“I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meat Loaf

This song somehow made VH1’s “Awesomely Bad” countdown, and while there were a few other questionable choices on that list, this is easily the most patently ridiculous. This song does have a few other critics out there, but most of their arguments wouldn’t hold water for five minutes in a serious critical setting. There are those who complain about the length, but the idea that ‘song over five minutes long=bad’ is a patent fallacy perpetuated by idiots with no attention span. After all, a Classical symphony movement can be as much as half an hour long, and no intelligent person would try to claim that they’re bad music because of it. Some claim to find the lyrics confusing, but if a song built on a paradox automatically baffles you, maybe you just aren’t very good at comprehending complex concepts to begin with. As with “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Objects In the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are”, Jim Steinman’s favorite basis for his songwriting was always to take a colloquial cliche and prove he could wring a real emotional response out of it. The way the song embodies both over-the-top camp and complete dramatic sincerity at the same time is certainly unusual, but it’s hardly the only one of its kind, and the style has produced several other acknowledged classics even outside of Steinman’s work, such as Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Indeed, that simultaneous combination of tongue-in-cheek and genuinely dramatic is a hallmark of the particular brand of Rock’n’Roll that both Queen and Steinman specialized in (Steinman called it ‘Wagner-Rock’), and that is still being carried on today by acts such as Fun. This song is one of the all-time masterpieces of the ‘Wagner-Rock’ genre, and while there are times you could at least argue that Steinman’s excesses have gotten out of hand, this song isn’t really one of them…it’s one of the most unambiguously successful examples of his style in his whole catalogue.

Verdict: Good.

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