Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell: The Original Tour [DVD]
Eagle Records / Fontana (11/10/09)
Be it the man or the food—you either like Meat Loaf or you don’t. I happen to like both, so stomaching the newly released Bat Out of Hell live DVD was as painless as Sunday dinner at Mom’s house. In fact, it was a highly enjoyable experience—finally being able to see a Meat Loaf concert filmed during his most legendary tour. Shot in Germany for the famed show Rockpalast in June of 1978, this live performance is considered one of the greatest of all time.
Released at a time when punk was the new “it” mechanism of rock ‘n’ roll, Bat Out of Hell laid in limbo for quite a while before the recording industry took a chance on what ended up becoming the third best-selling album of all time, with over 43 million copies sold. “People either hate it or worship it!”, said Meat Loaf, referring to the concept album about teen lust. Luckily, Todd Rundgren understood what Meat and main songwriter/pianist Jim Steinman were trying to convey, by eventually securing them a record deal.
The show is definitely a high-energy, almost Broadway-like affair, including great vocal/visual interplay between Meat Loaf and female singer Karla DeVito. Steinman provides the audience with a few notable stories in-between songs, while the amazing band pulls its weight and then some. One cool side note I learned is that brothers Bob and Bruce Kulick are the guitar players. Bob recorded guitar tracks for KISS in the early eighties, including all the lead on Creatures of the Night, while younger sibling Bruce actually became a member of the band for twelve years. The combo definitely pull off some cool lead work on this DVD. And if you like bass solos, you’ve got to hear Steve Buslowe groove during his five minutes in the spotlight.
“Bat Out of Hell”, “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” and “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” make up a good chunk of the performance, and are no doubt the most popular tunes from the album. Included as a bonus is a pre-show interview with Meat and Steinman. The two explain the inspiration behind Bat Out Of Hell and the evolution of the band. Obviously, fans of Meat Loaf are going to add this to their collections. The rest of you leery ones should follow mom’s advice: “Try it. You’ll like it.”