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MEAT LOAF – HEAVEN CAN WAIT…THE BEST OF - EMI
Record Rating: ***

Meat Loaf - Heaven Can Wait:The Best Of - EMI Although it didn’t even chart in the top 10 in 1977 when it was originally released - Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell –went on to become the third best selling album of all time. Apart from staying on the UK charts for over 472 weeks - 35 million copies have been sold worldwide and it continues to sell over 200,000 copies a year, today. This one wasn’t pushed from the top by the record companies. The power came from the kids in the back rows of classrooms all across the nation. “Hey. You gotta hear this one. It’s good.” And his stuff is.

The partnership between singer Marvin Lee "Meat Loaf" Aday and songwriter Jim Steinman is the kind of stuff legends are made up off. If you’ve heard any of their songs on the radio, chances are that some of those songs will be found on this collection. Heaven Can Wait… The Best of Meat Loaf features 11 of the singer’s best known songs, including live versions of 'Bat Out Of Hell', 'Midnight At The Lost & Found', 'Heaven Can Wait' and 'All Revved Up'. But if fails to deliver – and miserably! To those of you who don't remember this mid 90s opus, might I remind you? The single was 'I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)' and it topped the charts in 21 countries across the globe. On the strength of that single alone - Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell II (released sixteen years after the original) shocked the world in 1993, shooting straight up the charts to #1. And that’s nowhere to be seen on this new ‘Best Of’ compilation. Shocking, isn’t it! This sucks big time. For this could have been a great set.

So why does it fail again? The collection's drawback is that it relys too heavily on hits from just a couple of albums, namely 1977's Bat Out Of Hell and Meatloaf’s obscure early follow ups. Meat Loaf has that extraordinary voice that at one moment can effortlessly float gently like Elton John and at the next instance scream out like the engine of a Harley – and it fails to be represented here by a lot of great tracks left off this compilation. Don’t waste your money; get the ‘Greatest Hits’ Sony Music released a couple of years back. That’s definitely more bang for your buck. You have been warned.

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The Rock Box - Various Artists       Richard Marx - My Own Best Enemy       Velvet Revolver - Contraband       Usher - Confessions      














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