Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947) better known by his stage name Meat Loaf is an American musician and actor. He is noted for the Bat Out of Hell album trilogy consisting of Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose. Bat Out of Hell has sold more than 43 million copies worldwide. After 35 years, it still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually and stayed on the charts for over nine years, making it one of the best selling albums of all time. He is also known for his powerful wide-ranging operatic voice and theatrical live performances.
After he enjoyed success with Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell and earned a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song “I’d Do Anything for Love”, Meat Loaf experienced some initial difficulty establishing a steady career within his native US. He has however retained iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the UK. In the UK he ranks 23rd for the number of weeks overall spent on the charts as of 2006. He also ranked 96th on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”.
He is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with worldwide sales of more than 80 million records. He has also appeared in over 50 movies and television shows, sometimes as himself or as characters resembling his stage persona. His most notable roles include Eddie in the American premiere of The Rocky Horror Show and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He also appeared in David Fincher’s Fight Club in 1999.
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Marvin Lee Aday was born in Dallas, Texas. He was the only child of Wilma Artie (née Hukel), a school teacher and a member of the Vo-di-o-do Girls gospel quartet, and Orvis Wesley Aday, a police officer. His father was an alcoholic who would go on drinking binges for days at a time. Aday and his mother would drive around to all the bars in Dallas, looking for Orvis to take him home. As a result, Aday often stayed with his grandmother, Charlsee Norrod.
Meat Loaf relates a story in his autobiography, To Hell and Back, about how he, a friend, and his friend’s father drove out to Love Field to watch John F. Kennedy land. After watching him leave the airport, they went to Market Hall, which was on Kennedy’s parade route. On the way they heard that Kennedy had been shot, so they headed to Parkland Hospital, where they saw Jackie Kennedy get out of the car and Governor John Connally get pulled out, although they never saw the president taken out.
In 1965, Aday graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, having already started his acting career via school productions such as Where’s Charley? and The Music Man. After attending college at Lubbock Christian College, he transferred to North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas in Denton).
After Aday received his inheritance from his mother’s death, he rented an apartment in Dallas and isolated himself for three and a half months. Eventually a friend found him. Aday bought a car and drove to California.
In Los Angeles, Aday formed his first band, “Meat Loaf Soul”. During the recording of their first song, he hit a note so high that he managed to blow a fuse on the recording monitor. He was immediately offered three recording contracts, which he turned down. Meat Loaf Soul’s first gig was in Huntington Beach at the Cave, opening for Van Morrison’s band, Them. While performing their cover of the Howlin’ Wolf song “Smokestack Lightning”, the smoke machine they used made too much smoke and the club had to be cleared out. Later, the band was the opening act at Cal State Northridge for Renaissance, Taj Mahal and Janis Joplin. The band then underwent several changes of lead guitar, changing the name of the band each time. The new names included Popcorn Blizzard and Floating Circus. As Floating Circus, they opened for The Who, The Fugs, The Stooges, MC5, Grateful Dead, and The Grease Band. Their regional success led them to release a single, “Once Upon a Time”, backed with “Hello”. Meat Loaf joined the Los Angeles production of Hair. During an interview with New Zealand radio station ZM, Meat Loaf stated that the biggest life struggle he had to overcome was not being taken seriously in the music industry. He compared his treatment to that of a “circus clown”.
Stoney & Meatloaf
With the publicity generated from Hair, Meat Loaf was invited to record with Motown. They suggested he do a duet with Shaun “Stoney” Murphy, who had performed with him in Hair, to which he agreed. The Motown production team in charge of the album wrote and selected the songs while Meat Loaf and Stoney came in only to lay down their vocals. The album, titled Stoney & Meatloaf (Meatloaf being shown as one word), was completed in the summer of 1971 and released in September of that year. A single released in advance of the album, “What You See Is What You Get”, reached number thirty six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and seventy-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. To support their album, Meat Loaf and Stoney toured with Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers, opening up for Richie Havens, The Who, The Stooges, Bob Seger, Alice Cooper and Rare Earth. Meat Loaf left soon after Motown replaced his and Stoney’s vocals from the one song he liked, “Who Is the Leader of the People?” with new vocals by Edwin Starr. The album has been re-released after Meat Loaf’s success, with Stoney’s vocals removed. Meat Loaf’s version of “Who Is the Leader of the People?” was released, but the album failed.
