Retro Spins: Meat Loaf - Dead Ringer

My introduction to Meat Loaf was a special one for me. I was at my uncle's house with my dad, during one of our just me and him trips across the country. It was on this particular visit that my uncle said to my dad, "Do you like Meat Loaf?" He quickly corrected himself to say, "The singer," less my dad be mistaken for the food. My dad responded that he really didn't know much about him, and therefore, was not.

This answer appeared unacceptable to my uncle, who immediately dusted off his copy of Bat Out Of Hell and fired up Paradise By The Dashboard Light. My uncle laughed with glee during the announcer portion of the song, amused by the whole thing. However, for my dad, something much different was happening in his head. He was getting hooked in a big way.

When we returned home, my dad made it a point to get himself a copy of the album, and from there, his collection grew. I remember helping contribute to this by picking him up Midnight At The Lost And Found and Bad Attitude. Meat Loaf just became his thing. He would sit at his computer and listen to the various albums.

While I paid this little attention, the impact it had on my life, memory wise, was strong enough that when I found all of Meat Loaf's albums at the dollar table during a trip to Timonium, I picked them up. Not because I necessarily knew any of the songs. Rather, because I wanted to have that connection with that memory.

Today, I thought I would pull one of those albums out and have a listen, and it felt appropriate to start with his first entry into the 80's, Dead Ringer. It was okay. I didn't necessarily hear tunes that blew me away. However, I heard some which definitely stood out among the rest. I'll Kill You If You Don't Come Back, Read Em' And Weep and the title track, Dead Ringer - which is a snazzy duet with Cher.

Meat Loaf has his own style and sound, and you can definitely tell when you're hearing his music. This makes it all the more intriguing to hear his tracks because they sound familiar, like they belong together. That's something a lot of artists miss the boat on a lot - They try to cram too many styles into one album, and the whole thing feels lost when that happens. Not the case at all with Dead Ringer.

At the end of the day, I'm no major fan of Meat Loaf, but I can say his album was enjoyable.

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