Meat Loaf exploded to superstardom like a Bat Out of Hell with his 1977 solo debut. But the roots of his success could be traced to his short but blazing tenure with Motown. In 1970, the young performer with the big frame and even bigger voice was garnering rave reviews in the Detroit company of Hair alongside Shaun Murphy, a.k.a. Stoney, a powerhouse blues singer who stopped the show nightly with her incendiary rendition of "Easy to Be Hard." Motown quickly saw the potential of this one-of-a-kind duo and signed them to its rock-oriented Rare Earth imprint. Produced in the Motor City by Ralph and Russ Terrana and Mike Valvano, 1971's Stoney and Meatloaf boldly fused rock, soul, blues, gospel, funk, and country. But despite Stoney and Meatloaf's explosive vocals, top-drawer songs and production, and the top 40 R&B success of the single "What You See Is What You Get," the pair's time at Motown was short-lived. Stoney and Meatloaf remained Meat Loaf's only album to never see an official CD release...until now.
Everything Under the Sun: The Motown Recordings from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music is the ultimate celebration of the late rock superstar's singular collaboration with the extraordinary, Grammy-nominated Shaun Murphy (who went on to sing for more than four decades with Bob Seger and spend 16 years as lead singer of Little Feat). This 2-CD, 28-track anthology arrives in stores TOMORROW, June 3. It premieres the original 1971 Stoney and Meatloaf album on CD, remastered by Kevin Reeves and bolstered by four mono single versions on the first disc including Stoney and Meatloaf's non-LP cover of Motown classic "The Way You Do the Things You Do."
CD 2 opens with Stoney's eight solo recordings for the label, only two of which have ever seen release on a rare 1973 single. Both sides of the released single were written and produced by the team of Nick Zesses and Dino Fekaris (with Motown mainstay Bea Verdi collaborating on "It's Always Me") while Stoney's six previously unreleased sides - all recorded in Los Angeles following the label's exodus there - include Jerry Fuller's "Touch and Go," Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham's "A Woman Left Lonely," and funky Motown staple "Mo Jo Hannah," all helmed by Joe Porter, and two collaborations with Bob Gaudio: Stoney's original "Stone Liberty," the track of which was then supplied to Diana Ross, and a dramatic solo remake of "Sunshine (Where's Heaven)." From pop to blues, rock, and soul, these tracks showcase Stoney's tremendous versatility.
The second disc concludes with a clutch of brand-new stereo mixes by acclaimed engineer Kevin Reeves (The Supremes, Cream, John Coltrane) from Stoney and Meatloaf including the stereo premiere of "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and full restorations of the duo's complete vocals to the outtakes which premiered, sans Stoney's leads, on the controversial 1978 reissue Meatloaf Featuring Stoney and Meatloaf.
Everything Under the Sun: The Motown Recordings has been in the works for four years and is dedicated to the memory of Meat Loaf, who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year. The collection has been produced by the team of Joe Marchese and Andrew Skurow (The Supremes, Bobby Darin, Blinky) and mastered from the original Motown tapes by Kevin Reeves.
The deluxe booklet designed by John Sellards features rare and never-before-published images including stunning shots from photographer Jim Hendin (who photographed the cover of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On the same year!) as well as comprehensive liner notes by The Second Disc's Randy Fairman drawing on fresh and insightful interviews with Shaun Murphy and Ralph Terrana. It's housed in a deluxe, six-panel digipak. With the release of Everything Under the Sun: The Motown Recordings, rock and roll dreams do, indeed, come through. Look for this definitive tribute to two famed Motown alumni at the links below. It's available tomorrow from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music!
Stoney and Meatloaf, Everything Under the Sun: The Motown Recordings (Second Disc Records/Real Gone Music, 2022) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
STONEY AND MEATLOAF:
Stoney & Meatloaf (Rare Earth LP R 528L, 1971)
- (I'd Love To Be) As Heavy As Jesus
- She Waits By The Window
- It Takes All Kinds Of People
- Game Of Love
- Kiss Me Again
- What You See Is What You Get
- Sunshine (Where's Heaven)
- Jimmy Bell
- Lady Be Mine
- Jessica White
- What You See Is What You Get (Mono Single Version) (Rare Earth single R 5027, 1971)
- Lady Be Mine (Mono Single Version) (Rare Earth single R 5027, 1971)
- It Takes All Kinds of People (Mono Single Version) (Rare Earth single R 5033F, 1971)
- The Way You Do the Things You Do (Mono Single Version) (Rare Earth single R 5033F, 1971)
STONEY: Solo Singles and Unreleased Gems:
- Let Me Come Down Easy (Single Version) (Motown M1248F, 1973)
- It's Always Me (Single Version) (Motown M1248F, 1973)
- Carry Me (**)
- A Woman Left Lonely (**)
- Mo Jo Hannah (**)
- Stone Liberty (**)
- Sunshine (Where's Heaven) (Stoney Solo Version) (**)
- Touch And Go (**)
STONEY AND MEATLOAF 2022 Mixes:
- The Way You Do The Things You Do (Stereo Premiere) (*)
- Everything Under The Sun (*)
- Stone Heart (*)
- Who Is The Leader Of The People (*)
- Jimmy Bell (*)
- It Takes All Kinds of People (*)
(*) Previously Unreleased 2022 Mix
(**) Previously Unreleased
This is a top-notch reissue, and since I pre-ordered it from Real Gone Music, I got an extra booklet autographed by Shaun Murphy.
Joe Marchese says
Thanks, Galley! Enjoy!