Couldn't Have Said It Better
is a 2003 album by Meat Loaf
Only for the third time in his career, Meat Loaf released an album without any songs written by Jim Steinman (not counting the bonus tracks). Although Meat Loaf claimed that Couldn't Have Said It Better was "the most perfect album [he] did since Bat out of Hell", it wasn't quite as successful.
Three singles were released, "Did I Say That", "Couldn't Have Said It Better" and "Man of Steel", all with little chart impact. Most of this was caused by extremely poor promotion on behalf of the record company (a major criticism of Sanctuary records, the US company that published the album) and few actual singles being distributed, especially in the UK - his biggest market. However, the single "Couldn't Have Said It Better" feat. Patti Russo reached #1 on the UK rock charts. The duet also charted on the AC Top 40 in the USA (the only song to do so since "I'd Lie for You"). The videos also had low budgets, in stark contrast to his 1990s videos.
However, the album was a minor success worldwide and reached #4 in the UK charts. There were many writers for the album including Diane Warren and James Michael. Diane Warren has written for Meat Loaf in the past and had some very big hits. James Michael had never written for Meat Loaf before and it was only his songs that were released as singles from the album.
Several versions of the album have been released, some with bonus-material. Also, the color of the album cover is different in the UK (blue) from the other territories (red).
The album was accompanied by a sell out world tour which was used to promote the album and some of Meat Loaf's biggest hits. On November 17, 2003, during a performance at London's Wembley Arena he collapsed with what was later diagnosed as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. The following week he underwent a surgical procedure intended to correct the problem. As a result, Meat Loaf's insurance agency did not allow him to perform for any longer than 1hr 45mins.
Meat Loaf finished his tour and came back two years later for his 'Hair of the Dog That Bit You' world tour, which was a sell out for over 160 concerts. As well as singing all the classics, he sang a cover version of the hit single "Black Betty." During this tour Meat Loaf also sang one of the songs from his upcoming album Bat out of Hell III called "Only When I Feel". He mentioned that this was not one of the most critical songs on the album, and it has since been removed from that album's track listing. Meat Loaf said that this could be his last 'world' tour, and when he came to promote Bat out of Hell III, he would be doing less than a fifth of the concerts he did on this tour.
Vocal arrangements (track 1) by Todd Rundgren
Orchestral arrangements (tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 11) by Aaron Zigman
An early version of the album, titled Testify
, was released in France by Universal in 2002 as a promo disc not intended for sale. At the time, it was stated that "Did I Say That?" would be the first single (eventually true), and the album would come out March 31, 2003 (eventually not true).
The track listing for this version is as follows:
- "Testify" (Kevin Griffin)
- "Did I Say That?" (James Michael)
- "Tear Me Down" (Stephen Trask)
- "Why Isn't That Enough?" (Jo Davidson)
- "Love You Out Loud" (Michael/Nikki Sixx)
- "Man of Steel" (Michael/Sixx)
- "Unsaid" (Diane Warren)
- "Do It!" (Billy Rankin)
- "You're Right, I Was Wrong" (Warren)
- "Decadent Wish" (Michael Duff/Shelley Peiken/Jud Friedman)
- Meat Loaf — vocals
- Michael Thompson — guitar
- Tim Pierce — guitar (track 1)
- Peter Mokran — guitar (track 12), synthesizer, programming
- Kasim Sulton — bass, backing vocals
- Mark Alexander — piano (tracks 9, 12), Hammond B3 (track 1)
- Tom Brislin — piano, Hammond B3
- Aaron Zigman — piano (tracks 1, 11)
- Dan Higgins — penny whistle ("Intermezzo")
- Stephen Erdody — cello (track 12)
- Kenny Aronoff — drums
- John Miceli — drums (tracks 9, 11, 12)
- Luis Conte — percussion (track 3)
- Tanja Reichert — spoken intro (track 5)
- Giselda Vatcky — spoken breakdown (track 7)
- Patti Russo — female lead vocals (track 1), backing vocals (tracks 11, 12)
- Pearl Aday — female lead vocals (track 5), backing vocals (track 7)
- Eric Troyer — backing vocals
- Todd Rundgren — backing vocals (track 1)
- James Michael — backing vocals (tracks 1, 2, 5)
- Maxi Anderson, Alexandra Brown, Lynn Davis, Rose Stone — backing vocals (tracks 3, 5, 6)
Australian Edition Bonus Special Live CD
The Australian release of Couldn't Have Said It Better
included a live bonus disc, compiled by Meat Loaf, including 6 live tracks from the American leg of the 2003 world tour.
- "Life Is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back" - 6.47 (Steinman)
- "Tear Me Down" - 4.00 (Trask)
- "Love You Out Loud" - 4.34 (Michael / Sixx)
- "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" - 10.32 (Steinman)
- "Couldn't Have Said It Better" - 8.18 (Michael / Sixx)
- "Bat out of Hell" - 11.47 (Steinman)
Musical Director/Producer: Kasim Sulton
Special Edition Bonus CD
The special editions of the UK and international releases included a bonus disc containing two video clips and an MP3 file from Meat Loaf's 1999 VH1 Storytellers
DVD and CD, and the promotional video for "Did I Say That?".
- "I'd Do Anything for Love" (video from Meat Loaf Storytellers DVD) - 8.04 (Steinman)
- "A Kiss Is a Terrible Thing to Waste" (video from Meat Loaf Storytellers DVD) - 5.24 (Andrew Lloyd Webber / Steinman)
- "Did I Say That?" (video) - 4.46 (Michael)
- "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" (Meat Loaf VH1 Storytellers DVD, MP3 file) - 4.47 (Steinman)