Meat Loaf Sings Like Me
From Rolling Stone Magazine #351 September, 1981
Brief Encounters - Jim Steinman
By Christopher Connelly
"I've always thrived on really negative reaction,"
says Jim Steinman, whose
distinctive brand of Wagnerian rock & roll has never garnered
much critical flavor.
best known for his musical direction and compositions on Meat
multiplatinum 'Bat Out Of Hell,' Steinman has stepped out of the
big man's shadow
with his own record, 'Bad For Good,' and has written another album's
songs for Loaf's next LP, 'Dead Ringer For Love.' While sitting
in a New York
penthouse apartment, the voluble keyboardist discussed the labyrinthine
road to his
and Meat's new albums.
Q: How did your solo album come about?
In February 1979, Meat Loaf and I went out to do a few new demo
tracks. He tried
singing, but he sounded like the Exorcist - no exaggeration. He
know something was
definitely wrong, so he decided to stop early on and say, 'Look,
I gotta go see a vocal
doctor. I've just ripped up my voice on the road.' So he went
off and I kept
About a year later, Meat says 'Look Jimmy, I think my voice is
gonna fail if I do
them again. What do you think about writing me a whole new album?'
I had about
six songs I knew I could use, so I said, 'What do you think about
letting me use the
songs I've been working on for my own album?' I'd been talking
about doing an
album anyway, so basically we did a trade.
Q: What happened then?
Rather than do mine and then do Meat's, we decided to do Meat's
'cause he was
restless. We finished all the basic tracks in July 1980, then
Meat tried to sing them.
But he just couldn't.
The last resort was a guy named Warren Barigian, a specialist
in Bio Matrix who
treated Jackson Browne. Barigian sent Meat Loaf to an allergist
who found out
Meat was allergic to pollen and cat fur. The allergist made a
solution of the
allergens, and Meat would sniff it until his body was overwhelmed.
Then the doctor injected Meat with another solution made from
his own urine,
which cause him to produce his own antibodies.
It was like a miracle cure. The thing is, I can't imagine Jackson
Browne going to
him. Early on, my suggestion was to call the guy and say, 'Why
don't you inject
some of Jackson Browne's urine into Meat Loaf? Maybe it would
But in the end, for me, artistically, it worked out great. Everyone
thinks this guy
Steinman must sing like a wimp because he's got Meat Loaf singing
really, Meat sings a lot like me. I would do a lot of the phrasing,
and he would not
so much imitate as use it as a base, a foundation. A lot of people
say I sing like Meat
Loaf. I say Meat Loaf sings like me - when he's doing my songs.