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More Than You Deserve
After the tour, Meat Loaf rejoined the cast of Hair, this time on Broadway. After he hired an agent, he auditioned for the Public Theater’s production of More Than You Deserve. It was during the audition that Meat Loaf first met his future collaborator Jim Steinman. He sang a former Stoney and Meatloaf favorite of his, “(I’d Love to Be) As Heavy as Jesus” (On VH1 Storytellers, Meat Loaf shares his first introduction with Jim Steinman. Meat would revive Steinman’s reaction to his intimate audience, “Well, I think you’re heavy as two Jesuses to be a matter of fact!”), and with that, got the part of Rabbit, a maniac that blows up his fellow soldiers so they can “go home”. Also in the show were Ron Silver and Fred Gwynne. After it closed, he appeared in As You Like It with Raúl Juliá and Mary Beth Hurt.
He recorded a single of “More Than You Deserve” and had a cover of “In the Presence of the Lord” as its B-side. He was only able to save three copies of it because the record company would not allow its press release. With those three copies he released many rare CDs featuring the two songs. He later recorded it again (1981) in a slightly rougher voice.
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The Rocky Horror Picture Show
During the winter of 1973, after returning from a short production of Rainbow in New York in Washington, D.C., Meat Loaf received a call asking him to be in The Rocky Horror Show playing the parts of Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott. The success of the play led to the filming of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in which Meat Loaf played only Eddie, a decision he said made the movie not as good as the play. About the same time, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman started work on Bat out of Hell. Meat Loaf convinced Epic Records to shoot videos for four songs, “Bat Out of Hell”, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”, “You Took the Words Right out of My Mouth” and “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad”. He then convinced Lou Adler, the producer of Rocky Horror, to run the “Paradise” video as a trailer to the movie. Meat Loaf’s final show in New York was Gower Champion’s Rockabye Hamlet, a Hamlet musical. It closed two weeks into its initial run. Meat Loaf would later return occasionally to perform Hot Patootie for a special Rocky Horror reunion or convention and rarely at his own live shows (one performance of which was released in the 1996 Live Around the World CD set).
During his recording of the soundtrack for Rocky Horror, Meat Loaf recorded two more songs: “Stand by Me” (a Ben E. King cover), and “Clap Your Hands”. They remained unreleased until 1984, when they appeared as B-sides to the “Nowhere Fast” single.
In 1976, Meat Loaf recorded lead vocals for Ted Nugent’s Free-for-All album when regular Nugent lead vocalist Derek St. Holmes temporarily quit the band. Meat Loaf sang lead on five of the album’s nine tracks.
Bat Out of Hell
Meat Loaf and friend/songwriter Jim Steinman started Bat Out of Hell in 1972, but did not get serious about it until the end of 1974. Meat Loaf decided to leave theatre, and concentrate exclusively on music. Then, the National Lampoon Show opened on Broadway, and it needed an understudy for John Belushi, a close friend of Meat Loaf since 1972. It was at the Lampoon Show that Meat Loaf met Ellen Foley, the co-star who sang “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” with him on the album Bat Out of Hell.
After the Lampoon show ended, Meat Loaf and Steinman spent time seeking a record deal. Their approaches were rejected by each record company, because their songs did not fit any specific recognized music industry style. Finally, they performed the songs for Todd Rundgren, who decided to produce the album, as well as play lead guitar on it (other members of Todd’s band Utopia also lent their musical talents). They then shopped the record around, but still had no takers until Cleveland International Records decided to take a chance. In October 1977, Bat Out of Hell was finally released.
Meat Loaf and Steinman formed the band The Neverland Express to tour in support of Bat Out of Hell. Their first gig was opening for Cheap Trick in Chicago. He gained national exposure as musical guest on Saturday Night Live on March 25, 1978. Guest host Christopher Lee introduced him by saying, “And now ladies and gentlemen I would like you to meet Loaf. (pauses, looks dumbfounded) I beg your pardon, what? (he listens to the director’s aside) Oh! Why…why I’m sorry, yes, of course…ah… Ladies and gentlemen, Meat Loaf!” The huge success of the album caused a rift to open up between Meat Loaf and Steinman: the group, named after Meat Loaf for ease of labeling, seemed to Steinman to sideline his work as creator, and Steinman started to resent the attention that his partner was getting.
During a show in Ottawa, Meat Loaf lumbered off the stage and broke his leg. He toured with the broken leg, performing from a wheel chair. During this time, Meat Loaf began heavy use of cocaine, had a nervous breakdown and threatened to commit suicide by jumping off the ledge of a building in New York. In the middle of recording his second album, Bad for Good, Meat Loaf lost the ability to sing; it is unclear as to the exact cause – the tour was a punishing one, and the vocals are energy intensive. However, his doctors said that physically he was fine and that his problem was psychological. Nevertheless, Steinman decided to keep recording Bad for Good without Meat Loaf.
