Meat Loaf was big in the late 70s with the hoary “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” the album “Bat out of Hell,” and an appearance in the cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
And then he wouldn’t go away.
He’s releasing a new album on April 19th called “Hang Cool Teddy Bear.” Apparently it’s a line from another cult classic, called “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” also from the early 70s. Guess who wrote the screenplay for the Russ Meyer directed spectacle of badness? None other than Roger Ebert. I’m sure he’ll give the album two thumbs up. Way up.
Otherwise, “Hang Cool” is populated by an odd group of musicians. They include actors Jack Black and Hugh Laurie (the guy from “House”) and Kara Dio Guardi from “American Idol.” Dio Guardi wrote at least one song on the album, too. So I guess we can expect Meat Loaf to mentor the “AI” kids before the season is over.
One name not included in the “Hang Cool” credits: Jim Steinman, who wrote and produced Meat Loaf’s biggest hits as well as “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for Bonnie Tyler. Loaf and Steinman have a long and contentious relationship.
There’s a good adjunct story to the Meat Loaf saga, by the way. Steve Popovich, who ran Columbia Records’ Cleveland warehouse, started his own label, Cleveland Records, in 1977. He signed Meat Loaf, and then licensed “Bat out of Hell” to Columbia. Popovich has been suing them ever since, periodically winning millions from the record label giant for unpaid royalties, etc. Loaf now records for RoadRunner Records.