With Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf gives hope to awkward adolescents everywhere
Remember that overly-precocious chubby kid with the thick glasses in junior high school who was always a little more confident than he had any right to be? He's the lil' goober who got out of any awkward situations with a bit of self-deprecating humor. By high school his ability to whip out quick one-liners and make a crowd laugh often led him to the theater department or maybe even marching band.
Do you want to know who this kid becomes? Unfortunately, he grows up to be a chubby man with thick glasses who washed out of junior college drama and is now working at a comic book store, library or office supply wholesale. (If you were hoping for the "prince in disguise" ending here, sorry to burst that bubble.)
One — just one —of these awkward adolescents, however, escaped into a much better life. A life of celebrity, privilege and professional performance (including his Saturday concert at the House of Blues) in which he would be known for all time and as... Meat Loaf.
Loaf's career in rock n' roll was born from mid-70's theater. He became a well-known young stage actor in productions of Hair and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. His part in the latter led him to return to the part of Eddie for the cult classic 1975 movie with Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon.
It was from this recognition that Loaf's long-awaited personal musical masterpiece, Bat Out of Hell, was able to be born in 1977. Part theater piece, part rock concert, and all tongue-in-cheek (or is it?), Bat Out of Hell is Loaf's vision of a man-meets-woman saga that takes place in some sort of bizarro Neverland developed with collaborators Jim Steinman and Todd Rundgren.
In today's, quick-click, sound-bite world, Bat Out of Hell would have never taken off. Thirty-five years ago, however mini-rock operas like "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" and the title track helped the album become one of the best-selling albums OF ALL TIME!!!
More than 43 million copies have been sold globally and, nearly 33 years after its release, it still moves about 200,000 copies annually.
Meat Loaf never approached those kind of numbers again, but he has continued to have success over the years as both a singer (he went to No. 1 across the charts in 1993 with "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" and actor (his supporting role as a hopeless 12-stepper-turned-vigilante in Brad Pitt's Fight Club helped to make that flick a classic).
Still, he is one of the best-selling artists of all time which should fuel the hopes of chubby kids with glasses everywhere.
Meat Loaf, 8:30 p.m. Saturday at House of Blues