Wednesday, May 04, 2005

… a big man with a big voice who sings big songs and has big hits …

The man (and group with the same name) with the most profound influence on me, whose songs have stuck a chord deep within me that no other singer or group can achieve…

No it’s not The Beatles’ Paul McCartney…

Keep guessing:

My first ever exposure to him was when Tini visited me in Dec ’90 in Oklahoma, bringing a tape of assorted songs, including one I immediately loved: “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad.” I didn’t remember the artist’s name then, but the song stayed with me…

It was a ballad about what goes around comes around… about having something done to you, and being totally devastated by it, and yet later finding yourself doing the same to another person. Perpetuating a harmful pattern… profound…

“I want you, I need you,
but there ain’t no way I’m ever going to love you;
don’t be sad, cos two out of three ain’t bad”

aduuuuuh…. Sedihnyeeeeeee!! : ( (

Fast forward to Fall ’91, my freshman year in college, pledging a professional chemistry fraternity, whose ‘unofficial house song’ was “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” Me being me, I threw myself into the thick of things, and borrowed the album “Bat out of Hell” to ‘study’ the song, but got hooked on so many of the other songs on there. They were not songs as much as ‘rock operas’… whole stories were told in one song, which may last between 6 to 10 minutes (as opposed to the usual 3 – 4 minutes).

And the play of words and innuendos: *so* totally up my alley, as those who have had exposure to my work will know…

“…you took the words right outta my mouth; musta been while you were kissing me…”

“…for crying out loud, you know I love you…”

“… I bet you say that to *all* the boys…”

“… can’t you see my faded Levi’s bursting apart…”

So much that can’t be captured in one line, you’d need to listen to the entire song to appreciate it… for example Bat out of Hell itself, and Heaven Can Wait, and Crying Out Loud, and omg just about every song on that album!!

Of course, Meat Loaf (just Meat to his fans) didn’t write these songs: that credit goes to one Jim Steinman. Consider songs like Air Supply’s “Making Love out of Nothing At All”, Bonnie Tyler’s “Looking Out For A Hero”, and Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”: these are some commercial hits you may know that stem from Steinman. However, despite low commercial acclaim, IMHO the Meat & Steinman combo is the best.

After all, to be honest, Meat has had more misses than hits, but his 2 (out of 3 so far) hits are albums produced with Steinman: Bat out of Hell and Bat out of Hell II.

Most people may have first heard of Meat by the hit on BatII: “I’d do anything for love (but I won’t do that)” with everyone having their own opinion on what “that” was! It was okay (if nothing else it was OVERPLAYED!): I was keen on many other songs in there, no matter that they did not get any airtime:

My absolute fave was a reluctant love song, that once again was *so* up my alley:

Is this a blessing? Or is it a curse?
Does it get any better? Can it get any worse?
Will it go on forever? Or is it over tonight?
Does it come with the darkness? Does it bring out the light?
Is it richer than diamonds?
Or just a little cheaper than spit?
I don’t know what it is but it just won’t quit

Another songs starts off with words that will always haunt me:

You can’t run away forever
But there’s nothing wrong with getting a good head start
You want to shut out the night
You want to shut down the sun
You want to shut away the pieces of a broken heart

I can’t do justice to the “guitar monologue” even if I reproduce the entire thing: imagine it having “… a heart of chrome and a voice like a horny angel…” and “...the blood of the guitar was Chuck Berry red…”

Other noteworthy lyrics:

“… Life is a lemon and I want my money back…”

“Somedays I pray for silence, somedays I pray for soul
Somedays I just pray to the gods of sex and drums and rock n roll”

“… can you colorize my life I’m so sick of black and white?”

“… who am I, why am I here?
Forget the question someone gimmie another beer!”

“… Don’t worry about the future – sooner or later it’s the past
If the thrill is gone then it’s time to take it back…”

“... they’ll never let a night like tonight go to waste
and let me tell you neither will you…”

This album was also cool for me because it featured artwork by Michael Whelan, some of which I recognized from the covers of Piers Anthony’s On A Pale Horse, and many of Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince & Dragon Star series (fantasy books, in case you're not familiar with these authors)

Meat’s latest album, Couldn’t Have Said It Better (CHSIB), was released in 2003… it was not a Meat/Steinman collaboration, but oh my, what an album!! I stumbled across the music video of the title track on the plane in Sept 2003 and liked what I heard, and finally found an expensive (SACD) CD a month later… but hey it was worth it! Listening to it for the first time sent shivers up my spine, and I got goosebumps all over! No kidding!!

And strangely enough, my life around that time took a sudden turn, and in certain aspects seemed mirrored in many of the songs on that album!

Some noteworthy lyrics, tho, as I said before, you would need to listen to the whole song to truly appreciate its beauty:

“… I’ll get the lights; you get that smile…”

“… And you say nothing at all; Well I couldn’t have said it better myself…”

“… the truth is hard to swallow when you’re choking on your pride …”

“… wish I could love you out loud, but I’ll just keep it to myself …”

“… this is big time, this is larger than life …”

It also includes a heartwrenching sequel of sorts to BatI’s “Two out of three Ain’t Bad”:

You know that I want you
You know that I need you baby
You know that I love you
So why isn’t that enough?

So, dear reader, if you feel that the current pop scene is just too ‘fluffy,’ or you just don’t relate to the hip-hop/R&B/whatever crap that seems to be on the air nowadays, why not check out Meat? I truly believe that you will not regret it.


btw: one huge disappointment I had was was finding out that Meat would be in Australia a month after I would be there for the Oz Tennis Openin Jan '04, and that that was his "Asian" leg of his world tour... sob sob!

However, it looks like he is touring this summer!! In the U.S.!! Kosh, make sure u r free, we are G O I N G !!!!!!!!! Malapetaka: he's gonna be at YOUR place on July 20th!

For those who wanna surf more, here's the Meat Fan Site.

(note: lyrics are shared here for educational purposes; any infringement of any copyright is unintentional. Please contact me if there is an issue. The email address is provided on the top of the page)


  1. At my place on the 20th July?
    Too bad but I won't by at my place on the 20th July, I'll be in Beijing brushing up on my Putonghua (sounds rude, but it really just means "common language":Mandarin)...

    P.S. I'm (was) more into Iron Maiden, especially the 7th Son of a 7th Son album, where every song in there was part of a bigger, overall story... I should have the cassette tape somewhere (yes, yes, it was before the CD boom, imagine how long ago that must have been...) ;-)

  2. ...come listen to Iron Maiden, baby, with me ... oh oh oh oooooooh...."

    i'm not a teenager anymore, but music does still strike a cord for me - especially random songs at random times. always liked the one above. and meat ("me@" :-P ) has quite a few that catch me at odd times ... good stuff.

    we'll try to work in a concert, maybe during an away rotation? now i know where i should try to apply.... :-)

  3. Hey Kosh, u certainly no teenager, hopefully no dirtbag neither! heehehehe!

    Y'know, it'd be p r e t t y sad if u choose yr away rotation based on meat's concert schedule! Bt would be cool lah :D


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