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HiRez Poll Meatloaf - BAT OUT OF HELL (5.1) [SACD]

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate the SACD of Meatloaf - BAT OUT OF HELL


  • Total voters
    46

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
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Please post your thoughts and comments on this 5.1 SACD release from Cleveland International/Columbia (SONY). The easiest way to distinguish the surround release from an older stereo SACD release of this title is that the 5.1 disc includes two bonus live tracks.

The first SACD release was a stereo-only single layer disc sold in the cardboard silver sleeve that was used at the introduction of the format. A scan is provided of the stereo disc below.

The catalog number of the stereo disc is ES 34974, however, copies can also be found in CD Jewel cases with the CK 34974 catalog number, as pictured at the bottom of this post.

Meatloaf Stereo F.jpg
Meatloaf Stereo B.jpg

The 5.1 Surround release followed the above disc in a totally different package. The plastic gold slipcase with 'Mulitchannel/Stereo' on the cover, and the 'Stereo/Multi Ch' box logo on the back, along with totally different graphics.

The catalog number of the 5.1 disc is ES 62171, and like the original release, it does NOT have a CD Layer.

Also note that the 5.1 disc includes TWO BONUS TRACKS that are not on the stereo disc.

Meatloaf 51 F.jpg
Meatloaf 51 B.jpg

Here's a comparison from the edge view:

Meatloaf Sides.jpg
 

daved64

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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Milton, Canada
I think it starts off like....A Bat Out Of Hell! Really, the first song is incredible in 5.1, and it sounds sonically better than any other version I've ever heard. Then it's downhill from there. Heaven Can Wait is pretty much just stereo.....and Paradise is a mess because it's missing so many of the original elements (it sucks without the "panting"). I guess they did the best they could with the master tapes being all screwed up or lost in that fire at Rundgren's studio.

Title song....10/10.....overall.....6
 

KevinD9052

Well-known Member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 28, 2002
Messages
177
Location
Yonkers, NY
I gave it an 8. Although I agree with Dave's assessment of the overall surround-hampered by the 2 cuts that had to be 'enhanced"- the final cut knocked me out and earned it the 2 extra points. That cut, "For Crying Out Loud" had instrumental elements coming out of the rear speakers that I never heard before. The other 4 intact cuts are also very good to great. (The original album & CD only had 7 cuts so you still get most of the album). This one surprised me in that I expected it to sound similar to the stereo versions synthed via a VM or Tate. (A lot of stuff does IMHO). It definitiely does not.
All in all worth the effort if you like the music.
 

GaryW

Well-known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2002
Messages
171
8 here also. Can't add anything new, except that for me the title track has always been my favorite track by FAR. And it sounds great with a very fun mix. My other faves are All Reved Up and You Took The Words....those sound great too. For Cryin Out Loud...very nice. Fun disc, solid 8.
 

EMB

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A '6'....some great mixes, some.....good enough, the added recording not all that distracting....but this album hasn't really aged well for me, though there are elements of the mix that compensate considerably for that.


ED :)
 

Cai Campbell

In Remembrance
Since 2002/2003
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Mar 4, 2002
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Seattle, WA
I don't know why, but this album just never did anything for me. I thought the surround mix might change my mind. Nope. It only solidified my already negative opinion. I guess I just don't "get" it, and the sloppy surround mix certainly doesn't help. Sorry, but a 2 is the best I can come up with for this one.
 

Scottmoose

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
582
Location
Kingston-upon-Hull, Britain
What the @#*% happened to the mix on this one? I get better results out of DTSNeo6 from the cd! Instrument placement's all over the place, vocals are smeared, Ellen Foley sound's as if she's at the bottom of a well howing up through a cardboard tube...
I still love the album as a bit of escapist fun. But something's gone badly wrong for me here.
 

halothane

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
47
Well, it'll be 2003 when, having had to replace my large pile of separates with a Sony DAVS880 (domestically more acceptable) I rushed out and bought this and Dark Side Of The Moon on SACD. Having only been into surround film sound and stereo music up until that point, it's fair to say this was the move that got me into multichannel music. I messed up with this at first and got the stereo only SACD, but exchanged it for the multichannel one.

I loved it at the time, but after over 4 years of surround music listening, it doesn't hold up very well compared to the other multichannel SACDs and quad to DTS-CD conversions i've heard. Paradise... really suffers, though the loss of the master tapes must have really hampered the production. I think the title track and For Crying Out Loud are the two standout tracks for me, but the rest doesn't do so well. While I realise it's heresy to say it on here, the stereo SACD layer is excellent.
 

