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Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell-Classic Albums (DVD)

Eagle Rock Entertainment's Classic Albums DVD series now brings us a look at one of the all-time greatest and best loved theatrical rock records, Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell. Selling an estimated 30 million copies since its release back in 1977, Bat Out of Hell spawned a host of FM radio hit singles and classic album tracks, not to mention two other sequels, the third of which is to be released this year. This DVD looks at the album, from the initial meeting between Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf, to the writing of the songs, unsuccessfully shopping them to record labels, and a chance meeting with Todd Rundgren who helped make it all happen for them. From start to finish, the story is all here, complete with interviews with Steinman, Meat Loaf, Rundgren, original album backup singer Ellen Foley, and live singer Karla De Vito. Interspersed with the interviews you get plenty of album video clips, rare live footage, and demonstrations from Rundgren & Loaf on some of the studio techniques used to get the amazing sounds heard on the album. While it would have been nice to see more live footage (the entire DVD is just under an hour), overall this is a solid presentation and informative look at one of the most enduring classic rock albums of all time.

Added: November 20th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 2217
Language: english

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Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell-Classic Albums (DVD)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-11-20 07:34:34
My Score:

"Well I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday" Those were the words sung by Meat Loaf on the absolute classic track "Paradise By The Dashboard Light". It was 1977 and I knew that song from beginning to end. I have to stop and laugh at the notion that none of my friends or I were of the age to properly realize what he was actually singing about yet we all knew the song from beginning to end, word for word. Such was the level of impact and appeal of the Bat Out Of Hell album and thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment this DVD takes the time to bring you inside the heads of those who helped to create it. Jim Steinman wrote the juggernaut recording and the DVD gives the viewer some background on how he and Meat Loaf first met. The pair surely had their work cut out for them for not only was operatic and theatrical Rock not entirely sellable, but a front man of Meat Loaf's capacity was not exactly album cover and magazine worthy. After having more doors slammed in their faces than either of them could remember they met Todd Rundgren, producer, guitarist, genius who decided to give them a chance. Todd appears on the DVD as well offering his insight on some of the recording secrets. For a program that runs just under an hour, there is a lot of information to absorb. It's fun to watch Meat Loaf years later at the mixing console as he plays with the tracks and shows off some of the parts he is still proud of today. Steinman takes time to sit at the piano and show how some parts were built upon and you even hear from the two backup singers associated with the record. The recorded singer was Ellen Foley (does anyone remember her from "Night Court"?) and Karla DeVito, who sang live and performed in the promotional videos.

The only downside I can say is that there could have been more live music showcased and not just the couple of tracks that we end up getting. Yes, those are excellent and show just how well this music translated on the performance stage but it leaves you wanting more. For the most part the "Classic Albums" series is an issue of the popular VH1 program, but I think under Eagle Rock's vision could have more cool additions. In any event, this is a great look back on an album that every Rock music fan should have in their collection.

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