Video Classics: ‘Bat Out of Hell’

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf in "Bat Out of Hell" video

There’s no doubt that [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Meat Loaf[/lastfm]’s 1977 album, Bat Out of Hell, was a huge success. Over 30 years after its release, it still sells almost 200,000 copies annually. But although the album release was a huge hit, the single “Bat Out of Hell” performed relatively poorly, reaching only #15 in the U.K.  Still, the ‘most extreme crash song of all time’ was extreme enough to make its way into our Video Classics list.

The rock anthem arose from songwriter Jim Steinman’s aforementioned desire to pen ‘the most extreme crash song of all time.’ From Wikipedia

There is something so thrilling to me about that operatic narrative that involves a cataclysmic event, especially one so perfectly intune with a teenager’s world, and rock and roll, as a car or motorcycle crash.

The song itself has often been compared to the music of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bruce Springsteen[/lastfm], particularly the Born to Run album, though Meat Loaf has at times claimed that the original inspiration was Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho.

The song actually had its genesis in Steinman’s 1975 Peter Pan-inspired musical, Neverland. Meat Loaf, who was touring with Steinman in a National Lampoon show at the time, felt the song was ‘exceptional,’ and Steinman began developing it as part of an album. Two years later, Meat Loaf recorded Bat Out of Hell, and the rest is, as they say, history.

The original video below features a hard-rocking performance by Meat Loaf, interspersed with shots of a motorcycle riding through a moonlit graveyard, alluding to the story in the song’s lyrics.

Have memories of this song? Add your thoughts to the comments below or take a look at Video Classics past…


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