Great Rock Albums of 1981: Meat Loaf- Dead Ringer

220px-MeatLoafDeadRinger

By 1981, many people, myself included, were beginning to write Meat Loaf off as a one album wonder. While many of us were still enjoying the delights served up on his famous 1978 “Bat Out of Hell” album, its regularlarity of play was beginning to rapidly wane as newer albums were coming to the forefront. It could have been down to the fact that he had appeared in a couple of films in 1980, “Roadie” and “Scavenger Hunt” and was thinking of an acting career but it was certain that his music career looked to be going downhill fast. Then what seemed from out of nowhere, “Dead Ringer” was released.

It is very difficult to follow up a colossal album. Though some bands have managed to do this, there are many others who haven’t. I have to put this album in with the latter. I would have thought that after a more than three year layoff, Meat Loaf was meticulously planning a great album to follow on from “Bat Out of Hell.”  Unfortunately, “Dead Ringer” does not live up to the expectations that were set upon it. Saying that, the album doesn’t suck either. There are some really good tracks on it including one of my favourite Meat Loaf songs, “Dead Ringer For Love,” which he performs a duet with Cher. I have also forgotten some of other decent tracks that make up the album like “I’m Gonna Love Her For Both of Us” and “Read ‘Em and Weep.” “I’ll Kill You If You Don’t Come Back” is rather good and funny and I forgot how much I liked “Peel Out” back in the day. So, while the album didn’t live up to the hype, it wasn’t one for the scrap heap either.

Meat Loaf and Cher singing "Dead Ringer for Love"

Meat Loaf and Cher singing “Dead Ringer for Love”

 Track Listing

1. Peel Out

2. I’m Gonna Love Her For Both of Us

3. More Than You Deserve

4. I’ll Kill You If You Don’t Come Back

5. Read ‘Em and Weep

6. Nocturnal Pleasure

7. Dead Ringer for Love

8. Everything is Permitted

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf- lead vocals

Davey Johnstone- guitars

Mick Ronson- guitars

Joe DeAngelis- acoustic guitars

Steve Buslowe- bass

Roy Bittan- piano

Nicky Hopkins- piano

Larry Fast- synthesiser

Lou Del Gatto- horns

Lou Marini- horns

Tom Malone- horns

Alan Rubin- horns

Max Weinberg- drums

Liberty DeVitto- drums

Jimmy Maelen- percussion

Jim Steinman- spoken word on “Nocturnal Pleasure”

Cher- guest vocals on “Dead Ringer for Love”

It has always been my slightly biased belief as to why “Dead Ringer” wasn’t as good as “Bat Out of Hell” was the fact that Todd Rundgren didn’t produce it. However Jim Steinman doesn’t do a bad job making the album a worthwhile listen.

Next post: Gillan- Future Shock

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishingroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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9 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1981: Meat Loaf- Dead Ringer”

  1. Amazing lineup of musicians on this! I’ve never heard it.

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  2. This album was a huge disappointment for me when it finally showed up in ’81. Loved the artwork and some of the songs were decent, but it doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Bat Out Of Hell. In addition to his “acting career,” he was also battling issues with his voice during the time between the two albums. There was a point where he could barely get a sound out of his mouth (hard to imagine, right?), so he had to relearn how to sing…and in my opinion his voice was never the same.

    I do think the lack of Rundgren was a major reason for the drop in quality control. I’ve gone back to Dead Ringer a few times over the years and my opinion has remained the same. I guess I like it enough to keep the original LP, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone (that includes you, LeBrain).

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    • His acting career didn’t go too well as both of those films were flops. I saw “Scavenger Hunt” and while it had a few laughs, it wasn’t sensational and his small part as biker leader Scum was not noteworthy either way. I also heard that he had gotten deep into drugs during this time as well and that also contributed to the voice issues. But you’re right Kamer, it does not compare to Bat Out of Hell.

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  3. Liberty Devito the man who,smashed the drums on the classic Billy Joel Glass Houses!
    All star lineup here for sure as Mike pointed out…

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  4. The only Billy Joel I bought on vinyl and than a while back on iTunes !

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