Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell

Bat Out of Hell was the first cassette that I got when I got my first large portable stereo.  Jim Steinman’s lyrics and music combined with Meat Loaf’s vocals are completely over the top in the best rock opera fashion.  That combined with a sharp sense of humor made it a favourite of mine:

On a hot summer night.
Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?
I bet you say that to all the boys.  

I actually wore out the first copy I had, and had pretty much worn out my second cassette copy when I bought it on CD.  I think some of the things that made it such an appealing album to me was the length of some of the songs, three of them come in at over 8 mins, which was really unheard of on the Pop radio stations that I was listening to at the time. And one of those, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” actually made it onto the radio as a single, although in a somewhat abbreviated format.

Bat Out of Hell ranked number 343 on Rolling Stones Top 500 Albums of All Time.

Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell came out sixteen years after Bat Out of Hell, and I like it almost as much as the first album, if not more.  Apparently the songs on the first Bat Out of Hell weren’t long enough, two of the songs on BOHII come in at 10:16 and 12:00 minutes compared to 8:29 for Paradise. And, there are five additional songs that come in at over six and a half minutes. 

The interesting thing about Bat Out of Hell II is that many of the songs were previously released by other people. Jim Steinman put out a solo album in 1981 called “Bad for Good” which contained “Lost Boys and Golden Girls”, Out of the Frying Pan (And Into The Fire)”, and “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through”.  “Love and Death and an American Guitar” from the “Bad for Good” album was renamed to “Wasted Youth” on the “Bat Out of Hell II” album. Two additional tracks from “Bad for Good” ended up on “Bat Out of Hell III”

“Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go EveryWhere)” and “It Just Won’t Quit” appeared on the album “Original Sin” by the group “Pandora’s Box” which was written and produced by Jim Steinman in 1989.  That album also contained a version of the song “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” which was later done by Celine Dion and then again on Bat Out of Hell III.

I do own several of Meatloaf’s other CD’s  including “Bat Out of Hell III” and they are decent enough, but he really shines when teamed up with Jim Steinman. Several of the songs on Bat III were written by Steinman, but he wasn’t involved in producing it and I think it really suffered because of that.

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