Every now and then it happens that a rock musician exhausts himself with a single success, his powder misses - because the creative forces are not enough for another one, but also because savoring this one success is so incredibly exhausting. Joe Cocker almost did that after his mammoth tour Mad Dogs & Englishmen in 1970 if manager and producer hadn't given him a little help to get him back on his feet. Meat Loaf wasn't that, well, lucky and now that he has died at the age of seventy-four, he goes down in rock, or rather rock opera history, as probably the most blatant case of a one-hit wonder. After "Bat Out Of Hell" (1977) was cannibalized in just about every way, he found that his four-octave voice and business relationship with Jim Steinman,who had written the songs for him on the heavy body, were ruined.

Edo Reents

Editor in the Feuilleton.

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Meat Loaf, a native of Dallas, Texas, roamed between California and Detroit, starring in Off-Broadway productions and in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1976) until Wagnerian and former piano student Jim Steinman identified him as a suitable discovered a vessel for his adolescent and megalomaniac fantasies of redemption.

From his contemporary, aptly adapted Peter Pan musical "Never Land" he distilled with master producer Todd Rundgren what became the delight of teenagers and an impetus for serious criticism under the title "Bat Out Of Hell".

Songs like "Paradise By The Dashboard Light", "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad" and especially "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth", which Meat Loaf roared with full physical exertion, proved that you can't do it anymore could apply thick enough. Rolling Stone magazine heard "Motorcycles copulating in oil-drenched ecstasy, an adolescent libido revving their lecherous engines, a libretto written on the bathroom mirror in Clerasil, and a soundtrack written for one of Jack Nicholson's early bikers." -Epics would have been good enough".

Basically, the record, which was replaced as the best-selling record by AC/DC's "Back In Black", but also merely articulated, in a parodically exaggerated way, classic adolescent longings and fantasies that have been known since the 1950s ; a contemporary Marlon Brando and James Dean soundtrack for a generation that began gulping popcorn and Coca-Cola at the movies.

It's significant that Meat Loaf, who was given the nickname by his alcoholic father and his football coach, didn't make a splash again until 1993's rehash of Bat Out Of Hell II: Back To Hell. The Grammy-winning song "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" sounded like nothing had ever happened and appeased the suddenly reawakened general bombast yearning; only Meat Loaf's voice had lost power and regained pitch.

Marvin Lee Aday was unlucky or, as you put it, fortunate, to have to or be allowed to exert himself in a decade in which the slogan "bigger than life" had nothing offensive, but also had its limits.

The fact that he took it upon himself to lure people who actually didn't like rock music at all with this XXL format and, so to speak, last-ditch effort, indicates that Meat Loaf was personally no stranger to self-mockery and self-distance.