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Meat Loaf Starts Over With 'Hang Cool Teddy Bear'

Meat Loaf blasted into the music world in 1977 with his album Bat out of Hell, which went on to sell more than 40 million copies. Now, four years after his last release -- which he calls a "disaster" -- Meat Loaf has recorded Hang Cool Teddy Bear.

Hang Cool Teddy Bear is a concept album about a soldier who lies dying on the battlefield. But instead of watching his life flicker before his eyes, the soldier sees visions of what could have been. Jack Black, Jon Bon Jovi, Brian May and Steve Vai are among a large cast of characters who make guest appearances on the record.

The album marks a fresh start for Meat Loaf, who says he fired everyone after recording his last album. On Hang Cool Teddy Bear, he works with Rob Cavallo, who has produced artists such as Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls and My Chemical Romance. Meat Loaf credits his pairing with Cavallo as the reason this record came together easily.

"From that moment on, that's when this record took off," Meat Loaf says. "Everything just fell into place."

Meat Loaf and Cavallo brought in seven writers to work on the album. He says he never told the writers that they were writing a specific story; instead, he offered them only small clues to what he wanted. He says he's happy with the results, though, calling Hang Cool Teddy Bear the most important album of his life.

"[This record] just flowed; it just came out," he says. "It felt like we never did any work at all. And I've never had that feeling in a recording studio."

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