MEAT LOAF – I don’t know why I do this. Do what you ask? Why do I think about when I first heard a particular song or album. What age was I? What year was it? How did this song or album affect me then, compared to now. Then, I begin to realize just how important, on a personal level, a respective song or album has been to me throughout my life. I’ve written about many songs and albums like this. I’m amazed as to how many songs and albums there are, that I hold so tremendously tight to my heart… and soul. Step in please, Meat Loaf… Bat Out Of Hell.
When I first heard that Classic Rock Ballad “of all ballads” – Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, it was definitely on the radio. As I look back on this tiny portion of my life now, owning the Bat Out Of Hell album then was not important to me. As a young lad… it was all about this song and having it on a 45 rpm, to play it anytime I wanted. Trust me, I eventually owned Bat Out Of Hell on vinyl and later CD. I just could not see my music collection complete without it. Then again, when is my music collection ever complete?
Paradise By The Dashboard Light and You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) were the next two songs I discovered from this prolific album. Yes, I felt spellbound by these Meat Loaf songs, hearing them on the radio back then made me feel like I was “getting older” and I could maybe get a chick and fall in love. These three songs had me maturing in my Rock Music listening habits, without my never knowing it at the time.
Metal truth be told, You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) still gives me ostrich bumps up and down my arms and face, to this very day. The louder I play this song, the greater the emotional impact it has on me. (Not every song in the world is like that). Jim Steinman was, is and forever shall be a songwriting genius. The combination of Jim Steinman’s soul grabbing writing and Meat Loaf’s soul stirring vocals were a match made in Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven… for me anyways… and I’m certain I’m not alone in this Metal thought too.
I’m not going to get into “factual numbers and certification” here, however, Bat Out Of Hell is one of the greatest selling Rock albums of all-time. I can understand why. It seems as if this album never loses it’s relevance for me. The songs on Bat Out Of Hell can be lyrically accepted today as they were in those late ’70′s… there really is nothing corn-dog about these song’s themes. As for the Rock Music as a whole, what other album out there today can drop some teary-eyed ballads in the midst of such Rockin’ cool songs and still come across as not selling out with bubble gum? It’s difficult to do.
All Revved Up With No Place To Go is the oft overlooked “hit” from this Meat Loaf album. It registers definitively with all Rock ‘N’ Roll glory. Only Meat Loaf can give this song it’s roller coaster emotion that it fosters. Meat Loaf surely showcased his theatrical Rock vocals on this song… and many other of his songs without a doubt. The title track, Bat Out Of Hell, can be stamped as epic for both it’s length and layering. This is a song that arguably best exemplifies what 1970′s Rock was all about. Bat Out Of Hell was that song on an album that was never meant to become FM friendly due to it’s length, a song meant for the fan of that generation… the astute Rock enthusiast that wanted more than the Bay City Rollers.
For an album of seven songs, Bat Out Of Hell did something that many studio albums of ten, twelve or more songs doesn’t… providing no filler songs. As for the musicians behind Meat Loaf on Bat Out Of Hell, well, all I can say is quality creates quality. Todd Rundgren on guitar, Edgar Winter on saxophone… not too shabby.
My advice to those who never have listened to this tremendous album of Rock is simple: go out and buy it. Listen to it. Take it in. Then, realize, that this is what Rock Music song writing is all about. Afterwards, you shall know as to why the genre of Classic Rock exists in the first place. Meat Loaf, Jim Steinman and Bat Out Of Hell are just three of the reasons… that gave Classic Rock it’s name. Bat Out Of Hell, a Rock Classic… an ageless wonder.
Original Track Listing For Bat Out Of Hell:
Bat Out Of Hell
You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
Heaven Can Wait
All Revved Up With No Place To Go
Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
Paradise By The Dashboard Light
For Crying Out Loud
* Reissued Bonus Tracks:
Great Boleros Of Fire (Live Intro)
Bat Out Of Hell (Live)
* All songs on Bat Out Of Hell were written by Jim Steinman.
* The late, Hall Of Fame Baseball legend, Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto, from my beloved New York Yankees, is credited with the “spoken word” for the play-by-play during Paradise By The Dashboard Light.
* Bat Out Of Hell was originally released in October of 1977, on Epic Records.
LONG LIVE MEAT LOAF & JIM STEINMAN.
Rest In Peace, Phil Rizzuto.