For crying out loud my readers, can you believe that “Bat Out Of Hell” by Meat Loaf is now hitting its “Fabulous Fortieth” Anniversary? Yes my friends this album, while the second of Meat’s storied career was released on this very day back in 1977 and what an album it was. Composed in full by Jim Steinman, this release began the pairs historic collaboration during a very interesting time in music history. As a score this one is bombastic to the nth degree and from the moment it begins with the title track brings you deep into the story of a biker who is heading for the great unknown despite his unawareness of this being the case. This track remains a favorite based on its flourishing intro part and it was something I always tried to master as an up and coming musician. I got some of it but hey I was young. Oh yeah and before I get carried away here please remember that this isn’t as much line by line history and more of a personal reflection on the body of work. All of the finer details are locked into the Wikipedia entry if you’d like some deeper fact checking. So where was I. Oh yeah so this one was a killer if you glanced at the liner notes and featured players such as Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, Max Weinberg, Edgar Winter, Roy Bittan, Ellen Foley and of course Jim Steinman. Rundgren would produce the album when no one else really wanted to. This one was a hard sell to the record companies of the day and that surprised me just a little bit since they were already open to bands like KISS, Judas Priest and Angel. Two of which could be considered “way out there” by the times standards.
The song “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” was an immediate radio hit or at least I believed that it was since I heard it on so many radio stations back in the day. My parents had a rocking side to them so traditional Rock Radio was something that was listened to in my household quite a bit. I think that was what led them to grabbing me the album because if they didn’t my copy came from one of those Record Clubs that let you snag a bunch of albums for a penny. I think everyone that I knew back as a youth took advantage of that “deal” and then was shell-shocked by how high the albums cost for you to make good with the company for the super discount but I digress.
Continue reading Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell” Still Rocking At 40 (1977-2017)
Artist: Meat Loaf
Title: “Bat Out Of Hell The Original Tour”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 11/10/2009
Genre: Epic Theatre Rock
For over thirty years “Bat Out Of Hell” by Meat Loaf has not only remained one of the top selling Hard Rock albums of all time, but also been one of my very favorites based on its bombastic song-writing and execution. It was the album that introduced the world to the collaborators Jim Steinman and Marvin Lee Aday who we lovingly refer to as Meat Loaf and forever changed the lives of many who heard their work. Growing up in the seventies I very vividly remember how one of the LP’s signature tracks “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” was the favorite song of almost my entire eighth grade graduating class. Thinking back on it I find it an amusing memory especially when one considers how far from these experiences we all were at the time. My favorite song was “Rock & Roll All Nite” but I digress. It was an album that really impacted the Rock scene and has resonated for years after and that made the chance to enjoy a performance of its content on a classic live film quite a treat. Filmed in Germany circa 1978 for the television show “Rockpalast”, “Bat Out Of Hell The Original Tour” captures the band on their climb to fame and delivering almost the entire album. The songs “For Crying Out Loud” and “Heaven Can Wait” are omitted from the set but that will hardly matter once you get into the groove of the film based on just how rousing it actually is.
Continue reading “Bat Out Of Hell The Original Tour” [DVD] by Meat Loaf
Artist: Meat Loaf
Title: “Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose”
Label: Virgin Music
Release Date: 10/31/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
So here we are at the final chapter of the apparent trilogy for “Bat Out Of Hell”, a saga that began almost thirty years ago by Meat Loaf and his song writing partner Jim Steinman. The original album from 1977 was a blockbuster and truly difficult to surpass for the singer, and none of his future albums would ever do that despite many valiant efforts. The second chapter gave fans a number of great memories as well and now in 2006 it would be time to close out the story. With “The Monster Is Loose”, the second part of the title we would get to enjoy a wider scope in the song writing, as Jim Steinman would not be the only person generating the creative flow on the recording. Chapter three opens up with song by one of these other contributors as Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx gives Meat Loaf that added level of Hard Rock power. It’s a solid track and a great opener at that. The second track is one that strikes hard in the typical Meat Loaf fashion of dishing out an incredible power ballad with “Blind As A Bat”. It was a song I felt should have been the lead single but perhaps it will be the follow up as it has all the elements of a breakthrough track. The main single from the album is a song that you might recognize entitled “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”. The tune was a hit for Celine Dion, and was penned for her by Jim Steinman. While I am not sure of the reason to use it for this release it is done well and introduces a larger audience to the lovely Norwegian siren Marion Raven. Ms. Raven has a beautiful voice and compliments Meat on the track very well showing it works well as a duet as much as it worked as a solo piece for Ms. Dion.
Continue reading “Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose” by Meat Loaf
Artist: Meat Loaf
Title: “Classic Albums: Bat Out Of Hell”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 10/3/2006
“Well I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday” – Those were the words sung by Meat Loaf on the absolute classic track “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”. It was 1977 and I knew that song from beginning to end. I have to stop and laugh at the notion that none of my friends or I were of the age to properly realize what he was actually singing about yet we all knew the song from beginning to end, word for word. Such was the level of impact and appeal of the “Bat Out Of Hell” album and thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment this DVD takes the time to bring you inside the heads of those who helped to create it. Jim Steinman wrote the juggernaut recording and the DVD gives the viewer some background on how he and Meat Loaf first met. The pair surely had their work cut out for them for not only was operatic and theatrical Rock not entirely sellable, but a front man of Meat Loaf’s capacity was not exactly album cover and magazine worthy. After having more doors slammed in their faces than either of them could remember they met Todd Rundgren, producer, guitarist, genius who decided to give them a chance. Todd appears on the DVD as well offering his insight on some of the recording secrets. For a program that runs just under an hour, there is a lot of information to absorb. It’s fun to watch Meat Loaf years later at the mixing console as he plays with the tracks and shows off some of the parts that he is still proud of today. Steinman also takes time to sit at the piano and show how some parts were built upon and you even hear from the two backup singers associated with the record. The album features the recorded voice of Ellen Foley (does anyone remember her from “Night Court”?) and Karla DeVito, who sang live and performed in the promotional videos.
Continue reading “Classic Albums: Bat Out Of Hell” by Meat Loaf