Meat Loaf – I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) Music Video Breakdown.


This is probably the messiest post I’ve ever written, and probably will ever write. I’m putting this disclaimer at the top because I started writing this post with the intention of writing better. I’m not under a delusion that I can write well, but I had a feeling that my posts were getting worse and not heading in the right direction. With that in mind I wanted to make this post flow better and seem more succinct, although who am I kidding, when have I ever been brief. One of my main criticisms was that I was using way too many full stops, talking in short sentences, and breaking up ideas that were flowing to stop and make a different comment or joke. Now, don’t get me wrong, jokes are fine, but these posts need to read better. You shouldn’t be stopping and starting every 2 seconds and lose track of what we were talking about. I know that it’s sometimes good to go off on a tangent, I mean it’s sometimes entirely needed, but not as often as I like to! The original introduction to this post addressed some of this, but again, did it in a disjointed, hard to read way. I’m hoping that now I’ve revised it, it’ll be more pleasant to read, more informative, and funnier. Please enjoy the post. 🙂

I was about to say “as usual let’s start with…” like I have a solid post style and I don’t change it every single time I do one of these. I think it’s important for us in this instance to address the elephant in the room. No, Meat Loaf isn’t here, what I’m talking about is what exactly it is, that Meat Loaf, sweatiest of all men*, won’t do for love. (*if you disclude anyone in Cool Hand Luke). Now, I know you’re probably sat there thinking “Chris, no one knows, how can we possibly decipher that knowledge right here, right now, like we’re Norman Cook?”, but here’s the thing, we have all the answers laid out right before us. Let’s take a quick look at the lyrics, specifically when Lorraine Crosby’s vocals come in:

Will you raise me up? will you help me down?
Will you get me right out of this godforsaken town?
Will you make it all a little less cold?

I can do that
I can do that

Will you cater to every fantasy I got?
Will you hose me down with holy water, if I get too hot?
Will you take me places I’ve never known?

I can do that
Oh no, I can do that

I know the territory, I’ve been around
It’ll all turn to dust and we’ll all fall down
Sooner or later you’ll be screwing around

I won’t do that
No, I won’t do that

See, it’s right there for you to see. He won’t screw around. That’s not the only thing either, to be fair, there’s a handful of lines throughout the song which are the things he wouldn’t do. For example, “I’ll never do it better than I do it with you”, or “There’ll never be no turning back”, etc. It’s easy when you know what you’re looking for! He essentially lists the stuff or responds to her and I think the confusion seems to come from the wording. “But” I won’t do that, makes it seem like it’s exterior to the knowledge we are presented with. Oh well. Onwards!

Something else that needs addressing is the length of the song. The official length of the video is 7m 38s and unlike other long music videos, there is no padding. Therefore the album version, which clocks in at 12 minutes, was edited down to create the mix we hear in the video. The single, however, was 5m 13s, which means that the video edit is different to both the single and album version of the song. The difference comes in the form of how much Lorraine Crosby we get, since we lose a couple of her verses over the album version and the instrumental section is shortened.

I think we also need to look at the controversial nature of the female vocals in this song. When it was being originally looked at, both Cher and Bonnie Tyler were being considered for the female vocal section. As is pretty standard for a project such as this, they brought in a singer to record what are known as guide vocals, which are essentially a vocal placeholder for where the finished product will sit. This is where in the song theses vocals sit, and this is what sort of thing we’re looking for. Lorraine Crosby, a singer from Britain, was brought in to do that job. Lorraine smashed it and only had to record the lines twice, was paid for her guide vocal work, and was sent on her merry way. Shortly after this, it would seem that they decided that Lorraine had done such a good job with the work that they decided to use her vocals for the finished song. Sadly for Lorraine, as she’d already been paid for the vocals, the studio owned them outright and could do what they wanted with them, so, because of this, Lorraine never received any royalties for the work.

Right, I guess it’s time to find out what happens when you take the director of Transformers, Bad Boys 2 and The Rock and combine him with the cinematographer of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Let’s jump in!

I think it’s worth noting at this point that I’m not going to do this all shot for shot as it’s edited so fast in parts that I’ll be here for like a week trying to do that. The overall theme of the video is Phantom Of The Opera/Beauty And The Beast. It sticks pretty well that theme as well, for the most part.

[00:00 to 00:05]: “I Have Travelled Across The Universe Through The Years To Find Her. Sometimes Going All The Way Is Just The Start”. Michael Bay opens the video with this quote. It’s shit. Let’s forget about it and move on.

[00:05 to 00:38]: Due to the motorbike noise at the beginning of the actual song, they’ve decided to put Meat… Erm… Mr Loaf? on a motorbike. Pretty solid choice that. Can’t escape that noise so why not use it. He drives up a long and winding road that leads to your door… Damnit. He drives up a road that is both long, and winding. There we go, no Beatles references. The police give chase and he eventually just fucking vanishes into a crypt. Did the Phantom or the Beast have supernatural powers? I don’t know either story well enough to suggest that they did or didn’t.

