Saturday, November 29, 2014

Meat Loaf - Bad Attitude

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the European release of Bad Attitude, the fourth studio album from Meat Loaf. It went to number 42 in Australia, number 36 in Sweden, number 24 in Germany and number 8 in the UK. When it was released in the US in 1985, it spent ten weeks on the Billboard Album chart with a top spot of number 74. The same nine tracks appeared on both versions of the album; for today’s review I will look at it from the US ordering.

Side one begins with the bold and bombastic title track. “Bad Attitude” is a rocking duet with Roger Daltrey of the Who.

“Modern Girl” is a duet with singer Clare Torry, a British session singer who worked previously with Pink Floyd, the Alan Parsons Project and Olivia Newton-John. As the lead single, it went to number 30 in Germany, number 17 in the UK, and number 16 in Ireland. The song has a pounding percussion line that drives head-long like a reckless love-struck teen male. Meat belts this one out with his powerful passionate style.

“Nowhere Fast”, the second single, stalled at number 67 in the UK. The original version, written by Jim Steinman, appeared on the Streets of Fire soundtrack earlier in the year and was performed by Fire (click here for that review). Meat’s version of a song about a relationship stuck in a rut is very danceable even if it runs a minute shorter than the earlier one.

“Surf’s Up” first appeared on Steinman’s 1981 album Bad For Good (click here for that album review). This piano-based ballad summons up memories of earlier Meat Loaf/Steinman collaborations.

Side two opens with “Piece of the Action”. As the final single, it grabbed the number 98 spot on the Australian charts and number 47 on the UK charts. The song starts out like a slow piano ballad but builds to a powerful chorus.

“Jumpin’ the Gun”, an up-tempo industrial rocker, is a duet with Zee Carling. She is able to match Meat’s rapid-fire lyrical delivery very nicely on this tune about giving in quickly to lustful desires.

“Sailor to a Siren” was the B-side to the first single in the US. The song has a big, dramatic feel which falls right into Meat’s musical wheelhouse. It also features a smoldering guitar solo by Bob Kulick.

“Don’t Leave Your Mark on Me” is next. This one actually has a more mainstream 80’s sound to it than the rest of the record. It isn’t a bad track per se, but it clearly jumped out to me as different from the rest.

The album closer “Cheatin’ in Your Dreams”, was penned by John Parr. Again, we get a track that starts out as a piano-ballad before shifting into a mid-tempo rocker. Meat’s powerful vocals knock it out of the park.

This was one Meat Loaf album that I had missed over the years; I suspect its poor chart performance back in the mid-80’s lead to its falling out of print. So I was glad when I was able to finally add it to my digital library to fill in the gaps. As a Meat Loaf fan, I found a number of things to enjoy on Bad Attitude.

For more Meat Loaf, click here.

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