Michael Lee Aday, better known to the world as Meat Loaf, passed away last week. In The Wall Street Journal, Dominic Green discusses Meat Loaf’s career, writing:
Meat Loaf met his Wagner in 1973, in the form of the composer, lyricist, producer and playwright Jim Steinman, when Meat Loaf auditioned for a Steinman musical, “More Than You Deserve.” It took them four years to get “Bat Out of Hell” into the studio, onto a major label, and into the shops.
Their passion and persistence was of a piece with their music: obsessive, grandiose, perverse. The critics always hated it. “If this isn’t adolescent angst in its death throes, then Buddy Holly lived his sweet, unselfconscious life in vain,” wrote Robert Christgau, the eminence of serious rock critics, in 1978. But the public got the joke and the honest enthusiasm that powered Meat Loaf’s high-camp rock.
Rock fans also got the quality of the songs and the performances. Tracks like “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” “All Revved Up With No Place to Go” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” became radio perennials, and are now seen as classics from the golden age of rock.