Great Rock Albums of 1978: Meatloaf- Bat Out of Hell

This is probably the most commercially successful rock album of 1978, if not one of the most of all time. It is the album that will always be looked upon as Meatloaf’s greatest musical achievement. It has been argued that the album was successful on account of it’s timing, that it filled a gap in the rock market while disco was still in its hey day. I don’t know about that nor would I agree with it if I did. I put the success of “Bat Out of Hell” down to the masterful production and great musicianship that appears on it. The result is seven good songs that withstood the test of time.

I know that I am probably being biased when I say this, but I put the success of this album down to the fact that it was produced by Todd Rundgren. Rundgren saw something in the album which some record companies didn’t and insisted in producing it. The result was in the listening and it is most likely why in a 1989 interview, Jim Steinman referred to Todd Rundgren as “the only genius he ever workded with.” One thing that he did which was a major contributor was to line up good musicians, which included members of his part time band Utopia.

Singing the praised of the producer and the musicians in no way means that I am in any way taking anything from the artist who appears on the album. Meatloaf has a very versatile voice, one of the most versatile in rock. I can picture him barking away to a thrash metal song and then slowing down to a love ballad the very next. Possibly an argument that they should have put “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” right after the title track to demonstrate my point. Of course, I have to add my all time favourite part on the album, the baseball commentary on the song “Paradise By the Dashboard Light.”

Track Listing:

1. Bat Out of Hell

2. You Took The Words Out of My Mouth

3. Heaven Can Wait

4. All Revved Up With No Place To Go

5. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

6. Paradise By the Dashboard Light

7. For Crying Out Loud

Many years ago, I happened to catch a glimpse of “Pop Idol” (I don’t watch that rubbish, honest) and Simon Cowell denied a good singer a shot at the next round becuase he was overweight. Cowell justified this by saying it might work for Pavarotti, but not in the pop world. The comment set my mind racing straight away. If it had been 1978, Simon Cowell would have rejected Meatloaf on the same grounds and we would have been denied this great rock album.

Next post: Rush- Hemispheres

To buy Rock And Roll Children go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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10 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1978: Meatloaf- Bat Out of Hell”

  1. Yet again, another great album + review. This is one those albums that everybody I knew had ( well, most people had it) and it was just one of those records which was so different from anything else out at the time.
    And, the big massive progger that I am, having Todd producing, playing guitar ( he sounds amazing on this) and having Utopia playing on it really was something else.
    Hemispheres eh? Watch out – weirdness round the next corner.
    I shall listen to it tonight. Twice.
    Cheers Mike, all the best mate.

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    • Like Frampton Comes Alive, it was one of those albums I never had to buy because everybody else owned it. Also didn’t know that you were so au fait with Todd Rundgren and Utopia. Most British people I know have never heard of either. But it is still the reason why this Meatloaf album is so good. Thanks for you Comments John and I must refamiliarize myself with Hemispheres

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      • Aye Mike, one of my top five albums is the ” One Live Utopia” record. 50 minutes- 4 tracks- of pure progasm. And “Ra” was one of those kind of records that I couldn’t really let people know I was into because they would have thought I was far too prog.
        And Kasim Sultan is among the bass players who formed my playing style ( if I meet him I will have to apologise) ,I shall send you a list of the prog bands I’ve been into. A lot of them are so obscure I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard of them.

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      • The first time Lis heard me listen to “Something/Anything” album by Todd Rundgren she responded, “I didn’t knew you listened to stuff like this.” She was too used to me playing Stormtroopers of Death I guess. Send me the list, I would be interested.

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  2. Simon Cowell is a moron and has tin ears.

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  3. Metal Odyssey Says:

    Yes, “timeless” indeed. Toy Caldwell was a “big man” and he blew me away with his voice and songs when I saw him live too. I agree with Manny on his take on Simon Cowell.

    Meatloaf is a “ghost hunter” too, by the way. 🙂

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  4. Bat outa hell was without doubt a great, great album.

    But I feel too often ppl ignore Dead Ringer; maybe it’s cos it came on the trails of Bat. But take a look at the songs in Dead Ringer, and they can stand on their own on any day.

    Peel out for me, was grossly overlooked/understated. The guitar work on that song – incl the exploding end lead solo – can hold its candle agst the best lead work out there.

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    • Dead Ringer was definitely better than what many people thought. There are some good songs and I’m not just talking about the duet with Cher. I’ll have to listen to “Peel Out” again but I do visit that album on here.

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