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Monday, June 02, 2014

Album Review: Bad For Good by Jim Steinman

You may not know songwriter Jim Steinman’s name, but you know his music. "I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)," "Paradise By The Dashboard Lights," "Total Eclipse Of The Heart." Bat Out Of Hell is the number two selling album of all time and the only top ten album written completely by one person. His most successful collaboration has been with Meat Loaf, but he has also worked with Bonnie Tyler, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and many more.

After the success of Bat Out Of Hell, Meat Loaf and Steinman were working together on a follow-up. Meat Loaf lost his voice, and Steinman himself recorded the album. Many of the tracks on this album would be rerecorded later by Meat Loaf and other artists.

I love Jim Steinman’s work. His Wagnerian rock sound is so powerful, and his lyrics spellbounding. But while he’s a great songwriter, he isn't a great singer. I don’t really fault him. He doesn’t have a bad voice. Softer songs, like "Surf’s Up,” demonstrate this. It is just that his voice doesn’t match his songs. Steinman’s powerful songs require powerful voices, like Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler’s. His music needs the Wagnerian operatic vocals to convey the power of his songs. Bad For Good delivers the rock, but not the Wagner. At least, not vocally.

This album has grown on me the more I listen to it. Not all songs have been rerecorded, so this is the only place to find them. "Dance In My Pants" recalls the "duet of the sexes" of "Paradise By The Dashboard Lights" and is a fun, and funny, song. The title track is my favorite. "Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through" is a testament to the power of music

I'd recommend the Meat Loaf versions of the songs on this album, but if you like Steinman’s music, check this one out.

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