I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)
Writer(s): Jim Steinman (see lyrics here)
Released: September 15, 1993
First Charted: September 5, 1993
Peak: 15 US, 16 CB, 11 GR, 3 RR, 9 AC, 10 AR, 17 UK, 12 CN, 18 AU, 4 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.4 US, 0.79 UK, 2.83 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 157.0 video, 124.44 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
The debut album from Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday), 1977’s Bat Out of Hell, has been estimated at 50 million in worldwide sales, making it one of the three best-selling albums of all time. Subsequent releases over the next decade didn’t even reach a million in sales in the U.S., and by the 1990s it looked like his career was over. However, he reteamed with Jim Steinman, who’d written the songs on Bat Out of Hell, and they created Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell in the same “bombastic, piano-driven style.” SF
The original album charted three top-40 hits, but his highest charting song had been “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” at #11. With “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” the first single from Bat Out of Hell II, Meat Loaf didn’t just chart again, he went all the way to the top. In addition to spending five weeks at the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., the song reached #1 in 27 other countries. WK The song was the UK’s best seller in 1993 and earned a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo.
Meat Loaf and Steinman had talked about reuniting as far back as 1984, but Meat Loaf’s record label at the time wasn’t interested. When he moved to MCA, Steinman was busy working with the group Pandora’s Box, who released an album in 1989. They did finally reunite and Steinman played “I’d Do Anything for Love” for Meat Loaf in 1990. It had all the traits of a Steinman song: “power chords, the pseudo-classical piano sequences, [and] the tearful verse followed by a triumphant chorus.” LW The version that they recorded for the album was 12-minutes long, but was cut down to a five-minute version for the single.
As he did for all his songs, Meat Loaf assumed the role of a character. In this case, he said he imagined he “was a 14-year-old looking at this girl trying to figure out how to get up the nerve…to ask her out.” FB Listeners seemed puzzled over what it was that Meat Loaf wouldn’t do for love, but he said the answer’s right there in the song. “I’ll never forget the way you feel right now…I’ll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life.” FB At the end of the song, the female singer, Lorraine Crosby, declares “You’ll see that it’s time to move on” and “You’ll be screwing around” to which Meat Loaf responds, “I wont do that!”
First posted 2/8/2021; last updated 11/24/2022.