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Thursday, 25 July 2013 15:35

Summer night soundtracks: 'Bat out of Hell' by Meatloaf + Video

Summer night soundtracks: 'Bat out of Hell' by Meatloaf
Written by Jason Robinson

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A few tracks into Meatloaf's introduction to the world, a husky-voiced narrator asks, "On a hot summer night, will you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?"

Sometimes around St. Louis, mid-July, at midnight when it's 99 degrees, if the question were posed to you, you'd be inclined to answer yes.

But that's not where the real action is on this album, though that track "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth" is a masterpiece. No, the real meat (no pun intended) is right there on the opening, titular track with its anti-Springsteen nihilism and Lovecraftian doomed hero, who "swear[s] he [sees] a young boy starting to foam in the heat" and tries to escape his hellish landscape on a screaming Phantom motorcycle. We want him to escape the hell he's in, and he almost does.

But it's his failure and the losers that populate the rest of the landscape of Marvin Lee Aday and Tim Steinman's masterpiece of piano-driven rock that really make "Bat out of Hell" a must-listen. You can feel the pain and desperation even in the most saccharine of love songs, because even when "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" reaches its climax, its characters don't, creating one of the best shout-out-loud moments on the album.

It's a bitter war of the sexes punctuated by a coda that suggests that maybe summer lovin' isn't such a blast afterall.

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