Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell - Live With The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
You can't polish a turd, but you can ruin a classic, so as a Meat Loaf fan, I will admit to some trepidation when putting this in the CD player. I feared a disaster of The Wigan Philharmonic Plays Eminem style proportions - you know the albums, the ones where a classical orchestra takes it upon themselves to play a bunch of songs from a popular artist.
This, thankfully, isn't like that. The orchestra complements the tracks rather than overwhelming them, and Heaven Can Wait has clearly waited a quarter decade for what is something of a definitive version, although the sudden jolt from swelling strings to a bunch of Aussies clapping and singing boisterously does rather break the mood of "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth". For Crying Out Loud also benefits from the orchestra's presence, perhaps indicating that the approach works best in the slower moments.
It's worth noting that the accompanying DVD has a different running order, and includes a number of songs not available on CD, which strikes me as something of a missed opportunity, especially as a boy's choir was used on what I am informed was an excellent version of "Testify".
This isn't a replacement for the original "Bat" but it's certainly a nice companion piece.
At the very least, this gives you the excuse to listen to arguably one of the best rock albums of all time another few times, and for that alone, it's impossible not to recommend it.