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Jim Steinman’s ‘Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical’ Original Cast Recording – Review

Genre: Rock ‘n’ Roll

Released: Out Now

Label: Ghostlight Records

Cast & Tracklisting:

1 Love And Death And The American Guitar by Andrew Polec
2 All Revved Up With No Place To Go / Wasted Youth by Andrew Polec & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
3 Who Needs The Young by Rob Fowler & Sharon Sexton
4 It Just Won’t Quit by Christina Bennington, Andrew Polec, Aran Macrae, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
5 Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire by Giovanni Spano, Patrick Sullivan, Andrew Polec, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
6 Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere) by Danielle Steers, Sharon Sexton, Christina Bennington, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
7 Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad by Danielle Steers, Dom Hartley-Harris, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
8 Paradise By The Dashboard Light by Rob Fowler, Sharon Sexton, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
9 Making Love Out Of Nothing At All by Andrew Polec & Christina Bennington
10 Bat Out Of Hell by Andrew Polec, Christina Bennington, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast

DISC 2:
11 In The Land Of The Pig The Butcher Is King by Rob Fowler & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
12 Heaven Can Wait by Christina Bennington
13 Objects In The Rearview Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are by Dom Hartley-Harris, Patrick Sullivan, Giovanni Spano, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
14 For Crying Out Loud by Andrew Polec & Christina Bennington
15 You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) by Giovanni Spano, Amy Di Bartolomeo, Emily Benjamin, Christina Bennington, Andrew Polec, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
16 Not Allowed To Love by Aran Macrae
17 What Part Of My Body Hurts The Most by Rob Fowler & Sharon Sexton
18 Dead Ringer For Love by Dom Hartley-Harris, Danielle Steers, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through by Dom Hartley-Harris, Giovanni Spano, Patrick Sullivan, Andrew Polec, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast
20 It’s All Coming Back To Me Now by Christina Bennington, Rob Fowler, Sharon Sexton, & Andrew Polec
21 I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) by Andrew Polec, Christina Bennington, Dom Hartley-Harris, Rob Fowler, Sharon Sexton, Patrick Sullivan, Giovanni Spano, Amy Di Bartolomeo, Danielle Steers, & ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Original Cast

The first performance of the musicial, inspired by the seminal work from Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman, took place on 17th February 2017 in Manchester. A short run of shows to iron out any teething problems and the production then moved to the London Coliseum on 20th June 2017 for another short run before finally moving to the famous Dominion Theatre. A North American tour is imminent for the show, with star lead man ‘Strat’, played by Andrew Polec heading over the pond to continue playing the role he was born for. Dates can be found below: 

https://batoutofhellmusical.com/us-tour/

So what does Andrew leave behind in the UK?  A cast recording and a show that is recognised by fans and critics as one of the best musicals in London, containing many of the hits Steinman and Meat Loaf have made famous over the years. The songs, not restricted to the 1977 classic, that is now one of the biggest selling albums of all time, cover all of the ‘Bat’ albums Meat Loaf has released as well as tracks like ‘Dead Ringer’ with Danielle Steers delivering a career winning performance that Cher would be proud of.

The story, and the show is one of a dystopian future where some children don’t age past 18 years old. Trapped in a world where they remain 18 for years, ‘The Lost’ as they are known become effectively outlaws living in the wastelands and in true Romeo and Juliet style, the leader of the group ‘Strat’ sees and falls for the young daughter of “the rich land owner \ property mogul \ man above the law etc..” who is just turning 18 years old. Raven, played by Christina Bennington and Strat (Polec) make for an amazing duo both on stage and in the studio and the recording captures the chemistry the two of them have perfectly.

But what about the songs themselves. Timeless classics, the music from the original album sounds as energised and immediate as it did when it first came out some 40 years ago. How then can a cast of young musical theatre stars possibly hope to capture the magic that has always needed 2 key ingredients, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman? 

Well, when you discover then Steinman has been involved in every aspect of the production, even down to the news that every show (every show!) is streamed live to his house for him to comment and and offer changes \ recommendations (which I’m sure will rarely, if ever, be ignored) you start to get a sense of what this show means to him and how much he wants every aspect to perfectly represent his vision. The supporting cast of actors especially Rob Fowler (Falco) playing the protective Father wanting to remove the plague of ageless kids (as he sees it ) from society and his wife (Sloane) played by Sharon Sexten add humour and a real sense of professionalism and experience to the production. Raven, the Juliet to Strat’s Romeo, is the perfect fragile, confused, angst ridden teen wanting to break out and live her own life but held back by her protective parents and Christina Bennington brings the character to life, again both on stage and on this recording. 

The real find though is of course Polec. I’ve seen the show three times now and listened to this album countless times since and it’s safe to say his vocal work and performance is everything Steinman was looking for when he first met Meat Loaf. Polec’s performance is one that left me thinking “this is what it was always meant to sound like” multiple times during the show and he too has carried that over to the album. His vocal range and performance is everything Meat Loaf achieved in his career and with the latter unlikely to be able to do much any more due to the current state of his health, we have someone that Steinman must be considering for a studio album of his own. If not, then I hope he does consider him at some point because there is no one in the world right now that can sing a Steinman song better than Andrew Polec! 

 


On the none Polec \ Bennington tracks, the stand out numbers are those including Zahara (Danielle Steers) and the powerhouse that is Ledoux (Giovani Spano), the latter you’ll currently find progressing through the rounds of 2018’s X-Factor! 

As with all musicals, there are tracks that feel overblown, bombastic and threaten to shake the panes of glass free from their window frames but that’s exactly what we expect from anything and everything Jim Steinman is involved in. Simply put, if you’re a fan of the original album (43 Million copies sold to date and counting would suggest a few people like it..) and its follow up (another 14 million in sales) then you’re going to appreciate the show and when you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, this recording is a must have. You’ll probably need to go and see it a few more times as well. 

It’s crying out for a Hollywood version of this musical, mixing Mad Max with some of the best cinematic rock and roll we could hope for. The visuals, story and soundtrack, everything is the perfect blend. See the show, buy the album, see the show again and again and again… It’s where rock and roll dreams come true! 

Score: 10/10

Reviewed by: Adrian Hextall

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