Culminating thirteen years of pent-up demand, Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster is Loose, crashed into the Billboard Top 200 national album sales chart at No. 8. The album was released last week in the U.S. and Canada by Virgin Records America. The album was the highest charting debut in Canada this week at #3.

The album, the epic third installment of rock's greatest franchise, was also released throughout Europe last week, racking up a trail of chart-busting sales statistics: it entered national charts as the No. 2-selling album in Germany and holds it's position this week, No. 3 in the UK, No. 3 in Canada, No. 4 in Switzerland, No. 5 in Austria, No. 5 in Denmark, No. 6 in Norway, No. 8 in Holland, No. 9 in Australia, No. 10 in Sweden and No. 5 in New Zealand. The album is to be released in Southern Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan early next year.

Predicting the fan and critical mania that greeted the release of the album and his recent trans-Atlantic theatrical presentation of his Bat Out of Hell trilogy, Meat Loaf said recently: "The Bat just has a life of its own, so you can't say you're gonna top it or you're gonna beat it, you just have to try to do something special." The album's release was preceded by a lavish, evocative video clip of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now," co-starring Marion Raven, who is featured with Meat Loaf on the album track, written originally by Jim Steinman for him at the time of the first Bat Out of Hell album.

U.S. critics agreed universally that Meat delivered an album fully worthy of the three-album, three-decade 'Bat' franchise. Raves in the trade and consumer press included: "...Meat Loaf delivers his most impassioned vocals since the original 'Bat' in 1977." (Entertainment Weekly, 11/3/06, Chris Willman); "Thirty years after the original "Bat" made Loaf a star, he returns with 'Bat III,' a disc that recalls the original's theatrical bombast, anthemic melodies and guitar shred." (New York Post, 10/29/06, Dan Aquillante); and "Loaf delivers an album that fans are going to love." (Billboard, 11/4/06)

Coinciding with the album's release, Meat Loaf starred in a series of sold-out one-night shows staged at London's Royal Albert Hall, New York's Palace Theater and Toronto's Elgin Theatre. Two additional shows are now scheduled, at Estes Theater in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and at Mohegan Sun, in Uncasville, Connecticut. Each of the show's three acts is devoted to the songs of the albums, in sequence, with the third act debuting the new songs of Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster is Loose.

When Meat Loaf rocked London in October, two national British newspapers, The Independent and The Guardian, awarded the show 4 stars out of 4, observing that "Bat out of Hell is as close as rock music has got to a Hollywood Blockbuster" (The Independent), and that "...parents are now bringing their children along to gigs, the Bat franchise shows no sign of abating." Metro praised the show's "grandiose...imposing splendor," adding that Meat Loaf's "lungs remain mighty enough to raise the roof."

Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster is Loose was produced by hit-maker Desmond Child, and was made with the close participation of two key Bat Out of Hell veterans: Todd Rundgren, contributing vocal arrangements; and Jim Steinman, writing seven songs. It was mixed by Grammy Award-winning studio engineer Greg Collins (U2, Gwen Stefani), with string arrangements by David Campbell. Guests on the album include Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx and Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 (ex-Marilyn Manson) who co-wrote the title track with Child. Also, the album includes the guitar work of co-writer Steve Vai, John 5 and production/session whiz John Shanks, as well as an unmistakable signature appearance by legendary Queen guitarist Brian May on "Bad For Good."

Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell (1977) and Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell (1993) combined have sold nearly 50 million copies worldwide. The international chart-topper "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)," from Bat Out Of Hell II, earned Meat Loaf a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Solo Performance.

"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" video:
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