Depending what side you’re on, today is either Meat Loaf’s 56th or 60th birthday. I went into that whole deal last year, so I’ll just point to that for now.
Late last year, mr. Loaf released an album that should have been titled “The Monster Is Loose”. There are many reasons why I have, to put it mildly, issues with that album, but I won’t go into that either. Lets just say that as a Meat Loaf album, it’s quite good, and as a “Bat Out of Hell” album, it falls flat on it’s face. What I would really like to talk about today, is a the shitty selection of singles from that album.
The first single was a cover of “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” , masquerading as a duet with the Marion Raven. Most people might know Céline Dion’s version which was quite a hit in 1995, but it dates back to 1989, when it was first released on Pandora’s Box’s “Original Sin” album. (You should’ve heard the stories Mr. Loaf had to come up with to address those accusations of covering a Céline Dion song.) But anyway, his version is by far my least favorite of those three. My main gripe with it is that it just doesn’t work as a duet. Miss Raven gets all of two lines in the spotlight, and for the rest of the song, she’s echoing mr. Loaf’s lines back to him. Now, that’s not a duet, or is it? And like with most of the Steinman tracks on the album, Desmond Child’s production is lacking. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t do all that well in the charts either. Sure, it hit number one in Norway, but that miss Raven’s homeland, and they’re either patriotic or biased. It made the lower half of the British and German top 10s, but other than that, modest results.
“Cry Over Me“, the second and last single, was only released in the UK, six months after the release of the album, in order to gain some attention for the British leg of the “Three Bats World Tour”. I can and will be short about the reasons as to why that single made no impact whatsoever: it’s utter shite.
If you ask me, the choice for the singles was all wrong. A cover of a well know hit as lead single, and a crappy ballad as second one, released long after everybody stopped caring about “Bat 3”. What they should have done, was releasing some decent singles. The logical choices would have been “What About Love”, “The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be” (especially after duet-partner Jennifer Hudson won her Oscar) and “Blind as a Bat”. And now comes the part where you’ll all realize that this post is mostly a set up to talk about “Blind as a Bat”.
You see, for a while, “Blind as a Bat” was scheduled for release as second single. First it was planned for a December 2006 release. Promos were sent out, TV appearances were made, and then it was pushed back to February 2007, only to be pulled in favour of “Cry Over Me”. But that singled tanked, and any eventual plans for a third single went down with it. I’d say that “Blind as a Bat” has all the things the ‘regular’ public would expect from a Meat Loaf single. It’s pompously over the top, it has a massive chorus, tempo-changes all around, hell, it even has the word ‘bat’ in the title. What could anyone want more?
So, to celebrate mr. Loaf’s birthday, here’s the radio edit from “Blind as a Bat”, as well as the solo from a demo version, possibly sung by Desmond Child, featuring some alternative lyrics. (And, no, that’s all I have of it.)
Happy birthday, Meat.