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Holy cow George, you really surprised me today. Not so long ago I was thinking about how if you were to review Meatloaf, you would rip Bat Out of Hell to pieces. I really expected you to expose 'Paradise by the Dashboard Light' as a cheap, public pleasing, popularized anthem like you did with 'We Will Rock You'. Instead you just gave it a one line critical summary like you do with every ultra-mega-quintessential-known-by-everyone-sacred-even-sacrosanct-hit song you come across and treat it as just another composition. The first part has this well-written 50's-style vibe to hit, and the end where they chant, "It was long ago and it was far away..." has some good hooks. But sometimes I just don't enjoy the mid-section where they sing, "Will you love me forever...Let me sleep on it". Good line, but no one needs to hear it over and over for three minutes.
Jeff Melchior <Jeffmoncheri@aol.com> (03.03.2001)
This album confounds me in much the same way you mentioned. At some times I enjoy it for the lush listening experience it is - the next minute I wanna tear it off my turntable and use it as a coaster or frisbee: a fate suited to a piece of vinyl that attempts to be a third-rate Springsteen album one moment and a fourth-rate Queen album the next and an affront to anything truly rock 'n roll all the way through. Yet I like the stupid thing. Its huge commercial success staggers me, but I suppose the mass audience's listening tastes have been far, far worse than this. And it beats the hell out of its insipid "sequel".
Brian Sittinger <firstname.lastname@example.org> (28.08.2002)
This is one I just bought out of impulse one day. I'm not sure how to treat this album. One one hand, you have Meat Loaf 'pouring' his heart out with hooks galore. Yet, at the same time, this is so over the top it can be hilarious! I guess I get this campy feel listening to this album. Perhaps, the instrumentation gets a bit uniform after a while. It all depends on my mood at the time... :***1/2.
Steve Potocin <email@example.com> (07.12.2002)
Holy Crap! I hate this record, so lump me in with the other 100 million people who feel the same. I can,t give the record a 0 , because my Dad loved it, and because the Loaf starred in the oscar winning movie Roadie! A rock solid 1.
I love this album. Definately one of my favorites from the seventies. Jim Steinman's tongue in cheek sense of humor is brilliant. Like the guy who tells the girl before they do the nasty in the back seat of the car "yeah sure I'll love you to the end of time, whatever." You would expect a boy gets girl happily ever after finish to it right? Then out of nowhere he's praying for the end of time. Is that a lethal dose of reality or what? Like I said brilliant. I find Mr. uh, Loaf to be an extremely gifted singer. His voice control is simply astonishing. Jim Steinman knows this also and writes songs for him that truly bring out the full power of his range. Meat was a relatively unknown personality back then and except for having a bit part in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and singing one side of Ted Nugent's Free For All album, wasn't well known wnough to command a huge budget to record this album. How they got Todd Rundgren to produce this I'll never know, but the results are wonderful. The music can resemble show tunes on occasion, but the hooks are so strong you won't notice much. The opening title track and it's intro is stimulating and grabs your attention immediately. I've always loved Heaven Can Wait. The question that I would love answered is what happened after this? Did he and Steinman have a falling out? Steinman would go on to make his own album titled Bad For Good which legend has it was supposed to be the follow up to Bat Out Of Hell. It would be a lot of years before Meat and Steinman would reunite for Bat II and a number one single. Most people I know really like this album. If you don't have a sense of humor, or if Rundgren's production (over produced on occasion) isn't your cup of tea, then avoid this. For the rest of you, pick up the 2001 remastered edition. It has a cool bonus track...a live version of 'Bat Out Of Hell' from 1978.
David Carlton Dickson <firstname.lastname@example.org> (20.03.2004)
Hey hey! George gave Bat Out of Hell a good review! I must say, I'm relieved, not to mention shocked. After reading the raspberry award he gave Born to Run, I was sure this album would be next, his unquenchable appetite for death and destruction having surely only been partially sated. :)But he didn't. And I'm glad. Because personally, I consider this the best hard rock album of all time. Not just the best rock opera ever, or the best album of 1977, or the best album with a gargoyle on the cover ever. The best hard rock album of all time. AND the best debut album ever, as well. How's THAT for overdramatic generalized statements??? No, seriously, I really do think this is the best hard rock album--and debut album--I have ever listened to. And I don't make that statement lightly. There's a million debut albums out there to give it competition, some of them coming very close. Like Boston. Or Cracked Rear View. Or Little Earthquakes. Or Mark Prindle's debut album, whatever it is. (not) And as far as hard rock albums go, well, just look at half of Led Zeppelin's catalog. (Yes, I've changed my mind. I think they are NOT overrated, and in fact are superior to the Stones. But we're getting off subject here.) For that matter, look at DEF LEPPARD!! (*snicker at George's obvious discomfort*) ;) Sorry, George. That was low. The point is. . . (deep breath). . . this album is a perfectly composed, bombastically arranged masterpiece that stands head and shoulders above any album ever released in the punk genre, which ironically bloomed at the exact same time this thing shot to #1 in over a dozen countries. It manages to contain every conceivable emotional high and low, every musical cliche, and everything an overemotional romantic could ask for in seven melodic songs, plus some lyrics that cut to the bone for those who are still teenagers at heart. Moreover, it stayed on the charts for nearly a decade, and is now the highest-selling debut album of all time (Boston sold higher in the United States, but not worldwide). Call me out on this if you want, but I think the high sales of this album actually prove the record-buying public's SURPLUS of good taste, rather than the opposite. The only minus against the album is the title track: I'm surprised you didn't point this out, George, but musically, it's an obvious rip-off of "Thunder Road" and "Night", both from Springsteen's Born to Run. Of course, it's an IMPROVEMENT on both songs, but still a bloody rip-off. Just a minor detail, but still worth pointing out. And by the way, did you read the Rolling Stone review of this album from 1977? The nerve! They actually said Meat Loaf should take SINGING LESSONS from BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN! What the hell is THAT? As much as I love Springsteen, and appreciate his songwriting and performing abilities, you have to admit, even if you're a fan, the guy's about as vocally well-trained as a drunk swan from Addis Ababa. Especially compared to this guy.