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Reviews: Meat Loaf: Bat Out Of Hell

Reviews: 10

Review by vwnut July 14, 2003 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I have both CD version and SACD version of this recording. The SACD sounds very thin and shrill. I don't recommend it!

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Review by David_fram February 5, 2004 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
A great artist let down by a sub-standard SACD. I don't have the CD version so decided to buy this as I generally like Meat-Loaf's somgs but hadn't brought any of his cds. Firstly it is a pity that it is not a hybrid disc, I don't really understand why certain companies don't make their discs hybrid. Now onto the disc itself, the main problem I noticed was how badly the surrond mix seems to have been put together. The bike at the start jumps around all over the place in a seemingly random fashion and thats what seems to happen far too much for my taste. The second rendition of Bat Out of Hell is appaulling, they sshould have just left us with the first version. All in all what could have been a great disc let down by terrible sonics. It still sounds better than my friend's redbook cd recording but not by much. I'll play it at times but I would never buy it again it's just not worth the expense. It's the only one of my SACDs I've brought without reading reviews first and I regret it. The performance is really more about 4 but as there is no value option I lower it by one as it's just not worth the money I paid for it!

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Review by PaulHoncoop January 22, 2005 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This SACD is the worst sounded i ever heard. Sounds very shrill without any bass. Listening to it is givin' you a good headache for days. Nothing wrong with this masterpiece album, but send this SACD back to hell!

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Review by Iet April 12, 2005 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Because I like the vinyl version of this album very much (one of the 'classics' of my youth) I impulsively bought this SACD when I found it in a shop. Something I did regret after listening. Actually the sonic of this SACD is so poor (both the sound quality and surround mix) that I initially thought that something was wrong with my audio-set and/or speaker connections. The sound quality is very thin and the surround effects in terms of the placement of the instruments and the artificial echo is even hilariously bad. This also ruins the excellence of the original performance. Honestly I am flabbergasted that professionals in the music-industry can create such an obvious misproduction. This SACD was one of the first pop music releases on the SACD format and therefore frequently used at early demonstrations. Maybe this is one of the reasons why the SACD format faced so many sceptics in the beginning . . . ?

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Review by jakeroux September 23, 2008 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Ok, I may be missing something, but I really fail to see what all of the negative hub-bub is about regarding this CD. By way of background, there is both a SACD-only stereo version of this disc, as well as a hybrid multi-channel disc. Since this review entry is tagged as the multi-channel hybrid version, that is the main focus of my review. However, having owned and listened to both the stereo-only version and the multi-channel version, in my opinion the multi-channel is hands down the version to own. To me, the stereo version really does not sound any different than the RBCD version, either original or remastered. Even the signal strength, often a downfall of poorly mastered RBCDs that is overcome with SACD mastering, is not significantly better in the stereo SACD vs. the RBCD. Granted, I do not have a six figure system, but honestly, what "accurate and more detailed" instrumentation or “subtleties” and “nuances” do you really hope to gain in SACD stereo when you’re talking about Meat Loaf?

As a result, to me the real advantage to having this in SACD is the multi-channel mix, and this is where I am somewhat puzzled by some of the reviews. Certainly, tastes and preferences are personal in nature, but I do not find the multi-channel mix to be essentially different from most other pop-rock multichannel mixes. You have the vocals isolated, for the most part, to the center channel, with backing vocals and backing instruments in the surrounds. All in all, it is a pleasing “surround sound” experience, quite literally. And while I haven’t done a detailed A/B testing between the two SACD versions, my sense is that the overall sound signal strength is greater (stronger bass, clearer highs)in the multi-channel format, but that may just be the result of the increased number of channels. And no, I don’t have one to sell and I’m not in the reselling business, but if you are a pop/rock SACD fan, I would encourage you to ignore some of the earlier poor reviews and pick this one up and give it a listen if you have a chance. And if you have already, I would certainly be open to hearing opinions to the contrary.

