Bad for Good

Bad for Good

Infobox Album
Name = Bad for Good
Type = Album
Artist = Jim Steinman

Released = 1981
Recorded = August 1980 - March 1981cite news |title=New Faces To Watch |work=Cashbox magazine |url= |format=Reprint on website |date=1981 |accessdate=2007-11-05]
Genre = Wagnerian rock
Length = 61:06
Label = Epic
Producer = John Jansen,
Todd Rundgren,
Jim Steinman
Reviews =
*Allmusic rating|2.5|5 [ link]
*People magazine (positive) [ link]
*Record Mirror rating|4|4 [ link]
Last album = "Bat out of Hell" (1977)
This album = "Bad for Good" (1981)
Next album = "Original Sin" (1989)

"Bad For Good" is an 1981 album by American songwriter Jim Steinman. Steinman wrote all of the songs and performed on most, although Rory Dodd contributed lead vocals on some tracks.

The songs were originally intended to be recorded by Meat Loaf as a follow up to "Bat out of Hell", titled "Renegade Angel". However, Meat Loaf suffered vocal problems and was unable to sing. However, he would record several tracks from "Bad for Good" for his later albums.

The critical reaction to the album was rather mediocre. Many reviews commented that Steinman's singing voice was inadequate for the songs.


In the midst of the success of "Bat out of Hell", desperate for a Meat Loaf follow-up, management and the record company put pressure on Steinman to stop touring in order to write to follow-up, provisionally titled "Renegade Angel".cite news |first=John |last=Aizlewood |title=A Marriage Made In Hell |work=Q |url= |format=Reprint on website |publisher=EMAP |date=1993 |accessdate=2007-08-24] Steinman joined Meat Loaf and his the band for a live performance in Toronto, Canada in 1978 with the intention of going through the songs for the new album after the show. However, someone broke into their dressing rooms during the show and stole several possessions, including the new lyric book. Many of the stolen songs would later appear on "Bad for Good": "Surf's Up", "Left in the Dark"cite book |last=Loaf |first=Meat |authorlink=Meat Loaf |coauthors=David Dalton |title= |year=2000 |publisher= Virgin Publishing |location= London |id=ISBN 075350443X |pages=138] and "Out of the Frying Pan." Meat Loaf jokes that he doesn't think that Steinman ever got over that theft.cite video | people=Meat Loaf (commentary) | year=2004 | title= [ Meat Loaf Live with the Melbourne Symphone Orchestra] |medium=DVD |location=Melbourne |publisher=Warner Music Vision]

Meat Loaf lost his voice and was unable to record "Renegade Angel." Not being able to "bear for people not to hear those songs," Steinman recorded the album, retitled "Bad for Good", as a solo project, although Rory Dodd contributed lead vocals on some songs. Many musicians and backing vocalists from "Bat out of Hell" performed on "Bad for Good", including Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg from Springsteen's E Street Band.

Around this time, Steinman contributed all eight songs for Meat Loaf's "Dead Ringer" album, which was also released in 1981.


The first two songs, "Bad for Good" and "Lost Boys And Golden Girls", were two of many songs written by Steinman under the inspiration of "Peter Pan" and lost boys who never grow up.cite web |title=BBC ROCK HOUR SPECIAL: JIM STEINMAN; Transcription of BBC Radio Broadcast, l981 |url= |accessdate=2007-08-28] This is reflected in lyrics in "Bad for Good" such as "You know I'm gonna be like this forever: I'm never gonna be what I should."cite video |year=2006 |title=The Making of Bat out of Hell III | medium=DVD |publisher=Mercury Records] The composer says that "Peter Pan" has "always been about my favorite story and I've always looked at it from the perspective that it's a great rock'n'roll myth because it's about — when you get right down to it — it's about a gang of lost boys who never grow up, who are going to be young forever and that's about as perfect an image for rock'n'roll as I can think of."cite web |title= BBC ROCK HOUR SPECIAL: JIM STEINMAN; Transcription of BBC Radio Broadcast, l981|url= |accessdate=2007-08-28] "Lost Boys And Golden Girls" is the basis for the musical "Neverland", which Steinman says is "a rock 'n' roll science fiction version of Peter Pan that takes place in a city built on the ruins of Los Angeles after a series of chemical wars." "Neverland" never got past the workshop stage, although the "Bat out of Hell" musical scheduled to open in London in 2009 is based on the same concept.cite news |first=Maryellen |last=Fillo |title=A Bat Out Of Hell Who Whistles |work=Hartford Courant |url=,0,6539032.story |date=2007-09-28 |accessdate=2007-09-29]

