The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Music "Paradise by a dashboard light"

This is a continuation of my Monday Music.  I usually decide on the way into work or on the way home from work which song I will use.  I have a large collection of songs on my phone that I play through the car radio.  I was at work and walked into the leads office and this song was playing through the leads IPAD and I decided I would use this song.  I do like Meat Loaf a.k.a. Marvin Lee Aday. and he has a wide range of musical talent, but he is best known for rock ballads.  I went to a concert back in 1994 when I was dating the spousal unit and I had commented that "MeatLoaf" was coming to Lakewood Amphitheater in Atlanta.  This was in support of his "Bat Out of hell II Back into Hell" album.  I had wanted to go but we were as poor as Church mice(They had more money then we did actually). She had gotten me a card and asked me to open it and I did, and 2 tickets to Meatloaf fell out.  They were the "lawn seats"  The cheapest ones you can get.  I was very happy and touched that she was able to get them.  Well we went to the concert and Meat Loaf threw a hell of a show.  At the end of it, he stood in front of the fans and told them "Thank you for supporting me all these years even through the bad times and I really appreciated it."   Meatloaf is a class act.
    Well anyway I decided to roll with "Paradise in a dashboard Light".  Even now we would sing exerpts of this song to each other, especially about the stanza "The end of time to hurry up and arrive"  it is done tongue in cheek.
     "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" is a song written by Jim Steinman. It was first released in 1977 on the album Bat Out of Hell, with vocals by the American musician Meat Loaf alongside Ellen Foley. It is most notable for its unique structure and length, and has become a classic rock radio staple.
"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 is the song fades out almost immediately after the final line is sung. In some countries a shorter 5:32 edit was released. The largest change is the complete removal of the "baseball play-by-play" section.
According to Meat Loaf on VH1 Storytellers, the original length of the track was to be 27 minutes.

The song is divided into three parts:
Part I. Paradise
The song opens with the characters reminiscing about days as a young high school couple on a date. They are parking by a lake and having fun, experiencing "paradise by the dashboard light", and the boy insists they're "gonna go all the way tonight."
Baseball broadcast
His pushing the matter is mirrored by New York Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto broadcasting a portion of a baseball game that serves as a metaphor for his attempts to achieve his goal, accompanied by funk instrumentation.
Rizzuto's baseball play-by-play call was recorded in 1976 at The Hit Factory in New York City by producer Todd Rundgren, Meat Loaf and Steinman. Rizzuto publicly maintained he was unaware that his contribution would be equated with sex in the finished song, but Meat Loaf asserts that Rizzuto only feigned ignorance to stifle some criticism from a priest and was fully aware of the context of what he was recording.
In a nod to the Yankees – Red Sox rivalry, some radio stations in Boston created a version where Rizzuto's part was substituted with Red Sox announcer Dick Stockton describing the baseball play.
Part II. Let Me Sleep on It
Just as the boy is about to "steal home base", the girl bursts out, telling him to "Stop right there!" She refuses to go any further unless the boy first promises to love her forever and marry her. Reluctant to make such a long-term commitment, the boy repeatedly asks her to continue on for the time being and promises to give his answer in the morning. However, as she is not giving in that easily, so that he finally cracks and gives his promise: "I started swearing to my God and on my mother's grave/That I would love you to the end of time".
Part III. Praying for the End of Time
Back in the present, the characters can no longer stand each others presence. However, the male character cannot possibly break his vow and hence is now praying for the end of time to relieve him from his obligation. The song fades out on the situation, juxtaposing his gloomy "It was long ago, it was far away, it was so much better than it is today!" with her joyous "It never felt so good, it never felt so right, we're glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife."

Although Ellen Foley is recorded on the album, another woman, Karla DeVito, was used for the music video and for live performances. This would also happen for Meat Loaf's 1993 hit "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)", where Dana Patrick mimed to Lorraine Crosby's vocals.
In the original video as released to TV and in 35mm prints, the male/female "Hot Summer Night" prologue from "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" was spoken live by Jim Steinman and Karla DeVito before the song performance. On the Hits Out of Hell music video compilation, the prologue was removed and spliced in front of the video for "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth," ostensibly to properly replicate the Bat Out of Hell album, and the video for "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" goes right into the performance. The 35mm version of "Paradise" is used by some theaters as a short subject presentation that is shown before The Rocky Horror Picture Show during midnight screenings.
Additionally, an altered version of the song was used in a 2008 AT&T commercial for the Go-Phone, in which a father and mother (Meat Loaf and singer Tiffany) argue over buying their son a phone.

The single had modest success in the United States, peaking at number 39 in the Billboard Hot 100. However, the song is very well known and is a classic rock staple. In the United Kingdom, it did not chart at all. However, in the Netherlands, the single became Meat Loaf's biggest all-time hit, reaching number one at the end of 1978. "Paradise" became a hit again in 1988. In various all time charts, such as the Radio 2 Top 2000 or Radio Veronica's All Time Top 1000, it consistently charts inside the top ten.
This song is featured as downloadable content for the Rock Band series.


  1. It was and is classic, all-American rock. Steinman and ML hit that one right out of the park.

  2. Loved that song! Still find myself singing snippets from it at odd moments.

  3. Yep, good one and longer'n hell! :-)


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