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Review by benalaur_1 February 25, 2009 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
What a disappointment!!! I Have been considering purchasing this disc for a long time but have been
reluctant to do so due to some of the less than flattering reviews. Anyway I took the plunge and parted with a not inconsiderable amount of $$$. I listened to multichannel first. All the songs are very similar - lacking life, energy and vitality, lacking dynamics and are generally very flat.(The sound is very similar to dolby digital) The most exciting part of the multichannel section is the spoken introduction to track 2 (YOU TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH). The stereo tracks are considerably better (better than the Redbook CD my wife owns) but still on my system at least don't have a particulary wide or deep soundstage. This is a great album (particularly if you were an adolescent in the 70's) If only the sound quality was similar to the Elton John SACD's.

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Review by Kikke June 6, 2009 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Based on the other reviews on this site I decided long ago to stay away from this one. Since there are hardly any new SACD's on the market one starts to buy what is available. First of all let me tell you that this is one of my favorite all time albums. I own it on vinyl in both the 1977 and the 2009 edition. I own it on 'Mastersound' gold disk and since a few weeks on SACD. How sorry I am right now for waiting so long to buy this album. The other reviews don't do just to the sonics and the mix on this album. I agree that the original issue of Bat out of Hell was an ear bleeder. This album is not a modern DSD recording but an 1977 rock album transfered to a new medium so there are some issues with it's sonics. But this is by far the ultimate and final version of this album. The surround mix reveals the many layers and makes the album more than bearable when played at a high volume (the way it's intended to) it's a shame that by now it's only to be bought for more than twice the original price on sites like Ebay.

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Review by HiTracey February 5, 2011
Performance:   Sonics:  
I first bought this on vinyl in the 70s, including the direct cut version, and followed this with the cd version in the 80s, therefore am very familiar with it. Bearing in mind the age of this recording, the transfer quality and multi-channel mix are excellent. I can't agree with the generally negative criticism of the sacd at all. Played at reference level, or just below if you're of a nervous disposition, it really comes into its own; the slightly thin bass reflects the original recording and not a problem with this version. I'd have no reservations in stating my view that this is the ultimate version of this album.

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Review by Gmat25 April 1, 2011 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I have certainly read mixed reviews on this disc, in particular the multichannel version. I decided to check it out for myself (although prices have gone through the roof!) Considering that this was one of the first SACD's produced I am really enjoying this. As some other reviewers have pointed out the title track and For Cryin' Out Loud sound great, but so do the majority of the other songs. In the liner notes it explains that the final multitracks for Paradise and Heaven Can Wait were burned in a fire. Yes, you can tell that the surround mix of Heaven Can Wait was derived from the two track master, but it still maintains a sense of ambiance. Overall, I really feel that the multitrack version makes this disc come alive. Let's face it this record is bombastic, theatrical, and full of energy. Having the instruments expanded across more than two channels really brings the excitement out.

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Review by Techno-Crit January 21, 2014 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
My wife thought I was NUTS to insist on purchasing a SA-CD player. I own an excellent Denon CD player and have a full and overflowing collection of CD's. But when I found an new Denon SA-CD player for a really right price...well you know the rest of that story.So after buying and listening to some comparatively expensive music disks and finally getting her to agree that it was worth the price, disaster struck.
I found Meat loaf's Bat out of Hell (One of her favorite recordings) on Ebay for an exorberant Oop price. But it was for Christmas and this was going to convince her once and for all that I was right to invest in SA-CD.
When she opened it Christmas day her first request was for me to feed the SA-CD some Meat Loaf and set her heart on fire.
From the very first I could see she was less than impressed and by the time we got to Paradise by the dash board lights She had actually left the room . She returned with her vinyl copy and had me dust off the turntable and put on the record. By the way she hadn't asked me to play a vinyl for years and even after many years of being ignored the turntable and the vintage vinyl sounded many time better than the new hi-tech pricey SA-CD. So now she is SURE I am nuts and I am starting to question my own sanity....fortunatly this has been the exception and not the rule. This is the first and hopefully the last SA-cd that I am sorry I purchased.

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