Couldn't Have Said It Better

Couldn't Have Said It Better
Studio album by Meat Loaf
Released September 23, 2003
Recorded 2001 - 2003
Genre Rock
Length 55:23
Label Mercury, Sanctuary (US)
Producer Tony Flores, James Michael, Peter Mokran
Meat Loaf chronology
VH1: Storytellers
(1999)
Couldn't Have Said It Better
(2003)
Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
(2004)

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. The album was recorded for Universal Music Germany's Polydor division and was licenced to Mercury Records for UK release and Sanctuary Records for US release, while global distribution was handled by parent company Universal Music Group. Most of this was caused by poor promotion on behalf of Sanctuary Records, the company that released the album in the US, and few actual singles being distributed, especially in the UK - his biggest market. However, "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).

Contents

Tour

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.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link

Track listing

Vocal arrangements (track 1) by Todd Rundgren Orchestral arrangements (tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 11) by Aaron Zigman

Chapter One
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Couldn't Have Said It Better" (duet with Patti Russo) James Michael / Nikki Sixx 7:07
2. "Did I Say That?"   James Michael 6:02
3. "Why Isn't That Enough?"   Jo Davidson 4:07
4. "Love You Out Loud"   James Michael / Nikki Sixx 4:10
5. "Man of Steel" (duet with Pearl Aday) James Michael / Nikki Sixx 4:44
Intermezzo
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Intermezzo" (instrumental) Peter Mokran 1:28
Chapter Two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "Testify"   Kevin Griffin 4:56
8. "Tear Me Down"   Stephen Trask 3:37
9. "You're Right, I Was Wrong"   Diane Warren 3:44
10. "Because of You"   Steve Balsamo / Rick Jude 3:54
11. "Do It!"   Billy Rankin 2:36
12. "Forever Young"   Bob Dylan 5:05
13. "Mercury Blues" (hidden track) K. C. Douglas / Robert L. Geddins 3:48
Bonus
No. Title Writer(s) Length
14. "Bat out of Hell" (live bonus track, UK edition only) Jim Steinman  

'Testify'

An early version of the album, titled Testify (eventually dropped because of Phil Collins' Testify release), 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:

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Testify"   Kevin Griffin 5:23
2. "Did I Say That?"   James Michael 6:06
3. "Tear Me Down"   Stephen Trask 3:38
4. "Why Isn't That Enough?"   Jo Davidson 4:13
5. "Love You Out Loud"   James Michael / Nikki Sixx 4:14
6. "Man of Steel" (duet with Pearl Aday) James Michael / Nikki Sixx 4:46
7. "Unsaid"   Diane Warren 4:30
8. "Do It!"   Billy Rankin 2:41
9. "You're Right, I Was Wrong"   Diane Warren 3:49
10. "Decadent Wish"   Michael Duff / Jud Friedman / Shelley Peiken 4:15
11. "Did I Say That?" (radio edit) James Michael 4:12

Personnel

The Neverland Express

Regular Meat Loaf Studio Sidemen

Studio Musicians

  • Michael Thompsonguitar
  • Peter Mokran — guitar (track 12), synthesizer, programming
  • Aaron Zigman — piano (tracks 1, 11)
  • Dan Higgins — penny whistle ("Intermezzo")
  • Stephen Erdody — cello (track 12)
  • Luis Conte — percussion (track 3)
  • Tanja Reichert — spoken intro (track 5)
  • Giselda Vatcky — spoken breakdown (track 7)
  • 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.

Track listing

  1. "Life Is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back" - 6.47 (Steinman)
  2. "Tear Me Down" - 4.00 (Trask)
  3. "Love You Out Loud" - 4.34 (Michael / Sixx)
  4. "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" - 10.32 (Steinman)
  5. "Couldn't Have Said It Better" - 8.18 (Michael / Sixx)
  6. "Bat out of Hell" - 11.47 (Steinman)

Personnel

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?".

  1. "I'd Do Anything for Love" (video from Meat Loaf Storytellers DVD) - 8.04 (Steinman)
  2. "A Kiss Is a Terrible Thing to Waste" (video from Meat Loaf Storytellers DVD) - 5.24 (Andrew Lloyd Webber / Steinman)
  3. "Did I Say That?" (video) - 4.46 (Michael)
  4. "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" (Meat Loaf VH1 Storytellers DVD, MP3 file) - 4.47 (Steinman)

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