Tuesday, August 01, 2006
New York (Reuters): Veteran rocker Meat Loaf has resolved a dispute with songwriter Jim Steinman over trademark rights to ''Bat Out of Hell,'' dropping a multimillion-dollar lawsuit over the title of the best-selling 1977 album. ''It resolved itself very quickly because neither one of us wanted to argue,'' Meat Loaf told Reuters in an interview yesterday at an event to promote ''Bat out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose,'' set for release on October 31. ''There's a mutual love and respect there,'' he said. ''We're not going to have a knock-down brawl. We just have too much history,'' Meat Loaf said, speaking fondly of the man who produced the original album that shot the portly Texan to stardom after his breakout appearance in the cult film ''The Rocky Horror Picture Show.'' Meat Loaf, who was born Marvin Lee Aday, had filed a suit earlier this year claiming that Steinman wrongfully registered the phrase as his trademark in 1995.
Steinman wrote the title track and several others on the the original album and the 1993 follow-up ''Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell.'' The two albums have sold a combined total of more than 45 million copies and spawned such rock classics as ''You took the words right out of my mouth'' and ''I'd do anything for love (but I won't do that).'' Meat Loaf said there had never been serious antagonism between the two. ''Sometimes there's just disagreements that in business two people can't settle, so you just need to involve other people ... You always hate to see it get to that.'' Unveiling the third album in the trilogy to the media, Meat Loaf said Steinman had written seven songs on the new record. ''If it was not for Jim Steinman and his brilliance and his ability to turn a phrase and his concepts, we wouldn't be here tonight,'' Meat Loaf said of his collaborator who did not attend the event in a nightclub in a converted church lit by candles. ''He really liked the record, that's really important to me,'' he said. ''We tried to show him as much respect and loyalty as we could because we're doing 'Bat out of Hell III.' It's his concept to do 'Bat out of Hell III.'''
Among the Steinman tracks on the album, which was produced by Desmond Child, known for his work with the likes of Bon Jovi and Aerosmith, is the ballad ''It's all coming back to me now,'' which was a big hit for Celine Dion although it was originally written for the first ''Bat out of Hell.'' Meat Loaf said he felt a deeper personal connection to many of the songs on this album than in past songs. He was also challenged by Child to adapt his style to work with writers such as Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue and Marilyn Manson's John 5. ''(For example) 'Blind like a Bat,' I've never sung rock songs like that,'' he said. ''I think you'll recognize it as classic Meat Loaf. But you're going to be surprised too.''
Meat Loaf, who is deliberately vague about his age with reports of his year of birth ranging from 1947 to 1951, said he had no plans for a fourth in the series. ''I don't know how anybody could live through it,'' he said. ''I don't think I have the time, I don't think the years will allow it.'' But he is planning some major gigs to promote the latest album, including an Oct. 16 London show at the Royal Albert Hall in three acts, drawing on the three ''Bat Out of Hell'' albums. He will also bring the Bat to New York in November after the Halloween release of the new album.