Bat out of Hell
Vinyl + Audio CD | Remastered
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Bat Out Of Hell
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Audio, Cassette, Original recording remastered, January 30, 2001
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Described as epic, gothic, operatic and silly all in the same breath, Meat Loaf's testosterone-fueled, Springsteen-inspired masterpiece-the third best-selling album worldwide behind Michael Jackson's Thriller and AC/DC's Back in Black -was shopped around for years before Todd Rundgren began production in late 1975. Songwriting credit goes to Jim Steinman on You Took the Words Right out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night); Heaven Can Wait; All Revved Up with No Place to Go; Two out of Three Ain't Bad; Paradise by the Dashboard Light; For Crying out Loud; Great Boleros of Fire , and the title track.
Overwrought and undeniable, Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell remains both one of rock's biggest--and least likely--hit albums. The byproduct of a partnership between beefy singer Marvin Lee "Meat Loaf" Aday and fellow journeyman/National Lampoon Road Show cast member Jim Steinman, Bat out of Hell met 1977's vaunted Year of Punk with a blast of neo-operatic, Wagnerian-scaled bombast (based on Peter Pan, no less) that was as reactionary as anything the spiked set and their supporters could possibly imagine--13 million units worth, and counting. Bat seems to have thrived on the same formula that's made Andrew Lloyd Webber a multimillionaire knight: if you do kitsch, do it big. And what could be more kitschy and emblematic of the '70s than the ubiquitous "classic rock" (an overused adjective that applies all too well here) of "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" or the breathless nookie-quest, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," replete with Phil Rizzuto calling the play-by-play? This digitally remastered edition also includes '78-vintage bonus live cuts of "Bolero" (the live show's equally over-the-top opener) and "Bat out of Hell" that showcase the production's energetic, perfectionist bent. The sonic upgrading here also underscores the oft-overlooked efforts of producer Todd Rundgren. --Jerry McCulley
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Top Customer Reviews
Critics of the album tend to dismiss it as excessively theatrical, bombastic, and lyrically trivial—and they are right. The songs are hormone-hysterical reflections of teenage angst, a 1950s teenage fantasy created and interpreted by people who play it out with remarkable conviction. Everything here is excessively big, the arrangements, the character vocals and choral explosions, nods to heavy metal imagery, the self-indulgent teenage rock and roll mentality. And it’s easy to recognize the show’s theatrical roots: everything sounds like it has been lifted from a Broadway show. BAT OUT OF HELL isn’t just an album, it’s a performance piece, and Meat Loaf is its star. And he delivers.
Meat Loaf’s soaring, muscular, emotional voice is what makes the album work—it’s impossible to imagine any other singer pulling it off. He shifts from rock and roll kitsch like “Bat Out of Hell” and “All Revved Up With No Place To Go” into unexpected power ballads like “Heaven Can Wait” and “For Crying Out Loud.” “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is also a knock out, the most obviously theatrical song on the album, unexpectedly and wickedly funny in its portrait of a “first time” car sex fantasy. The “big” song from BAT OUT OF HELL, of course, is “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” an odd sort of love song that denies love. And it’s all incredibly listenable and a lot of fun, a reflection of a rock and roll era that existed primarily in the minds of teenage boys half a century ago.
Then as now, BAT OUT OF HELL provokes very mixed reactions. A lot of people absolutely despise the thing, and they do so pretty much for the very reasons its fans like it. Me, I think it’s a knock out. Strongly recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
pleased to find that the music on it was as timely as it was the
very first time I heard it.
It was nice to hear the swiftly moving decades has done nothing
to diminish the awesome range of Meatloaf's voice which is as
bold and brassy on the song "For Crying Out Loud" as it was
gentle on that Top 40 hit "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" and all
of the classic tracks in between.
(And don't get me started on "Paradise By The Dashboard Lights".)
I don't have much to say about today's music accept that on
occasions some of them are smart enough to tip their hats to
the true masters of rock and roll by, at least attempting, to
past their ill-conceived remake off as something new.
Luckily for those like me who were there, we don't have to
settle for an imitator when the original shines through as
brightly as this album did, does, and always will.
So, my advice, turn on the black light, crank up the stereo,
and prepare to be blown away ... once again. Just Like A
Bat Out Of Hell!
It was 40 years ago and none of us expected to live much past our twenties. Meatloaf managed to capture our fears and our rage and our frustration, and express it as an in your face message, the climactic "stop right there" and "I've got to know right now" was on the face of it a young girl wanting to know if her boyfriend was going to stick around after sex..............on a deeper level it was a loud emphatic statement to our elders, were we going to be here after they were done screwing things up?