MEAT LOAF – Blind Before I Stop [Cherry Red / Hear No Evil remastered] (2017)
One of you requested the British label Cherry Red / Hear No Evil just released, first ever remastered version of MEAT LOAF‘s “Blind Before I Stop“, by far, my favorite album from this artist.
This is Loaf’s first record to fully embrace the ’80s sound, and what a bunch of amazing AOR tunes it includes.
Honestly, I never been a big fan of the composer / lyricist / auteur Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf association. The ‘theatrical rock’ they produced (Bat Out of Hell et all) sold millions and are ok to me, but I get little tired of its ‘bombast’ after some songs.
However, “Blind Before I Stop” is a totally different beast, and one that mid-80s AOR fans will adore.
Loaf hoped to bring back Jim Steinman for this record, but fortunately his record label at the time, Arista, had other plans. They wanted a record much more commercial, catchy and with radio appeal.
And indeed, “Blind Before I Stop” was a sonic departure for the singer. It was the first of his albums to fully embrace the production style of the ’80s with a large reliance on synths, layered choruses, sharp guitars and big, reverb drums.
This shift was undoubtedly due to the producer brought into to oversee the project, Frank Farian. Hailing from Germany, Farian was the mastermind behind Boney M. world wide success, and would produce, among others, the awesome super-group Far Corporation (Robin McAuley, Steve Lukather, et all)
Indeed, the HUGE, blasting sound of Far Corporation’s first album is one which one this “Blind Before I Stop” can be compared. Also Richard Marx’s first album and John Parr ’80s records.
Speaking of Parr, he does a great duet with Loaf on ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Mercenaries’, but he isn’t the only contributing: a multitude of songwriters were brought in for “Blind Before I Stop”. The only writer to have a credit on more than one song is, somewhat surprisingly, Meat Loaf himself.
The LP blended new songs with covers such as ‘Burning Down’ by Nazareth’s Billy Rankin, and ‘Special Girl’ by renowned David Tyson and Eddie Schwartz.
Additionally, there’s a arge list of session musicians including the King Crimson and Alan Parsons Project saxophonist Mel Collins (who plays on three songs) and Curt Cress (Scorpions, Alphaville) among others.
There’s some killer AOR punchy tunes here in the form of ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Mercenaries’, the synth-stabbing filled title track, and the kicking ‘Masculine’ .
All these were mixed with more melodic, FM radio AOR songs such as the catchy midtempo ‘Getting Away With Murder’ (some Starship on it), the mentioned ‘Special Girl’ (love this one) or ‘Standing On The Outside’, plus a smooth ballad on ‘Man And A Woman’.
“Blind Before I Stop” is a really, very well composed & arranged album, and for me the best Meat Loaf performance ever (not over the top or forced).
But what really shine for me on this record are the guitars… the guitar work on this album is nothing short of fabulous. Imagine the a mix of the work Bruce Gaitsch & Michael Landau did on the first Richard Marx album Repeat Offender, add touch of Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Reb Beach (Winger, Fiona) and you get the picture.
As guitar apprentice myself when this album was originally released in September 1986 (arrived to my hands in 1987), my jaw dropped after the first listen.
Killer – I mean KILLER – guitar work & sound.
This Cherry Red / Hear No Evil remastered reissue of Meat Loaf’s “Blind Before I Stop” is a must because this album always suffered of a poor transfer to CD with poor dynamics and low gain.
Wait to hear this bright remaster… the guitars bite!
’80s AOR fans you need this one.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 – Execution Day
02 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Mercenaries (feat. John Parr)
03 – Getting Away With Murder
04 – One More Kiss (Night Of The Soft Parade)
05 – Blind Before I Stop
06 – Burning Down
07 – Standing On The Outside
08 – Masculine
09 – Man And A Woman
10 – Special Girl
11 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Hero
Meat Loaf — lead & backing vocals, guitar
John Parr — guest vocals (2)
Mats Björklynd — guitars (1, 2, 3, 8), bass , keys, programming, drums
Johan Daansen, Peter Weihe — guitars
Dieter Petereit. John Golden — bass
Harry Baierl — piano, keyboards, programming
Pit Löw — keyboards, programming
Mel Collins — saxophone
Curt Cress — drums
Frank Farian — additional vocals (2), backing vocals (6)
The Jackson Singers — choir (1, 6, 7)
Amy & Elaine Goff, Peter Bischof, Bert Gebhard — backing vocals
BUY IT !