What would you call someone who had eight copies of the same album? Well, as of today, you may call me just that. My eighth copy (and my third vinyl version) of Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell… arrived today.

What makes this version different from the other two LP versions (I have and know of), is that it’s a double LP. And that it’s produced in Zimbabwe by Teal Record Company. The last thing isn’t a big deal (although, do you have a LP from Zimbabwe?), but the first thing sure is.

You see, back in the day when everything was released on vinyl, everybody had kinda figured out that you really shouldn’t put much more than 25 minutes of music on each side of a record. Technically, it’s quite possible. But it will sound like shit. Case in point: the regular UK LP version of Bat II. Somehow, they’ve managed to squeeze 40 minutes on side one, and the other 35 on side two. What follows, as you can see in the following image, is that the grooves have to be cut very closely together, with barely enough space to generate a decent amplitude.

Two LPs, one CD.
Image: three times the same minute from “Life is a Lemon and I want My Money Back” (3:30 to 4:30) [download mp3 sample]. Apart from cutting it up and a minor speed correction, no editing.
The soft volume and the distortion makes the first sample completely unlistenable. The second sample (from the double LP) is much, much better. Apart from the inherent pops and crackle, it’s on par with the CD (sample three) to me.

So while this version wasn’t exactly necessary for my collection, it’s still nice to have a good sounding LP.