20080228

Meat Loaf (and Jim Steinman)

A few years ago, I was looking after some song lyrics (don't remember exactly which song they belong to), and went into some of these web's that give you "you may also like this" links. Well, I looked into the lyrics of "For Crying Out Loud", by Meat Loaf (who I hadn't heard about, ever). This are the lyrics, and as almost all Steinman's-Meat Loaf songs, they are quite long. Just read the first few verses if you don't feel like reading:
I was lost till you were found
But I never knew how far down
I was falling
Before I reached the bottom
I was cold and you were fire
And I never knew how the pyre
Could be burning
On the edge of the ice field

And the now chilly california wind
Is blowing down our bodies again
And were sinking deeper and deeper into the chilly California sand
Oh I know you belong inside my aching heart
And cant you see my faded Levis bursting apart
And dont you hear me crying:
Oh babe, dont go
And dont you hear me screaming:
How was I to know?

Im in the middle of nowhere
Near the end of the line
But there's a border to somewhere waiting
And theres a tankful of time
Oh give me just another moment to see the light of the day
And take me to another land where I dont have to stay

And I'm gonna need somebody to make me feel like you do
And I will receive somebody with open arms, open eyes,
Open up the sky and let the planet that I love shine through

For crying out loud
You know I love you
For crying out loud
You know I love you
For crying out loud
You know I love you

I was damned and you were saved
And I never knew how enslaved
I was kneeling
In the chains of my master

I could laugh but you could cry
And I never knew just how high
I was flying
Ah, with you right above me

Im in the middle of nowhere
Near the end of the line
But theres a border to somewhere waiting
And theres a tankful of time
Oh give me just another moment to see the light of the day
And take me to another land where I dont have to stay

And Im gonna need somebody to make me feel like you do
And I will receive somebody with open arms, open eyes,
Open up the sky and let the planet that I love shine through

For crying out loud
You know I love you
For crying out loud
You know I love your
For crying out loud
You know I love you

For taking in the rain when Im feeling so dry
For giving me the answers when Im asking you why
And my oh my
For that I thank you

For taking in the sun when Im feeling so cold
For giving me a child when my body is old
And dont you know
For that I need you

For coming to my room when you know Im alone
For finding me a highway and driving me home
And you gotta know
For that I serve you

For pulling me away when Im starting to fall
For revving me up when Im starting to stall
And all in all
For that I want you

For taking and for giving and for playing the game
For praying for my future in the days that remain
Oh lord
For that I hold you

Ah but most of all
For cryin out loud
For that I love you

Ah but most of all
For cryin out loud
For that I love you

Ah but most of all
For cryin out loud
For that I love you

When youre crying out loud
You know I love you

It starts as a quiet ballad with only vocal and piano, for the first "section", then guitar and drums get in, and for the last few verses just vocals. The second section is by far the best of this song. Listen to it if you can (just look it up at Youtube).

I listened to it, liked it an thought "Well, let's listen to the whole album". I listened to it, but mostly didn't like it. Too long songs, maybe? But after more and more re-listenings, I started enjoying it. It features 7 songs, totalling about 50 minutes. It features a mixture of some kind of epic rock (Steinman wrote a musical called Das Rheingold... based upon a Wagner's opera) with quite exhilarating lyrics, where teenage (and not so) emotional commitments are developed. As a few examples:

From the chorus in Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad:
And all I can do is keep on telling you
I want you
I need you
But there ain't no way
I'm ever gonna love you
Now don't be sad
'Cause two out of three ain't bad
Sad, but relatively funny. This is from Paradise By The Dashboard Light, a duet. This song is about a teenage couple, in their car, night, alone... you know. This is from the first "act", where they are parking, and starting things
Ain't no doubt about it we were doubly blessed
'Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed
The intermediate section is the broadcast of a baseball game, using the baseball metaphore (about sex). For the last section, the girl asks several times whether he will love her forever, and never leave her, while the boy answers "let me sleep on it, I'll give you an answer in the morning". The singing goes quicker until a climax is reached,
I couldn't take it any longer
Lord I was crazed
And when the feeling came upon me
Like a tidal wave
I started swearing to my god
And on my mother's grave
That I would love you to the end of time
I swore I would love you to the end of time

So now I'm praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
'Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don't think that I can really survive
I'll never break my promise or forget my vow
But God only knows what I can do right now
I'm praying for the end of time
So I can end my time with you
Hope you get it. Loaf and Steinman had a lot of trouble to get this album published, but in time it has proven as quite a best seller. Nowadays it sells 200.000 copies-a-year, and has sold more than 30 million copies.

A year or so ago, I was having my breakfast where I usually do, they have a large LCD screen with MTV turned on. I was chewing my croissant and reading "La Vanguardia", when the voice I heard was somewhat familiar. I looked and saw a man which resembled Meat Loaf. This was Bat Out Of Hell III, and the song I was listening to was It's All Coming Back To Me Now. Written, of course by Jim Steinman, recorded a few years ago by CĂ©line Dion. A genuine power ballad with, as usual, quite expressive lyrics. Don't miss it when you go to YouTube. By the way, Steinman also wrote a song I like, Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Bonnie Tyler, she had performed it with Loaf as a duet).

As a final note, these are the lyrics of "You Took The Words Out Of My Mouth". Possibly one of the best verses for a chorus I've ever heard:
[Spoken:]
[Boy:] On a hot summer night,
would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?
[Girl:] Will he offer me his mouth?
[Boy:] Yes.
[Girl:] Will he offer me his teeth?
[Boy:] Yes.
[Girl:] Will he offer me his jaws?
[Boy:] Yes.
[Girl:] Will he offer me his hunger?
[Boy:] Yes.
[Girl:] Again, will he offer me his hunger?
[Boy:] Yes!
[Girl:] And does he love me?
[Boy:] Yes.
[Girl:] Yes.
[Boy:] On a hot summer night,
would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?
[Girl:] Yes.
[Boy:] I bet you say that to all the boys!

[Sung:]
It was a hot summer night
and the beach was burning.
There was fog crawling over the sand.
When I listen to your heart
I hear the whole world turning.
I see the shooting stars falling
through your trembling hands.

You were licking your lips
and your lipstick shining.
I was dying just to ask for a taste.
We were lying together in a silver lining
by the the light of the moon.
You know there's not another moment
Not another moment
Not another moment to waste.

You hold me so close that my knees grow weak.
But my soul is flying high above the ground.
I'm trying to speak but no matter what I do
I just can't seem to make any sound.

And then you took the words right out of my mouth.
Oh it must have been while you were kissing me.
You took the words right out of my mouth.
And I swear it's true,
I was just about to say I love you.
And then you took the words right out of my mouth.
Oh it must have been while you were kissing me.
You took the words right out of my mouth.
And I swear it's true,
I was just about to say I love you.

Now my body is shaking like a wave on the water
And I guess that I'm beginning to grin.
Oh we're finally alone and we can do what we want to.
The night is young
And Ain't no-one gonna know where you
No-one gonna know where you
No-one's gonna know where you've been.
You were licking your lips
and your lipstick shining.
I was dying just to ask for a taste.
We were lying together in a silver lining
by the the light of the moon.
You know there's not another moment
Not another moment
Not another moment to waste.

And then you took the words right out of my mouth.
Oh it must have been while you were kissing me.
You took the words right out of my mouth.
And I swear it's true,
I was just about to say I love you.
And then you took the words right out of my mouth.
Oh it must have been while you were kissing me.
You took the words right out of my mouth.
And I swear it's true,
I was just about to say I love you.
Written by Ruben Berenguel