Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published January 20th 2022
Meat Loaf has passed away
I am growing to really dislike looking at my Classic Rock RSS feed.
A 'ding' came up, I looked at the name, felt that twinge of worry, and clicked on the news items. I was right to be concerned.
Marvin Lee Aday, better known as Meat Loaf, passed away: b. September 27, 1947; d. January 20, 2022
75% of my Meat Loaf collection...
Now, I have written a lot about Meat Loaf. Here is a tier list of all his studio albums, a look at Bat Out Of Hell and a look at Bat Out Of Hell II. Meat Loaf is now and has always been one of my very favourite singers of all time. I know others may be better but he was probably my favourite. His music was what my (now ex) wife and I first bonded over. I own every album he released, studio and live. I saw him live twice. I am only missing one album he did before he struck fame.
And now, following his primary song-writer Jim Steinman's recent passing, he has been taken from us.
This sort of thing hurts me as a fan. As of typing this, the cause of death has not been released.
Before I hit the list proper, he was an actor, and his defining role was probably in 1999's Fight Club, where he played Robert "Bob" Paulsen. He had another iconic role, but that'll come up later.
And so, to remember Mr Loaf, here is a list of his songs I consider the best he released. No live versions, all studio. In chronological order. I can't bring myself to rank them.
'Hot Patootie Bless My Soul' (1975)
From the film Rocky Horror Picture Show, where his other iconic movie role was there for all to see – fast Eddie – this is the song that introduced me to Meat Loaf, the B-Side to the single of 'The Time Warp', which I bought. The first 45 I ever bought with my own money. And the B-side was played as much as the A-side.
'Bat Out Of Hell' (1977)
Title track of a classic album and a statement of intent. Rock and roll bombast of such a high standard no-one has ever been able to match it. Steinman may have been the writer, but no-one else could have delivered it like Meat Loaf.
'Heaven Can Wait' (1977)
And then he does a ballad of such power and intensity that it is incredible, especially when it's just Meat Loaf and piano. His voice was an instrument or power and intensity.
'Paradise By The Dashboard Light' (1977)
A mini opera about a couple forced together and regretting it, in three parts, using the baseball metaphor to its ultimate. This is probably one of the greatest "I want out" songs ever written.
'Read 'Em And Weep' (1981)
A song I first heard by Barry Manilow (!), but when I heard Meat Loaf's version, I knew how it was meant to be sung. So very good.
'Dead Ringer For Love' duet with Cher (1981)
Cher matched it with Meat Loaf so well here, and they just went over the top amazingly well. When meat Loaf had a great female to bounce off, he always made it sound so glorious, like an opera.
'The Promised Land' (1983)
A cover of a classic song and Meat Loaf and the backing chorus just sound like they are having so much fun singing this song. My favourite non-Steinman Meat Loaf cover.
'Keep Driving' (1983)
My favourite non-Jim Steinman Meat Loaf song, this song just rocks along and roars like a car down the highway. This is a scream-along-while-driving song.
'Modern Girl' (1984)
A song that I grew to love because of the live versions I heard and own. But the studio version is still an awesome piece of music, and one I still think off an old high school girlfriend when I hear it.
'Sailor To A Siren' (1984)
Another mini-opera-like song, this one just has some wonderful vocals and I enjoy it so much. Helped by the allusions to Greek mythology in the lyrics.
'One More Kiss (Night Of The Soft Parade)' (1986)
One of my favourite Meat Loaf songs, it feels like one of those mini rock-operas Meat Loaf became synonymous with, performed in three parts. Just great.
'Rock'n'Roll Hero' (1986)
When his voice soars, it really hits the highs and just carries you along. And, yes, for people like me, he really was a rock'n'roll hero. I couldn't leave this song off the list.
'I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)' (1993)
You need to hear the full length studio album version (12 minutes, not the 5 minute single version or 8 minute video version) to get the full impact of this stunning and amazing song). It is the soundtrack for a movie in your mind. Written by Steinman, delivered by Meat Loaf. So awesome.
'Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through' (1993)
Yes, a cover of my favourite all time song ever, but Meat Loaf still does an incredible version, with bonus extra verse.
'Everything Louder Than Everything Else' (1993)
A song I still use as a workout song (with three Stooges call-out), this is such a wonderful song of power.
'Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are' (1993)
Another over-the-top Meat Loaf ballad, one that is really poignant and quite sad. Meat Loaf knew how to make his voice tug at the heart strings.
'Left In The Dark' (1995)
A cover of a song from Steinman's solo album, Meat Loaf just fills it with the emotion he does so well.
'I'd Lie For You (And That's The Truth)' (1995)
Big and bombastic and yet not written by Steinman, this is a great track that just soars along.
'Forever Young' (2003)
A cover of the Bob Dylan song, and a really good one to boot. Like many Dylan covers, it is better than the original, and Meat Loaf sings it with the passion it seems only he can put into the music.
'It's All Coming Back To Me Now' featuring Marion Raven(2006)
One of those duets Meat Loaf does so well, and with Raven's voice as powerful as Meat Loaf's, it is a fine example of that. Best version of this song.
Okay, so there we are. Twenty songs to remember Meat Loaf by.
I hope wherever they may be, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman are now performing together again, producing music only they will hear and filling the afterlife with the best music of all time.
I know, this is not as verbose as most of my columns but this one has hit me harder than I thought it would. RIP Meat Loaf; all respects and best wishes to his family.
Thank you Steven for this fantastic tribute to Meatloaf. After discovering Meat Loaf as a teen, I loved every track on Bat Out Of Hell. My favourite songs varied over time, however my all-time favourite song of his to this day is 'For Crying Out Loud'. (I've played it quite a few times this weekend) xx