Archive for Bat Out of Hell

Great Rock Albums of 1987: Meat Loaf- Live at Wembley

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2022 by 80smetalman

In memory of Meat Loaf, who sadly passed away last week, I thought it would be a good tribute to the man to post his 1987 “Live at Wembley” album. One thing I have discovered over the past few days is that he seemed to be much more popular in the UK than he was in the US. Even the heavy metal hating newspaper, “The Sun,” laid on a tribute to him, so that is saying something. Therefore, thinking about it, it’s only right that he record a live album in a country where he wasn’t from originally but loved him very much.

The album/concert kicks off with the short but enlivening title cut from the previous album, “Blind Before I Stop.” It gets the crowd and the listener going and it is followed by the single from that album, “Rock and Roll Mercenaries.” I have this song on a compilation CD and it’s good but I much prefer the live performance. It has much more flair to it and already, I am regretting I wasn’t in the crowd when this concert took place.

For those who were expecting songs from the iconic “Bat Out of Hell” album, they don’t have to wait long. At track three is “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night).” Like on the album, it begins with the spoken words from the album. You know, where he asks the girl, “On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red rose?” I can’t say 100% but I get the impression that that part of the song is the actual recording from the album. But who cares? After all, the song kicks in and you are not worrying about the beginning, especially as this is the first song where guitarist Bob Kulick, yes brother of KISS guitarist Bruce, gets to show his stuff.

Here’s where things get dangerous for me writing about this album. I am supposed to be praising Meat Loaf and I must say that his vocals are superb. However, for me, his limelight gets slightly shaded by Bob’s shredding on the album. Take the next track, “Midnight at the Lost and Found.” Meat Loaf really belts the song but Bob lays down a great solo.

There is no discernable Bob solo on “Modern Girl,” at least not until the end and Meat Loaf does what he does best. Plus the backing vocals of Elaine and Amy Goff support him very well and there is some top notch piano from Paul Jacobs. It leads straight on to the final three songs on the album, all of which are from the already named iconic album. First up is my personal favourite recorded song, “Paradise By the Dashboard Light.” Meat Loaf and his band have a bit of fun with the song with some instrumental hooks and it’s extended to over ten minutes long but it doesn’t seem that long. I’m glad they left the baseball commentary in, even if baseball legend Phil Rizzuto said he wouldn’t have done it if he knew what it was implying when the song was recorded. That’s old news though.

“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” will remain my favourite recorded Meat Loaf song but as far as this live album goes, the honour of best song has to go to “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.” Why? You might ask. The answer is the fact that Bob’s shredding on this song is just simply mind-blowing. He just (children avert your eyes) fucking wails away on the solo and does so for a couple of minutes. I must ask, how come I never hear Bob Kulick mentioned among the great shredders? I’m sure many of you will put me right on this. Oh yes, Meat Loaf sings well on this too.

The album ends with the song which I remember used to open a Meat Loaf concert, “Bat Out of Hell.” There are few songs out there which can serve as both an opener or a closer but this one does and does well, full marks to it. Now there is a bonus EP with two tracks. One is “Masculine” where Bob shreds some more and the second is a rock medley featuring 1950s classics “Johnny B. Goode,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Slow Down,” “Jailhouse Rock” and a reprise of “Johnny B Goode.” These are done well but I would have loved them more if I had seen them performed live.

Track Listing:

  1. Blind Before I Stop
  2. Rock and Roll Mercenaries
  3. You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
  4. Midnight at the Lost and Found
  5. Modern Girl
  6. Paradise by the Dashboard Light
  7. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad
  8. Bat Out of Hell

Bonus EP

  1. Masculine
  2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Medley
Bob Kulick and Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf- lead vocals

Paul Jacobs- piano

Bob Kulick- guitar

Alan Merrill- guitar (lead on track 2)

Steve Buslowe- bass, backing vocals

Frank Doyle- keyboards

Chuck Burgi- drums

Amy Goff- backing and lead vocals

Elaine Goff- backing and lead vocals

Shortly after we got together, my ex-wife and two of her friends saw Meat Loaf at Wembley in 1987. I wonder if it was when this album was recorded. If it is, I’m doubly jealous because the man definitely brings the goods on this live album.

