Sunday, 3 June 2018

Meat Loaf - Dead Ringer (1981)

  

Released September 1981

In 1981, when Jim Steinman had prepared "Bat Out Of Hell 2" for Meat Loaf, the Loaf got a throat illness and could not sing. Steinman duly released the excellent "Bad For Good". The big man duly recovered and they hastily recorded some more material on this album.

In my view, and that of quite a few others, the better material is to be found on "Bad For Good". However, don't let that detract you from this album. pianist Roy Bittan and drummer Max Weinberg from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band are still there and certainly the fist few songs are excellent. The rocking "Peel Out" is a good opener, although Meat Loaf later admitted he hated the track and his voice was suffering as he sang it. You can sort of tell.

The next one, though, is a classic, pure Steinman sexual jealousy and lust in "I'm Gonna Love Her For Both Of Us". A genuine Meat Loaf great. His voice is back by now, for sure. Also, just listen to Max Weinberg's drumming on this one. Awesome. Roy Bittan's piano, Weinberg's drums, the female backing vocals and Meat Loaf's tumultuous lead vocal just blow you away. One of my favourite Loaf tracks of all time.

"More Than You Deserve" ploughs the same lyrical furrow, and guess what - so does the next great track - "I'll Kill You If You Don't Come Back", with its "For Crying Out Loud" dramatic ending build-up. Another classic song from Steinman. Nobody does infuriated obsession/lust/passion better. Nobody. You hear me. Nobody!!

"Read 'Em And Weep" is a powerful rock ballad and then there is the spoken word bit of the earthy "Nocturnal Pleasure" that provides a great introduction to the rocking hit single, "Dead Ringer". "Everything Is Permitted" sits a bit uncomfortably at the end, an old song from several years earlier, it doesn't quite fit in with the general feel of the rest of the album.

All in all, get this, along with "Bat Out Of Hell 1 and 2" and Steinman's "Bad For Good" and you have all the Meat Loaf/Steinman you really need. These were the albums on which they were really on fire, lyrically and musically.

Love the cover too.

B


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