Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Band Appreciation ......... Meat Loaf

Where do I start with Meat Loaf? He has been a constant in my life, I have listened to him growing up and my love for him has only grown and grown over the years. I have so many memories which involve his music, what can I say he is one of my idols and his music has pulled me back and helped me through hard times. My memories include dancing at my aunts wedding in Australia, spending an awesome day in Ardgillan Castle with a bunch of my mum and dads friends watching him perform for the very first time, bonding with my cousin and coming full circle seeing him in his fair well tour of Europe with that same cousin. To me he is just something so different to any other singer I love. He takes rock in a new direction with his romantic side to all the music.

His career spans a whopping 46 years, 13 studio albums, he has acted in stage plays such as Hair in the 70's, he has stared in big screen productions like The Rocky Horror Pictur Show and Fight Club, TV apperiences in shows such as South Park and Glee and  his album Bat Out Of Hell has been certified by the Recording Industry Association of America as a platinum album fourteen times over! We all know (or should know) there is so much more than just Bat Out Of Hell when it comes to Meat loaf there is a reason he is a legend in the music world. There is a reason he is on every rock combination album released, he has over come adversity in his like, ups and downs and he still comes out on top! His career has been built on this opera style of songs, he has so much emotion in everything he sings and the pairing of Jim Steinman as the producer and writer with Meat Loaf is a combination that is mind blowing.

Bat Out of Hell

This album has gone platinum 14 times over! That is insane, I did not even know something like that was possible, but I suppose if anyone could do it Meat Loaf would be the one to do it. This album was his first collaboration with Jim Steinman and it was released in 1977 on Cleveland Records/Epic Records. It is one of the bets selling albums in the history of recorded music selling over 43 million copies world, it was ranked by Rolling Stones at 343 on their list of 500 greatest album of all time in 2003, and it has spent over 485 weeks in the UK charts! This album has gone on to be one of the most influential and iconic albums of all time with the songs being staples in the world of rock music! Who can say they have achieved all that with just one album? This is one album that is timeless, you can listen to that album in 50 years time and it will still be ass relevant and amazing as it is today and as it was when Steinman and Meat Loaf released it. I still can not believe that it got such a cold reception from label executives when they tried to release it.  Bat Out of Hell still sells about 200,000 copies a year. In 1989 Kerrang! magazine listed the album at number 38 on their list of '100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time' and in November 2007 Meat Loaf was awarded the Classic Album award in Classic Rocks Classic Rock Roll Of Honour. I am one of the lucky people who have an original copy of Bat Out Of Hell on vinyl and that is one record I will never let it go. You think it sounds good on your iPod or on CD, well your mind will be blown when you hear it on vinyl!
Track List:
1) Bat Out of Hell
2) You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
3) All Revved Up With No Place To Go
4) Two Out of Three Ain't Bad
5) Paradise By The Dashboard Light
6) For Crying Out Loud

Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell

This was the sixth studio album to be released and despite being released sixteen years after the original Bat Out of Hell, this album was just as successful, it sold over 14 million copies world wide and it reached number 1 in the US, UK and Australia. Back Into Hell holds one of the biggest songs of Meat Loaf's career, and a personal favourite of mine, 'I'd Do Anything For Love'. It is a mid blowing 12 minute song that I know every word to! There was a lot of controversy when this song was recorded as the producers did not believe any radio stations would play it so they released a shorter version which lasts about 5 minutes to settle the debate, and I always get so annoyed at the short version being played, if you are gonna play the song play the whole damn thing! It is an amazing song and it blends stadium rock and ballad perfectly and I could not imagine any other singer singing this song. Even though the themes of the songs are a little darker for this album it is still such a great album with as big a following as the first part of the Bat Out of Hell trilogy. Another of my favourites from this album is track number six 'Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They are'. This song was sang with such emotion behind it. The song is a three part narrative with uses pathetic fallacy with the seasons (spring, summer and autumn) to reflect the feelings being described. Steinman too inspiration from Meat Loafs own childhood which was at times less then ideal. He classed this as the hardest song to write as the lyrics portray a man, who even though he has over come things from his past, is still haunted by the memory of them. The imagery in this song through the lyrics always brings a tear to my eye. With the album selling over 14 million copies, remaining in the UK charts for 11 weeks, and going Platinum five times over in the US alone, Meat Loaf won a Grammy for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for 'I'd Do Anything For Love' in 1994, and if you ask me it is well deserved!
Track List:
1) I'd Do Antyhing For Love (But I Won't Do That)
2) Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back
3) Rock And Roll Dreams Cone Through
4) It Just Won't Quit
5) Out of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire)
6) Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are
7) Wasted Youth
8) Everything Louder Than Everything Else
9) Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere)
10) Back Into Hell
11) Lost Boys And Golden Girls

Bat Out of Hell III : The Monster Is Loose

The final installment of the Bat trilogy was released in 2006 and was the tenth studio album from Meat Loaf. It was released 29 years after the original Bat Out of Hell and 13 years after the second installment in the trilogy but unfortunately Steinman did not have a hand in producing the album. There was however,  a dispute over the the album as Steinman had trademarked 'Bat Out of Hell' to prevent the phrase being used, but the album did end up with seven songs written by Steinmann which he did intend for other projects, five of which are covers of previously released songs.. Steinman was not ment to be involved in the album due to heath reasons, but as Meat Loaf had announced during his 2005 'Hair of the Dog' that a new album was being released he did not want to wait to get the album out there. With collaborations with big names such as Brian May, Jenifer Hudson and even Patti Russo, the album is a perfect finish to the Bat trilogy.
Track List:
1) The Monster Is Loose
2) Blind As A Bat
3) It's All Coming Back To Me Now
4) Bad For Good
5) Cry Over Me
6) In The Land of The Pig, The Butcher Is King
7) Monstro
8) Alive
9) If God Could Talk
10) If It Ain't Broke, Break It
11) What About Love?
12) Seize The Night
13) The Future Ain't What It Used To Be
14) Cry To Heaven

Meat Loaf has released a number of albums but you can not talk about him without talking about his three most iconic albums. His other albums include 'Welcome To the Neighbourhood', 'Bad Attitude', 'Couldn't Have Said It Better', 'Hang Cool Teddy Bear' and many more. Not only have his albums been successful he has had sold out tours worldwide attended by all age groups. I have attended two myself and they are truly an experience.

 I attended my first Meat Loaf concert in 2005 for his Hair of the Dog Tour and I have to say it was one of the best days of my life. I had always idolized this man and my parents took me to see him and hear all my favourite songs, I think that was when I fell in love with concerts. It was in Ardgillan Castle in county Dublin on a hill with the stage backing onto the lake, it was a lovely day with the sun beaming down (I even got sun burnt!) and some rocking music. My love of music comes from this amazing man!

My second concert was with my cousin back in 2013 for his Last At Bat Farewell Tour. This had to be the best concert ever in the history of Meat Loaf, He had no supporting acts and he split the concert into two acts. The first act was all of his hits from all his albums and in the second act he performed the entire Bat Out of Hell album in order. He may have been old but he still gave everything he had to the concerts he performed. The dedication he gave to his performance showed that he loved his fans and he wanted to give them something to remember, and I have to say it is one concert I will never forget.

Okay so after all my rambling about him I should really get you some music. So here we have it, my favourite songs and some of his biggest hits!

That is only eight songs and I have to try and restrain myself because I could go on for days and days with this post but I think I may have to revisit Meat Loaf for another Band Appreciation post at a later day. So if you have made it to the end of this post I applaud you and I hope I have shown yo the awesomeness that is Meat Loaf!

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