Album #390 – Bat Out of Hell
Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell is one of the most theatrical albums ever to be released in rock music. The songs could have been part of a musical. This is because of the influences of this album’s songwriter, Jim Steinman. Steinman had a flair for the dramatic and every major song he wrote (Total Eclipse of the Heart, Makin’ Love Out of Nothing at All, It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, all this album’s tracks) had a range of emotion. It has been said that Steinman was as much influenced by Wagner’s operas as he was by Springsteen and Phil Spector. In fact, Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren tried their best to emulate Spector’s Wall of Sound. Springsteen’s presence is felt by the inclusion of E Street Band members Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg. But the star of the show is Meatloaf. Both Steinman and Meatloaf owe each other their careers. Meatloaf adds the emotion and range required to these songs. From the sad (Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, For Crying Out Loud) to the high energy rock and roll (Bat Out of Hell, Paradise By the Dashboard Light), Meatloaf pulls off these songs as only he could. Other than Rundgren, Bittan and Weinberg, the album is supplemented by other collaborators who would guest on other Steinman and Meatloaf-centric albums: vocalists Ellen Folley and Rory Dodd (who famously sang the Turn Around parts in Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart). Rounding out the band are members of Rundgren’s band, Utopia. The emotion is high and despite some of the cheesiness attached to it, I really enjoyed this roller coaster ride. Meatloaf is one of the most emotionally charged singers in rock and roll and this album is unlike anything else that has ever been released. Bat Out of Hell was successful enough for Meatloaf and Steinman to collaborate together for many years to come and Meatloaf’s next album, to be released in 2014, will have a couple of songs written by Steinman. Other highlights include: You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night), Heaven Can Wait, All Revved Up with No Place to Go. Overall, I give Bat Out of Hell, 5 out of 5.
Next: My Aim is True by Elvis Costello!!!