So, full disclosure. Everything ABOVE this line was written on January 2nd 2020 (except the opening paragraph). I got up this morning, April 6th, in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic and decided I would finish it off. “How much could I possibly have left!?” I thought to myself. I somehow managed to forget that despite having written almost a thousand words, I’d done only the first 38 seconds. That’s right, I have a full 7 minutes left to do, or, if you’d rather, 92% of the video. *sigh*. Will I get it done today? Will I just abandon it in favour of playing Animal Crossing? Who knows. Let’s kick this pig! Wait… just need to assess some fossils!

I wrote that paragraph above at about 8am, then went and took a nap until 1pm. Now it’s 4pm. Genuinely don’t know how I ever get anything done. Scratch that, it’s 4:35pm. I literally just sat and did nothing for 35 minutes. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!

5:41pm and I’ve JUST opened the video! Kill me now.

[00:38 to 00:38]: Let me just say at this point that, whilst information of the budget for this video seems scarce, one executive was quoted as saying “it probably had the budget of Four Weddings And A Funeral”. Now, you might think, wow, that’s a lot. Four Weddings… budget was $4.4 million ($7.8 million adjusted for inflation), so even if we take that quote as accurate, this video would still only be the 5th most expensive music video made. My point here was going to be, that in this opening shot of the motorbike and helicopter, they probably spent more money than the entire budget of your average music video.

[00:38 to 00:44]: Via the use of some shoddy effect work, the motorcyclist disappears into a… crypt? vault? What are we calling that? It looks like a tiny castle.

[00:44 to 00:58]: Now we see Meat in his makeup. Could of saved a load of money here and just used his normal face.

[00:58 to 01:19]: “I’ll never forget the way you feel right now”, given the state of his long fingernails you’d be forgiven for thinking he was talking about balloons. Thankfully they flash a picture of a woman up behind him so you know he’s not a looner. Yes, that’s what you call someone with a balloon fetish. You know where Google is if you don’t believe me. He continues to bang out some chorus until we get to…

[01:19 to 01:42]: Two policemen walk into the mini-castle, one with a torch, one with a shotgun. That’s how I’d share out the equipment. One can see where he’s going, the other can’t see what he’s killing. They look around and spy a chandelier. Suddenly the biker bursts through the wall of the crypt, apparently having used up all his ghost ability entering the place THROUGH THE OPEN DOOR. *sigh* Somehow, him bursting through the wall causes the chandelier to fall down. There’s a dramatic principle called Chekhov’s Gun that essentially states “One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.”. I often wonder if there’s a similar principle about chandeliers. If you show one, it must fall down at some point.

[01:42 to 01:45]: Sticking with the chandelier for a moment, as it falls you can kinda see a policeman underneath it, and then we get a spray of blood. Fairly sure we’re supposed to assume he’s killed at least one of them. Pretty dark for a music video. Generally, and I know there’s plenty of exceptions, but generally people don’t really get murdered in music videos, just doesn’t happen. Especially if you’re a Jackson, because you just dance your way out of it. (Exception for Smooth Criminal BUT THAT WAS A SCENE FROM A FILM!). Also note the typical chandelier hits the floor using this camera angle trope. We also see the motionless hand near a fallen object they were holding camera shot, also usually used to signify death.

[01:45 to 01:45]: A god awful smoke effect to transition us into the forrest.

[01:45 to 01:48]: Some twirly camera shots to let us know we’re now in the forest. It’s night time. You’re not allowed to film in the woods during the day in case you disturb Bryan Adams, he’s still there singing his little socks off.

[01:48 to 01:54]: Meat’s stunt double sprints through the trees. We know it’s a double as Meat gets clammy just by singing.

[01:54 to 02:04]: He then stops to spy on a woman, for whom it’s apparently daytime! I know that they’re doing the light and dark thing for a bit of symbolism but it genuinely just looks like they can’t make up their mind what time of day it is. They know it’s shit so they stop doing it straight away and have it all take place in the light. Maybe his ghost ability has powered back up and he’s traversed to her plain of existence. Maybe I’m talking shit.

[02:04 to 02:11]: Oh no! She sees the light reflecting off the jewelled necklace he’s holding… for no reason. All that fucking flappy cape and no fucking pockets! I wonder if subsequently he now gets as excited about finding capes with pockets in as women do when they find some on a dress?!

[02:11 to 02:12]: He transports back to the black, white and slightly blue world and runs off into the trees.

For those interested, THIS is as far as I got on the 6th of April. It is now the 30th of April. We continue…

[02:12 to 02:27]: She finds the necklace hanging from a branch, stares at it for a bit and then gives chase. We see him in the darker place and her in the lighter place so we can have some symbolism. Great. My fave. Lots of close up shots of Meat to make it look like he’s exercising. Not fooling anyone, Mr Loaf.

