Meat Loaf's 10 best songs ever, ranked

21 January 2022, 10:25 | Updated: 21 January 2022, 16:05

Meat Loaf's best songs
Meat Loaf's best songs. Picture: Alamy/Meat Loaf/YouTube

By Tom Eames

Meat Loaf was truly one of a kind. There was no-one else rocking it out quite like him, and certainly, no-one that came close to his success as a one-man power ballad monster hit-maker.

The American singer sold hundreds of millions of records worldwide, and was one of the best-selling artists of all time.

He was known for his epic songs and incredible voice, and he entertained millions of fans around the world for several decades.

Following the sad news that Meat Loaf has passed away aged 74, we've picked 10 of his very best songs ever to make for a perfect Meat Loaf playlist.

Meat Loaf seen at 2010 Brit Awards in old footage

  1. Paradise by the Dashboard Light

    Meat Loaf - Paradise By The Dashboard Light

    This was one of seven songs developed for the Bat Out of Hell album.

    Both Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren were influenced by Phil Spector and his 'Wall of Sound', with Rundgren creating arrangements translated from Steinman's vision.

    Steinman said that he wanted to write "the ultimate car/sex song in which everything goes horribly wrong in the end."

  2. Dead Ringer for Love (with Cher)

    Meat Loaf - Dead Ringer for Love (Video)

    This was the almost-title track of Meat Loaf's second album Dead Ringer, and he teamed up with the one and only Cher.

    The song was originally written by Jim Steinman, Tony Hendra and Sean Kelly for the TV show Delta House.

    Steinman later reworked the melody, while Cher also helped write the song, but she stayed uncredited.

    Sadly, there's no footage of Cher and Meat Loaf ever performing this song live together, and Cher appeared only in the music video.

  3. Life is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back

    Meat Loaf – Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back (Live In Orlando 1993)

    Quite possibly the best song title in rock history?

    This epic track featured on Bat Out of Hell II and was a minor hit for Meat Loaf in the States in 1993.

  4. Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through

    Meat Loaf - Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through

    This song was first featured on writer Jim Steinman's 1981 solo album Bad for Good, with lead vocals by an uncredited Rory Dodd.

    It was later recorded by Meat Loaf in 1994 as the third single from the album Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell.

    The song celebrates how rock music is always there to help you through difficult times.

  5. I'd Lie for You (and that's the Truth)

    Meat Loaf - I'd Lie for You and that's the Truth

    This was the lead single from Meat Loaf's seventh album Welcome to the Neighbourhood in 1995, and was a rare hit not written by Jim Steinman.

    Diane Warren wrote this power ballad, and it gave Meat Loaf a number two hit in the UK.

  6. Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

    Meat Loaf - Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad (PCM Stereo)

    This was Meat Loaf's second best-selling hit in his homeland (after 'I'd Do Anything for Love').

    It was the final song written for the album, with Jim Steinman later saying: "[An] oldies station was on the radio and it was playing that old Elvis song, 'I Want You, I Need,' whatever it was. I just started singing my own song but it was 'I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.'

    "I remember going home and I tried so hard but the best I could do was: 'I want you, I need you but there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you, don't be sad, 'cause two out of three ain't bad'.

    "So it was still a twist but it was my closest to a simple song, and one Elvis could have done."

  7. It's All Coming Back to Me Now

    Meat Loaf Feat. Marion Raven - It's All Coming Back To Me Now [Official Music Video]

    An epic song with an epic story.

    According to writer Jim Steinman, the song was inspired by Wuthering Heights, and was an attempt to write "the most passionate, romantic song" he could ever write.

    Meat Loaf had wanted to record the song for many years, but Steinman saw it as a "woman's song". Steinman even won a court motion preventing Meat Loaf from recording it.

    Girl group Pandora's Box recorded it first, and it was later made famous thanks to a fantastic cover version by Celine Dion.

    This upset Meat Loaf, because he was going to use it for a planned album with the working title Bat Out of Hell III.

    Meat Loaf finally recorded it for Bat III as a duet with Marion Raven in 2006, and it was a number 6 hit in the UK.

  8. You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth

    Meat Loaf - You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) (PCM Stereo)

    The second track on Bat Out of Hell, this song almost sounds like a heavy metal version of a Phil Spector-style soul track from the '60s.

    The power ballad's full-length version begins with a spoken word intro by writer Jim Steinman and actress Marcia McClain.

    According to his autobiography, Meat Loaf asked Steinman to write a song that was not 15 or 20 minutes long, and, in Meat Loaf's words, a "pop song."

  9. Bat Out of Hell

    Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell (PCM Stereo)

    The title track to his iconic best-selling album is a true force of nature. Whether you prefer the full 9-minute version or its more palatable 4-minute radio edit, you can't help but want to jump on a motorbike and rescue your beloved.

    Like most songs on the classic album, the song was written by Jim Steinman about Peter Pan and the Neverland story. Steinman had intended for the song to appear on "a rock 'n roll sci-fi version of Peter Pan".

    Steinman finally completed the musical (which he started writing back in 1968) in 2017.

    The song was also inspired by '60s teenage tragedy songs such as 'Leader of the Pack', 'Terry' and 'Tell Laura I Love Her'. Steinman wanted to write the "most extreme crash song of all time".

  10. I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)

    Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) (Official Music Video)

    Nobody saw this coming. In 1993, Meat Loaf had a massive chart comeback with this incredible power ballad from his Bat Out of Hell II album.

    The song also featured singer Lorraine Crosby (credited as Mrs Loud), and was written by Jim Steinman.

    It reached number one in 28 countries, was certified platinum in the US and became Meat Loaf's first and only number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart.