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Published:August 2nd, 2006 20:04 EST
The Story Behind Those Fires

Meat Loaf Is Done

By Maria Grella

Meat Loaf, who was suing his long-time musical collaborator, Jim Steinman, for rights over the "Bat Out of Hell" phrase, has now dropped the lawsuit.

The 59 year old Grammy-winner commented that the duo had been through a lot together, and the issue has been taken care of. "It resolved itself very quickly because neither one of us wanted to argue. There`s a mutual love and respect there. We`re not going to have a knock-down brawl. We just have too much history."

The rocker, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday, filed papers last month against Steinman for $50 million. The charges were over Steinman trademarking the rights to "Bat Out of Hell" back in 1995. Steinman had written the classic `70s masterpiece, along with other songs on the successful break-out album, Bat Out of Hell. Aday recognizes that he wasn`t responsible for coming up with the phrase "Bat Out of Hell," but had argued that it has been his signature spanning his 29 year career in music. Since it has been associated with Meat Loaf on an unofficial level, Aday felt it should be legally tied to him as well, not Steinman.

According to Billboard, for 11 years the legal battle didn`t come into play until Meat Loaf`s new album left Steinman off as producer. Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Out is set to drop, appropriately, on Halloween of this year. After being snubbed, Steinman threatened to refuse to release the rights of his work, which would have held up distribution of Bat Out of Hell III.

Speaking of the resolution, Aday said, "Sometimes there`s just disagreements that in business two people can`t settle, so you just need to involve other always hate to see it get to that."

Had the issue not been resolved and gone Steinman`s way, Aday would have watched his whole career, past and present fly away. Besides the song "Bat Out of Hell" off the album of the same name, Meat Loaf had released a follow up album in 1993, Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell. Combined, the two albums have sold more than 45 million copies. In addition to albums, "Bat Out of Hell" was used for concert tours, videos and merchandise under the Meat Loaf brand.

But the future looks bright again, as the bat is ready to make yet another appearance October 31st. With Aday`s vocal theatrics and Steinman`s lyrical content, the third installment is sure to sell millions more. Jim collaborated seven songs of the new album, including a song made famous by Celine Dion, "It`s All Coming Back To Me Now." The song written by Steinman was intended to be used on the original Bat Out of Hell album, but was cut.

At a recent performance, Meat Loaf complimented his partner in musical crime. "If it was not for Jim Steinman and his brilliance and his ability to turn a phrase and his concepts, we wouldn`t be here tonight," Aday said. "He really liked the record, that`s really important to me. We tried to show him as much respect and loyalty as we could...It`s his concept to do Bat Out of Hell III."

When asked whether he`d consider releasing a fourth edition of "Bat Out of Hell," Meat Loaf doubted the possibility, saying, "I don`t know how anybody could live through it," he said. "I don`t think I have the time, I don`t think the years will allow it."