'Better' Watch Out: Meat Loaf Returns

Drama-drenched rocker Meat Loaf will release a new album, "Couldn't Have Said It Better," Sept. 23 in the U.S. on Sanctuary Records. The set, which has already been released in Europe, is his first all-new studio album since 1995's "Welcome to the Neighborhood" (Virgin).

The imposing artist is currently on what is expected to be his final world tour, co-headlined by Cyndi Lauper. Tonight (Aug. 25) the outing touches down in Syracuse, N.Y., and 12 more U.S. dates are set through Sept. 27. Afterward, the artist will head overseas for a series of dates in Germany and the U.K. scheduled through the end of the year.

"Couldn't Have Said It Better" is Meat Loaf's eighth studio album overall, and the second since his 1993 comeback "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell" (MCA), which reached the top spot on The Billboard 200 and has sold 4.6 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Welcome to the Neighborhood" debuted at No. 17 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 534,000 copies in the U.S.

The title track to "Couldn't Have Said It Better" was written by Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx and James Michael. Diane Warren and Stephen Trask also lend their songwriting skills to the album, which boasts a cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young."

"Couldn't Have Said It Better" debuted in April at No. 4 on the U.K. albums chart.

Meanwhile, famed Meat Loaf collaborator Jim Steinman recently told Billboard.com he is writing songs for Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell III" album. Steinman says, "I always conceived the 'Bat Out of Hell' albums as a trilogy. Meat Loaf and I have been talking about the third 'Bat Out of Hell' album for years, and now it's starting to become a reality."

Steinman wrote and produced songs for Meat Loaf's first two "Bat Out of Hell" albums. The songwriter/producer says "Bat Out of Hell III" is still in the early stages but that he and Meat Loaf hope to start recording it within the next year.

In addition to his music, Meat Loaf is continuing his acting career. He recently filmed two feature-film comedies: "Extreme Dating" and "A Hole in One," which will be released at dates to be determined.

Here is the track list to "Couldn't Have Said It Better":

"Couldn't Have Said It Better"
"Did I Say That"
"Why Isn't That Enough"
"Love You Out Loud"
"Man of Steel"
"Tear Me Down"
"You're Right, I Was Wrong"
"Do It!"
"Because of You"
"Forever Young"

By Troy Carpenter and Carla Hay, N.Y.

Meat Loaf


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