Bat Out of Hell has sold an estimated 43 million copies globally (15 million of those in the United States), making it one of the highest selling albums of all time. In the UK alone, its 2.1 million sales put it in 38th place. Despite peaking at No. 9 and spending only two weeks in the top ten in 1981, it has now clocked up 474 weeks on the UK Albums Chart, a figure bettered only by Rumours by Fleetwood Mac–487 weeks. In Australia, it knocked the Bee Gees off the number No. 1 spot and went on to become the biggest-selling Australian album of all time for several years. It is now second on the list. Bat Out of Hell is also one of only two albums that has never exited the Top 200 in the UK charts; this makes it the longest stay in any music chart in the world, although the published chart contains just 75 positions.
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Life after Bat Out of Hell
In 1976, Meat Loaf appeared in the short-lived Broadway production of the rock musical Rockabye Hamlet. In 1980, he started working on Dead Ringer. Steinman wrote all of the songs, but had little else to do with the album. The tour they planned, to support the album, was cancelled after one show, because they ran out of the money that the studio advanced them. Sonnenberg also convinced CBS to advance more money for the making of the movie Dead Ringer, which was shown at the Toronto Film Festival and won some favorable reviews, but was poorly considered after Sonnenberg re-edited the movie.
On December 5, 1981, Meat Loaf and the Neverland Express were the musical guests for Saturday Night Live where he was reunited with fellow Rocky Horror Picture Show alum Tim Curry. Curry and Meat Loaf teamed up in a skit depicting a One-Stop Rocky Horror Shop. Later, Tim Curry performed “The Zucchini Song” and Meat Loaf & The Neverland Express performed “Bat Out of Hell” and “Promised Land”. In 1983, he released the self written Midnight at the Lost and Found. Meat Loaf, a poor songwriter by his own admission, did not care for the songs he wrote for the album.
In 1984, Meat Loaf went to England to record the album Bad Attitude, which included a duet with Roger Daltrey and two songs written by Jim Steinman; the recording of the album was rushed. During the tour to support the album, Leslie (Meat Loaf’s wife) had a nervous breakdown and had to check into the Silver Hill Hospital rehab facility in Connecticut. Things finally looked like they were going to turn around in 1986, when Meat Loaf found a new writer, John Parr, and started recording a new album, Blind Before I Stop. The album resulted in critical failure and Meat Loaf going bankrupt, eventually losing everything. His relationships with longtime friend Jim Steinman and Leslie also deteriorated. In 1985, Meat Loaf did some comedy sketches in England with Hugh Laurie. At some point, Meat Loaf tried stand-up comedy, appearing several times in Connecticut.
Meat Loaf performed “Thrashin” for the soundtrack of the 1986 skateboarding cult classic film Thrashin’ (directed by David Winters and starring Josh Brolin).
To try to get his career back off the ground, Meat Loaf started touring small venues, such as pubs and clubs. Slowly, he developed a faithful following which grew to the point where they were unable to fit into the venues that Meat Loaf was playing, and then they too began to grow. This carried on until the late 1980s, where he began to sell out arenas and stadiums again, including over 10,000 tickets at Ohio State University. Leslie studied to be a travel agent, so they could save on travel expenses, and they toured all over the United States, Germany, England, Scandinavia, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Abu Dhabi, Oman and Bahrain. With the help of his New York collection of musicians – John Golden, Richard Raskin and Paul Jacobs – his European tours enjoyed immense popularity in the 1980s. Because of the success of the touring, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman began to work on Bat Out of Hell II which was finally released in 1993, sixteen years after Bat Out of Hell. The album was a success.
Songwriter Jim Steinman started to work on Bad for Good, the album that was supposed to be the follow-up to 1977’s Bat out of Hell, in 1979. During that time, a combination of touring, drugs and exhaustion had caused Meat Loaf to lose his voice. Without a singer, and pressured by the record company, Steinman decided that he should sing on Bad for Good himself, and write a new album for Meat Loaf; the result was Dead Ringer, which was later released in 1981, after the release of Steinman’s Bad for Good.
After playing the role of Travis Redfish in the movie Roadie, Meat Loaf’s singing voice returned, and he started to work on his new album in 1980. Steinman had written five new songs which, in addition to the track “More Than You Deserve” (sung by Meat Loaf in the stage musical of the same name) and a reworked monologue, formed the album Dead Ringer, which was produced by Meat Loaf and Stephan Galfas, with backing tracks produced by Todd Rundgren, Jimmy Iovine, and Jim Steinman. (In 1976, Meat Loaf appeared on the track “Keeper Keep Us”, from the Intergalactic Touring Band’s self-titled album, produced by Galfas.) The song “Dead Ringer for Love” was the pinnacle of the album, and launched Meat Loaf to even greater success after it reached No. 5 in the UK and stayed in the charts for a surprising 19 weeks. Cher provided the lead female vocals in the song, which contributed to the success of the single.
