The career of Michael Lee Aday aka Meat Loaf, has been a turbulent one, to used an understatement. It went from filling huge stadiums with adore fans, to barely getting people to see him perform in small community halls in Ireland, and back to stadiums.
His most iconic song though has to be “Paradise by the Dashboard light” written by Jim Steinman. It was released in 1977 and was taken from the album “Bat out of Hell”
“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is one of the longest songs to be released uncut on one side of a 45 RPM record. The only difference between the single and album versions is that the single version fades out almost immediately after the final line is sung. Jim Steinman had stated that he wanted to write “the ultimate car/sex song in which everything goes horribly wrong in the end.” The album version of the song lasts 8.28 minutes, which is probably a lot longer then the car sex he envisaged.
Although Ellen Foley is recorded on the album, another singer, Karla DeVito, was used for the music video and for live performances.
The single had modest success in the United States, peaking at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Belgium, the single stalled at number 2 where it stayed for 5 weeks, being blocked from the Number 1 position the whole time by “Y.M.C.A.” from the Village People whilst in the Netherlands, the single became Meat Loaf’s biggest all-time hit, reaching number one at the end of 1978, going on to be a hit there again in 1988. In the United Kingdom the song did not chart at all but is well known and is a classic rock staple.
Brotherhood of Man also recorded the song under the title “Let Me Sleep on It”. But that is a cover which probably never should have been released.