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.
The only downside I can say is that there could have been more live music showcased and not just the couple of tracks that we end up getting. Yes, those are excellent and show just how well this music translated on the performance stage but it leaves you wanting more. For the most part the “Classic Albums” series is an issue of the popular VH1 program, but I think under Eagle Rock’s vision could have more cool additions. In any event, this is a great look back on an album that every Rock music fan should have in their collection.
Historical Tidbit: Since it was released “Bat Out Of Hell” has sold upward of 30 million copies and the songs still sound as fresh as they did thirty years ago.
1. Paradise By the Dashboard Light
2. Bat Out Of Hell
Official Website: www.meatloaf.net