Thursday, August 5, 2010

Music for the Writer's Soul: Meatloaf

Meatloaf, born Marvin Lee Aday, on first look doesn't seem the type to inspire romance. Heavyset, long scraggly hair are the first physical impressions. But then he sings. He doesn't have a perfect voice but the passion is unmistakable. And that's sexy as hell.

While working on Rocky Horror Picture Show, Meatloaf began collaborating with songwriter, Jim Steinman, on the album Bat Out of Hell. Jim Steinman's lyrics are amazing. I suffer from jealousy at his ability to craft a phrase every time I hear his songs. Add Meatloaf's intense vocals and no wonder Bat Out of Hell became a huge success.

It released in 1977. I was seventeen and fascinated by the music. Especially--like all teenagers at the time--with Paradise By The Dashboard Lights. *cackle* Who expected the twist at the end of the song?

The album wasn't an overnight success. Probably because the songs were so long. Unusual in a world where most songs were cut to 3-4 minutes of radio play. And in the dark ages before MTV, radio play meant success. But the album has stood the test of time, becoming one of the most sold albums in the world.

When I returned to the States from duty in Germany in 1982, MTV had been out maybe a year or two. In the beginning, MTV was all videos, all the time. No reality shows, no talk shows. Just videos. And I loved it! Any time I was home, MTV was on. And Meatloaf's videos hooked me even more. His videos weren't just watching a performance of a song. They were mini-movies with a fabulous sound track.

While Meatloaf's career had plenty of ups and downs--addiction, ill health, family problems--his music continues. His varied career includes movie and television credits as well.

One of my favorite videos--and songs--is Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer than They Are. The song is about loss of a friend, loss of youth and even loss of virginity. The story is haunting, the video is beautiful and Meatloaf's performance is sexy. Now that's romantic inspiration.


Lisabet Sarai said...

Meatloaf has been one of my favorite artists ever since I first heard "Bat Out of Hell". It's the emotional intensity that does it--anger, desperation, lust and deep, deep love.

(It doesn't hurt that he looks a bit like one of my great loves. It's not the looks that get to me, anyway..)


Shayla Kersten said...

His passion is what makes him attractive. How can someone not respond to it! Thank you for stopping by!

J Hali said...

WOW! I saw this on Romance Lives Forever and had to come over and comment. I actually listened to I'd Do Anything for Love for hours, and it was the driving force behind one of my stories. Thought I was the only one who loved Meatloaf!

Shayla Kersten said...

Hiya, J Hali! I love I'd Do Anything For Love! The lyrics are some of those that make me so envious of Jim Steinman! Come on, who wouldn't envy the phrase "can you colorize my life, I'm so sick of black and white" or "hose me down with holy water when I get too hot"?

It's a fantastic song! I can see it inspiring a story!

Thanks for stopping by!