The next track, "Love and Death and an American Guitar," is a spoken word fantasy monologue, performed by Steinman that he used to do in the Meat Loaf shows. It opens by quoting lyrics from "Bat out of Hell"'s "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" ("I remember everything little thing as if it happened yesterday. I was barely seventeen"), but instead of being "barely dressed" the protagonist "once killed a boy with a Fender guitar." Influenced by The Doors, Steinman wanted to write a piece where "the rhythm wasn't coming from the drums so much as the voice — the rhythm of the spoken voice and the heartbeat behind it."

The final two tracks were originally packaged with the LP on an additional vinyl disc. "The Storm" is an orchestral piece. The final track, "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through," is a prayer to rock music, celebrating how it is always there to help you through troubled times. One of its lyrics is "You're never alone, 'cause you can put on the 'phones and let the drummer tell your heart what to do."

Track listing

All songs written by Jim Steinman.

ide one

#"Bad for Good" – 8:45
#"Lost Boys and Golden Girls" 4:36
#"Love and Death and an American Guitar" – 2:38
#"Stark Raving Love" – 7:23

ide two

#"Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire)" – 6:12
#"Surf's Up" – 5:25
#"Dance in My Pants" – 7:58 (duet with Karla DeVito)
#"Left in the Dark" – 7:58

Extra EP

# "The Storm" – 4:28
#"Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" – 6:29

On the original vinyl release, "The Storm" and "Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through" were the A-side and B-side, respectively, of a 33-rpm 7" single, enclosed with the album. These tracks, according to Steinman's concept, are supposed to be the prelude and epilogue, respectively, of the album. The position of these tracks varies on the various CD versions. Some use the correct order, starting with "The Storm" and ending with "Rock and Roll Dreams", while others place both tracks at the end, or place "Rock and Roll Dreams" after "Stark Raving Love" and "The Storm" at the end of the album. Also, the spoken word epilogue to "Left in the Dark" is omitted from some CD versions.

Cover art

Like "Bat out of Hell" Richard Corben illustrated the cover. Describing the cover, "Sounds" magazine says "the flesh, the puppy-fat on the mid-calf, the breasts, the upturned American nose... Corben's evocation of teenage femininity is so right! The cover, though, is the product of an alternative universe, like everything else about this album. The nude gymnasium scene is out, along with the other title 'Renegade Angel'."cite web |first=Sandy |last=Robertson |title='Bad For Good' Album Review |url= |accessdate=2007-11-05]

Critical reaction

The critical reaction to the album was rather mediocre. Many reviews commented that Steinman's signing voice was inadequate for the songs. "Rolling Stone", who also gave a lukewarm review of the first "Bat", said "Steinman's thin, reedy voice simply can't carry the absurd precocity of the lyrics."cite web |first=PARKE |last=PUTERBAUGH |title=Meat Loaf: Dead Ringer |work=Rolling Stone |url= |accessdate=2007-11-04] "Allmusic" also says that Steinman "simply doesn't have the vocal range or lung power necessary to make this dramatic style of rock & roll work. For example... [in] "Left in the Dark" he struggles to keep up with vocal demands of this orchestral ballad, resulting in a vocal that sounds strained and occasionally off-key."cite web |first=Donald A. |last=Guarisco |title=Bad for Good |work=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2007-11-04] "Billboard" magazine, though, say that "to the surprise of many, Steinman's vocals sounded stronger than expected." [cite web |title= “Blood, Thunder, Iron & Guts” - Steinman Says Of His Singing |work=Billboard Magazine |url= |date=1981-06-27 |accessdate=2007-11-04]

"Allmusic" also complain "that some of the songs repeat the "Bat Out of Hell" formula instead of building upon it; the obvious culprit in this arena is "Dance In My Pants," a duet that gratuitously recycles the battle of the sexes verbal sparring and the multi-part structure of Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" to less-impressive effect." However, they do praise "Surf's Up" and "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through." They conclude that the album "is too inconsistent and eccentric to keep the attention of the casual listener, but remains an interesting listen for anyone who appreciates Jim Steinman's one-of-a-kind style of epic-size rock & roll."

