The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Reissue Theory: “Stoney and Meatloaf”

with 8 comments

This week sees the release of Hang Cool, Teddy Bear, the 11th studio offering from Meat Loaf. The outsized rock personality skyrocketed to fame with 1977’s Bat Out of Hell, the theatrical rock opus penned by Jim Steinman and produced by Todd Rundgren. As Meat prepares to unleash his latest work (cheekily placing a roman numeral “IV” on the album’s back cover, making it clear that he intends Hang Cool as another Steinman-less sequel to Bat), could there be a better time for a Reissue Theory-style look at his long-lost 1971 debut, Stoney and Meatloaf?

An aspiring actor and singer, Meat Loaf had taken to the road in a touring company of the Broadway musical Hair by early 1971. Fortuitously, one of the stops on the tour was the Motor City, Detroit. In attendance at one of the performances was Motown engineer Russ Terrana, who was captivated by the oddly-named actor (birth name: Marvin Lee Aday) and big-voiced blue-eyed soul singer Cheryl “Shaun” Murphy, a.k.a. Stoney. In her role as Sheila, it was Stoney who got to belt the musical’s biggest ballad, “Easy to Be Hard,” popularized by Three Dog Night. Terrana seized upon the idea of pairing Meat Loaf (whose name, somewhere along the way, became one word) and Stoney for Motown, and he enlisted his brother Ralph Terrana, a staff producer.

The Terrana brothers teamed with Mike Valvano to produce Rare Earth 5027, “What You See Is What You Get” b/w “Lady Be Mine.” The single was released on April 14, 1971. It performed respectably, hitting No. 36 on Billboard’s Soul charts and No.  71 on the Hot 100. A second single followed on July 21, 1971 as Rare Earth 5033F: “It Takes All Kinds of People” b/w a revival of the Temptations’ 1964 hit, “The Way You Do the Things You Do.” This single didn’t chart, but an album arrived in September, simply entitled Stoney and Meatloaf (Rare Earth R528L). The less-than-stellar showing of the album, though, led the Motown brass to assign the duo to the producing team of Nick Zesses and Dino Fekaris. One track produced by Zesses and Fekaris, “Who is the Leader of the People?” had the makings of a hit.  For a reason now lost to time, though, the company decided to overdub Edwin Starr on vocals. Meat Loaf walked from Motown in anger, with Stoney sticking around to release one single in 1973. A second album for the duo never materialized. Meat Loaf returned to Hair, and made his way to New York, where he starred in one ill-fated Broadway musical (1976’s Rockabye Hamlet), one cult classic (1975’s The Rocky Horror Show) and one altogether-forgotten musical (1973’s More Than You Deserve). It was on that latter project for Joseph Papp’s Public Theater that Meat Loaf met its young composer, one Jim Steinman. The rest, as they say, is history. Stoney became an in-demand backup singer, and would join the permanent roster of Little Feat in 1994. Stoney and Meatloaf has never seen a CD release, although tracks were remixed to emphasize Meat Loaf’s vocals for a 1978 LP on Motown’s Prodigal imprint which also included three previously-unreleased songs. (Could more reside in the Motown vault?  Anything is possible!) 

Intrigued by this Motown might-have-been?  Read a prospective tracklist for an Expanded Edition after the jump, and let’s hope our esteemed friends at Hip-O Select might consider such a set!

