Meatloaf/Bat Out Of Hell

Bat Out of Hell

Bat Out of Hell is the 1977 second album by Meat Loaf. Selling approximately 200,000 copies per year as of 2010, it is the fifth best-selling album worldwide, having sold 43 million copies worldwide [1]. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at number 343 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in 2003. Its musical style is influenced by composer Jim Steinman‘s appreciation of Richard Wagner, Phil Spector and Bruce Springsteen.

This album’s title also became the title for two more Meat Loaf albums. Steinman produced the 1993 album, Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell. Desmond Child produced the 2006 album, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose.

Bat Out Of Hell—-From the very first strains of the song, you realize that this is Progressive Rock at it’s very best….the huge piano chords, the sweeping orchestration and the literally singing guitars prepare you for the journey that was to become one of the best-selling releases of all time. This is classical, aggressive and layered with all types of pomp and circumstance….and that is before Meatloaf even open his mouth. This is the type of music that seems as if it were written specifically for Meat’s voice…grand and huge…larger than life with an irresistable chorus that you can’t get out of your head.

You Took the Words Right Out Of My Mouth [Hot Summer Nights]—-Perhaps the centerpiece of this release, and the most conceptual, this track was huge for the band…not necessarily on radio, but among fans. This is fun….a journey through all the teenage fantasies of every boy. This is not only comical, it is a pretty damn well constructed song that has stood the test of time very well. This still sounds fresh and new to me….the guitars are huge…the vocal is so large and we came to find out that was a natural state…not production magic. Not only is this huge and energetic, but the song is at times rather pretty.

Heaven Can Wait—-With a nice gentle piano and some understated strings, Meatloaf enters sounding more introspective and lonely than you ever imagined he could be. This is remarkable….the ebbs and flows of the song are really nice…the piano has Steinman written all over it. this guy was a genius!! This was and remains wonderful.

All Revved Up With Nowhere To Go—-Listening back to this now, it does come across as a bit dated…the bass delivery and the saxophone has that late 70’s sound written all over it. Meatloaf is rather sedate for most of the song and the addition of the female singer allows the song to be even more dated. None the less, this remains a true piece of history. Very nice…you need to revisit this just for the sheer cohesive nature of it. The energy at the end of this track is just incredible.

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad—-Perhaps the biggest selling single of 1977-78, the success of this single helped to propel sales of the album to huge, unexpected heights. This is Meatloaf at his very best…the introspection, the bare emotion and the very relatable lyrics made this huge for millions of people all over the world. This remains a classic!!! The lyrical imagery is awesome….the feelings seem real and the live rendition of this will give you goosebumps for days. Wonderful!!!

Paradise By The Dashboard Lights—-A very fun song…showing the theatrical sensibilities of both meatloaf and Steinman, the song is a tour-de-force of sexual innuendos with out one word about the act itself…BRILLIANT!!! A little to bluesy for my taste, it is easy to overlook this fault in order to laugh and remise about such escapades. This is teen angst before there was such a thing. This is a classic operatic tale of losing one’s virginity on a rock record sung by a 300 lb. behemoth…how is that for a spectacle!!! This is brilliant…..brilliant….brilliant!!!!

For Crying Out Loud—-Delving back into more gentle waters, this track finds Meat once again exploring the tender sides of emotions and reality. This is started with a stark piano and a voice…this sets the tone wonderfully well. The song, although mostly quiet is really quiet, the song is plush with emotion…both vocally and musically. The ability of Meat to push his voice out and make it all-encompassing is an art. This is a magical moment….a piece of history and a ground breaking conceptual record that set the bar pretty high for anything else that followed.

****1/2 out of 5


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