How Meat Loaf Made a Cult Favorite: ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’

One of those admirers was artist Todd Rundgren, who mistakenly thought Meat Loaf and Steinman had a record deal, agreeing to produce “Bat Out of Hell.” (When the truth came out, he also agreed to sponsor the record.) In the fall of 1975, the musicians convened at Bearsville Studio in Woodstock, NY, where they were joined by the members. the band Rundgren’s Utopia, as well as Weinberg and Roy Bittan, who played the piano for the E Street Band.

Sulton said the group “all had a hand” in the arrangement of the songs. “The first time I heard ‘Paradise,’ I remember thinking ‘obviously what the song is,’” he said. “It was like a boogie-woogie shuffle, and then there was the Phil Spector part, and then a bit of ‘Thunder Road’. The song was created for us to the fullest when only Jim played the piano and Meat Loaf sang live. “

After practice, the band recorded “Paradise” in parts, without vocals. Weinberg said Steinman pushed him to play “like an out-of-control teenager.” “The drumming of teenagers is overplayed and very historic; it’s like a spice, because it’s not something you want to do all the time,” he said. “But he would tell me to hit those hard enough to make them fall, and you can hear it in ‘Paradise.’ Towards the end, I’m just slamming the cymbals. ”

Foley’s vocals were recorded in one go. “I did my part personally, but I had Meat in my room so I could act and sing with him,” she said. “We both have personalities; he’s a terrible, scared, horny guy. ” Dodd, one of the few people present in the room when Meat Loaf recorded his own vocals, said Meat Loaf also performed the character as he sang. The original recording was longer, at about 11 minutes; Dodd said about three minutes of the background vocals at the beginning of the song were cut off.

Even with a completed album, Meat Loaf and Steinman had trouble finding a record deal. Dodd recalls recording executive Clive Davis telling Steinman “that he had to learn how to write rock ‘n’ roll.” But in the end, the album was accepted and released by Cleveland International Records executive Steve Popovich, and it gradually gained attention upon its release in 1977. Its popularity was boosted by a promotional video clip for “Paradise”, in which Meat Loaf and singer Karla DeVito – lip-syncing to Foley’s vocals – perform on stage.

In his 2011 book “I Want My MTV,” Meat Loaf said he secured the video slot before midnight screenings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” “It’s still the number one selling album in Dutch history, and I’ve never played there,” he said. “It’s all because of the ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ video.” How Meat Loaf Made a Cult Favorite: ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’

Fry Electronics Team

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