Classic Albums: Meat Loaf Ė Bat Out Of Hell (Eagle remaster)
C†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: D†††† Main Program: B
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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: