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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Bad Attitude: 30th Anniversary Edition'
Artist - Meat Loaf

After the phenomenal success of debut LP Bat Out Of Hell (1977), Meat Loaf followed it up with 1981’s Dead Ringer, which was yet another sizeable hit. With both albums showcasing the song writing talents of producer Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf than parted company with him.

Ergo, Meat Loaf's third album Midnight At The Lost And Found (1983), although a personal favorite of mine, found the singer in somewhat of a commercial dip. That was until 1984’s Bad Attitude was brought to the musical fore.

This incredible, truly action-packed album, especially if you are a Meat Loaf fan explodes out of the musical gates with the title track, ‘Bad Attitude.’ With thumping twin drums, roaring guitars, and Meat Loaf’s distinctive deeply growled vocals, both he and The Neverland Express bring 80’s musical rock gold to our ears! And if you listen carefully you’ll also catch the additional vocals of The Who legend Roger Daltrey! The rock-pop of ‘Modern Girl’ is next and continues the UK hit single’s charts entries from this album. Featuring the female vocals of Clare Torry and the screaming guitar of the legendary Bob Kulick, it’s a toe-tapper, and that ain’t no lie!

Yet another UK chart hit in the shape of the pulsating ‘Nowhere Fast’ comes bouncing along next and is definitely one of the highlights of this monster album of its time. Inclusive of the incredible percussion work of Frank Ricotti and continual guitar shreds from Kulick, it speeds along the track ready to derail at any given juncture. I had actually seen this tour of the same name in the UK at the Hammersmith Odeon and so can quite literally say, been there, done that, got the tshirt!

With inner album artwork that shows Meat Loaf and his Neverland Express guys all dressed in some space age gladiator garb, I’m not quite sure what the theme of this album was intended to be, but I’m definitely off to check out the music videos from it later! Indeed, in reflection it seems the entire A Side of this album were all hit UK singles back in 1984! I have every single (no pun intended!) one of them on 7” vinyl - some are actually special editions that could make money now - as next we get the rock opera ballad of ‘Surf’s Up.‘

When we get to the B Side of this album, so to speak, aside from the opening ‘Piece Of The Action’ and ‘Jumpin’ The Gun’ the final three (3) tracks in a row were all to remain album tracks. So, with an album as top heavy as this, let’s focus on the singles first. ‘Piece Of The Action,’ after a gentle piano intro soon becomes a fist-threatened-in-the air cut that fully deserved all the praise it received back in the day. It’s backed by ‘Jumpin’ The Gun’ which admittedly didn’t fare too well on the UK singles chart, but all Meat Loaf fans still cherish I today. Mainly due to its infectious dance floor beats and the Cher-voice alike Zee Carling on backing vocals, me thinks!

Then, to round off this always-wonderful to hear and flashback to album we get the usual uber ballad, ‘Cheatin’ In Your Dreams,’ the frantic-flow of ‘Don’t Leave Your Mark On Me,’ and then finally the powerful, anthemia of ‘Sailor To A Siren’ closes out this intense album.

As for what makes this 30th Aniversary Edition any more special/different to the other versions of this album having come out before, well, as much as I had hoped for extra live tracks they were not to be. Instead, this edition is packaged in a digi-pak with extensive liner notes, a 16 page booklet, plus plenty of rare artwork and memorabilia to put a smile on your face.

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

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