...Jim Steinman gives it his all here, providing epic power chords, angelic backing choruses, a romance-laden duet...and anthemic pace changes calculated to raise every lighter in [concert] arenas."
-The Plain Dealer Cleveland Ohio

"Bat Out Of Hell II : Back Into Hell is a flamboyant mix of rock and sweeping operatic touches - just like the original Bat Out Of Hell..."
-Bangor Daily News, Bangor Maine

"...[songs] about the psychic battlefields of adolescence: sex, cars and rock and roll. Rock musicians have addressed these themes, of course. But...Jim Steinman...always had a particular knack for not just exploring such topics, but celebrating them as well."
-The Calgary Herald

"Bat Out Of Hell II : Back Into Hell is about as bombastic at it's title -- imagine Phil Spector and Styx combining on a rock-opera."
-Tribune News Service

"As he did for Bat I, songwriter Jim Steinman has provided the Meat man with mini-epics drenched in dungeons, dragons and drag-racing, a soundtrack for teen angst raised to operatic heights. Imagine Born To Run-era Springsteen without brakes."
-USA Today

"...[Bat Out Of Hell II] heaves from whispered confessionalism to Armageddon, embellished by florid piano and several hundred guitar solos. The songs, all written by Jim Steinman, give a Gothic twist to the usual age-of-innocence rock 'n' roll themes: convertibles, Harleys, drive-ins, girls, Saturday night."
-The Chicago Tribune

"Bat Out Of Hell II, also penned by Steinman, contains much of the same lush piano-laden melodies, rich harmonies and teen-age angst of the first Bat album. The listeners...have the perfect follow-up..."
-The Kansas City Star

"Bat Out Of Hell II : Back Into loaded to the 64-track gills, a garish extravaganza of lyrical clichés and musical melodrama that thaws out the sound of Bat I without missing a single stylistic beat."
-New York Newsday

"Pumped with inflated themes, soaring guitars, pianos scaling to the heavens and Meat Loaf singing with some crazed Neapolitan passion, it is high-caloric pleasure."
-Richmond Times Dispatch

"True Loaf lovers know that while Meat sings the songs, it's writer-producer Jim Steinman's go-for-baroque vision that gives Loaf his spice. Steinman twists yearning romanticism and head-banging nihilism into ludicrously overwrought murals of teenage wasteland...Cut for cut, Back Into Hell almost matches the original for full-throttle grandeur..."
-The Atlanta Constitutional

"...Bat II is as bombastic and over-the-top as its predecessor. Layers of instruments collide with operatic choirs of back-up vocals...[it] roars of teen lust and buoyant idealism. Excess is the goal here..."
-The Kansas City Star

"If bombast had a bigger, louder brother, if overkill could graduate to Murder 1, if the Spinal Tap amps had a 12, if Springsteen and Wagner had a baby - and beaten it - they would all come close...[to Steinman's music]."
-The Montreal Gazette

"It's who you are in your wildest dreams, the best moment of your teenage life frozen in rhyme...If the hysterical, heroic, rebelliousness of youth had a brand name, that name would be Jim Steinman. Bat II reminds millions of Hell-hounds and reveals to a whole new generation, just how seductive velocity can be. Heavy breathing odes to red-hot passion battle elegies of stifling reality...More than working-class anthems, these songs are living-class novenas...The numbers speak for themselves. Steinman speaks to us all."
-The Neverland Chronicles

Now You Don't...

"In the 16 years since Bat I, the rest of us have come a long way -- but Loaf and his partner in crime, Jim Steinman, are stuck in some sort of time warp...In any event, if this is all Hell has to offer, maybe it's time for some clean living."
-The Calgary Herald

"But Bat Out Of Hell II - Back Into Hell, again by Steinman, is a dreadful descent into listening hell full of overblown, overlong, oversung, and plain awful lyrics that read like passages from a teen's diary...As a songwriter, Steinman has never found a cliché he couldn't overuse."
-Los Angeles Daily News

"Sadly when you slog through all 75 minutes of excess, not a single melody or memorable phrase sticks. At the tail end of the disco era, Bat Out Of Hell may have seemed like a breath of fresh air, Bat Out Of Hell II reeks."
-The Toronto Star

"...Steinman's rock-symphonic approach...sounds even more ludicrous today than it did 15 years ago."
-The Baltimore Sun

"Bat Out Of Hell II features more of almost everything that made 1977's Bat Out Of Hell such a mess: Queen-like mock operatic songs and settings, squalling guitars, Loaf's overwrought tenor and Steinman's overwritten lyrics. But Bat II has fewer radio-ready songs...And that should ensure that Bat II meets the fate Bat deserved - obscurity."
-The Boston Herald

"...this is one of the wordiest albums ever, and almost all of them are horribly overwrought. The pretension in Bat was silly; the pretension here is just annoying. Sample verse: 'Some days I pray for silence/Some days I pray for soul/Some days I just pray to the God of Sex and Drums and Rock 'n' Roll.' Yeah, and some days I vomit until my stomach hurts."
-The Chicago Sun Times

"Something old, nothing new, plenty borrowed, something blew - as in the gaskets that explode whenever Jim Steinman is allowed out of the Frankenstein Hospital for the Incurable Baroque and into a recording studio. Steinman huffs, puffs, reinflates Meat Loaf's lungs and his own mock-opera ambitions, and lets go of the balloon...Steinman thinks Bat I, released in '77 and now at double-digit-millions sales worldwide, hasn't 'peaked' yet. In acidhead parlance, I'd say he certainly has."
-The Montreal Gazette

"The worst pop album of 1993. Bat Out Of Hell II : Back Into Hell...Loaf, with long-winded songwriting partner Jim Steinman, vomits up 75 minutes of endlessly repeated choruses, bad pseudo-metal and clunky, bloated tales of lost boys, golden girls and rock 'n' roll dreams."
-The Fort Worth Star Telegram

"[The success of Bat Out Of Hell II] speaks to the near-universal appeal of what? Repetitious, inane 12-minute extravaganzas of dubious devotion and dated mating mores? Music that sounds as if old tapes of Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen had been spliced together with excerpts of Queen, Abba and Mantovani? A performing style that makes Susan Powter look narcoleptic?"
-Long Island Newsday

"Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman - Conclusive proof that progress is fiction. Meat Loaf hits No. 1 in 1993 with Bat Out Of Hell II, 16 years after doing the same thing with the same title. This one is aptly subtitled Back Into Hell, and it is a musical hell, from the florid piano to Mr. Loaf's tremulous, melodramatic voice. The bloated repetitious, quasi-operatic hard rock...was written, produced and, ahem, 'conceived' by Steinman...How could this be a hit? Have we learned nothing?"
-The Sacramento Bee

"...what was once 1978's stupidest fluke hit - a 400-pound opera-trained singer singing as if he's as sexy as Elvis, set to music as bombastic as anything Wagner ever dreamed - is not only back on the charts, it's practically ruling the charts...The material is painfully familiar without having any of the offhand smarts and throwaway good humor of the original. It's as if Loaf and Jim Steinman, the writer/arranger/producer of this dreck, in the intervening years have actually convinced themselves that Bat Out Of Hell was Art."
-Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph

"It was in the dark days of the late '70s when Steinman and his howling hired hand concocted an album of unconscionably bloated Wagnerian rock epics...that inexplicably, incredibly became one of the biggest-selling rock albums of all time...But, for all intents and purposes, it was presumed that Meat Loaf's geezer carcass had been disposed of. Attempts to stink up the charts with solo albums after his breakup with Steinman didn't work. Steinman, see, is the one responsible. Then, heaven help us, they started talking again. The result is...surely one of the most vacuous and cynical long-players ever made...wallowing in excess so gratuitous as to make Michael Bolton, by comparison, seem a master of understatement... Mountains of banshee-like wailing guitars! Thunderous drums! Herniated vocals! Profoundly stupid lyrics! Gack. This isn't pandering to the lowest common denominator - it's lowering the lowest common denominator."
-The Des Moines Register