Classic Albums

Sat 23/10/99, ITV

Bat Out of Hell

This occasional series focuses on classic rock albums, in this case Bat Out of Hell. In the mid-70s song-writer Jim Steinman was working in musical theatre when a singer with the strange name of Meat Loaf auditioned for a play. Soon afterwards the two of them were developing an album of songs, based on Meat's teenage experiences and Jim's fascination with road crash songs. For a couple of years they presented their ideas to many producers and record companies but were repeatedly turned down. However Todd Rundgren, who had created many theatrical shows himself, saw the potential of the music and proceeded to produce the record, funding the project from his own pocket. Even then getting a record company to release the album was difficult, and it took over a year of constant touring before the record hit in the US although sales eventuially reached over 30 million worldwide. As well as reprising the music, the programme also interviewed the major players who described in detail the piecing together of the elements that made this a classic album. I'm not a huge Meat Loaf fan but Todd is God and it was good to see him getting so much credit for the success. ****

[Clive James Meets - The Cops - Coronation Street - Correspondent]

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