Pandora’s Box: Original Sin CD 1989 original 1st press. Jim Steinman concept album. All 14 songs were subsequently covered by others, including Meat Loaf. Check videos and audio (whole album)


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Original Sin is a concept album performed by Pandora’s Box and produced by Jim Steinman. Steinman wrote the majority of this album, although there are a couple of covers. Many of the songs have gone platinum with other artists. Steinman is said to be very proud of the songs on this album, even though Original Sin sold very poorly in comparison with his highest selling albums and songs. The album charted at #43 in Sweden.

Music videos were produced for the songs “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” and “Good Girls Go to Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere)“,

Ken Russell directed the video for “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”. It was filmed at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. Steinman wrote the script, based on Russell’s segment in the compilation opera movie Aria. Elements include leather, snakes, tombstones and cockrings with shrunken heads, and the video featured Caswell as a girl near death—from a motorcycle crash—being ministered to by paramedics, fantasising and being ‘sexually aroused by a large python and writhing on a bed that lit up in time with the music, while surrounded by a group of bemused, semi-naked dancers’.  When Steinman’s manager saw it, he responded ‘It’s a porno movie!  The two-day shoot ran over schedule and budget, costing £35,000 an hour. Russell and Steinman even designed a sequence where a motorcyclist would cycle up the steps of a local church-tower, jump out of the turrets at the top, and then explode; alas, the wardens of the church refused permission.

The video for “Good Girls Go to Heaven”, directed by Brian Grant, was set in a prison. It shows the arrival of a new inmate called Jenny (the name featured in the first chorus) and her induction. As the song begins, the other inmates dance around her. As the prison is signposted as “Pandora’s House Of Detention”, matching the phrasing in the song “City Night” from Jim Steinman’s Neverland / Bat 2100, we can assume this video was intended to depict something within Steinman’s “Obsidian” mythos (the 40+ year project which culminated with Bat Out of Hell The Musical). The only member of Pandora’s Box to appear in the video is Ellen Foley (and only as part of the dance ensemble) – although vocals for this song were performed by Holly Sherwood, not Ellen Foley.

Steinman regularly reworks previous material for a newer project, and much of Original Sin has been recycled, as listed in the table below. Some demo versions of tracks recorded by others are listed. Some tracks were intended to be released on The Dream Engine‘s debut album.

Track No. Title Main Vocalist Subsequent Cover Versions Length
1 The Invocation Ellen Foley Featured in Jim Steinman’s musical Neverland, and subsequently reused in Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical. 0:21
2 Original Sin (The Natives Are Restless Tonight) Intro and outro by Laura Theodore; lead vocals by all the girls, primarily Gina Taylor and Ellen Foley Taylor Dayne on the soundtrack to the 1994 movie version of The ShadowMeat Loaf on Welcome to the Neighborhood; rewritten as “Gott ist tot” (“God is Dead”) and “Einladung zum Ball” (“Invitation to the Ball”) for Tanz der Vampire (Dance of the Vampires) 6:27
3 Twentieth Century Fox Ellen Foley Cover version: The Doors (1967), though the gender pronouns have been switched to indicate a male “fox”. The song opens with the 20th Century Fox Fanfare and includes a snippet of “Light My Fire” at the end. A new lyric during the bridge refers to “In the Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett. 5:32
4 Safe Sex Gina Taylor A demo of “Safe Sex” performed by Canadian vocalist Karine Hannah has been leaked onto the internet from the period when she was working with Steinman on an ill-fated album; it was expected to appear on The Dream Engine‘s debut album[5] 6:24
5 Good Girls Go to Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere) Holly Sherwood The first version of this song ever released was in Japanese, by Megumi Shiina under the name 悲しみは続かない (“Kanashimi wa tsuzukanai”) in 1986. Meat Loaf on Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell. Also performed in early Manchester previews of Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical and included in the Official Cast Recording. 6:25
6 Requiem Metal A sample from Verdi‘s Requiem Mass Re-used as backing track for “Wasted Youth” on Meat Loaf‘s Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell 0:52
7 I’ve Been Dreaming up a Storm Lately Monologue performed by Jim Steinman An earlier version of this piece featured in Steinman’s 1969 musical The Dream Engine. Re-used in an early draft of Dance of the Vampires, and in Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical. 3:03
8 It’s All Coming Back to Me Now Elaine Caswell Céline Dion on Falling into You; Meat Loaf and Marion Raven on Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. Featured in all versions of Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical. 8:22
9 The Opening of the Box An extract from “The Storm”, from Steinman’s 1981 album Bad for Good The first incarnation of this melody was heard as the introduction to “Hymn To Fire” within Jim Steinman’s play “The Dream Engine” in 1969. Re-used in Dance of the Vampires 2:00
10 The Want Ad Monologue performed by Ellen Foley Featured in Jim Steinman’s musicals The Dream Engine (1969) and Neverland (1977) 2:44
11 My Little Red Book Ellen Foley This is a cover version: written by Burt Bacharach; the arrangement closely follows the cover by Love on their first album. 4:11
12 It Just Won’t Quit Elaine Caswell Meat Loaf on Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell. Featured in Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical in the initial Manchester and London runs, and included in the Original Cast Recording. 6:39
13 Pray Lewd Solo piano medley of “Original Sin”, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” and “It Just Won’t Quit”, performed by Steven Margoshes Covered at some Dream Engine/Over the Top concerts 3:38
14 The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be Gina Taylor Erika Christensen on Wuthering Heights OST (re-using the original Roy Bittan piano track); Meat Loaf and Jennifer Hudson on Bat Out of Hell III 10:32

Release Date   1989

Duration  01:07:12

Rory Dodd mostly contributed background vocals and his voice was barely distinguishable in the songs, unlike that of Fire Inc, where he is definitely more audible in the background. Todd Rundgren also helped out with the background vocals this time. Another Bat Out of Hell veteran who contributed with her voice was Ellen Foley.

Note: When the song Safe Sex was released as a single, it was released under the title “Safe Sex (When It Comes 2 Loving U)”.

Pandora’s Box


    • This gothic rock epic was the brainchild of Jim Steinman, the writer/producer behind Meat Loaf and the 1980s resurgence of Bonnie Tyler. This time, Steinman ups the musical ante by utilizing a quartet of powerful female vocalists (including former Meat Loaf backup singer Ellen Foley). Fittingly, Original Sin bears all the hallmarks of the Jim Steinman style: epic-length songs, over-the-top and romance-obsessed lyrics, and plenty of rock & roll bombast. A great example of this approach is the opening track, “Original Sin”; this moody rumination on romantic obsession starts as a piano ballad but soon transforms into a rock song and continues to build until it becomes a rock-operatic aria. Another highlight in the same vein is “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” a tormented ballad about romantic loss and regret built on a spooky yet heart-wrenching piano melody. The latter song is also notable because it would later become a massive hit when covered by Celine Dion. Other songs explore a danceable style enhanced by electronic touches: the most notable example is a cover of the Doors‘ “Twentieth Century Fox,” which tarts up this classic with several layers of synthesizer effects, a Jimi Hendrix sample, and musical quotes from “In the Midnight Hour” and “Light My Fire.” These songs are vividly brought to life by the album’s four vocalists, who lend gospel-fueled firepower to the uptempo songs and a surprising emotional vulnerability to the quieter ballads. The resulting album is an odd but fascinating combination of dark humor, heartfelt emotion, and ornate instrumentation. It is not for all tastes, but is well-crafted throughout and will appeal to anyone who enjoyed Jim Steinman‘s hits with Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler

Additional information

Weight 0.1 kg