Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Plays the Music of Meatloaf

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At first glance, the cover of this unique collection might prompt a chuckle; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays on classic film scores, but they don't do albums with nasty bats on the cover, do they? Well, these days they do, reworking into a classical/orchestral context the music of U2, Madonna, Oasis, REM, and Elton John. So if these groups then why not Meat Loaf, whose Jim Steinman-created mini rock operas lend themselves naturally to this kind of melodrama? Here, the potent, soaring strings rise powerfully above the electric guitar-driven rock energy of such tunes as "I Would Do Anything for Love," and the effect is kind of like a high-spirited Andrew Lloyd Webber score. The real fun comes on the upbeat rock classics like "Bat Out of Hell" and the 1950s-styled "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" because the covers of ballads like "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" come across like cheesy if cheery muzak. True Meat Loaf fans will accept no substitute and perhaps won't enjoy these great melodies done without his personality and vocal intensity. But it's fun for a spin or two at a party or driving fast along a highway. You're bound to sing aloud at the top of your lungs!

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