While this is seen as a Meat Loaf album, in reality it was also about Jim Steinman. The latter conceived and wrote it. Meat Loaf sings it brilliantly, though, and it is hard to imagine anyone doing a better job.
A connection between this and Peter Pan? Yep, it began life as a sci-fi musical called Neverland, which was an update of the J. M. Barrie story.
Meat Loaf and Steinman actually began to put together the first ideas for this in 1972, although it was to be a further two years before the pair began to take this at all seriously.
Todd Rundgren wasn’t the first choice to produce this album. But both Andy Johns and Jimmy Iovine turned it down.
Rundgren thought the album was very funny, and a parody of Bruce Springsteen. One of the reasons he agreed to work on the project was that Steinman told him he and Meat Loaf were signed to RCA, which was totally untrue.
It was Steve Van Zandt (ie. Little Steven) who helped get the pair signed to the Cleveland International label.
Baseball legend Phil Rizzuto did the commentary on Paradise By The Dashboard Light. It’s his second take that was featured on the album. Rizzuto made his name as a player with the New York Yankees, and Meat Loaf grew up as a Yankees fan.
Steinman has always said these songs are not autobiographical. “They were personality songs”. It was all to do with his imagination and obsessions.
Bat Out Of Hell is the second biggest selling album of all time in Australia. Only John Farnham’s Whispering Jack has sold more. Astonishingly, in America it didn’t even make the Top 10, and in the UK it peaked at number nine. Intriguingly, the 1993 sequel Bat Out Of Hell 2: Back Into Hell topped the charts in both countries.
Meat Loaf began the Bat Out Of Hell tour on November 14, 1977 in Cleveland. It finished on October 10, 1978 in Germany. The sole UK show was at Hammersmith Odeon on July 6, 1978.