Released way back in 1978, Meatloaf’s debut album is a timeless classic that will resonate down the ages.
I first came across this in 6th form in the early 90’s, and this was music that instantly spoke to my hormone raddled frustrated teen self. All revved up and no place to go indeed. This was music that I understood, made by someone who understood what life was about at that age. The bleak nihilism, the frustration, the crude humour, the sheer energy that needed some form of release.
Nearly 20 years later and my more mature self still appreciates this album. Apart from the nostalgia value there is so much here that is just so darned good. The title track is a classic that needs no introduction. From the opening piano riff to Meatloaf’s final desperate howl this is a song that just grabs you by the balls and keeps you gripped for its entire 10 minute run time. It’s a song I just love to scream along to in the car, it’s a great track for releasing any pent up energy and frustration. Not that I have as much now as I did back in 6th form.
The album then continues with a set of songs equally dark and frustrated, dealing with the main preoccupations of the teen mind, sex and death. The final two tracks are genius, with the epic, operatic, grandiose, bombastic ‘Paradise by the dashboard light’ seguing into the simple, plaintive ‘for crying out loud’ – it almost feels like the afterglow after the album has climaxed, slowly building to a second crescendo that almost outdoes the first.
A work of genius that will cry out for the rest of time. 5 stars.