http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/f627134a302adc179b28c2a74d6869d1283f2507.jpg Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell

Meat Loaf

Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2 0
October 28, 1993

Roaring Harleys, screeching vocals and teen angst once again run amok as Meat Loaf makes his return after an eight-year absence — and 16 years after the release of the multiplatinum Bat out of Hell.

Why, after all this time, a sequel? Perhaps because the theatrical carnage inflicted by the 1977 original continues to be much appreciated — to the tune of a brisk 15,000 units per week. Or perhaps, after dueling lawsuits, he has made his peace with his former partner, writer-producer Jim Steinman. Whatever the reason, Loaf hasn't made a record since Bad Attitude, in 1985 — which died a quick death — and he has been splitting his time between acting and perfecting his curveball on the softball fields of New York City's Central Park.

Accompanied by an impressive cast from the original album (keyboardist Roy Bittan and drummer Kenny Aronoff, with vocal support by Ellen Foley, Kasim Sultan and Todd Rundgren), Bat II is 75 minutes of the same harmless, low-octane operatic drivel. But this is the age of safe sex — no groping teens, please, not even a grunt. Just some insufferably long Steinman compositions with equally long names ("Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are" clocks in at 10:15), sprinkled around guilty pleasures like "It Just Won't Quit," "Good Girls Go to Heaven (But Bad Girls Go Everywhere)" and "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)."

Loaf, who'll soon turn 46, is in fine voice. He is also said to be in fighting trim at 250 pounds. Still, 16 years is a long time. Maybe the answer to Bat out of Hell II is revealed in the radio-friendly "It Just Won't Quit," when a mournful Meat Loaf gently croons: "There was a time when I knew just what I was living for/There was a time, and the time was so long ago." But, who knows, with the current trend for all things '70s, there still may be a place in this world for Meat Loaf.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »