The music career of Meatloaf has had it’s highs and lows over the years. Here we will look at the two biggest highs of his career.
In 1971 Meatloaf teamed up with female vocalist Shaun (Stoney) Murphy to release a ‘soul’ album called ‘Stoney & Meatloaf’. It was released on the Rare Earth label, which was a subsidiary label of Motown. The album did nothing. And in terms of a music career Meatloaf disappeared.
But in 1977 Meatloaf was back like a Bat Out Of Hell! Teaming up with Jim Steinman, Meatloaf took the rock world by storm with the release of the album Bat Out Of Hell and the world was never the same again. Current sales records put it as the 5th biggest worldwide selling albums of all time:
- Michael Jackson – Thriller
- Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon
- AC/DC – Back In Black
- Whitney Houston/Various Artists – The Bodyguard OST
- Meatloaf – Bat Out Of Hell
The Bat Out Of Hell may be one of the best selling albums of all time, but when it came to releasing singles from the album a whole different story emerges. First up was You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth which hit a peak of number 39 in the US and number 33 in the UK. The same year, 1978, Paradise By The Dashboard Light hit number 39 in the US. Next up came Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, which hit a peak of number 32 in the UK and number 11 in the US. In 1979 title track Bat Out Of Hell was released, reaching number 15 in the UK but failing to chart in the US.
Cover of Bat Out of Hell
Sure, the album was a huge success, and would continue to sell well, but in terms of singles there was really nothing amazing about it. Having said that, surely things would only get better. It was time to get back to the drawing board and build on the success of Bat Out Of Hell!
In 1981 Meatloaf released the album Dead Ringer – again penned by Jim Steinman. The first single released from the album was I’m Gonna Love Her For Both Of Us. It did not sell well, only making number 62 in the UK charts and number 84 in the US. It would be the last Meatloaf single to hit the US charts for more than a decade.
Throughout the 1980’s Meatloaf would release 3 more albums – Midnight At The Lost And Found, Bad Attitude and Blind Before I Stop – but none of them saw any singles hit the US charts, although a few did hit the UK charts. Songs Midnight At The Lost And Found and Modern Girl both hit a peak of number 17 in the UK charts and Rock And Roll Mercenaries hit a peak of number 31, but over all it was nothing to write home about.
As the 1980’s turned in to the 1990’s how many people even remembered Meatloaf. The music world had changed dramatically since Bat Out Of Hell. Yet, in 1993 Meatloaf was to stage a comeback of epic proportions with a song that would break records all over the world!
Meatloaf – I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)
When the song I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) was first released, the music company must have hoped that they had a hit on their hands, but they couldn’t have predicted just how much of a hit. It raced to the number one spot in the US and the UK. And for good measure it also hit the number one spot in Australia, Germany, New Zealand and Ireland. In fact, in total, it hit the number one spot in 28 countries.
Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell was selling well; the first single had reached number one in 28 countries. Surely things were looking up for Meatloaf now! Later on in 1983, on the back of the success of the new album, the song Bat Out Of Hell was re-released in the UK and hit number 8. Follow up single Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through hit number 11 in the UK and number 13 in the US. The third and final single from Bat Out Of Hell II was Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are which hit number 26 in the UK and number 38 in the US.
The next album from Meatloaf was Welcome To The Neighbourhood in 1993. The first single released from the album was I’d Lie For You (And That’s The Truth) which hit a peak of number 2 in the UK and number 13 in the US. And then it seemed that history was going to repeat itself. Follow up single Not A Dry Eye In The House charted well in the UK, reaching a peak of number 7, but only made it to number 82 in the US. In fact, to date, that is the last single that Meatloaf has charted with in the US.
Bat Out Of Hell III on red vinyl (Photo credit: evil nickname)
Since that time (just like most of the 1980’s) Meatloaf has had the occasional chart hit in the UK without bothering the US chart at all. Even the 2006 release of Bat Out Of Hell III didn’t inspire too much. With Bat Out Of Hell being such a big selling album, Bat Out Of Hell II providing such a big hit single, but Bat Out Of Hell III flattering to deceive, one could say that two out of three ain’t bad!
The music career of Meatloaf has certainly been one that has been up and down and broken at times, but with a back catalogue of the 5th biggest selling album of all time and a number one single in 28 countries you can’t argue with that!
P.S On the subject of Meatloaf and the song I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), there are many people who still claim to not know what the ‘that’ means! Ah-ha they say, what clever songwriting it is to leave it ambiguous like that. The truth is though that the lyrics clearly state that the two things that Meatloaf says he won’t do for love are ‘move on’ and ‘screw around’!
P.S. This article was originally published by the same author on Triond on the 22nd of February 2012 and can be found by clicking HERE.