Paul Crook — Meat Loaf‘s longtime producer, music director, and guitarist — recently announced the brand new release, Paradise Found: Bat Out of Hell Reignited, a new LP helmed by Meat Loaf’s official band, The Neverland Express — featuring alumni Justin Avery, (keyboard, vocals), Tom Brislin (orchestration), Steve Buslowe (bass), Paul Crook (guitar), Randy Flowers (guitar), David Luther (saxophone), Lyssa Lynne (“Stop Right There!”), John Miceli (drums) — plus American Idol Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson providing lead vocals. Today, the album is finally out through Deko Entertainment and Crook’s label, Crooked Media, LLC.
Paradise Found reimagines the sound, passion, and fury of the original Bat Out of Hell, the 1977 release by Meat Loaf and composer Jim Steinman, which remains in the top five best-selling albums of all time. It includes all seven songs performed in their original order. The song arrangements have developed over decades of touring and now the listener can hear these re-envisioned versions.
As Crook states on the album: “The music is timeless, and we play it virtually note for note. The wall of sound that fans experience when seeing us live is captured in this recording. Meat Loaf fans will be pleased. We’re hoping this release introduces Meat and Jim to a whole new fan base.”
“This album has been a labor of love for us,” continues Crook. “Meat Loaf’s passing has left a huge hole in the hearts of millions around the world. We are committed to keeping the legacy alive by celebrating this incredible music. I felt there was no better way to honor our boss and Jim than to release our tribute to Bat Out of Hell on this special 45th anniversary.”
The LP’s first single “All Revved Up With No Place To Go” dropped this past October, almost 45 years to the date of the official release of the original Bat Out of Hell album. Later, Deko + Crooked presented the record’s next single, “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad,” alongside a behind-the-scenes making-of video. Alongside the LP drop today, Deko + Crooked share the record’s focus track, “Bat Out Of Hell.”
Speaking on the single, Crook wrote:
“Jim Steinman’s Rock masterpiece. The most dramatic motorcycle crash song ever written. Bat Out Of Hell, the album, was released in 1977. It remains in the top 5 best sellers list of all-time. It was developed from a musical, Neverland, a futuristic rock version of Peter Pan, which Steinman wrote for a workshop in 1974. After the album was mixed to 2 track, they then had to speed-up that tape to get the songs to fit onto a vinyl record. This made Meat’s voice sound different, higher. The end result haunted Meat Loaf his entire career. Ticket buyers wanted to hear that voice….this always bothered him. Jim mentioned that the intro chords were inspired by ‘Jailhouse Rock.’ I never get tired of performing this song. The music is both fun and challenging to play.
The song was originally recorded in the key of E. Our re-recorded version was recorded in the key of F (the key that it now lives in on the original 1977 pressing). The arrangement is completely different from the original. All of Meat Loaf’s songs have developed into something completely different from their original recordings. This is the LIVE arrangement. The version, we, the Neverland Express have been performing with Meat Loaf for decades.”
All things Paradise Found: Bat Out of Hell Reignited can be purchased HERE. Listen to the LP now via all DSPs.
Bat Out of Hell Reignited – TRACKLISTING
- Bat Out Of Hell
- You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth
- Heaven Can Wait
- All Revved Up With No Place To Go
- Two Out of Three Aint Bad
- Paradise by the Dashboard Light
- For Crying Out Loud
Deko Entertainment is very excited to be part of this amazing release. As President Bruce Pucciarello states, “This new rendition of Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell by his touring band, the Neverland Express, generates an elevated energy as American Idol winner Caleb Johnson’s voice connects with perfection to Meat’s legacy. Close the windows…you’ll be singing along loudly.”
Crook continues, “I’m happy we are able to release this album with Deko Entertainment. I’ve been friends with Charlie Calv (Deko partner) since high school, having played in separate local cover bands as kids. He’s a successful musician in his own right, currently playing keyboards with Angel, so he and his partner Bruce take a true artist first approach to running their label. The fact that they are big Meat Loaf fans makes this extra special.”
In addition to the new LP, the celebration continues live, in concert: Celebrating Meat Loaf with the Neverland Express + Caleb Johnson is a live concert performance of Bat Out of Hell in its entirety, plus other Meat Loaf hits. Created & produced by Paul Crook, this is the only show that was officially endorsed by Meat Loaf.
2023 performance scheduling is underway, including a very special six-show UK tour May 20-27, 2023. View the full list of dates below and purchase tickets HERE.
CELEBRATING MEAT LOAF – LIVE
January 27 – Atlantic City, NJ: Borgata Casino & Resort *RECORD RELEASE SHOW*
March 31 – Westbury, NY: The Space at Westbury Theater
April 1 – Norwalk, CT: Wall Street Theatre
May 20 – Oxford, UK: New Theatre
May 21 – Birmingham, UK: Symphony Hall
May 23 – Glasgow, UK: Royal Concert Hall
May 25 – Gateshead, UK: Sage One
May 26 – Manchester, UK: The Bridgewater Hall
May 27 – London, UK: Indigo at The O2