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Bad for Good

Jim Steinman

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Album Review

After penning the songs for Meat Loaf's massively successful Bat Out of Hell album, Jim Steinman decided to step into the spotlight himself when his singer's voice was too damaged to record a follow-up. The result was 1981's Bad for Good, an epic slab of operatic rock that is very much in the same vein of Meat Loaf's work, but nowhere near as satisfying. The first problem is Steinman's voice: he simply doesn't have the vocal range or lung power necessary to make this dramatic style of rock & roll work. For example of this problem, look no further than "Left in the Dark"; he struggles to keep up with vocal demands of this orchestral ballad, resulting in a vocal that sounds strained and occasionally off-key. The second problem is that some of the songs repeat the Bat Out of Hell formula instead of building upon it; the obvious culprit in this arena is "Dance In My Pants," a duet that gratuitously recycles the battle of the sexes verbal sparring and the multi-part structure of Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" to less-impressive effect. Despite these problems, a handful of gems shine through: "Surf's Up" is a strong power ballad that effectively combines the Steinman songwriting style with Beach Boys-style production elements, and "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" is a heart-tugging testament to the inspirational power of rock & roll that draws its power from a sublime chorus layered with soaring background vocals. Ultimately, Bad for Good is too inconsistent and eccentric to keep the attention of the casual listener, but remains an interesting listen for anyone who appreciates Jim Steinman's one-of-a-kind style of epic-size rock & roll. ~ Donald A. Guarisco, Rovi

Customer Reviews

What an album!!!!!

I agree in some parts with the main review - Steinman would probably admit he isn't Meat Loaf with regard to the vocals - but that's not the point! The main strength of this album and Steinman in general is the quality of the songwriting. As a young Meat Loaf freak I heard one of the tracks on the Friday Rock Show - thought it was OK and bought the album the following day. I found it a huge disappointment- the vocals were definitely an acquired taste - but the songs! They wormed their way into my head- little bits started repeating themselves and I found myself thinking that I couldn't remember the lyrics in exactly the same way that Bat had found its way into my brain. Then i knew that this was classy and thoroughly worth serious listening. Nearly 30 years later I still think that this album is so worth the effort - try it and you will be Bad for Good.

Good but not great!

Jim Steinman is a fantastic songwriter and his success over the years with Meat Loaf, Celine Dion, Boyzone, Bonnie Tyler etc prove that when it comes to writing rock ballads, he may be the best ever but this album also illustrates that whilst he can certainly hold a tune, he doesn't have the vocals to do justice to his masterpieces. Now, obviously, when he recorded the CD, Meat Loaf's voice was in a bad way so that can certainly be excused. However, now the likes of "Rock and Roll Dreams", "Bad for Good" and "Left in the Dark" appear on various Meat Loaf albums in better shape than they are here purely due to the fact that Jim Steinman's music has never found a better delivery mechanism than Meat Loaf......and Meat Loaf has never had a better writer than Jim.


I love Meatloaf... 30 years ago I bought this on tape! (Yes I am old) I lost that at some point when I grew up, married, daughter being born. Etc etc... So if an album stands the test of time... This does just as Bat Out of Hell... Thanks Jim cos the memories come flooding back


Born: 01 November 1947 in Claremont, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known in conjunction with his enormously successful collaborations with singer Meat Loaf, producer and composer Jim Steinman rose to the top of the pop charts on the strength of his distinctively operatic artistic vision. A native of New York City trained as a classical pianist, he first surfaced during the mid-'70s with the off-Broadway musical More Than You Deserve; among its cast was Houston-born Marvin Lee Aday, aka Meat Loaf. The two men reunited a few years later for a tour with the National...
Full bio
Bad for Good, Jim Steinman
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Customer Ratings