Bat out of Hell

Bat out of Hell

by Meat LoafMeat Loaf


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There is no other album like Bat Out of Hell, unless you want to count the sequel. This is Grand Guignol pop -- epic, gothic, operatic, and silly, and it's appealing because of all of this. Jim Steinman was a composer without peer, simply because nobody else wanted to make mini-epics like this. And there never could have been a singer more suited for his compositions than Meat Loaf, a singer partial to bombast, albeit shaded bombast. The compositions are staggeringly ridiculous, yet Meat Loaf finds the emotional core in each song, bringing true heartbreak to "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" and sly humor to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." There's no discounting the production of Todd Rundgren, either, who gives Steinman's self-styled grandiosity a production that's staggeringly big but never overwhelming and always alluring. While the sentiments are deliberately adolescent and filled with jokes and exaggerated clichés, there's real (albeit silly) wit behind these compositions, not just in the lyrics but in the music, which is a savvy blend of oldies pastiche, show tunes, prog rock, Springsteen-esque narratives, and blistering hard rock (thereby sounding a bit like an extension of Rocky Horror Picture Show, which brought Meat Loaf to the national stage). It may be easy to dismiss this as ridiculous, but there's real style and craft here and its kitsch is intentional. It may elevate adolescent passion to operatic dimensions, and that's certainly silly, but it's hard not to marvel at the skill behind this grandly silly, irresistible album.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/30/2001
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074646217122
catalogNumber: 62171
Rank: 4349

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Meat Loaf   Primary Artist,Vocals
Todd Rundgren   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Ellen Foley   Vocals,Background Vocals
Roger Powell   Synthesizer
Jim Steinman   Percussion,Keyboards
Kasim Sulton   Bass,Vocals,Background Vocals
New York Philharmonic   Performing Ensemble
Roy Bittan   Piano,Keyboards
Rory Dodd   Vocals,Background Vocals
Edgar Winter   Saxophone
Cheryl Hardwick   Piano
Jimmy Iovine   Recorder
John Jansen   Recorder
Steve Margoshes   Piano
Gene Orloff   Concert Master
Mark Thomas   Recorder
Max Weinberg   Drums
Marvin Lee Aday   Percussion,Vocals,Background Vocals
John Wilcox   Drums
Ed Sprague   Recorder

Technical Credits

Todd Rundgren   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Jim Steinman   Arranger,Composer,Writer
New York Philharmonic   Orchestration
Kenny Ascher   String Arrangements
Amy Herot   Reissue Producer
Jimmy Iovine   Engineer,Remixing
John Jansen   Engineer,Remixing
Ed Lee   Illustrations
Steve Margoshes   Arranger,Orchestral Arrangements
Mark Thomas   Engineer
Arthur Levy   Liner Notes
Ed Sprague   Engineer
Stephen Saper   Engineer

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