First Hit #1: November 6, 1993
It’s a shame Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf can’t stand each other anymore, they’re kind of perfect for each other musically. Steinman, has this weird, over the top operatic insanity, a kind of populist prog rock that demands big vocals, big guitars, and big billowing curtains in the video. Meat Loaf has a big voice that conveys a certain brand of desperation and desire that are necessary to really convey the characters Steinman is creating in the song – and they are characters, this is theatre in the guise of a pop recording. Together they have this kind of manic intensity that makes both of them work, while apart Steinman struggles to find the right voices, and Meat Loaf keeps wandering towards music that is less ambitious and intriguing.
Of course, sometimes ambition can mean overreaching, and I Would Do Anything… is the very definition of overreaching. The album cut is 12 minutes long – the video is a relatively trim 7 and a half minutes, and the single hits 5 and a half – it’s got a big long duet at the end, piano and guitar solos, a lengthy motorcycle intro to set up the elaborate story and is as a whole almost designed to not get radio airplay – though it naturally did, it was played a lot. It seems to vacillate between taking itself extremely seriously and being aware that it can be taken as a joke, or even a bit of a parody of both men. It’s insane, but it’s the kind of insane that Steinman and Meat Loaf were meant to make.