Legacy’s release this week of Meat Loaf’s 11th studio album, Hell In A Handbasket, reminds me: I discovered him.
Well, not exactly. That would be some Columbia/Epic A&R guy’s honor. But when no one knew of Meat Loaf beyond grub which went with potatoes, I discovered Meat and former collaborator Jim Steinman for the state of Oklahoma.
Cut to the fall of 1977, when I worked my first full-time entertainment writing job for The Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, the state’s largest newspaper. Weeks before its release, I received a vinyl copy of an album whose Rich Corben-painted cover caught my eye with its lurid grandiosity — as did the back cover shot of a big, beefy singer in an open-collar tux and a wiry little piano player and composer. (Oh yeah, and a babe.)
I had to listen. And when I did, I was blown away. (more…)