Next post: Tony MacAlpine- Maximum Security

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Rest in Peace Meatloaf

Posted in 1980s, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2022 by 80smetalman
Meat Loaf

As usual, I’m late to the party. News of rock legend Meatloaf’s passing has been making the rounds on social media all day. My first experience of him was his famous “Bat Out of Hell” album when I was 17. First, I thought Meatloaf was a band and I wasn’t too impressed with the fat slob they had for a lead singer. Don’t worry, I am already warming up the time machine so I can go back and slap my 17 year old self. Long story short, I am very glad that I was wrong on all counts. When I finally did hear his iconic album, I was totally impressed and I have been a Meatloaf fan ever since. Thinking about it, once I’ve slap myself in 1978, I should travel to 2001 where a young rock fan, upon seeing my Meatloaf t-shirt, said I had a sad taste in music. So maybe I should slap him as well.

For those who grew up listening to Meatloaf, you know that listening to his music was not sad in any way. He made a number of great albums and even collaborated with singers such as Cher. I love “Dead Ringer for Love.” While I know that we are all aging and those we held as heroes are succumbing to their mortality, but each loss is the loss of a good friend. This is especially true with Meatloaf.

Meat Loaf and Cher singing “Dead Ringer for Love”

Rest in peace Meatloaf, may you find paradise beyond the dashboard light.

Great Rock Albums of 1981: Meat Loaf- Dead Ringer

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2014 by 80smetalman


By 1981, many people, myself included, were beginning to write Meat Loaf off as a one album wonder. While many of us were still enjoying the delights served up on his famous 1978 “Bat Out of Hell” album, its regularlarity of play was beginning to rapidly wane as newer albums were coming to the forefront. It could have been down to the fact that he had appeared in a couple of films in 1980, “Roadie” and “Scavenger Hunt” and was thinking of an acting career but it was certain that his music career looked to be going downhill fast. Then what seemed from out of nowhere, “Dead Ringer” was released.

It is very difficult to follow up a colossal album. Though some bands have managed to do this, there are many others who haven’t. I have to put this album in with the latter. I would have thought that after a more than three year layoff, Meat Loaf was meticulously planning a great album to follow on from “Bat Out of Hell.”  Unfortunately, “Dead Ringer” does not live up to the expectations that were set upon it. Saying that, the album doesn’t suck either. There are some really good tracks on it including one of my favourite Meat Loaf songs, “Dead Ringer For Love,” which he performs a duet with Cher. I have also forgotten some of other decent tracks that make up the album like “I’m Gonna Love Her For Both of Us” and “Read ‘Em and Weep.” “I’ll Kill You If You Don’t Come Back” is rather good and funny and I forgot how much I liked “Peel Out” back in the day. So, while the album didn’t live up to the hype, it wasn’t one for the scrap heap either.

Meat Loaf and Cher singing "Dead Ringer for Love"

Meat Loaf and Cher singing “Dead Ringer for Love”

 Track Listing

1. Peel Out

2. I’m Gonna Love Her For Both of Us

3. More Than You Deserve

4. I’ll Kill You If You Don’t Come Back

5. Read ‘Em and Weep

6. Nocturnal Pleasure

7. Dead Ringer for Love

8. Everything is Permitted

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf- lead vocals

Davey Johnstone- guitars

Mick Ronson- guitars

Joe DeAngelis- acoustic guitars

Steve Buslowe- bass

Roy Bittan- piano

Nicky Hopkins- piano

Larry Fast- synthesiser

Lou Del Gatto- horns

Lou Marini- horns

Tom Malone- horns

Alan Rubin- horns

Max Weinberg- drums

Liberty DeVitto- drums

Jimmy Maelen- percussion

Jim Steinman- spoken word on “Nocturnal Pleasure”

Cher- guest vocals on “Dead Ringer for Love”

It has always been my slightly biased belief as to why “Dead Ringer” wasn’t as good as “Bat Out of Hell” was the fact that Todd Rundgren didn’t produce it. However Jim Steinman doesn’t do a bad job making the album a worthwhile listen.

