Remembering Meat Loaf, 1947-2022

Marvin Lee Aday who made his name as a larger-than-life rock singer named Meat Loaf, died Thursday at 74 in Austin. He had been born in Texas as well, but lived a lot of his life in Connecticut, where he spent a lot of time out of the limelight coaching girls’ softball in Redding.

He had memorable moments in films like “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and in a lesser-known favorite of mine, “Roadie.” But he blew up to unimaginable heights on the basis of his 1977 “Bat Out of Hell” that has so far sold anywhere from 21 to 43 million copies, depending where you look. Either way, it’s one of the best selling albums of all time, behind “Thriller,” “Back in Black” and “The Bodyguard” but ahead of the Eagles and Pink Floyd.

The album of teen-age angst with epic songs created with writer Jim Steinman was on the charts for 82 weeks, producing such anthems as “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (featuring the only Top 40 appearance by baseball’s Phil Rizzuto) and “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth.” 

It also launched a musical in 2017 and two sequels. I talked to him about the time of the release of “Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell,” which came 16 years after the first one and would go on to sell 14 million copies. (“Bat Out of Hell III” would come out in 2006).

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