So, for the second week running, I find myself having to write about the passing of a legend. Last week I dodged the sadness of Ronnie Spector’s death by passing it to a fellow blogger who had already written a beautiful piece which said all that I wanted to say, but I suspect the love from the blogging community at the news that Michael Lee Aday aka Meat Loaf has died may be a little thinner on the ground.
So here’s the first thing I want to say: Bat Out of Hell is a great record. Just because it’s one of the most commercially successful records ever does not make it a bad record. You know that phrase: 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong? Well, yes they can, but in the case of Bat Out of Hell (and, fair dues, Elvis too) they’re not.
I’ve written about my love for that album before, here, should you wish to check it out.
Although he hasn’t made a record I liked for 40 years or so, and anything he did release which didn’t involve Jim Steinman should really be avoided, I loved Meat Loaf for he was the soundtrack to a part of my youth.
There was a really good documentary on BBC4 last night about him, called Meat Loaf: In and Out of Hell which I can thoroughly recommend. If you’re in the UK it’s currently available to stream on the BBC iPlayer.
But I’ve noticed a worrying trend starting with these two most recent celebrity deaths. Is there a link? Or is this just a way for me to shoehorn a loads of great songs into one post?
Well, the latter, obviously.
I speak of course of the By My Baby drums.
Listen to this:
That there drum fill at the start of the record, echoed throughout, is an iconic pop sound, often lifted, appropriated, referenced, stolen, call it what you will by acts that followed.
For example, here’s a song by Meat Loaf which has it all the way through:
So if the curse of the Be My Baby drums is true (which it isn’t) then this lot need to start worrying:
(Tempting fate a bit with that title, Lana…)
Ah. Fair point. Bit late to warn her, I suppose.
Still, this just proves my point (which I’m obviously not seriously making).