"Rolling Stone" criticizes the "Wagnerian excess, feral "rock" playing and vile choristering," suggesting that "Todd Rundgren should have his wrists slapped for choking the upper end of his guitar's neck in a vainglorious approximation of epiphany." They cite lines from the title track "("And you think that I'll be bad for just a little while/But I know that I'll be bad for good.")" as "probably the most perfect self-review in the history of rock & roll." "Sounds" magazine offers a positive review, saying that it's the album "you've been waiting four years for."


*Jim Steinman — vocals, assorted keyboards
*Rory Dodd — featured vocals on "Lost Boys and Golden Girls," "Surf's Up," "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through," backing vocals
*Karla DeVito — female lead vocals on "Dance in My Pants"
*Todd Rundgrenguitar, backing vocals
*Davey Johnstone — guitar, mandolin
*Steve Buslowebass
*Kasim Sulton — bass, backing vocals
*Neal Jason — bass
*Roy Bittanpiano, keyboards
*Steven Margoshes — piano, conductor (New York Philharmonic) on "The Storm"
*Roger Powell — synthesizer
*Larry "Synergy" Fast — synthesizer
*John Wilcox — drums
*Max Weinberg — drums
*Alan Schwartzberg — drums
*Joe Stefko — drums
*Jimmy Maelen — percussion
*Alan Rubin — trumpet
*Tom Malone — trombone
*Lew Del Gatto — baritone sax
*Lou Marini — tenor sax, sax solo on "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through"
*Ellen Foley — vocals
*Eric Troyer — vocals
*Carlos Calello — conductor (New York Philharmonic) on "Left in the Dark"


*Producers: John Jansen, Todd Rundgren, Jim Steinman
*Engineers: Tom Edmonds, John Jansen, Todd Rundgren, Gray Russell, Shelly Yakus
*Mixing: John Jansen
*Mastering: Greg Calbi, Ted Jensen, George Marino
*Production coordination: Gray Russell
*Arrangers: Roy Bittan, Todd Rundgren, Jim Steinman
*Art direction: John Berg
*Cover art concept: Jim Steinman
*Photography: Don Hunstein


Album - Billboard (North America)

Singles - Billboard (North America)


Many of the tracks, or elements thereof, on "Bad for Good" have been recorded by other artists, including projects that Steinman has been involved in. He produced Barbra Streisand recording "Left in the Dark" for her album "Emotion", [cite web |title=Barbra Streisand Discography: Emotion |work=Legacy Recordings |url= |accessdate=2008-03-07] with the single, reaching #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1984. [cite web |title=Barbra Streisand |work=Billboard |url=!2009836834&model.vnuArtistId=3629&model.vnuAlbumId=1110228 |accessdate=2008-03-07] The intro to "Stark Raving Love" was used for "Holding Out for a Hero", a 1984 hit for Bonnie Tyler. He used excerpts from "The Storm" for "Opening of the Box" on the Pandora's Box album "Original Sin", and in the "Ouverture" for the musical "Tanz der Vampire".

Meat Loaf has recorded most of "Bad for Good":
*"Surf's Up" appears on his 1984 album "Bad Attitude";
*"Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through," "Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire)," "Love And Death and an American Guitar" (which was renamed to "Wasted Youth," and still performed by Steinman), and "Lost Boys and Golden Girls" appear on "". These are the only of Meat Loaf's versions of "Bad for Good" songs that were produced by Steinman;
*"Left in the Dark" appears on 1995's "Welcome to the Neighborhood";
*"Bad for Good" on "", with guest performer Brian May on guitar. In a documentary promoting the album, Meat Loaf acknowledged that there is a "core of fans that know that song," so he "had that under the microscope more than any other on the album." An excerpt of "The Storm" is used as intro to "Seize the Night" on "Bat III".


External links

* [ Jim Steinman's official website]
* [ Informative Steinman site]

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