Whether quarreling with Gary Busey on The Celebrity Apprentice or taking the stage beneath a giant bat, Meat Loaf has never done anything in a small way. So it’s not surprising that EMI’s just-announced 2-CD/1-DVD deluxe reissue of 1995’s Welcome to the Neighborhood looks to be a weighty package! It’s due in the U.K. on June 6, and the original 12-track line-up has been augmented with some choice bonus material. Four bonus tracks have been added to the original album on Disc 1, plus another twelve live cuts on Disc 2 and a DVD containing Top of the Pops appearances, promo clips and interview footage.
UPDATE (6/6): Welcome to the Neighbourhood has dropped in the United Kingdom, but in true Meat Loaf fashion, its arrival hasn’t been a quiet one. Listeners quickly noticed an error on the second disc of the expanded edition. Disc 2 promises a live version of the song “Runnin’ for the Red Light” among its tracks. In its place, however, is the studio version of the song (co-written by Meat Loaf himself) duplicated from Disc 1. As Meat Loaf did not perform “Red Light” during his 1995 Neighbourhood stand at the Beacon Theatre, it’s likely that the song’s inclusion was an error in the first place. (He did perform Diane Warren’s “Not a Dry Eye in the House,” however, which is oddly absent.) EMI has been made aware of the problem, and will delete the current edition. Subsequent pressings will eliminate the studio “Red Light” from the track line-up, and the packaging will reflect only 11 tracks on that disc. It is doubtful, however, that replacement discs will be issued for those who purchased the first edition.
Welcome to the Neighborhood was Meat Loaf’s first effort after his colossal 1993 comeback Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, which spawned the hit single “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).” That song, like all of Bat II, came from the theatrical pen of Jim Steinman, who has built a lengthy career on his unique blend of drama, humor and bombast. For Neighborhood, Meat Loaf turned not to producer/writer Steinman, but rather to Diane Warren and Sammy Hagar, among others, to provide new material. (Steinman was represented by two older songs: “Left in the Dark,” originally recorded by Steinman himself in 1981 but better known in a 1986 rendition by Barbra Streisand, and “Original Sin,” debuted in 1989 by his pet project Pandora’s Box.)
Warren credibly aped Steinman on the single “I’d Lie For You (And That’s the Truth)” which had a respectable showing in the U.S. at No. 13 and fared even better in the U.K., climbing all the way to No. 2. Warren also supplied “Not a Dry Eye in the House,” another showstopper which hit No. 7 in the U.K. Meat Loaf even unexpectedly covered Tom Waits on “Martha.” Welcome to the Neighborhood remains his most successful album outside of the two Steinman-created Bat albums. (2006’s Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose featured no involvement from Steinman, although Meat Loaf again recorded some of his songs.)
What rarities are included on the new Collectors Edition? Hit the jump to find out!
EMI U.K.’s deluxe edition rounds up a number of related songs. Covers of The Beatles’ “Let It Be” and “Come Together” supported “Not a Dry Eye in the House” on a single, and both songs are reprised here. In a return to his stage roots, Meat Loaf tipped his hat to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein with his recording of “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from Oklahoma!, which appeared on the “I’d Lie For You” single. “Is Nothing Sacred” is also included, a later Meat Loaf/Jim Steinman collaboration which originally appeared on The Very Best of Meat Loaf. In a one-off pairing, Don Black ("Born Free," "To Sir with Love") supplied the lyrics for this song.
Disc 2 primarily features a 1995 concert given by Meat Loaf at New York’s Beacon Theatre to support the release of the album. The set introduced some of the Neighborhood songs but also looked back to both Bat Out of Hell records. Among the live tracks on Disc 2 is a rare version of “Whatever Happened to Saturday Night” from The Rocky Horror Show; Meat Loaf reintroduced this song on his most recent tour.
Disc 3 of the deluxe package, a DVD, includes promotional clips of “I’d Lie For You” and “Not a Dry Eye in the House” as well as Top of the Pops performances of both songs, plus an artist interview from the time of the album’s release.
EMI’s deluxe edition of Welcome to the Neighborhood (or, Neighbourhood, this being a British release!) is due for release on June 7. Independent retailer Townsend Records is offering a limited edition print to the first 200 people who pre-order the album at the price of £17.99. Amazon U.K. has the release available for pre-order, as well, and a link is below.
Meat Loaf, Welcome to the Neighbourhood: Collectors Edition (Virgin CDV 2799 (U.K.)/MCA MCSSD-11341 (U.S.), 1995 - reissued EMI, 2011)
- Where The Rubber Meets The Road
- I'd Lie For You (And That's The Truth)
- Original Sin
- 45 Seconds Of Ecstasy
- Runnin' For The Red Light (I Gotta Life)
- Fiesta De Las Almas Perdidas
- Left In The Dark
- Not A Dry Eye In The House
- Amnesty Is Granted
- If This Is The Last Kiss (Let's Make It Last All Night)
- Where Angels Sing
- Come Together
- Let It Be
- Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'
- Is Nothing Sacred (Full Version)
- Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back (Live)
- Where The Rubber Meets The Road (Live)
- I'd Lie For You (And That's The Truth) (Live)
- Amnesty Is Granted (Live)
- You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Live)
- All Revved Up (Live)
- Dead Ringer For Love (Live)
- I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) (Live)
Runnin' For The Red Light (I Gotta Life) (Live)
- Midnight At The Lost And Found (Live)
- Whatever Happened To Saturday Night (Live)
- Bat Out Of Hell (Live)
- I'd Lie For You (And That's The Truth) (Promo Clip)
- Not A Dry Eye In The House (Promo Clip)
- I'd Lie For You (And That's The Truth) (Top Of The Pops)
- Not A Dry Eye In The House (Top Of The Pops)
- Album Interview with Meat Loaf (Long Version)
Disc 1, Tracks 1-12 from Welcome to the Neighbourhood (Virgin CDV 2799 (U.K.)/MCA MCSSD-11341 (U.S.), 1995)
Disc 1, Tracks 13-14 from Not a Dry Eye in the House, Virgin single VSCDX 1567, 1995
Disc 1, Track 15 from I’d Lie for You (And That’s the Truth), Virgin single VSCDG 1563, 1995
Disc 1, Track 16 possibly from The Very Best of Meat Loaf (Cleveland International/Epic E2K 69335, 1998)
Disc 2, Tracks 1-12 predominantly recorded at The Beacon Theatre, New York, NY, 1995; some tracks may have appeared on Live Around The World (Tommy Boy CD 1187, 1996)
DVD, Tracks 1-5 all previously unreleased commercially