Overwrought and undeniable, Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell remains both one of rock's biggest--and least likely--hit albums. The byproduct of a partnership between beefy singer Marvin Lee "Meat Loaf" Aday and fellow journeyman/National Lampoon Road Show cast member Jim Steinman, Bat out of Hell met 1977's vaunted Year of Punk with a blast of neo-operatic, Wagnerian-scaled bombast (based on Peter Pan, no less) that was as reactionary as anything the spiked set and their supporters could possibly imagine--13 million units worth, and counting. Bat seems to have thrived on the same formula that's made Andrew Lloyd Webber a multimillionaire knight: if you do kitsch, do it big. And what could be more kitschy and emblematic of the '70s than the ubiquitous "classic rock" (an overused adjective that applies all too well here) of "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" or the breathless nookie-quest, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," replete with Phil Rizzuto calling the play-by-play? The sonic upgrading here also underscores the oft-overlooked efforts of producer Todd Rundgren.
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