Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hang Cool Teddy Bear -- Meat Loaf

Okay, time for another confession, this one about on a par with my admission that I love ABBA. I'm also quite fond of Meat Loaf. Note the capital letters. While do enjoy a good meat loaf for dinner, I'm talking about the singer here. When Bat out of Hell came out all those years ago, I bought it on 8-track (how's that for an embarrassing admission?). Later I bought it on cassette, and still later I bought it on CD. I've bought the other Bat CDs, too, and the other day I listened to Hang Cool Teddy Bear, which is pretty much in the same vein.

The "concept" here is that each song is the daydream of a wounded soldier, each one representing a possible vision of his future life. The visions unfold in operatic power pop, with wailing guitars, hammering drums, and soaring above all that, Mr. Loaf's incredible vocals. How can he hit those notes at his age? I don't know, but he does.

Lots of guest stars here, including Justin Hawkins, Jack Black, and Hugh Laurie (yes, that Hugh Laurie) on piano. And Patti Russo, which brings back some memories.

If you've never liked Meat Loaf, this CD isn't going to change your mind. If you were looking for another Bat out of Hell, this one doesn't quite measure up. But it's a lot of fun. One line in "California Isn't Big Enough" made me laugh out loud, and "I Saw Elvis in Vegas" actually achieves the big emotions it's striving for. If you like this kind of music, this is the kind of thing you'll like. If not, forget it.


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think I cut my comment off in the middle, so if half turns up, blame senility.

Anyway, BAT OUT OF HELL is one of the all-time greats, and BAT II isn't bad either, though a little more uneven.

We're seeing Mr. Loaf in July (for the sixth time) and I guess I'll have to check this one out first.

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just noticed that the live album on the deluxe edition of TEDDY BEAR has this:

8. "Bat Out of Hell" (12/06/08, United Palace Theatre, New York)

We were at that concert!

Jeff

Benjie said...

Didn't always like Meatloaf; but we've both mellowed in our old age. I'm particularly fond of the new A-1 commercial ("A-1 makes Meatloaf sing").

Randy Johnson said...

I'll admit to a long love for Meatloaf and his music that began with Bat Out of Hell, though his turn on Nugent's Free-For-all is fondly remembered as well.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Isn't he going by Meatloaf Aday now that he's also a noted thespian?

Jerry House said...

My wife loves Meat Loaf. I like him. My youngest daughter hates (no caps) meatloaf.

George said...

Apparently, Meat Loaf had some throat problems that put his career on hold during the 1990s. But, as you say, he's back in form on this CD. Love it!

Anonymous said...

CAN ANYONE. ANYBODY HELP ME. I LOVE MEAT LOAF AND I WANT TO KNOW WHO IS THE GIRL IN BLACK LIKE A WITCH IN "I'D LIE FOR YOU" MUSIC VIDEO.
I NEED TO KNOW THE NAME OF THAT LADY IN BLACK. THANKS