Next post: Gillan- Future Shock

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: Jim Steinman- Bad For Good

Posted in films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2014 by 80smetalman


They say that you should never judge a book by a cover and I think that also applies to record albums too; fortunately, not to this one by Jim Steinman. For those who aren’t so familiar with the name, Jim Steinman has worked as a record producer for many years and is responsible for producing some of the greats, including Meatloaf as well as the soundtrack to “Shrek 2.” In 1981, he tried his hand at cutting his own album, “Bad For Good” and it was pretty much a success for him. At first, I was attracted to the album by this rather cool looking at the time album cover. However, the music inside isn’t too bad except for one rather important detail: When I first listened to the album and even now, my first impression in my mind is, “This could have been Meatloaf.”

There is a definite resemblance to “Bat Out of Hell” throughout this album. Each and every song has that feel to it, especially the duet with Karla DeVito on “Dance In My Pants.” The style of the song bears strong connections to the famous “Paradise By The Dashboard Light.” However, what this song has that the Meatloaf classic doesn’t is a killer guitar solo. That’s part of what makes the album as good as it is in the first place. Steinman’s vocal range is limited but he does have some powerful musicians behind him playing on the songs. Most notably, there is Todd Rundgren along with his band mates from Utopia who pop in and out on several songs. What results is a good rock sound that somehow straddles the line between FM commercialability and hard rock. Therefore, all can listen to it and not worry about going across the imaginary line. Still, only three tracks really stand out for me, the first of which I’ve already mentioned. The second is the single, “Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through,” which I have on a compilation CD. The third is “Life and Death of an American Guitar,” which gets covered by the already mentioned Meatloaf on his “Bat Out of Hell 2” album. Speaking of that song, I don’t hear any difference between the two versions.

Track Listing:

1. Bad For Good

2. Lost Boys and Golden Girls

3.  The Life and Death of An American Guitar

4. Stark Raving Love

5. Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire)

6. Surf’s Up

7. Dance in My Pants

8. Left in the Dark

Extra EP

1. The Storm

2. Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through

Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman- lead vocals, keyboards, spoken word

Rory Dodd- lead vocals on “Surf’s Up,” “Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through” and “Lost Boys and Golden Girls”

Karla DeVito- lead vocals on “Dance In My Pants”

Todd Rundgren- guitars

Davey Johnstone- guitars

Kasim Sultan- bass

Steve Buslowe- bass

Neal Jason- bass

Roy Bittan- piano

Steven Margoshes- piano

Roger Powell- synthesiser

Larry ‘Synergy’ Fast- synthesiser

Max Weinberg- drums

Alan Schwartzberg- drums

Joe Stefko- drums

Jimmy Maelen- percussion

Alan Rubin- trumpet

Tom Malone- horn arrangements and trombone

Lou Marini- tenor sax

Lew Del Gatto- baritone sax

Ellen Foley- backing vocals

Eric Troyer- backing vocals

What surprised me after doing a bit of homework on “Bad For Good” was how well it actually did commercially. In spite of many criticisms from the rock magazines at the time, it went to 62 in the US, 14 in Sweden and even broke into the top ten in the UK. With that success and an album that I actually liked, I remain surprised as to why Mr Steinman never has cut another album.

Next post: Grace Slick- Welcome to the Wrecking Ball

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

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , on February 27, 2012 by 80smetalman

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

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