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Artist: Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf

Bio

Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday on September 27, 1947 in Dallas, Texas) is an American actor and rock and roll performer who came to fame with his album Bat Out of Hell and for his movie performances, including Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Robert "Bob" Paulson in Fight Club and Jack Black's father in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. Meat Loaf has had a very successful music career spawning some of the greatest selling albums of all time and breaking various records. Although he enjoyed success with Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell Trilogy, he experienced some initial difficulty establishing a steady career within the United States; however, he is considered a legend in the UK and across Europe. In the UK, he is ranked 23rd for number of weeks in the charts overall. Due to his anthemic songs and a performance for Radio Veronica in the Netherlands, he stormed up their Top 100 of all times making a top 10 spot 6 years in a row. He ranks at 96th on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock." His overall success in Europe and Australia has been exceptional and he is considered one of the top artists of all time. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.
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Articles

Meat Loaf: Wembley Arena, London NME, Jan 1981

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THEY'VE ASKED me to make this as short as the Loaf in question is large – but there’s a painful amount to be said. The descent into the heart of Meat Loaf is the descent into Morley’s "bloated carcass" of American rock’n’roll ITSELF.

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If Loaf was a tragic caged beast, if there was a lean soul straining to free itself of the mountainous rock blubber, what would one not give to be quashed under its mass? But think of the other great fat men of rock, figures whose Falstaffian girth is or was a matter almost of shame – Bob Hite, David Thomas (the omnipotence of Ubu Roi, Ubu Cocu, ... Ubu Enchaine?).

It makes you realise that the grotesque new icon of ML is proof that the svelte glam heroics of rock don’t any longer suffice, have exhausted their function of fantasy. Loaf is the Moby Dick that’s gorged itself on all the Ahab Alice Coopers and golden Jonah wunderkinds in the biz.

And still, for all this symbolic strain, Meat Loaf’s Wembley show is a very tepid affair. This is because he – we’ll grant it that pronoun – represents a swelling of highly false emotion for a similarly swollen middle mass of consumers, in turn consumed by the surrogate, pseudo-Dionysiac godhead he has assumed. Even though the theme is merely the tritely heroic one of Springsteen; that, even on the last lonely glory drive, "rock’n’roll is true", Loaf has, like Cronos, feasted titanically on his innocent children and become Rock’n’Roll.

The show is lifeless because the audience isn’t really an audience at all, but a body of consumption, and simultaneously because Loaf’s obese body is the antithesis of the mythic rock presence he is obviously concerned to embody. The horrible lump plods around, squatting and straining forward at the edge of the stage as though preparing to squeeze out a royal loaf of a turd. It’s not, after all, meat in that bulk but lard, the constipated pastry-base of a terminally bland rock sound. Loaf’s point is that he cannot excrete, that his grotesque attempts at passion are an expansion without release, a vast leakproof stuffing.

For the middle mass, then, of perms, dungarees, and TR7s, he is not a hopeless contradiction but a beautiful monster, almost bursting with the abundance of his "passion". Yet the contradiction is obvious: the huge hill of flesh (to borrow a phrase from Prince Hal) is screaming – fatly – about tenderness and touching. When he’s rocking – ‘Deadringer’, ‘Promised Land’ – the massive wall of four-guitar blandness is almost is equivalent to an effacement of hard rock ITSELF.

But he flounders about so petulantly in his amorphous morass of illusions that he becomes purely offensive. When finally he can no longer contain his self-love – and it may, as Gore Vidal once described Long Longford’s, be contagious – he bashes his mike repeatedly against his belly and goads on his audience to become a kind of gargantuan reflection and echo of himself. In the last resort he has no alternative but to fall and roll over like an elephant playing dead, only to rise awkwardly and explain to his worshipper that he knew if he fell down "you’d think I’d died and that way I could get your attention". It did make me aware of course, that he hadn’t held my proper attention for one moment.

It is strange the number of sinewy, athletic young men who admire Meat Loaf, who seem to want somehow to osmose into his vastness, to blow up physically as perhaps they cannot "passionately" in front of their girlfriends. And there is implicit pathos, if not catharsis, at work here. For Loaf is acting out the tumescent swelling of their lost desires, he is the solid objectification of some voice of love trying to escape its own flesh and mortality. A Meat Loaf congregation serves a very precise, a religious, function after all.

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Top Albums

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Bat Out Of Hell

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Bat Out of Hell 3 cover art

Bat Out of Hell 3

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Dead Ringer

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Recommended Albums

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Boston by Boston

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Recommended Songs

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Poison by Alice Cooper

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