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Julian Austin version


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Bonnie Tyler version (different)


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Chart (1979) Peak position
UK Singles Chart 15


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Rolling Stone JANUARY 30, 2018 "The Sound and the Fury of Meat Loaf: ‘I Am Not a Rock Star’". By Erik Hedegaard.

You want him to look all fat and sweaty – great masses of hair flopping back and forth, eyeballs bulging right out of their sockets, voice soaring to hammy operatic heights – more or less just as he did back in 1977 with the release of his debut album, Bat Out of Hell (and its two greatest, most bombastic, over-the-top songs, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad”), which went on to sell more than 40 million copies and is now marking its 40th glorious anniversary, despite most rock critics hating it (and this magazine calling it “mannered and derivative,” full of puerile comic-book “pretensions”). That’s how you want to see him. A born-to-lose Texas redneck who teamed up with a genius-type songwriter-producer named Jim Steinman and beat the odds to become a rock star, a fine bit-part movie actor and a temper-tantrum-thrower of some renown.


He met Steinman while auditioning for a play. The two began working on Bat in 1972, finished a demo (with the help of Todd Rundgren) in 1975, and spent the next two years being rejected by every record label in the land, before someone took a chance and probably regretted it until March 1978, when Loaf appeared on Saturday Night Live and the album finally took off, propelled by a half-sappy, moon-pie Springsteen-on-acid-and-a-sugar-high-rush theatricality that’d never really been seen before and that blew right through the melancholy confines of the then-dominant punk scene.


“You know, your magazine started this thing where we stole everything for Bat Out of Hell from Springsteen and it was nothing but a rehash of Born to Run.” He shakes his head. “I’m saying to myself, ‘Where does Springsteen have a ‘Two Out of Three’? Where does he have a ‘Paradise’?’ The only thing that is close to Springsteen is the first verse from ‘Bat,’ and Steinman wrote that verse before Born to Run was released.”

After experiencing the complete album Bat Out of Hell later in life, I remember telling others, "Whatever you do, do it with passion. Otherwise, it is not worth doing. You are simply biding your time, not living, not thriving."


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"Two Out of Three Ain't Bad"

Jim Steinman wrote this song after his friend, the actress Mimi Kennedy, suggested that he write a ballad along the lines of the Elvis Presley song "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You."


Todd Rundgren identifies how the song was influenced by the Eagles, who were successful at the time.



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Meat Loaf version

Weekly charts

Chart (1977-78) Peak position
Australia (Kent Music Report) 11
Austria 11
Canada RPM Top Singles 5
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary 6
Irish Singles Chart 25
New Zealand 9
UK Singles Chart 32
US Billboard Hot 100 11
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 31
US Cash Box Top 100 9

Year-end charts

Chart (1978) Rank
Canada RPM Top Singles 16
US Billboard Hot 100 30
US Cash Box 46