From page 67 of Classic Rock Magazine January 1999
'The Very Best Of Meat Loaf' (Virgin CDV28681 **********
The jury on Mr Loaf is still out in the Ewing household.'Bat Out Of Hell' may be a work of true genius that still stands up over 20 years later, but some of his albums have been patchier than a quilt.This collection, which is big enough for a double-CD set, features a mere two songs from 'Dead Ringer' (and one of 'em isn't 'Read 'Em And Weep') and 'Welcome To The Neighborhood; one apiece from 'Midnight At The Lost And Found' and 'Bad Attitude; while 'Blind Before I Stoplras been overlooked entirely.
That you could count the blatant omissions on the fingers of a leper's hand is another indictment of a career that has seen the big fella sell over 50 million albums.That we also get five of 'Bat Out Of Hell's seven tracks and four from 'Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell' is another.Without both of these latter albums and Jim Steinman, Meat would probably have been forced to stop before he had a chance to go blind.
Every one of these 18 tracks is a biggie, even down to some unfeasibly long titles.Three new songs include two from the Steinman/Lloyd Weber musical Whistle Down The Wind, all the"this season I've been mostly listening to overblown Wagnerian nonsense" that Meat has made his own since 'Bat II; although even big fans may baulk at the knowledge that one is a version of 'No Matter What; recently covered by Boyzone!
The remainder is the good (anything from 'Bat...; especially the title track), the bad ('Midnight At The Lost And Found') and the ugly (the appalling 'Life Is A Lemon...').The fans will lap it up, but the rest of us may find it difficult to stomach. Jerry Ewing