The world of rock ‘n’ roll shines a little darker today as we mourn the loss of one of the finest voices of music history. Meat Loaf - real name Michael Lee Aday - has passed away at the age of 74 from causes as yet unconfirmed. His death comes almost exactly nine months after the death of his long-time collaborator and songwriter Jim Steinman.

Meat Loaf performing live in 2003 / Image credit: Sven Simon/DPA/PA Images

Meat Loaf performing live in 2003 / Image credit: Sven Simon/DPA/PA Images

With twelve albums under his belt and more than 100 million records sold worldwide, not to mention appearances in iconic films like Spice World, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club, Meat Loaf is the true definition of a legend - even if his opinions were sometimes controversial. 

Here are some of his most memorable songs that will keep his rock legacy alive for many generations to come.

Bat Out of Hell

Meat Loaf is hardly known for short songs, and this is definitely one of the longer ones. It clocks in at nearly 10 minutes, but still remains one of the most unskippable rock tunes ever recorded. The seamless transition from chilling horror to wholesome romance is something only Jim Steinman could manage lyrically and Meat Loaf could manage vocally. 

You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)

With an evocative spoken word intro by Jim Steinman and Marcia McClain, this steamy romantic number was Steinman’s attempt at a pop song, and a short one (for him) at just over 5 minutes. It featured on Meat Loaf’s 1977 debut album Bat Out of Hell and reminds one of the greatest Meat Loaf anthems ever written.

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Yet another from Bat Out of Hell, this heartbreaking soft rock tune was one of the simpler Meat Loaf tunes thematically and yet such an emotional concept. It’s about a man who’s attracted to a woman, but can’t find it in him to fall in love with her because of his own unrequited love for someone in his past.

Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Why does this feel even longer than Bat Out of Hell when it’s half a minute shorter? It might have something to do with the multi-movement aspect which breaks the song down into movement I Paradise, movement II Let Me Sleep on It and movement III Praying for the End of Time. Either way, it’s humorously romantic, as it explores a man who in a desire to get his leg over, promises to love his girl to the end of time - and then finds himself regretting that vow.

Dead Ringer for Love

Taken from the 1981 album Dead Ringer, this country-tinged track featuring Cher was co-produced by Interscope co-founder Jimmy Iovine. It tells of a man shunning the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for love, which is quite poignant when you realise that Meat Loaf had to come off drugs and take time away from touring in order to record the album.

I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)

Without doubt Meat Loaf’s most popular hit, I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) topped the charts in 28 countries including the US and UK. In fact, it was the best-selling single in the UK of 1993 and won Meat Loaf a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance. Featuring Lorraine Crosby on guest vocals, the song appeared on Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, plus it came with a video directed by Michael Bay which is a loose re-telling of the tale of Beauty and the Beast.

Everything Louder than Everything Else

Preceded on the album by Steinman’s intense monologue Wasted Youth, this track is essentially the follow-on musical number all about the rock ‘n’ roll, wild lifestyles of the young. At 8 minutes long, it’s another one of Meat Loaf’s long numbers, but again it’s an unskippable track from Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell.

MORE: Meat Loaf 'seriously ill with COVID-19' before death

Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul

Meat Loaf as ill-fated ex-delivery boy Eddie is one of the most underrated characters in 1975 cult musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He’s unequivocally seductive as he sings his rock anthem Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul (also known as Whatever Happened to Saturday Night). It’s such a good fit for him, it almost feels like Richard O’Brien wrote this especially for Meat Loaf.

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