Behind the Song Lyrics: “Bat Out of Hell,” Meat Loaf

The album “Bat Out of Hell” is recorded in about 10 minutes, opening one of the top 10 best-selling albums of all time with the same name. Meaning “moving too fast,” the origins of the phrase “pat from hell” mirrored the Meatluv epic, the rock epic.

Originally written as a “motorcycle crash song” by the late writer and pianist Jim Steinman, songwriter and longtime Met Love collaborator, the lyrics address the aftermath of a disastrous car accident.

And the last thing I see is that my heart is still beating
Get out of my body and fly away
Like a bat from hell

Cinematic from its inception, “Bat Out of Hell” is about Meat Loaf vocals, which comes about two minutes after the song. Inspired by the Shangri-Las motorcycle tragedy 1965 “Leader of the Pack,” some elements of the song were also pulled from the opening scene of the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock thriller sociological patientwhile the viewer looks down the valley and sees the lights of the city.

Singing about tragedy, danger, and forbidden love, “Bat Out of Hell” sings quickly through its story.

But I gotta get out, I gotta get out now
Before the last dawn
So we have to make the most of one night together
When you’re done, you know
We’ll both be alone

Like a bat from hell I’ll go when the morning comes
When the night is over, like a bat from hell, I’ll go, go, go
Like a bat from hell I’ll go when the morning comes
But when the day ends
And the sun goes down
And the moonlight shines through
Then as a sinner before the gates of heaven
I’ll come crawling on your back

Initially, Todd Rundgren, who produced Bats from HellHe wasn’t a fan of the title track’s structure, but Steinman convinced him to play guitar and even cast motorcycle sounds halfway into the song.

“If you don’t get past the top, how will you see what’s on the other side?” Steinman said in a 2019 interview about the premiere of his musical “Pat from Hell – Music, that first appeared in the United States

Originally written for Steinman’s UK stage production of Neverlandfuturistic rock Peter Pan When Bats from Hell The album debuted in 1977 and also included two additional songs from the play, including “All Revved Up with No Place to Go” and “Heaven Can Wait.”

In 1995 Steinman trademarked “Bat Out of Hell” and was subsequently sued by Meat Loaf in 2006, who wanted to use it as the title of his 2006 album, the third part of the trilogy, Pat from Hell III: loose monster. Although Steinman worked with Meat Loaf in 1993 for Pat from Hell II: Back to Helland also writing the first hit “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do It),” producer Desmond Child joined Meat Luv in the final match. Bats from Hell Released in 2006.

Steinman and Meat Luv later buried their feud and remained friends, until Steinman’s death in 2021. Met Luv even used seven of Steinman’s songs in Pat from Hell III. Steinman even called Meat Luv his “greatest inspiration”, calling it “a rock and roll giant with an operatic voice.”

Upon its release, Bat Out of Hell has sold over 43 million copies and has been certified 14 times platinum by the RIAA. Although Bat Out of Hell was never released as a single in the United States, it had some of its first play on radio, despite its 9 minute 10 second runtime.

“I know there are people who think I was Dr. Jim Frankenstein’s Frankenstein monster, but that’s not how it went at all,” Met Love said in a 2019 interview. “I never do anything the way the writer intended,” the singer added of how he handled Bat Out of Hell, or any other Steinman penned song.

He added, “It was written by Jim, but it became my song.”

Photo: Meatloaf / YouTube


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