Q-Eight

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I gave it a 6. The title track is mixed well, but Heaven can wait could've been a little better. I read they did not have the master for that track - so they had to do something. Paradise does suffer quite a bit from the re-recorded parts. I read also that a safety copy of the master was found unfortunately after the disc had been mastered and gone into production. If only this could be re-issued like Macca's Band on the Run.
 

filper

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Mar 24, 2007
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Wasaga Beach, ON
Recognizing all of the valid points listed above... I like it.

It's like visiting an old friend in a new surrounding, faults and all.

I heard this six months before most of you did. My cousin was an ad exec in charge of producing a radio spot for BooH long before it took off.

I'm glad I can now hear it this way.



Cheers, A.Y. !
 

alk3997

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Dec 14, 2005
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Houston, TX
In my never ending quest to fix the surround universe, I have taken on Meatloaf's "Bat Out of Hell" and specifically the song "Paradise By the Dashboard Light". I've read the story about the fire that supposedly destroyed some of the master multitracks (how does one destroy some of the tracks?) for the song. Rather than get Ellen Foley back to re-record the missing vocal parts they got singer Karla DeVito instead...Close but no cigar.

Unfortunately, there were other things wrong with the song, too. These problems as Phil Rizzuto's ("The Scooter" and Hall of Fame Shortstop) vocal was just not right and I couldn't figure out why. Also important pieces of the multitrack were completely missing. The pitch also seemed off as well. So, this song became a good mystery to tackle.

The first item I worked was the pitch. I compared the 5.1-channel SACD version to the 2-channel SACD version and sure enough the pitch is off by about 1%. Correcting the time (and therefore the pitch) on the multichannel version corrected the problem and then the editing begin.

PBTDL is an interesting song in that it is not only logically divided into three sections (as the album lyrics show), it appears to have been recorded in three sections. However, the recordings are divided into three different sections than the lyrics. The types of corrections needed to fix the song are different in each section.

Section I (Paradise) :

Lucky the only "wrong" thing with this section is the female vocal lead. Further luck was that the female lead vocal only heard in the center channel. I thought it would be a piece of cake to take the other channels and remove the instrumentation. I planned to do this by taking a mono version of the 2-channel tracks (with Ellen Foley) and then subtract out each of the corner channels using the 5.1-channel mix. That should have left me with just the lead vocals. But, this is where my luck ran out.

It turns out that the 5.1-channel has enough differences in cymbal timing and bass timing (very slight) that it made kind-of in-and-out phasing sound throughout. Also the 5.1-channel is much much sharper (as in higher peaks) than than the 2-channel version. So subtracting again left unlistenable artifacts.

Plan B was to take the original 2-channel version, make a mono mix and then spread the original 2-channel left to the front left, the mono mix to the center and then the original 2-channel right to the front right. The surround channels from the 5.1-mix as well as the LFE channel remained. This also solved the problem of the solo lead vocals (even Mr. Loaf) being somewhat lost coming only from the center channel. By spreading the vocals through the three front channels, the lead vocals stood out more.

However, the result wasn't quite good enough (too much stereo loss) so I then subtracted out the surround left and surround right from my newly created mono mix. I subtracted judiciously rather than attempting to eliminate the reverb (etc) completely. I also compressed and raised the vocal levels. This produced an acceptable center channel.

Section IA (Radio Broadcast):

This was the worst section. It has the feel of a Silverline disc - as if they just gave up after not finding the right parts.

The Scooter's vocals were apparently a different length than on the original disc. It may be the exact same take of the play-by-play but the play-by-play is slower on the 5.1-channel mix.

You and I would probably have taken that vocal and sped it up to be the same speed and time as the original record. The folks who did the 5.1-channel mix decided that they would instead just start Rizzuto's play-by-play a few beats early. It ends at the same time as the original. The rest of the background music is, however, the correct time. Comparing the 2-channel and the 5.1-channel mix was interesting in that at the start of the play-by-play the two Rizzuto's were almost a second apart and then throughout the rest of the vocals they kept getting closer and closer. By the time the "batter" almost reaches home, the two vocals are sync'd. However, the background music is sync'd the entire time.

The biggest problem that I thought I would have was that the "moaning and groaning" was missing. How could this key part be missing?? Luckily it turns out an OOPS of the original 2-channel mix provides basically just the moaning and a little bit of background but no Scooter. That helped!

