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Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

July 24, 2012

[Album 74/1001]

Over-the-top is an understatement.  Larger than life barely scratches the surface.

Perhaps ‘epic’ comes closest to capturing the experience that is Bat Out of Hell.

– There’s the lavish production by Todd Rundgren.

– If there’s a songwriter who knows his power ballads, it’s Jim Steinman.  In later years he’d add Total Eclipse of the Heart, It’s All Coming Back to Me Now and I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) to his C.V.  On Bat Out of Hell, there’s ample opportunity for listeners to clench their fists, close their eyes, and belt out the lyrics along with the one they call ‘Meat.’

– Which brings us to Meat Loaf.  Although I first saw him in Wayne’s World…

…and the origins of his stage name are unclear, there’s nothing shy about his performance here.  

Of the seven tracks included, lengths range from 4:19 – 9:56, with the title track and Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad being two of the standouts.  The highlight of the record is surely the penultimate track, Paradise by the Dashboard Light.  The ‘structure’ is unlike anything I’ve heard and the twist ending *spoiler alert* about praying for the end of time is well played.  Guest vocalist Ellen Foley also appears to have been Mick Jones’ inspiration for The Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go; to quote Wayne’s World, I was not aware of that!

Perhaps this is a record where the listener has to be in the right mood.  If that mood strikes, it’s a fun ride well worth taking.

From → 1970s

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  1. Year 1/10 – 119 down… | 1001albumsin10years

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