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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Rock > Pop > Albums > Classic Albums: Meat Loaf Ė Bat Out Of Hell (Eagle remaster)

Classic Albums: Meat Loaf Ė Bat Out Of Hell (Eagle remaster)


Picture: C†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: D†††† Main Program: B



I hate writing.There, I said it and now you know how I feel about the thing.The trouble is that, at least in the most generous definition of the term, I am a writer.I take writing gigs offered by various and sundry sources.Some for pay.Some for merch.Some because Iím terrible about saying no to people who I genuinely like.This tends to cause trouble.After all I am a champion procrastinator and, as I mentioned at the top, I hate writing.So when I get a writing gig I hem and haw (even though Iím not entirely sure how one goes about hawing Iím certain that Iíve done soÖrepeatedlyÖI bet Iím hawing at this very moment.) and shuffle my feet and scratch my head and stare vacantly out windows for hours awaiting the rough hand of inspiration to shake me from my stuporous inertia.


Eventually I even write a line or two.And then, of course, I throw them away and start over. I guess you could call this my Ďprocessí.Ainít that the way Hemingway did itÖat least I hear thatís how he did his rockíníroll crit.Fitzgerald, though, damn, no one wrote better prose about Bowie than that guy!


So yeah, thatís how itís been for too many days as I sit here trying to figure out what to say about the recent entry into the Classic Albums DVD series, Meat Loafís Bat Out Of Hell.Iíve heard a lot of noise about this record, most recently on some local message board where hipster kids dished out the derision in big fat dollops, and how itís too pretentious, itís too jokey, itís too operatic, itís just terrible late seventies FM radio dreck and no one in their right mind between the ages of 13 and 40 should have to be subjected to this travesty.


Iíve been pecking at the keys over and over going around and around trying to compose a clever little riposte to put the kiddies in their place and knock some sense in those soft skulls and what stops me every time is just my utter confusion as to how anyone could not love this record. Itís beyond me boys and girls.


Listen: if you donít get all warm and tingly when those opening guitar chords come stabbing out of your speakers and Bat Out Of Hell starts boiling up with that delicious brew of homeroom brimstone, that way-out Wagnerian cocktail of girl group ga-ga and post-war teenage fatalism, then Iím sorry my friend but you had might as well give it up.Go sell your records, donate your concert tees to the local Goodwill, and throw your post-punk pledge pins in the nearest open fire.


If you donít love Bat Out Of Hell then you donít actually love rockíníroll.In fact you have no idea what rockíníroll even is.Dust off your Vivaldi collection, buddy, coz youíve no business here.


To quote the Dictators in reference to the special chemical/philosophical protoplasm that is the lifeís blood of all true rock, itís about ďcars and girlsĒ.Thatís it!Thereís your recipe for all of the coolest records that have and/or will grace your turntable, your tape deck, your CD changer, and your iPod. And Bat Out Of Hell is the ultimate love letter to the fundamentals of rockíníroll.Not only does it embrace what had by 1977 become clichťs (bad boy biker wipe-outs and the tender broken hearts of the tough guys), it pushes and pulls, yanks and tears them out of all natural proportion until the dogma of cars and girls has become the one and only cosmic truth.


And yeah, itís a funny record.There are jokes and not the bitter ironic jokes you get with a Zappa record but the kind of jokes that express a totally pure love for what is being made fun of.Thereís nothing wrong with cracking a grin once in awhile, kids.Remember that the next time youíre at a party and someone throws on the latest lo-fi mope-fest.Bat Out Of Hell is the corrective for that sort of thing.


Rockíníroll was always meant to be fun.Thatís what made it so attractive when it crashed on to the scene. Thatís what made it so dangerous.If youíve not given this record the consideration it deserves then give it another whirl.If you can let go of your self-conscious cool for a few minutes you might even learn a thing or two.



-†† Kristofer Collins



Kristofer Collins is an editor at The New Yinzer and owner of Desolation Row CDs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.You can contact him through our staff list or at:





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