  1. (I’d Love to Be) As Heavy as Jesus
  2. She Waits by the Window
  3. It Takes All Kinds of People
  4. Game of Love
  5. Kiss Me Again
  6. What You See is What You Get
  7. Sunshine (Where’s Heaven)
  8. Jimmy Bell
  9. Lady Be Mine
  10. Jessica White
  11. What You See is What You Get (Single Edit)
  12. Lady Be Mine (Single Edit)
  13. What You See is What You Get (Stereo Single Promo Version)
  14. It Takes All Kinds Of People (Single Edit)
  15. The Way You Do the Things You Do
  16. It Takes All Kinds of People (Stereo Single Promo Version)
  17. Who is the Leader of the People? – Edwin Starr
  18. Let Me Come Down Easy – Stoney
  19. It’s Always Me – Stoney
  20. Jimmy Bell (Prodigal Re-Release – Meat Loaf-only vocal)
  21. Stone Heart
  22. Who is the Leader of the People?
  23. Kiss Me Again (Prodigal Re-Release – Meat Loaf-only vocal)
  24. Everything Under the Sun

Tracks 1-10 from Stoney and Meatloaf (Rare Earth LP R528L, 1971)
Tracks 11-12 from Rare Earth single R5027 – 4/14/71
Track 13 from The Complete Motown Singles Volume 11A: 1971 (Motown/Hip-O Select B0011579-02, 2008)
Tracks 14-15 from Rare Earth Single R5033F – 7/21/71
Tracks 11, 15 also released as Rare Earth single RES 103 in UK only – 10/71
Track 16 from The Complete Motown Singles Volume 11B: 1971 (Motown/Hip-O Select B0012227-02, 2009)
Track 17 from Soul single 35100 – 8/72
Tracks 18-19 from Motown single M1248-F (originally scheduled for MoWest Single 5045) – 5/73
Tracks 20-24 from Meat Loaf Featuring Stoney and Meatloaf (Prodigal LP P7-10029R1, 1978/Prodigal LP PDL 2010 in UK, 1979)

Written by Joe Marchese

May 11, 2010 at 13:36

Posted in Features, Meat Loaf, Reissues

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8 Responses

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  1. Although I’ve never heard any of this early music, it sure would be great to have!


    May 11, 2010 at 17:25

  2. i have the stoney and meatloaf album. i love it. i really hope this cd will come true!

    rob wanders

    February 16, 2011 at 12:57

    • You should consider contacting HARRY WEINGER, Exec. V.P. at UNIVERSAL (MOTOWN reissues), in regards to this. He is getting lotsb of requests on this & maybe enough of ’em and…..


      February 16, 2011 at 16:07

  3. As one of the producers for Stoney and Meatloaf, I would be thrilled to see this come out on CD.

    Ralph Terrana

    May 12, 2011 at 12:24

    • Ralph, it’s great to see you here! We’re sincerely hoping for a reissue, too; your work on this album (and so many others, of course!) is just wonderful and a longtime favorite. Thanks for reading!

      Joe Marchese

      May 17, 2011 at 15:14

      • Hi Joe,
        Just happened to scroll into this thread. Thank you for the kind words. Regarding any release to CD of the S&M original album, I haven’t a clue.

        Ralph Terrana

        Ralph Terrana

        June 1, 2012 at 11:15

  4. I have created at 21 track collection (22 if you count Edwin Starr’s version of Who Is The Leader) from the various LPs and singles released over the years. The only tracks that are missing are the stereo promo singles, which I’ll probably never get a hold of. Each track has been ripped in high definition (96kHz 24-bit FLAC). It’s a shame it’s not legal to distribute though (and I don’t really want to get caught by the copyright police/music Mafia), as I’m sure many people would love to hear these early recordings, and getting hold of Stoney’s 1973 single wasn’t particularly easy either! This deserves a reissue though!

    Robert Ian Hawdon

    April 5, 2012 at 18:10

  5. Lady Be Mine, What You See is What You Get, It Takes All Kinds of People, and The Way You Do The Things You Do are currently available on Rhapsody in the Motown Singles collection. Kind of difficult to find (Rhapsody’s search engine really suck), but if search for Stoney as “Artist”, you’ll find it half-way down the list tagged as Rap/Hip Hop.

    I just recently discovered these for the first time (along with the 5 tracks Meatloaf sung on Ted Nugent’s second album) and love them. Would buy the CD in a heartbeat if they released it.

    Karl Rickard

    June 30, 2012 at 19:18

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