A passing: Jim Steinman (1947-2021)

Jim Steinman dead at age 73 of stroke complications. Jim wrote all the songs in the awesome album “Bat out of Hell” all sung by “Meat Loaf” born Marvin Lee Aday, overweight rocker since high school. Meat Loaf’s interpretations of Jim’s songs became one of the biggest-selling albums of all time in 1977, after being initially turned downed down by virtually every record label.

According to Meat Loaf’s autobiography, the band spent most of 1975, and two-and-a-half years, auditioning “Bat out of Hell” and being rejected.His works tended to be vivid in their imagery and heavy on drama. The album contained only seven dramatic, operatic songs filled with teen-angst. Jim wrote several other songs for other artists but “Bat” was his magnum opus. Jim was to Meat loaf as Bernie Taupin was to Elton John for 50 years, neither survivable without the other.

The lead song details a motorcycle crash, a mini-opera in itself. “Paradise by the dashboard light” is almost eight minutes long narrating a sexual tug of war in the front seat between a teen guy and a resistant female the play-by-play narrated by Yankee broadcaster Phil Rizzuto.

Jim attended Amherst College in Massachusetts where he was such a mediocre student that he was unlikely to graduate. He did graduate and later in life accepted an honorary doctorate in music and a standing ovation from Amherst. Upon Steinman’s death, rock writer Paul Stenning wrote that Jim left a “tremendous legacy”, referring to him as a great composer of symphonic rock and citing him as an influence on a variety of bands across many genres.

Below is an early photo of both artists (1978) and a clip of the classic album coverBelow is a brief YouTube clip from “Bat outta Hell” featuring Meat Loaf in fine form.

Start at 4;40 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QGMCSCFoKA

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