BY BILLY SUTER
THE 1977 album, Bat Out of Hell, by Meat Loaf, has sold some 43 million copies worldwide and Rolling Stone magazine placed it at No 343 on its 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Now the angsty, frenetic rock dominating that album, composed by Jim Steinman and produced by Todd Rundgren, is headed for the stage – Bat Out of Hell The Musical is scheduled to have its official world premiere in London this year.
Staged by Jay Schieb, a US stage director, playwright and artist, noted for his contemporary productions of both classical and new plays and operas, Bat Out of Hell The Musical started previews on February 17, and runs until April 17, at the Manchester Opera House, and is then scheduled to transfer to the London Coliseum, running from June 20 until July 22.
Wikipedia reports that the album has been certified 14 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and as of May 2015, had spent 485 weeks in the UK charts.
The album also inspired two more from Meat Loaf – the Steinman-produced Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell in 1993 and the Desmond Child-produced Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose, released in 2006.
Described as an epic rock ‘n’ roll theatrical fantasy, Bat Out of Hell The Musical centres on the eternally young Strat and his wild gang, The Lost, as they roam the streets of Obsidian, ruled by the wicked and tyrannical Falco.
When Strat first sets eyes on Falco’s daughter, Raven, who has been locked away in the palace towers, he sets out to rescue her from her evil father’s clutches in a full throttle tale of teenage love, youthful rebellion and living the rock and roll dream.
The show is said to features 17 of Meat Loaf’s greatest hits, including I’d Do Anything for Love, Paradise by the Dashboard Light, You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night), Dead Ringer For Love, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, Bat Out of Hell and two new Steinman originals written for the production.
The musical’s official website reports that, as with many great works of art, the genesis of the Bat Out of Hell album occurred across a number of years.
“One of the songs was written while Steinman was an undergraduate at Amherst College in the late 1960s. In the 1970s, Steinman wrote a theatrical musical that was presented in workshop in Washington in 1974, and featured many of the songs that would ultimately appear on the Bat Out of Hell album, which was released in 1977.
“Bat Out Of Hell became one of the best-selling albums in history, selling over 50 million copies worldwide. Sixteen years later, Steinman scored again with Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, which contained the massive hit, I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).
For tickets and more information about the show, visit http://www.BatOutOfHellMusical.com