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4.44 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1977

Filed under Non-Metal


1. Bat Out Of Hell (9:56)
2. You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) (5:04)
3. Heaven Can Wait (4:38)
4. All Revved Up With No Place To Go (4:19)
5. Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad (5:23)
6. Paradise By The Dashboard Light (8:28)
7. For Crying Out Loud (8:45)

Total Time 46:33


- Meat Loaf / lead vocals, backing vocals, percussion
- Ellen Foley / vocals (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6)
- Todd Rundgren / guitar, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Kasim Sulton / bass guitar, backing vocals (tracks 1, 2, 4–7)
- Roy Bittan / piano, keyboards (tracks 1, 2, 6)
- Steve Margoshes / piano (track 7)
- Cheryl Hardwick / piano (track 7)
- Jim Steinman / keyboards, percussion, effects (tracks 1, 2, 6)
- Roger Powell / synthesizer (tracks 1, 2, 5, 6)
- Edgar Winter / saxophone (tracks 2, 4, 6)
- Max Weinberg / drums (tracks 1, 2, 6)
- John Wilcox / drums (tracks 4, 5, 7)
- Marcia McClain / dialogue intro (track 2)
- Phil Rizzuto / play-by-play (track 6)
- Rory Dodd / backing vocals (all tracks but 4)
- Gene Orloff / concert master (track 7)
- Members of New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra / orchestra (track 7)

About this release

Recorded in 1975-1976. Released by Cleveland International.

Reissued by Epic with the following bonus tracks:

8. Great Boléros Of Fire (live intro) (3:54)
9. Bat Out Of Hell (live) (11:10)

Reissued in 1993 under the title Bat Out of Hell: Revamped with the following bonus track:

8. Dead Ringer For Love (Duet With Cher) (4:20)

Thanks to Lynx33 for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Yes, it's one of the silliest and cheesist rock albums ever, but Bat Out of Hell is too fun to turn down. Endlessly enjoyable to sing along to (particularly when drunk), the album is also a bit more diverse than it's sometimes given credit for - there's a wonderful dirty glam rock stomp to All Revved Up With No Place To Go, for instance. Paradise By the Dashboard Light might be the goofiest multi-part rock suite ever recorded in the 1970s, but there's something archetypal about it which can't make me hate it, and the same's true of You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth and the title track.

In fact, there's pretty much no duds on here, provided you're happy with an album which takes all the trappings of pompous, self-important rock opera and produces something which is impossible to take seriously with it. Whenever I play it I feel like a teenager again, and that's got to be worth something. I'll leave you with one thought: Jack Black as Meat Loaf in a biopic about the making of Bat Out of Hell. Wouldn't that just be the perfect casting?
Not many people had heard of Marvin Aday prior to 1977. Before his massive nuclear hit album, the only true work he had done was a collaboration with soul and gospel music singer Shaun Murphy in a short lived duet named Stoney and Meat Loaf. Almost nobody who knows Meat Loaf's career knows about the 1971 album, and even at the time it wasn't the most popular of all debuts. And while Murphy went on to participate with Little Feat, Aday was cranking on with his solo career.

Shrugging off the old jacket of soul and blue-eyed music, Meat Loaf made one of the most drastic music changes of any of the musicians I know. It was the edge of the 80's, where many metal bands would spring, including Iron Maiden, Metallica, among others. But even during the 70's, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath had become part of the biggest uprising in metal music. Even though Meat Loaf didn't follow exactly the same path, the man went in a direction of hard rock that has remained a legend throughout not only metal music, but music history itself. Thus, his magnum opus Bat Out Of Hell (1977) was released to the masses. At first, reception was slow. Some critics sneered and were quick to note how the album was a lackluster pop album and nothing more. In fact, everyone who worked at Epic Records, the label of the album, hated it with a passion. However, these were quickly swallowed by the tidal wave of fans that the album itself generated. The album is "timeless, in that it didn't fit into any trend. You could release that record at any time and it would be out of place." reflected Jim Steinman, the guest guitarist and head song-writer for the album. What Steinman said was in fact, very true. Meat Loaf had done something completely different. He had in a way made music that didn't restrict itself to one genre. And while critics still enjoy bashing it for all it's worth, my opinions are thus.

For the general aspect of the album, it's excellent. Perhaps it's not something I'd listen to over and over, with the exception of the title track (which we'll get to soon.) But I simply cannot deny the thought and care put into the album's structural integrity. Every track shines in it's own way, with differentiated themes, largely bouncing between slow melancholic piano pieces to rolling and pounding spectacles to bouncy poppish tunes. To judge all sides, the piano pieces are wonderful. All of them are, even though heavily harmonically basing themselves off of eachother, are very great outright. The harder rocking tunes are the greatest part, however. The aforementioned title track, 'Bat Out Of Hell' is my definite favorite from the album. Wonderfully adapting to it's extreme ten minute long length, the song trudges through themes like Priest-like riffing (mainly in the opening), to vocal lead sections by the man himself. The title track is probably the heaviest on the album, and definitely the most enjoyable to listen to. The only other exception to this theme to rocking is the second half of 'Paradise by the Dashboard Light', with funk figure-heading it. And finally there's the pop side of the album. And in the genres case, it's pretty great pop. All of the songs that retain the theme of mainstream rock has their own light that they use in their own light. Although silly at times, the quirky late-70's feel is comfortable to listen to at least when knowing that the musicians behind the music are definitely having fun, especially Aday himself.

So, all in all, Bat Out Of Hell is absolutely fantastic. If you've heard of this album before (doubtless you have) and haven't listened to it, I suggest you do right away. One of the great highlights of the late 70's era.

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