Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What Meatloaf again?

Christine came into my office the other day to talk about something while I was streaming Virgin Radio from the UK. They play a nice, eclectic--which should be my middle name I guess--mixture of new and classic rock and I inexplicably find it cool to listen to what's their late show while it's the middle of the afternoon in Sidland.

As we talked, Bat Out of Hell came on and I turned up the volume.

"Not many people go, `Meat Loaf's on turn it up,'" Christine chided.

"That was a very popular album," I countered and jacked the volume higher for the chorus. Christine was talking about deocrating or something--nothing serious like rock and roll or whether James West could beat up Capt. Kirk.

As the hard-boiled imagry of Jim Steinman's lyrics unrolled, I was reminded of how horroresque Meat Loaf music's trappings are.

A horror place
The album covers and the videos have always appealed to the autumn side of me that likes Stephen King, Poe, rustling leaves and a full moon through rickety, leafless branches. Ozzy gets front-of-the-mind awareness for horror themes, he turned into a werewolf, but M.L. helped me get into a horror writing place many times.

The "Bat Out of Hell" video opens with eerie shots of a full moon through twisted trees, and the images in "I Would Do Anything For Love" are like 10 cool horror movies condensed to a few minutes. The shots of the guys searching dark domains with flashlights always makes me want to be at a keyboard, walking characters through similar chilling scenes.

I don't know what "Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose" holds. There's unfortunate legal wrangling and unrest between Loaf and Steinman, but I'll be glad when that's over and the album hits the shelves and iPods in October. What better month for it's release?


Charles Gramlich said...

Bat out of Hell was an incredible album, but I have to admit I thought of it more on a sexy front than as horror. Actually, it melded the two, of course. I remember one of my favorite lyrics of all time was: "On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?" There we have it, sex and horror. Oh my.

Andy said...

Sidney, hi. I first of all wanted to say thank you for your kind words on my blog - as I think I said there in response to you, such comments are gratefully received and mean a lot.

Second, I wanted to let you know I've added you to my blogroll. Being me I have to be a bit different, so my blogroll is actually entitled 'elsewhere' and, with you being a fellow scribe you'll find your link in the 'bookworms' section. I am grateful for your own link to my site.

Last but not least, Meatloaf. Ah, Meatloaf. In liking the guy - and indeed, a fair bit of rock music - I have always been somewhat left of the majority of others in what is supposed to be my gay community (and anyway, I prefer to consider myself a member of the evolved human community, much healthier I think in the long run). Don't get me wrong, I love disco and happy house and all that malarkey - but I won't be confined to any musical creed.

Meatloaf is wonderfully overblown and dramatic thanks mostly to Jim Steinman's lyrics and Meatloaf's own formerly impressive stature on stage (though I hear he's slimmed down these days).

I'm not sure about the trend in recent years for album sequels. How many Tubular Bells have there been by now, I wonder? Mike Oldfield makes money now by trading on that one, original, album but Meatloaf, I would have thought, could trade on his name and not rely on a title for his album which was truly noticeable and different decades ago but now smacks of Return to the Cash Till.

I wonder who's next for the album sequel gravy train among my favourite bands? I have diverse tastes, so among them I may find The Human League producing Dare 2 or David Bowie coming up with The Resurrection of Ziggy Stardust.

Of course, remixes are worse at times. Donna Summer has felt love more times than I've had hot dinners, while Candi Staton keeps telling us you got the love every few years.

I'd love to see Meatloaf do an album where he duets with the most unlikely contemporary stars. I wouldn't like to make any suggestions but the man needs to look forwards, not backwards. He's a rock legend I don't like to see turning to the dark side of easy money as he gets older. We've enough of that behaviour from The Rolling Stones.

Anyway, that's all for now. Thanks for an interesting post. x

Andy said...

I meant to also say, given you're a cat owner yourself, you might be interested to read the latest post on my own dear departed. It's a near-novella but makes, I hope, for good and not-too-sentimental reading. It's hard as a writer touching upon things dear to you but I hope so far in my honest documentation of recent events to have given people story without sugar, and some thinking material too.

Your blog is great fun to read. Love the story you relate about your hand - we've started getting French wasps in the UK now the climate is hotting up and they're big, scary buggers. Mostly found in the south of England to date, you see one of those, you run - unlike the usually timid British wasps who won't sting you unless you annoy them. Obviously, your variety felt somewhat aggrieved and took their revenge... Hope it's feeling somewhat better now. x

T L Reynolds said...

I just finished reading "The Handbook" and I picked a great time to delve into this story...We were talking about transitions on the Write Stuff blog and I admitted that this is one of my weaknesses, but that it really doesn't apply to fiction.

This story is the perfect example. There is no segue before the line, "The next day I was dead." But this is what makes the line so powerful. Good stuff.
(aside) Sorry about your kitty, Andy.

Sidney said...

Many thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. One day there is supposed to be an audio adaptation of that story though the project is currently delayed.

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