So, for this section, the newly created left, right and center was used from Section I but the surrounds had to be thrown away (just for this section) since they wouldn't match. Throwing away the surrounds really didn't bother me since I always thought Scooter's vocals should sound like an AM radio broadcast and that would be in the center channel only. By throwing away the 5.1-channel surrounds, which had Scooter's vocals in them too (!) it moved the play-by-play squarely to the front. It wasn't quite the center only I wanted, but it worked.

New surround channels were created which contained the mono OOPS of the 2-channel mix for just this section. Since the fronts also used this mix, the effect is the moaning and groaning coming throughout the 5.1-channel soundstage with the play-by-play front and center. Just the way it should be for this song.

Section II and III (Let Me Sleep On It & Praying For the End of Time):

This section was done very similar to Section I (Paradise). The only difference is that I had to make a new reverb track for the surround when Ms. Foley says, "What's It Gonna Be Boy...Yes or No". The vocals of the doppleganger were sufficiently different at that point that the different reverb is distracting. Otherwise having Ellen Foley sing in the front with the reverb from the doppleganger in the rears sounds OK.

Bottom line to all this, is that if I could do this why didn't the 5.1-channel engineers do this instead of the mess they made. The song really can be salvaged and sound good (just like "Heaven Can Wait"). Even if they felt a need to rerecord, the least they could have done is to get it right and make sure the timings were correct and *all* the parts were included in the new mix. No excuse...

One more thing I almost forgot. The surround channels can still overpower the fronts with the current mix. I brought the newly created Front Left and Front Right to within 1.5dB of the Center and then dropped the Surrounds down 2dB.

So, can anyone confirm that all the multichannel tracks were found? Any chance of a correct mix being released on a DVD-V? Any chance that Ms. Foley and Mr. Loaf are not good friends and that is why she didn't record the overdubs?

Back to fixing the rest of the surround universe...

Andy
 
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Q-Eight

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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I would 100% buy this title if it were re-released in DVD-A with "fixed" songs. Heaven can Wait could easily be faked without destroying the original intent. I made my own pseudo-quad mix of this very song utilizing a spatial echo found in Adobe Audition. The echo itself converts the lead vocals to whisper echos with mostly piano and orchestra remaining.

Believe it or not, but the stereo cut of Paradise decodes very nicely in DPLII.

Matter of factly, you can get BETTER results by playing the entire stereo album through a DPLII decoder.
 

grabaham

New member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
2
Rather than get Ellen Foley back to re-record the missing vocal parts they got singer Karla DeVito instead...Close but no cigar.
Actually, one wishes they had been that close with no cigar. Instead, they brought in Meat Loaf's live duet partner since the early Nineties, Patti Russo, who tried to do her best Ellen imitation, but her voice is just too different to match completely.

ETA: I've since been informed that Karla DeVito is credited on the album, but I think this is for the bonus live tracks of "Bolero" and "Bat Out of Hell." Anyone who's ever heard Patti Russo live can listen to this vocal track and will be able to tell you with some degree of certainty that it's her. The topic was discussed to death at the Meat Loaf fan site MLUKFC. I'll add a link when I find it.
 
Last edited:

soesbeout

Senior Member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
257
Location
Florida
Did't care for sound all that much,maybe it was all the radio play.Traded it for The Captain and Me.
 

Q-Eight

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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Messages
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Castlegar, BC, Canada
Also, the 5.1 of 'Paradise' is a completely different vocal take than the stereo. Also, the background vocalists come in at the wrong time in a few spots. To me, the centerpiece of the whole album is 'Paradise'. Maybe Rhino Handmade will take a crack at it eventually making a more correct album.
 

grabaham

New member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
2
^ Actually, that'd be Sony. Bat Out of Hell was released in 1977 on Cleveland International Records, a tiny division of Epic, which was a CBS (and is now a Sony) label.
 

Snood

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Snoodville
Stupid Question..........since there is a Stereo only version of this CD and then the Multi Channel CD toooooooooooo

how can one tell by looking at the packaging or CD

I almost sprung on one today until I noticed the seller had said it was Stereo Only. Whew.

I would want the 5.1 for sure. Thanks :banana:
 

LizardKing

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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NZ
Stupid Question..........since there is a Stereo only version of this CD and then the Multi Channel CD toooooooooooo

how can one tell by looking at the packaging or CD

I almost sprung on one today until I noticed the seller had said it was Stereo Only. Whew.

I would want the 5.1 for sure. Thanks :banana:
Are you saying there is a stereo only SACD -if there is - its not listed on sa-cd.net??? Or are you just referring to a CD...

The Cat. No. of the SACD is ES 62171...
 
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