Bat Out of Hell is the second album (technically his first solo album) released by Meat Loaf. This was the first of many times that he collaborated with Jim Steinman, who would write many songs for Meat over the years. With sales of over 43 million copies worldwide, it is one of the best selling albums of all time (third best selling studio album, and second best selling album by a solo artist).
Jim Steinman's influences from Richard Wagner, Phil Spector, Bruce Springsteen and The Who helped shape the content of the music featured here, showcasing Classic Rock, hard rock, glam rock and even progressive rock.
It would go on to have two sequels, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell released in 1993 and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose released in 2006. In 2017, a musical named after the album was premiered in Manchester, England.
- "Bat Out of Hell" (9:48)
- "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)" (5:04)
- "Heaven Can Wait" (4:38)
- "All Revved Up with No Place to Go" (4:19)
- "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" (5:23)
- "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" (8:28)
- "For Crying Out Loud" (8:45)
"You Took the Tropes Right Out of My Mouth"
- An Aesop: "Paradise by the Dashboard Light": Don't rush into things like marriage before you're actually ready. They were "barely seventeen" and get married right out of high school, then everything falls apart and the boy becomes a Death Seeker (some live versions even have them get divorced and argue over custody of their kid).
- Anti-Love Song: "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" ends with the boy who swore to love his girlfriend 'til the end of time (because she wouldn't sex with him otherwise) now "praying for the end of time" so he can get out of the relationship.
- "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" is about man telling a woman that he wants a physical relationship, but he's never going to love her. He also explains how he got to be that way (ironically, from a woman doing the exact same thing to him).
- Auto Erotica: "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" is about a couple making out in a car.
- Badass Biker:
- The cover art. Nuff said.
- Deconstructed in the title track. The protagonist heads out on his bike and promptly crashes before succumbing to an agonising death.
- Bat Out of Hell: Despite being the Trope Namer, and featuring an example on the cover art, the bat in the album's title song is only used in a simile.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," the narrator professes to love his girlfriend to the end of time, then ends up wishing for the end of time when the relationship turns sour.
- Bowdlerize: The radio edit for "Bat Out Of Hell" omits the entire crash sequence, which trims about four minutes off the entire song.
- Call-and-Response Song: "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"
- Coitus Interruptus: "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". After Phil Rizzuto's spoken word baseball metaphors for sex, the girl yells "STOP RIGHT THERE!" and demands the boy swear eternal fidelity before she'll go any further.
- Concept Album: The album has a theme of youth, love, motorcycles and motorcycle analogies. The overall story is of a young man crashing his motorcycle ("Bat Out of Hell") and looking back on his love life as he dies, such as meeting his girlfriend for the first time ("You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth"), wanting to see her one last time before dying ("Heaven Can Wait"), wanting to have sex with her for the first time ("All Revved Up With No Place to Go") and Their First Time ("Paradise by the Dashboard Light"), realising he doesn't love her ("Two Out of Three Ain't Bad", "Paradise" again) and finally being condemned to Hell for his selfishness ("For Crying Out Loud").
- Death Seeker: The singer in "Paradise By The Dashboard Light", after marrying his girlfriend, can't bring himself to "break my promise or forget my vows" and ends up "praying for the end of time so I can end my time with you." Since he's supposed to be the same protagonist as the title track (who dies in a motorcycle crash), it may be case of Be Careful What You Wish For.
- Didn't Think This Through: The couple in "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" (or at least the boy) make a life-long decision based on the hormones of the moment. It doesn't end well.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: The opening to the title track goes on for over two minutes before Meat finally begins singing.
- Epic Rocking: "Bat Out of Hell", "For Crying Out Loud" and "Paradise by the Dashboard Light".
- The "I Love You" Stigma: In "Paradise By the Dashboard Light", the girlfriend asks the boyfriend if he loves her before letting him have sex with her. He tries to stall ("let me sleep on it"), but after persistent hounding he gives in and swears to love her until the end of time... which he instantly regrets. In early live shows, they even start arguing about divorce and she threatens to take their child.
- Incredibly Long Note: There's one near the end of the title track.
- Lyrical Dissonance: The title track describes a gory crash, set to epic rock music. "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" is about a couple reminiscing about Their First Time, after which they rush into marriage and he ends up hating hernote , likewise set to epic rock.
- Mood Whiplash: The girl interrupts Phil Rizzuto's commentary in "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" to demand a declaration of undying love. The boy promises eternal faithfulness just to get on with it, but regrets it afterward.
- Rock Opera: "Bat Out of Hell" and "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" both tell a self-contained story. The remainder of the album, while not operatic in theme, certainly has a Wagnerian vibe to it.
- Spoken Word in Music:
- The dialogue in the opening of "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth".
- Phil Rizzuto's play-by-play on "Paradise By the Dashboard Light".
- Their First Time: "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" tells the story of a high school couple ("barely seventeen") having sex in the car.
- Unwanted Spouse: At the end of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light", it becomes more clear that the protagonist hates his wife and regrets the marriage.
- Updated Re-release: Subsequent versions of the album added "Dead Ringer For Love" and later live versions of "Bolero" and "Bat Out Of Hell" to the end.