Meat Loaf is an American rock singer, musician and actor, who is noted for the Bat Out of Hell album trilogy consisting of Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose. Bat Out of Hell has sold more than 43 million copies. After more than 30 years, it still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually and stayed on the charts for over nine years, making it one of the best selling albums of all time.
Meat Loaf has also appeared in over 50 movies or television shows, sometimes as himself or as characters resembling his stage persona. His most notable roles include Eddie in the American premiere of The Rocky Horror Show and The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Robert "Bob" Paulson in Fight Club. He has released 11 studio albums, five live albums, seven compilation albums, one EP and 39 singles.
During the winter of 1973, Meat Loaf received a call asking him to be in The Rocky Horror Show asking him to play the parts of Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott. The success of the play led to the filming of The Rocky Horror Picture Show where Meat Loaf played only Eddie. About the same time, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman started work on Bat out of Hell. Meat Loaf convinced Epic Records to shoot videos for four songs, "Bat Out Of Hell," "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," "You Took the Words Right out of My Mouth" and "Two out of Three Ain't Bad." He then convinced Lou Adler, the producer of Rocky Horror, to run the "Paradise" video as a trailer to the movie.
During his recording of the soundtrack for Rocky Horror, Meat Loaf recorded two more songs: "Stand by Me" (a Ben E. King cover), and "Clap Your Hands." They remained unreleased until 1984, when they appeared as B-sides to the "Nowhere Fast" single. In October 1977,
Bat Out of Hell was released and Meat Loaf and Steinman formed the band The Neverland Express to tour in support of Bat Out of Hell. Bat Out of Hell has sold over 43 million copies worldwide, making it one of the highest selling albums of all time. In the UK alone, its 2.1 million sales put it in 38th place. Despite peaking at #9 and spending only two weeks in the top ten in 1981, it has now clocked up 474 weeks on the UK album chart, a figure bettered only by Rumours by Fleetwood Mac - 478 weeks. In Australia, it knocked the Bee Gees off the number #1 spot and went on to become the biggest-selling Australian album of all time for several years.
In 1984, Meat Loaf went to England, to record the album Bad Attitude, which included a duet with Roger Daltrey and two songs written by Jim Steinman; the recording of the album was rushed. During the tour to support the album, Leslie (Meat Loaf's girlfriend) had a nervous breakdown and had to check into the Silver Hill Hospital rehab facility in Connecticut. Things finally looked like they were going to turn around in 1986, when Meat Loaf found a new writer, John Parr, and started recording a new album, Blind Before I Stop. Unfortunately, the producer put a dance beat underneath every song, which resulted in critical failure and Meat Loaf going bankrupt, eventually losing everything. His relationships with lifelong friend Jim Steinman and Leslie also deteriorated.
To try to get his career back off the ground, Meat Loaf started touring small venues, such as pubs and clubs. This carried on until the late '80s, where he began to sell out arenas and stadiums again. Because of the success of the touring, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman began to work on Bat Out Of Hell II which was finally released in 1993, sixteen years after Bat Out Of Hell. The album was a huge success and is considered one of the greatest comebacks in music history.
The album sold over 15 million copies, and the single "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" reaching number one in 28 countries. Meat Loaf won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo in 1994 for "I'd Do Anything for Love". This song stayed at #1 in the UK charts for seven consecutive weeks. The single features a female vocalist who was credited only as "Mrs. Loud." Mrs. Loud was later identified as Lorraine Crosby, a performer from North East England. Meat Loaf promoted the song with American vocalist Patti Russo who performed lead female vocals on tour with him. In Germany, Meat Loaf became notably popular following the release of Bat out of Hell II but has enjoyed most of his success among pop/rock fans.
Meat Loaf attempted to follow the success of "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" by releasing "Rock 'n' Roll Dreams Come Through" as a follow-up which reached #13 in the US.
In 1995, Meat Loaf released his seventh studio album, Welcome to the Neighborhood. The album went platinum in the United States and the UK. It released three singles which all hit the top 40, including "I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth)" and "Not a Dry Eye in the House".
In 1998, Meat Loaf released The Very Best of Meat Loaf. The album featured all of Meat Loaf's best-known songs, a few from his less popular albums from the 1980s, and three new songs.
In February 2004, Meat Loaf performed his classics with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, titled Bat out of Hell: Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He went as far as to bring in the Australian Boys' Choir to do back-up on a Couldn't Have Said It Better track, "Testify". The show went on to spawn a DVD and a CD called Meat Loaf and The Neverland Express featuring Patti Russo Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose was released in October 2006 and the first single from the album, "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (featuring Marion Raven) was released. It entered the UK singles chart at #6, giving Meat Loaf his highest UK chart position in nearly 11 years. The album debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 and sold 81,000 copies in its opening week, but after that did not sell well in the U.S. and yielded no hit singles, although it was certified gold. The album also featured duets with Patti Russo and Jennifer Hudson.
In May 2009, Meat Loaf began work on the album Hang Cool Teddy Bear in the studio with Green Day's American Idiot album producer Rob Cavallo, working with such writers as Justin Hawkins, Rick Brantley, Tommy Henriksen and Jon Bon Jovi. The album is based on the story of a fictional soldier, whose "story" furnishes the theme.
Hell In A Handbasket was released in October 2011 for Australia/New Zealand, and in February 2012 for the rest of the world. Meat Loaf has eight songs for an intended album after Hell in a Handbasket and is planning to release a Christmas album in 2012.