Updated: Jan 22, 2022
I grew up on Soft Rock, and this song is in my Hall of Fame of favorites. Rest well Meatloaf. 💜 Your music crossed boundaries.
Meat Loaf sang for Motown, got start in Detroit before 'Bat Out of Hell' fame!
Well before the platinum records and packed arenas, Meat Loaf was a striving singer with a stint in Detroit and an obscure Motown release under his belt.
Meat Loaf, who died Thursday at 74, would go on to describe his brief time in Detroit as a happy accident. But it was also a crucial chapter in the saga of the singer-actor raised in Texas as Michael Aday, years before he blossomed into a household name with 1977’s “Bat Out of Hell” and a slew of hit singles.
“In a dramatic sense, it was almost like destiny kept bringing him back to Motown,” said Paul Barker, director of development with the Motown Museum.
Barker met with Meat Loaf in October at the Motor City Comic Con, getting a firsthand account of the star’s Detroit days and the road to “Stoney and Meatloaf,” the 1971 Motown release that paired the singer with his “Hair” castmate Shaun Murphy.
In 1969, making a gambit for the lucrative rock market, Motown had launched the label Rare Earth Records, signing a flurry of white acts under the direction of veteran music executive Harry Balk.
A year later, Meat Loaf, in his early 20s, was performing in the Detroit production of the counterculture musical “Hair” when he caught the eye of brothers Ralph and Russ Terrana, then working with Balk at Motown.