The Materpiece, “Bat Out of Hell”

Growing up in the sixties & seventies, and during that time, learning to love what is considered “rock & roll” music, you could say that I truly am addicted to good compositions from that era.

Last evening, while getting ready for a good walk on the treadmill, I was looking for something to listen to while I was “sweating.” You could say that I am an old-time creature from the past, as I have good size speakers set up on each side of the treadmill to hear the music in a clear, crisp, but most of all, LOUD way.

Meatloaf, Ellen Foley, & Jim Steinman

I chose what I consider to be if not the best album I have ever heard, it is certainly in my top 2-3. That would be “Bat Out of Hell” sung by Meatloaf, and written by Jim Steinman.

Recorded in 1977, it has since sold over 43 million copies. Including LP’s, cassettes, and CD’s, I’ve probably worn out 10 myself.

I was introduced to this masterpiece in early 1978. After I listened to it for the first time, I bet that a day didn’t go by for the next few months that I didn’t listen to the whole album at least once.

The seven songs that are presented take up a total of 46 1/2 minutes of listening time, and each song is a truly special in their own way. In case you didn’t know, the seven songs are:
1) Bat Out of Hell
2) You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
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

The album plays like a rock opera that tells a story that includes motorcycles, speed, young love gained, as well as young love lost. There is also more than just a hint of sexual innuendo.

Meatloaf, who was born Marvin Lee Aday, does a masterful job presenting the lyrics in his own, unique way. Jim Steinman, who wrote the songs, does most of the piano work. Todd Rundgren, a great rock& roller himself, produced the album. Rundgren also does the guitar work during the “motorcycle revving” part on Bat Out of Hell, which starts at about the 6 1/2 minute mark of the song. There are also appearances on the album by Max Weinberg & Roy Bittan of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Edgar Winter on sax, great female vocals by Ellen Foley, and of course, legendary baseball announcer Phil Rizzuto. His call of the “suicide squeeze” during “Paradise” is unforgettable.

After all of these years, it is still a tremendous listen. My time on the treadmill flew right by as I was “singing the lead” on most of the tunes.

My favorite song on the album would have to be……………………? I love them all. Go out and get yourself a copy.

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