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.
The show it shot from a number of angles and there are plenty of close ups which let you see just how intense Meat Loaf is as a performer actually is and you don’t seem to miss one facial expression or drop of sweat from his brow. The rest of the band is featured as well and while it prominently features the female lead Karla Devito and pianist Steinman, we also get a good glimpse of guitarists Bob and Bruce Kulick and before you ask, yes these are the same ones who you might recognize as names involved with the music of KISS for a couple of decades. We see a solo piece from drummer Joe Stefko and bassist Steve Buslowe (who actually does “Maria” from “West Side Story”) and keyboardist Paul Glanz and backing vocalist Rory Dodd can also be seen. I liked that it was not exclusively shot with Meat and Jim or Karla across the span of the film as this allowed me to feel as though I was taking part in the night as it happened and my own eye would wander back and forth via the help of the cameras that were filming it. Songwise the highlights are of course that same albums biggest numbers such as “Bat Out Of Hell” and “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” and even though these were my own favorites, I had to saw how “All Revved Up” was a solid rocker and “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” reminded me why it still remains one of the most popular Rock ballads of all time. Performance wise this is a very intense and dramatic piece and as you watch you think that Meat Loaf is going to give himself a heart attack based on how much he is putting out there. Karla does an incredible job vocally as well, and she and Meat play off of one another where this kind of interaction was called for all throughout the show. Steinman gets into the act a little bit more for the “Hot Summer Night” intro of “YTTWROOMM” and demonstrates his own Broadway level skills during it.
It’s a classic set and one that will leave the viewer satisfied and send those who might not yet own the album which is being presented to the retail outlets to grab a copy. There is not much of a booklet to speak of in this one as opposed to a fold out with some solid liner notes about the band and the time in which this was originally done. The bonus features are limited to an interview with a German press representative that was done before the show. During this commentary he gets a few of the meeting history questions out of Jim and Meat and this comes as rather interesting if you have not known that information already. It’s a great release from Eagle Vision and I look forward to other quality films of legendary acts during their most influential years.
1. Great Boleros Of Fire – Intro
2. Bat Out Of Hell
3. You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
4. All Revved Up With No Place To Go
5. Paradise By The Dashboard Light
6. Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
7. All Revved Up With No Place To Go (Reprise)
Official Website: http://www.meatloaf.net