artist Jim Steinman (vocals & lyrics) producer Todd Rundgren label Epic release date 1981 available on LP, MC, CD deserved worldwide sales 300 million units
Bad For Good ... I just need some love, so turn off the light and I'll be left in the dark again ...
Jim Steinman wrote this album for Meat Loaf, but got fed up with waiting for the star to actually start singing the new songs. He then recorded the album under his own name.
It's again one of those albums where EVERY damn track is essential. You know those special few : Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Michael Jackson's Dangerous, The Who's Tommy, Simon And Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water, Pieter Embrechts' Maanzin, Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms, Bruce Springsteen's Born In The U.S.A., Eagles' Hotel California, Queen's A Night At The Opera, Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell I & II ...
1. Bad For Good : song in the vein of "Bat Out Of Hell" ; same structure, same length, same bridge ... but what a text!
2. Lost Boys And Golden Girls : touching song, but - bizarrely - one of the lesser songs in my opinion. It's better than anything I'll ever write, rest assured, but it's not quite as good as the rest of the album.
3. Love And Death And An American Guitar : fantastic monologue! "And I said GODDAMN IT daddy - you know I love you - but you've got a hell of a lot to learn about ROCK AND ROLL!!"
4. Stark Raving Love : brilliant song, yeah, really, that's all there is to say. Again, the lyrics are top-notch.
5. Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire) : the first super-essential track. This is incredible, wow, zork, shazam!!
6. Surf's Up : even better!!! So beautiful, so good, so complete.
7. Dance In My Pants : the "Paradise By The Dashboard"-thingee. Funny text, nice dialogue between "boy" and "girl" and just a very cute, uplifting song.
8. Left In The Dark : the absolute highlight of the album. So gripping, so touching, so heart-wrenching, so brilliant. "You tell me who! You tell me where! You tell me when!" ... aah, Jim, how do you write this?!
9. The Storm : Epic "prologue", all instruments and no lyrics.
10. Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through : Very good ending of this classic album. Addictive chorus and, again, brilliantly written.
Unfortunately for Jim, Meat was a big plus for consumers. Without "the meat" (har har), the album just went unnoticed. Why is it not available in every corner drugstore?! Sony has a lot to answer for.
If you see the album on a fleamarket or in a secondhand record store, don't hesitate to snatch it up. It's absolutely f*ckin' brilliant!
Julian, 22 December 2004 (updated : 20 June 2005)
more about Jim Steinman and especially his never-completed musical "Neverland" (with free MP3's!!) :