The album reached No. 1 in the UK, and three singles were released from the album: “Dead Ringer for Love” (with Cher), “I’m Gonna Love Her for Both of Us”, and “Read ‘Em and Weep”.
Midnight at the Lost and Found
Following a dispute with his former songwriter Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf was contractually obliged to release a new album. Struggling for time, and with no resolution to his arguments with Steinman seemingly on the horizon (eventually, Steinman would sue Meat Loaf, who subsequently sued Steinman as well), he was forced to find songwriters wherever he could. The resulting album was Midnight at the Lost and Found.
According to Meat Loaf, Steinman had given the songs “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” to Meat Loaf for this album. However, Meat Loaf’s record company refused to pay for Steinman. This was hard luck for Meat Loaf, as Bonnie Tyler’s version of “Eclipse” and Air Supply’s version of “Making Love” would top the charts together, holding No. 1 and No. 2 for a period during 1983.
Meat Loaf is credited with being involved in the writing of numerous tracks on the album, including the title track, “Midnight at the Lost and Found”. However, when the album was released in 1983, it was regarded by many as being poor. Fans were disappointed to see that the iconic pictures on the covers of Bat out of Hell and Dead Ringer were replaced by a black-and-white photograph of Meat Loaf (on some later re-releases, a color image of a screaming Meat Loaf was used as the cover image).
The title track still regularly forms part of Meat Loaf concerts, and was one of very few 1980s songs to feature on the 1998 hit album The Very Best of Meat Loaf. This was the last album that Meat Loaf did with the record label Epic until the ‘best of’ album.
Bad Attitude, released 1984, features two songs by Jim Steinman, both previously recorded, and was mainly an attempt to keep Meat Loaf from going bankrupt during this period of lawsuits. It concentrated more on the hard rock side of Meat Loaf, which was a minor success around the globe and released a few hit singles, the most successful being “Modern Girl”. It also holds some of Meat Loaf’s favorite songs that include “Jumpin’ the Gun” and “Piece of the Action”. It was recorded in England. The US release on RCA Records was on April 1985 and features a slightly different track list, as well as alternate mixes for some songs and the title track features a duet with The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey.
“Modern Girl” was taken from this album and was the biggest hit. “Piece of the Action”, “Sailor to a Siren” is the b side and “Nowhere Fast” were also released singles with extended mixes and exclusive songs: “Take a Number”, “Stand by Me” (a Ben E. King cover) and “Clap Your Hands”. The latter two songs were recorded during the sessions for the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack.
On the cover of this album there is a note that this album was recorded in Munich and it is produced by Mack – known as Queen producer from 80s.
Blind Before I Stop
Blind Before I Stop was released in 1986. It features production, mixing, and general influence by Frank Farian. Meat Loaf gave songwriting another shot with this album and wrote three of the songs on the album. Released as a single (in the UK) was “Rock ‘n’ Roll Mercenaries”, which was a duet with rock singer John Parr. Another single released on the UK was “Special Girl”.
According to Meat Loaf’s 1998 autobiography, the album sold poorly because of the production of the album. Meat Loaf would have preferred to cancel the project and wait to work with more Steinman material. The album, however, has gained a cult following over the years, citing the songs “Execution Day” and “Standing on the Outside” as standout tracks on the record. “Standing on the Outside” was also featured during the third season of the 1980s TV show Miami Vice; it was used several times during the episode titled “Forgive Us Our Debts” (first aired December 12, 1986).
In the former USSR, this was the first Meat Loaf album officially permitted to be published, in connection with the beginning of the collapse of the Iron Curtain.
The song “Masculine” was the only song off the record to be a Live Show mainstay from 1987 to 1992. This then was omitted in favor of “Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back”, with the success of Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell.
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Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell
Because of the success of Meat Loaf’s touring in the eighties, he and Steinman began work during the Christmas of 1990 on the sequel to Bat out of Hell. After two years, Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell was finished. The artist’s then manager, Tommy Manzi, later told HitQuarters that music industry insiders were wholly unenthusiastic about the idea of a comeback, and considered the project “a joke”. The immediate success of “Bat out of Hell II” quickly proved any doubters wrong, with the album going on to sell over 15 million copies, and the single “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” reaching number one in 28 countries. Meat Loaf won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo in 1994 for “I’d Do Anything for Love”. This song stayed at No. 1 in the UK charts for seven consecutive weeks. The single features a female vocalist who was credited only as “Mrs. Loud”. Mrs. Loud was later identified as Lorraine Crosby, a performer from North East England. Meat Loaf promoted the song with American vocalist Patti Russo who performed lead female vocals on tour with him. In Germany, Meat Loaf became notably popular following the release of Bat out of Hell II but has enjoyed most of his success among pop/rock fans.
