After discussing the singles from two Bonnie Tyler albums, a Meat Loaf singles round-up is overdue. Since the singles released from both Bat and Dead Ringer aren’t all that interesting (mostly album tracks as b-sides, with just two tracks worth discussing), we’ll go straight to those of his 1983 album, “Midnight at the Lost and Found”.
“Midnight” was Meat Loaf’s contractual obligation record to Epic / Cleveland International, and was recorded amidst an orgy of legal and financial troubles. In an interview with the Herald Sun in 2006, mr. Loaf claimed it was the worst album he’s ever done, blaming the songwriting and production. But he only has himself to blame for that:
even I wasn’t happy with the stupid songs I’d written, he says in his autobiography, To Hell and Back.
Eventually I turned to Tom Dowd, who was producing, and said, ‘Look, you finish it. I’m outta here.’ Tom Dowd, whose credits are a mile long and include classics like “Dusty in Memphis”, supposedly pieced the album together using demo takes.
In the same interview, Meat claims that both “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” (later recorded by Bonnie Tyler and Air Supply) were written for him, to use on “Midnight”. But as his record company was anti-Steinman at the time, they wouldn’t fund the recording of those tracks, because his epic songs came with epic budgets. I have my reservations about these claims.
Anyway, on the the singles. Three tracks were released as singles (one of them twice), and every batch of singles contains an alternative version or a remix, a live track and once even a previously unreleased track. As you might notice, these alternative, remixed versions are not altogether that different. Just some different guitar parts or a synth-intro and stuff like that. Unless noted, I’m talking about the 12″ version. Dive into the archive for more details.
An alternative version of If You Really Want To was the leading single. On the B-side we find the album version of “Keep Driving” and the previously unreleased track “Lost Love”. Why it wasn’t included in favor of, say, “Priscilla” or “You Never Can Be Too Sure About The Girl” remains a mystery to this day. Apart from the Australian edition of “Hits Out Of Hell” and an obscure box set from South Africa, this song was never issued on CD.
⇒ Download If You Really Want To (alternative version)
⇒ Download Lost Love (previously unreleased)
The second single was the album version of Razor’s Edge, and was coupled with “You Never Can Be Too Sure About The Girl” and an ‘alternative version’ of “Don’t You Look at Me Like That”. The song is a duet with Dale Krantz-Rossington, and features her husband Gary Rossington (founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd) on guitar. I can’t quite figure out what it is that is so alternative about it, but I guess that you, dear Lazyweb*, will tell me that.
⇒ Download Don’t You Look at Me Like That (duet with Dale Krantz-Rossington) (alternative version)
Then came a a “Special 4-Track Tour Edition” of the album’s title track, in at least four different versions: a 7″ version spread over two records, a regular 12″ single, and 7″ and 12″picture discs. Apart from remixed versions of “Midnight” and “Fallen Angel”, all versions included the album version of “Dead Ringer for Love” (labeled as ‘long version’) and a live version of “Bat Out Of Hell”, recorded live at Wembley Arena, april 1982. For the 7″ this take was severely edited down.
⇒ Download Bat Out Of Hell (live version)
⇒ Download Midnight at the Lost and Found (remix)
⇒ Download Fallen Angel (remix)
The fourth and final single was once again “Razor’s Edge”, but this time remixed. The b-sides are “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (abruptly cut off before the play-by-play on the 7″) an “Read ‘Em and Weep”.
⇒ Download Razor’s Edge (remixed version)
Worth mentioning is that the 1993 release Twelve Inch Mixes is a total scam. It claims to include the single versions of both “If You Really Want To” and “Razor’s Edge”, while in both cases the album version appears. Which makes it essentially a worthless release.
* Let me explain this one more time: I ask a question, and you, dear bunch of readers collectively known as lazyweb, bust your collective hive-mind to provide me with a satisfactory answer. The last two times I asked something, I got no responses whatsoever. Do not fail me this time. [back]