Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Braeden P. Jeffery | Melbourne, VIC Australia | 01/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe it's just my favourite artists, but has anyone else noticed that when acts put out an album they're not particuarly thrilled with - or doesn't sell well - that they follow it up with a tour like none other before them? Queen's dismal performance of "Hot Space" in 1982 was trailed by arguably their best ever tour, one that saw them in simply blistering form. In 1993, after vocally complaining about "Henry's Dream" being his worst work yet, Nick Cave pulled out all the stops and delivered a tour that was - according to some - the pinnacle of his career as a live musician.
In 1986, Meat Loaf's "Blind Before I Stop" was released. It's by no means a bad album - it's a line-up of 11 fairly solid tracks, ranging from heavy rock to more blues-inspired tunes. However, it didn't do much in the way of sales and still today is shunned as the "black sheep" of the Meat Loaf catalogue. A lot of this, however, can be attributed to the fact that the record was produced by disco-genius Frank Farian, rather than any flaw in the songs themselves.
So, despite the poor public reaction to the album, Meat Loaf set off on the Blind Before I Stop tour - a brief, less-than-twenty date flight around the UK, culminating with a pair of concerts at Wembley Stadium on the first and second of March.
The album may have been poorly recieved. But the spectacular, three-hour stage show was by no means a failure. The full-sized setlist for these concerts was huge, no question. So, sadly, a great deal of it has been culled to cram it on to one LP (actually, the original release was an LP + EP dealie, because they couldn't fit it all onto traditional vinyl), leaving us with just the highlights of arguably the greatest tour that Meat Loaf ever delivered.
This edited setlist features only four tracks from "Bat Out Of Hell" - for which it should be applauded. If there's one thing I can't stand about Meat Loaf releases, it's the relative ignorance of the remainder of his albums. This live LP thankfully shares the time around between all his releases to this point (except, sadly, for "Dead Ringer"...maybe "Masculine" could have made way for "I'm Gonna Love Her For Both Of Us"?). The four tracks from "Bat"...well, you get three guesses. "Took The Words" is solid, though drags a bit (I still maintain that this song was at its best on the 1977/78 tour, and they never did it as well afterwards). "Paradise By The Dashboard Light"...well, this is a song that I struggle with a bit, I have to admit. Just once I'd love to see a Meat Loaf compilation or live album without it, but miracles don't happen every day. The version here is perfectly acceptable - this was about as good as the song got on stage, though I'm assuming the theatrics have been edited out for the purposes of an audio-only format. "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad" is great, but what the hell is with the guitar solo? Bob Kulick was never my favourite of Meat's guitarists (Damon LaScott, rock on), and when I first heard him play the 2/3 solo (on "Bad Attitude Live" VHS) I was stunned and a bit disappointed. It's entirely inappropriate for the song - if there was meant to be a solo of that length in there, then surely Steinman would have written one. Other than that, this is great, with Paul Jacobs on piano doing a bang up job as ever. "Bat" itself, despite being tragically predictable, is pretty good - heard one version of "Bat" you've heard them all, really, but that's no reason for the band not to play it.
So the tracks from "Bat" are fine. But what takes this CD above and beyond most Meat Loaf live releases is the tracks that Steinman didn't write. There's six of them, and they're all brilliant. "Midnight At The Lost And Found", the title track from the 1983 album, is brilliant. The arrangement is very similar to the 1984/85 "Bad Attitude" tour, though John Golden and Andy Well's brilliant bass/drums combo is sadly missed. Steve Bluslowe is great, but it's just not quite the same. Maybe it's just that the bass is lower in the mix or something. Anyway, the version here - Well/Golden or no Wells/Golden - is brilliant, thunderous. This was always a real standout of the concert - something the band would really get into - and the atmosphere of the track is captured really well here.
The tour was in aid of the 1986 "Blind Before I Stop" album, so it's unsurprising that the LP contains live renditions of three of the more recent tracks. Of all the tracks from "Blind", most would have picked "Masculine" for best transition to stage. Surprisingly, this isn't the case. "Masculine", found in the encores, isn't incredibly strong. Or at least not as strong as you'd expect. It just seems a bit too close to the studio original for me.
The same can't be said for "Blind" itself. This track has gone from over produced by Mr. Farian in the studio to being the loud, heavy rock track that it always promised to be. Similarily, "Rock and Roll Mercenaries" - already the best track on "Blind" - has only gotten better. Steve Bluslowe's voice is no match for John Parr's...but who cares when the music is this good?
Which leaves just two tracks. The album closer is a medley of rock classics, which really just seems like the band's excuse to let their hair down after three hours of epic effort behind their instruments. It's pretty damn good and thoroughly enjoyable.
The highlight of the album, however, is "Modern Girl". Meat Loaf hates this song (not just reportedly - I asked him when I met him last year), but it's one of my favourites. Paul Jacobs' piano opening lends few hints of what's to come...but when the band kicks in and it turns into the rocker to end all rockers, you can't help but get into it. "Modern Girl" is stunning.
My only real complaint about the whole thing is that it's too damn short. More "Blind" material, track from his previous albums - most notably "I'm Gonna Love Her", "Piece of the Action" (wouldn't THAT be stunning to have on CD, always a live classic) and "Dead Ringer for Love" - this is only a small slice of a spectacular concert. I would love to see a full length release of this concert some day...but until that day comes, I'll be more than happy with this."
Meat Loaf - Live At Wembley 1987.
Ted Lalonde | Canada Ontario | 08/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"''Meat Loaf Live''was recorded live at wembley arena at a soldout show during the ''Blind Before I Stop Tour''.In Front Of a crowd of nearly 18,000 cheering fans.Meatloaf opens with 'Blind Before I Stop'(I think he plays the guitar on that one) and suddenly bursts into a duet 'Rock n Roll Mercenaries'with bass player Steve Buslowe (originally with John Parr),an extended and a passionate 8 minute ''You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth'', An all electric guitar version of ''Midnight At The Lost And Found''far different from the studio version,A booming version of ''Modern Girl'',''Paridise By The Dashboard Light''with the Goff sisters,a ''Two Out Of Three Aint Bad''with a 3 minute super guitar solo by Bob Kulick,and Meat Loaf bursts into a 10 and a half minute epic 'Bat Out Of Hell'.The 2 special encores are : 'Masculine'7 minute's long , and a 1950's 'Rock n Roll Medley' inc. Johnny Be Good (similiar to the version he did on the 1970s tour),Slow Down,Blue Suede Shoes,&Jailhouse Rock. also take a good look at the cover,in the letters that say Meat Loaf there are pictures of Meat Loaf during the wembley concert. being a popular album in the U.K (peaking at u.k 60 # in 1987), I give this album 4 stars. Loaf"
The BEST Meaf Loaf CD
Thomas M. Sipos | Santa Monica, CA | 09/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've many Meat Loaf CD's, both live and studio recordings, and this is the VERY BEST CD Meat Loaf ever put out.
Meat Loaf usually sings in an operatic fashion, but even more so on this CD. He extends many notes long past the point where most singers would have lost their breath, and repeats other notes, really "getting into" the songs like never before (and that's saying something, as this IS Meat Loaf, a man who always "gets into" his music).
I especially loved the versions of "Took the Word Out Of My Mouth" and "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" on this CD.
The band and background singers are excellent too.