Also in 1994, he was honored by singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, something he says was one of the two biggest highlights of his career. Meat Loaf attempted to follow the success of “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by releasing “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through” as a follow-up; this song reached No. 13 in the US.
Welcome to the Neighbourhood
In 1995, Meat Loaf released his seventh studio album, Welcome to the Neighbourhood. The album went platinum in the United States and the UK. It released three singles which all hit the top 40, including “I’d Lie for You” (which reached No. 13 in the US and No. 2 in the UK charts) and “Not a Dry Eye in the House” (which reached No. 7 in the UK charts). “I’d Lie for You (And That’s the Truth)” was a duet with Patti Russo (who had been touring with Meat Loaf and singing on his albums since 1993).
Of the twelve songs on the album, two are written by Jim Steinman. Both are covers, the “Original Sin” from Pandora’s Box’s Original Sin album (it was also heard in the movie The Shadow, where it was performed by Taylor Dayne) and “Left in the Dark” first appeared on Steinman’s own Bad for Good as well as the 1984 “Emotion” album by Barbra Streisand. The video, which had a bigger budget than any of his previous videos, helped the single in its success. Other big hits, namely “I’d Lie for You” and “Not a Dry Eye in the House”, were written by Diane Warren.
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The Very Best of Meat Loaf
In 1998, Meat Loaf released The Very Best of Meat Loaf. Although not reaching the top ten in the UK, it went platinum in December of that year, and was already platinum around the rest of the world just after its release. The album featured all of Meat Loaf’s best-known songs, a few from his less popular albums from the 1980s, and three new songs. The music on the two Steinman songs was written and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The single from the album was “Is Nothing Sacred”, written by Jim Steinman with lyrics by Don Black. The single version of this song is a duet with Patti Russo, whereas the album version is a solo song by Meat Loaf. The album did not feature any songs from his 1986 album Blind Before I Stop.
Couldn’t Have Said It Better
In 2003, Meat Loaf released his album Couldn’t Have Said It Better. Only for the third time in his career, Meat Loaf released an album without any songs written by Jim Steinman (not counting live bonus tracks on special edition releases). Although Meat Loaf claimed that Couldn’t Have Said It Better was “the most perfect album [he] did since Bat out of Hell“, it was not quite as successful. However, the album was a minor success worldwide and reached No. 4 in the UK charts, accompanied by a sellout world tour which was used to promote the album and some of Meat Loaf’s biggest hits. One such performance on his world tour was at Sydney’s 2003 NRL grand final. There were many writers for the album including Diane Warren and James Michael, who were both asked to contribute his 2006 album Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. Diane Warren has written for Meat Loaf in the past and had some very big hits. James Michael had never written for Meat Loaf before and it was only his songs that were released as singles from the album. The album featured duets with Patti Russo and Meat Loaf’s daughter Pearl Aday.
Hair of the Dog and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
From February 20 to 22, 2004, during an Australian tour, Meat Loaf performed his classics with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, titled Bat out of Hell: Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He went as far as to bring in the Australian Boys’ Choir to do back-up on a Couldn’t Have Said It Better track, “Testify”. The show went on to spawn a DVD and a CD called Meat Loaf and The Neverland Express featuring Patti Russo Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The CD had few edited songs from the concert on it.
Meat Loaf sold out over 160 concerts during his 2005 tour, “Hair of the Dog”. On November 17, 2003, during a performance at London’s Wembley Arena, on his Couldn’t Have Said It Better tour, he collapsed of what was later diagnosed as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. The following week, he underwent a surgical procedure intended to correct the problem. As a result, Meat Loaf’s insurance agency did not allow him to perform for any longer than one hour and 45 minutes.
As well as singing all the classics, Meat Loaf sang a cover version of the hit single “Black Betty”. During this tour he also sang “Only When I Feel”, a song meant to appear on his then-upcoming album Bat out of Hell III. The song subsequently turned into “If It Ain’t Broke (Break It)”.
