JIM STEINMAN (Meat Loaf) – Bad For Good [Japan Edition] RARE
After the recent post of Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell, some of you asked for the songwriter JIM STEINMAN album “Bad For Good“. The work / songs were originally intended to be recorded by Meat Loaf as a follow up to Bat Out Of Hell. However, Loaf suffered vocal problems and was unable to sing (he would record several tracks from Bad For Good for his later albums).
So Steinman decided to record “Bad For Good” in 1981 performing the lead vocals himself.
The album never was remastered, and we think this rare, hard to find Japanese Edition sounds much better than the other versions.
In the midst of a rigorous and exhausting tour schedule in the late seventies after the hude success of ‘Bat Out Of Hell’, Meat Loaf literally lost his singing voice… for several years.
Meanwhile his collaborator/songwriter, Jim Steinman, was getting anxious and chomping at the bit to record a follow-up to the mega-seller album.
Steinman assembled all the recording crew, the musicians, and put on tape all the music. All Mr. Loaf had to do was overdub his vocals onto the completed meisterwork. But if the X million-plus sales of ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ had persuaded its creators to go overboard on the sequel budget, the surprise success had an even worse effect on the star. He opened his mouth, but the words wouldn’t come out.
Finally Steinman decided to record the album himself. “Bad For Good” ended up being the Meat Loaf album that never was.
A trained singer as well, for the most part Steinman opted to do the lead vocals. He has a respectable tenor voice but many critics unfavorably and unfairly compared him to Meat Loaf and the album was subsequently overlooked (however it did get to #7 in the UK chart).
Studio vocalist Rory Dodd (best unknown for being the voice Michael J. Fox lip-synced to Johnny B. Goode in the movie Back to the Future). Dodd sang some of the technically harder songs (e.g. ‘Surfs Up’, ‘Rock & Roll Dreams Come Through’) but Steinman makes a triumphant and glorious go of things on the title track, ‘Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into the Fire)’, the sublime ‘Left In The Dark’, which actually works to Steinman’s advantage.
As for the musicians, a similar line-up to that of ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ appear – essentially the E Street Band (Max Weinberg, Roy Bittan), Utopia (Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton), Karla DeVito and other top drawer players.
Highlights are Davey Johnstone’s absurdly genius guitar playing on the duelling solo at the end of ‘Stark Raving Love’ – that has to be heard to be believed – and the bombastic drumming of Max Weinberg throughout.
With otherworldly playing, existential lyrics and with a seemingly carte blanche from Epic to do what he wanted to, Steinman delivered an album transcending excess. I forgot to mention the New York Philharmonic Orchestra playing the intro song ‘The Storm’ (picture the Lost Boys turning up on a stormy beach) and also accompanying the mourning Steinman on ‘Left In The Dark’ – this was excess that could never be repeated.
To expand on this excess, Steinman’s concept was not to just send out the record to the radio stations but also to give out the right hi-fi system so the songs would be heard at their best!
“Bad For Good” IS trademark Jim Steinman and even if one finds this is not ‘the same without Meat Loaf, the strength of the material tends to outweigh any shortcomings.
Some may shy away from the over the top anthemic bombast of Steinman’s work. But there’s something to be said for over the top musical theatrics: “If you don’t go over the top, you’ll never see what’s on the other side” (said by Steinman himself).
01 – Bad For Good
02 – Lost Boys And Golden Girls
03 – Love And Death And An American Guitar
04 – Stark Raving Love
05 – Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire)
06 – Surf’s Up
07 – Dance In My Pants
08 – Left In The Dark
09 – The Storm
10 – Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through
Lead Vocals, Keyboards – Jim Steinman
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Todd Rundgren
Guitar – Davey Johnstone
Bass, Backing Vocals – Kasim Sulton
Bass – Steve Buslowe, Neal Jason
Piano, Keyboards – Roy Bittan
Piano – Steve Margoshes
Synthesizers – Roger Powell, Larry “Synergy” Fast
Horns – Lou Del Gatto, Tom Malone, Lou Marini
Drums – Max Weinberg, Joe Stefko, Alan Schwartzberg
Percussion – Jimmy Maelen
Female Lead Vocals (Track 8) – Karla DeVito
Featured Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Rory Dodd
Backing Vocals – Ellen Foley, Eric Troyer
Orchestra – New York Philharmonic
Out Of Print