Bat Out of Hell is the 1978 album by American pop singer Meat Loaf. The album was produced by blues rocker Jimi Hendrix for a session that took place at Santa Monica’s Knackenstage. During the sessions, an inspired Meat Loaf offered to play on the song for free, but it was only a one-minute composition. It eventually became an instant classic and remains one of the hardest-selling albums ever.
Guitar legend Jack Bruce wrote and performed most of the original songs on the album. Some tracks were performed live at the Montreaux Festival in France. Guitarists John Entwistle, Neil Young, and Ginger Baker provided backing vocals. Guitar player John Paul Jones adds some guitar solos and goes into stuttering in the middle of some songs. Vocals are provided by backups by bassist Paul McCartney.
The guitar solos on this album are probably the strongest and most memorable on any album. They move both the band and listener with their fluid playing. “Don’t Play This Song” contains the classic guitar riff from the cover of Steely Dan’s Surf, and is played completely solo by guitarist Joe Perry. The song has a heavy acoustic sound, similar to songs by Black Sabbath. The song’s lyrics deal with the conflict going on between an ex-lover and his current girlfriend, as he tries to win her back.
The first verse of “I’m a Believer” takes the reader directly into the guitar music, as a hypnotic groove flows from beginning to end. As the lyrics are sung by the lead guitarist, they are sung in the present tense. This lyric deals with a personification of faith. The lyrics also contain a few spiritual references that may be interpreted as positive messages from God.
Guitar solos featured on this album are quite masterful and impressive. The first solo performance by Paul McCartney comes in the form of a cover of The Beatles'” Yesterday.” The song starts off with a strange backwards message, which quickly changes to a familiar guitar lick. For anyone familiar with The Beatles, this will be a pleasing change to hear. The music takes a more religious bent than most other songs from The Beatles. Some of the guitar riffs on this track are similar to” Abbey Road” from The Beatles’ last album, Please!
The second verse finds the guitarist backing tracks for a heavy blues number, “My Sweet Lord.” While the music here may seem more blues based than what we’ve come to expect from The Beatles, it still contains a few interesting musical flourishes. “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face” sounds very much like a John Lennon song. Other songs on the album touch on topics such as love and betrayal, while the title track reflects on personal relationships.
The most disturbing aspect of The Beatles: Bat Out Of Hell is the sound effects. There are moments where the music is interrupted and eerie noises seem to accompany some of the most frightening events The Beatles have experienced (most notably when John is hit by a car in the lyrics). In addition, there are plenty of creepy creatures prowling throughout the album’s eerie ballad. These creatures include a massive spider, bat-like creatures, and the immortal “Zelghorne,” who continually repeat his mantra.
Many fans of The Beatles’ music, both old and new, consider The Beatles: Bat Out Of Hell to be one of the band’s greatest albums. Some fans consider it to be their favorite Beatles album, or perhaps their favorite The Beatles album all together. Regardless of which camp you fall into, you will likely enjoy listening to this album as many times as you can. If you have not yet heard the album, why not check it out? You won’t regret it!