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Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose
Meat Loaf and Steinman had begun to work on the third installment of Bat out of Hell when Steinman suffered some health setbacks, including a heart attack. According to Meat Loaf, Steinman was too ill to work on such an intense project while Steinman’s manager said health was not an issue. Steinman had registered the phrase “Bat Out of Hell” as a trademark in 1995. In May 2006, Meat Loaf sued Steinman and his manager in federal District Court in Los Angeles, seeking $50 million and an injunction against Steinman’s use of the phrase. Steinman and his representatives attempted to block the album’s release. An agreement was reached in July 2006. According to Virgin, “the two came to an amicable agreement that ensured that Jim Steinman’s music would be a continuing part of the ‘Bat Out of Hell’ legacy.”
The album was released on October 31, 2006, and was produced by Desmond Child. The first single from the album, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” (featuring Marion Raven) was released on October 16, 2006. It entered the UK singles chart at No. 6, giving Meat Loaf his highest UK chart position in nearly 11 years. The album debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and sold 81,000 copies in its opening week, but after that did not sell well in the U.S. and yielded no hit singles, although it was certified gold. The album also featured duets with Patti Russo and Jennifer Hudson.
In the weeks following the release of Bat III, Meat Loaf and the NLE (The Neverland Express) did a brief tour of America and Europe, known as the Bases Loaded Tour. In 2007, a newer, bigger worldwide tour began, the Seize the Night tour, with Marion Raven, serving as a supporting act, throughout the European and US tour. Portions of the tour in February 2007 were featured in the documentary Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise, directed by Bruce David Klein. The film was an official selection of the Montreal World Film Festival in 2007. It opened in theaters in March 2008 and was released on DVD in May 2008.
During a performance at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK on October 31, 2007, at the opening of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” he suggested that the crowd of thousands should enjoy the performance as it was the last of his career. He attempted to sing the first line of the song, but instead said “Ladies and gentlemen, I love you, thank you for coming, but I can no longer continue.” Removing the jacket he was wearing, he thanked the audience for 30 years, said “goodbye forever” and left the stage. His tour promoter, Andrew Miller, denied that this was the end for Meat Loaf and said he would continue touring after suitable rest. The next two gigs in the tour, at the NEC and Manchester Evening News Arena were cancelled because of “acute laryngitis” and were rescheduled for late November. The concert scheduled for November 6, 2007 at London’s Wembley Arena was also cancelled. Meat Loaf cancelled his entire European tour for 2007 after being diagnosed with a cyst on his vocal cords. After releasing a statement he said “It really breaks my heart not to be able to perform these shows” adding “I will be back”.
On June 27, 2008, Meat Loaf returned to the stage in Plymouth, England for the first show of his Casa de Carne Tour alongside his longtime duet partner Patti Russo, who debuted one of her own original songs during his show. The tour continued through July and August with twenty dates throughout England, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. Six U.S. showdates were also added for October and December 2008.
Hang Cool Teddy Bear
In May 2009, Meat Loaf began work on the album Hang Cool Teddy Bear in the studio with Green Day’s American Idiot album producer Rob Cavallo, working with such writers as Justin Hawkins, Rick Brantley, Tommy Henriksen and Jon Bon Jovi. Though not much was revealed officially to begin with, Meat Loaf gave away some information through videos he posted on Twitter and YouTube. The album is based on the story of a fictional soldier, whose “story” furnishes the theme. During his March 19, 2011 concert held outside of Vancouver, BC, Canada, Meat explained that he had wanted an insert put with the album to explain what the premise of the album was, but he said there were too many “bleeping” record label politics and it did not get done. He went on to tell the audience that the story was of a soldier who being wounded, had his life flash forward before his eyes, and the songs were telling the story of his life.
The album is based on a short story by L.A.-based screenwriter and director Kilian Kerwin, a long-time friend of the singer. Hugh Laurie and Jack Black both perform on the album, Laurie plays piano on the song “If I Can’t Have You”, while Black sings a duet with Meat Loaf on “Like A Rose”. Patti Russo and Kara DioGuardi also duet on the album. Meat Loaf himself describes the album as the “most important of his career”, not as good as Bat out of Hell but in the same ball park. The guests, he says were not planned but he says the idea of using his friends came only when he saw them fit in a song and not as a commercial gimmick. Queen’s Brian May features on guitar along with Steve Vai. It received positive reviews from critics and fans alike. The first single from the album, “Los Angeloser”, was released for download on April 5 with the album charting at number 4 in the official UK album chart on April 25, 2010.
The Hang Cool Tour followed in the US, UK and Canada with rave reviews from fans and critics. Patti Russo accompanied him on the tour, continuing through the summer of 2011.
Hell in a Handbasket
In May 2011, Meat Loaf confirmed in a video on his YouTube account, that he was in the process of recording a new album called Hell in a Handbasket. According to Meat Loaf, the album was recorded and produced by Paul Crook; Dough McKean did the mix with input from Rob Cavallo. The album features songs called “All of Me”, “Blue Sky”, “The Giving Tree”, “Mad, Mad World”, and a duet with Patti Russo called “Our Love And Our Souls”. On July 6, the album had to be finished for the record company. It was released in October 2011 for Australia/New Zealand, and February 2012 for the rest of the world. Meat said, “It’s really the first record I’ve ever put out about how I feel about life and how I feel about what’s going on at the moment.”
The “Mad, Mad World” tour in connection with the album Hell in a Handbasket was launched in late June 2012. For the tour Meat Loaf has said, “People who come to Meat Loaf shows know what to expect. They know they’re going to get full-on energy with the best rock ‘n’ roll band in the world. That’s not an opinion. That’s the truth.”
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2011 AFL Grand Final performance
At the 2011 Australian Football League Grand Final, the pre-match entertainment was headlined by a 12-minute medley performed by Meat Loaf. The performance was panned as the worst in the 34-year history of AFL Grand Final pre-game entertainment in a multitude of online reviews by football fans and Australian sport commentators. Meat Loaf responded by calling online critics “butt-smellers”, and the AFL “jerks”, saying “I will go out of my way to tell any artist, ‘Do not play for them.'”
Braver Than We Are and other album plans
Meat Loaf is planning to release a Christmas album called Hot Holidays.
In media interviews to promote his 2013 ‘Last at Bat’ tour, Meat Loaf claimed that he would be working with Jim Steinman once again on an upcoming album called Brave and Crazy. The title of the album has since been changed to Braver Than We Are, will feature 14 tracks, and is likely to be released in 2015. Meat claimed in several interviews that he will be recording reworked versions of Steinman’s songs “Braver Than We Are”, “Speaking in Tongues”, “Who Needs the Young?”, and “More” (previously recorded by The Sisters of Mercy) for the album, and it has recently been confirmed that at least 8 of the songs on the album are written by Steinman. Additionally, the song “Prize Fight Lover”, which was originally issued as a download-only bonus track for Hang Cool Teddy Bear, has been re-recorded for the album.
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- Appeared playing the drums in the music video of the World Wrestling Federation wrestlers’ rendition of “Land of 1,000 Dances” (from The Wrestling Album) in 1986.
- Appeared as the Spice Girls’ bus driver in the movie Spice World.
- In 2000, he appeared as the viral meningitis addled Confederate Colonel Angus Devine in the sixth season episode “Gettysburg” of The Outer Limits who is accidentally transported forward in time 150 years in a failed attempt to prevent the assassination of the President in 2013.
- He also appeared in the South Park episode “Chef Aid”. In a flashback, Meat Loaf claims that he started out as an unsuccessful artist named Couscous. After being booed off stage and almost deciding to quit, Chef tells him that his name might be the problem, and then hands him a plate of meatloaf to cheer him up.
- Meat Loaf appears (uncredited) as Jack Black’s father in the 2006 film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, providing vocals on the film’s opening song “Kickapoo”. In the special features and commentary of the film’s DVD release, it is noted that this is the first time Meat Loaf has sung for a movie soundtrack since The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Meat Loaf appeared, credited as Meat Loaf Aday, in the Season 5 episode of House M.D., “Simple Explanation”.
- Meat Loaf appeared, credited as Meat Loaf Aday, in the Season 8 episode of Monk, “Mr. Monk and the Voodoo curse”.
- He appeared as Robert “Bob” Paulson, in David Fincher’s 1999 film, Fight Club (as Meat Loaf Aday).
- Along with his daughter Pearl Aday, and longtime duet partner Patti Russo, he taped an episode of the FOX game show Don’t Forget the Lyrics! which aired on May 22, 2009.
- On September 30, 2009 Meat Loaf appeared on the TV show Ghost Hunters along with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson and again on November 17, 2010 as a guest investigator at the Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama.
- On October 26, 2010, Meat Loaf (credited as “Meat Loaf Aday”) appeared on the Fox show Glee in “The Rocky Horror Glee Show”, the show’s tribute episode to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Circa 2011, an autographed photograph of Meat Loaf appeared as a sight-gag in a Farmers Insurance Group commercial.
In 2001, Meat Loaf changed his first name from Marvin to Michael.
Meat Loaf is a baseball fan and supporter of the New York Yankees. He is an avid fantasy baseball player and participates in multiple leagues every season.
Meat Loaf is a supporter of the northern English football team Hartlepool United and, in 2003, the BBC reported he was seeking a residence in the nearby area. He currently resides just outside of Calabasas, California, near Saddle Peak and Calabasas Peak.
He also does a considerable amount of charity work, and in June 2008, he took part in a football penalty shootout competition on behalf of two cancer charities in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK. He auctioned shots to the 100 highest bidders and then took his place between the goal posts. He also participates in celebrity golf tournaments.
Meat Loaf has expressed that he has social anxiety, being quoted saying “I never meet anybody much in a social situation because when I go into a social situation, I have no idea what to do.” He revealed that he does not “even go anywhere”, and also feels he leads a “boring life”, saying that he “completely freaked” when having to attend a party, and that he was “so nervous, so scared”. He also said he met with fellow musicians chiefly in work-related situations as he was working a lot.
In December 1978, he went to Woodstock to work with Steinman. It was at the Bearsville studio that Meat Loaf met his future wife, Leslie G. Edmonds; they were married within a month. Leslie had a daughter, Pearl, from a previous marriage; Pearl later married Scott Ian, the rhythm guitarist for the thrash metal band Anthrax.
Aday and his family moved to Stamford, Connecticut in 1979. In 1981, Leslie gave birth to Amanda Aday, now a television actress. For a brief time after Amanda’s birth, they lived in nearby Westport. According to Meat Loaf, Pearl, then in the fifth grade, came home crying “because she had the wrong type of jeans and I said, ‘That’s it. We’re gone.'” The family then moved to Redding, Connecticut, “which is much more of a blue-collar, working-class kind of town, and it really didn’t make any difference what kind of jeans you were wearing. I really liked it there.” Meat Loaf coached children’s baseball or softball in each of the Connecticut towns in which he lived. In 1998, Meat Loaf relocated to California. Meat and Leslie divorced in 2001. At the start of his 2012 tour in Austin on June 22, Meat Loaf announced that he was a new resident (1 month) of Austin, Texas.
Meat Loaf was a vegetarian for ten years.
Accidents and other incidents
Meat Loaf is said to have cheated death on numerous occasions, crashing in a car which rolled over, being struck on the head with a shot during a shot put event, jumping off a stage during a concert and breaking both of his legs, and being afflicted with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition. In October 2006, his private jet had to make an emergency landing at London’s Stansted Airport after his plane’s forward landing gear failed. Meat Loaf also fainted on stage while performing in Pittsburgh.
On October 25, 2012, Meat Loaf endorsed Mitt Romney for President of the United States, citing poor relations with Russia as a major reason he had been “arguing for Mitt Romney for a year”. Meat Loaf explained that “I have never been in any political agenda in my life, but I think that in 2012 this is the most important election in the history of the United States.” He cited “storm clouds” over the United States, and “thunder storms over Europe. There are hail storms – and I mean major hail storms! – in the Middle East. There are storms brewing through China, through Asia, through everywhere.” The same day, he performed “America the Beautiful” standing next to Romney. Due to his failure to complete his voter registration, Meat Loaf was unable to vote for Mitt Romney.
Meat Loaf has criticized the court-ordered removal of a school prayer banner in Cranston, Rhode Island to Providence Journal on March 23, 2012: “I just said the world is going to hell in a handbasket because there are a lot more things to worry about than whether there is a prayer on the wall that’s been on the wall for 50 years that you think needs to come down.”
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- Bat Out of Hell Tour 1977-1979
- Dead Ringer Tour 1981
- Meat Loaf & The NLE Euro Tour ’82
- Meat Loaf World Tour 1983
- Bad Attitude Tour 1984-1985
- 20/20 Tour 1987-1988
- Lost Boys and Golden Girls 1988-1989
- 1990 Tour
- 1991-1992 Tour
- Everything Louder Tour 1993-1995
- Born to Rock Tour 1996
- The Very Best of Tour 1999
- Storytellers Tour 1999-2000
- Night of the Proms Tour 2001
- Just Having Fun Tour 2002
- Couldn’t Have Said It Better 2003-2004
- The Hair of the Dog Tour 2005
- The Three Bats Tour 2006-2007
- The Casa de Carne Tour 2008
- The Hang Cool Tour 2010-2011
- The Guilty Pleasure Tour 2011-2012
- Mad, Mad World Tour 2012
- Last at Bat Tour 2013
- Stoney & Meatloaf (1971)
- Bat Out of Hell (1977)
- Dead Ringer (1981)
- Midnight at the Lost and Found (1983)
- Bad Attitude (1984)
- Blind Before I Stop (1986)
- Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell (1993)
- Welcome to the Neighbourhood (1995)
- Couldn’t Have Said It Better (2003)
- Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose (2006)
- Hang Cool Teddy Bear (2010)
- Hell in a Handbasket (2011)
- Braver Than We Are (2015)
- Meat Loaf (1999). To Hell and Back: An Autobiography. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-039293-2.