[02:27 to 02:39]: She continues to give chase but looks increasingly nervous as she ends up in his world. Eventually we cut to…

[02:39 to 02:58]: Thank god for some longer shots. Meat is back in his sparsely furnished mansion thing. He sings are stares into his goblet to see the woman running around still.

[02:58 to 03:02]: Quick shot of her outside in the moors. I assume just to break up that previous long scene as we’d seen way too much Meat. Way Too Much Meat is the title of his sex tape.

[03:02 to 03:18]: A lot of jumping between the pair of them now whilst she makes her way to his abode.

[03:18 to 03:26]: Here we go, it’s getting rocking! Best have a cool scene back on the motorbike or something, it’s getting uptempo… No, they’ve gone for having Meat Loaf just sit in a chair. Great. She’s now inside and she’s having the same curtain problems as Bonnie Tyler.

[03:26: to 03:30]: Meat Loaf remembers that he’s magic and slides his chair across the floor like it’s on ice. If he had magic powers, you think he could have stopped his shiny trinkets from getting in her eye!

[03:30: to 03:34]: He’s now out of the chair and slides it with his powers back into the room. Is it just me or is that really weird? She’s not been here before so won’t be familiar with the layout of the furniture, so, why does it matter where the chair is? She won’t know it’s out of place or was recently vacated if it’s in a different location. Odd.

[03:34 to 03:40]: She continues… Should we name her? I’m sicking of just referring to her as she. I mean, her real name is Dana Patrick, but we don’t want to use that, she’s in character. Just text my Mum and asked her for a woman’s name and she’s gone for Marjorie. Marjorie continues to look through the house

[03:40 to 03:42]: Quick shot of Meat Loaf looking his finest. Why can’t he just magic his face better? Is his power limited to furniture moving? Seems so at this point. No, wait, he can turn invisible and disappear, but only to go through doors that are already open. This has to be the worst set of powers anyone has ever had.

[03:43 to 03:49]: More of Marjorie working her way towards the fire place to get warm. He didn’t want her to know anyone was there, so he put the chair back, but apparently didn’t think that he roaring fire was a dead giveaway!

[03:50 to 03:52]: We get to see Meat’s real face here and, because he’s in the same blue light as the monster version of him, he just looks really similar. They limit us to a whole 2 seconds of his noggin.

[03:52 to 03:56]: In typical fairy tale fashion, Marjorie has wandered into a strangers house and fallen asleep in front of the fire. Good job he put that chair back or where would she have sat! Meat watches on.

[03:57 to 04:02]: Now she’s in the bath? Is she dreaming? Lighting that many candles must be a fucking nightmare. They do a great job of not exposing us to any Marjorie Nippage here. Well played editors! Sweet Jesus, we’re only 4 minutes in.

[04:02 to 04:08]: Police on the scene, you know what I mean! You know, Vanilla Ice is probably who you want in this situation. If there was a problem, yo, he’ll solve it! So the police are now looking at the crime scene of where he murdered the cop. This is where this is going to get infuriating as it jumps about all over the place, so let’s just point out some key things…

[04:09]: Very weird camera shot here where we pull in tight on the detective’s eyes that are highlighted with a tiny bit of light. So small in fact that they’ve not actually managed to centre them better which would have looked cooler!

[04:11]: Either she’s rinsing her hair or Marjorie has just been dragged under by some sort of sex tentacle. It’s been a long quarantine, alright! What I want to search in my own time is my business!

[04:18]: Marj is now in bed, almost looking like she’s been swaddled, but thankfully for her, her arms are free.

[04:20]: We’re getting treated to a whole lot more standard Meat face during this bit. Always in the blue light though.

[4:31]: Marjorie continues to writhe around on the bed before some other women show up… Best check with my Mum… Susan, Janet and Emily! Hang on, is there two of them or three of them? I’m past caring. Whilst this is happening, Meat is sat in his chair, presumably having slid here from the living room, having a wank or something.

[04:51]: Bit of tongue, because why not! THIS IS GOING ON FOR WAY TOO LONG.

[05:00]: Meat sings gruffly and then runs off so we cut back to the detective who apparently hasn’t moved to do any detecting! They get their powered torches out and go for a wander whilst Meat checks himself out in the mirror again and we get a repeat of the shot from earlier. Lazy.

[05:10 to 05:22]: Meat, upset with his appearance starts smashing mirrors. Let’s count them! I’d say we see him smash 7, but some of the shots look like repeats of the same mirror. Let’s say 7. That’s 49 years bad luck. Given that this came out in 1993, Meat’s having no good luck until at least 2042.

[05:22]: Apparently all the commotion has woken up Marjorie from her little lesbian writhe nap thing. She’s got some new natty threads though, so I’m sure she’s cool with it. She traverses a hall in a manner made famous by Bonnie Tyler.

[05:30 to 05:40]: We cool down on the tempo as she finds a bedroom type space with a less inviting looking bed than the one she was on earlier. No Janet, Susan or Emily in sight. Meat watches on through his wind up video camera.

[05:41 to 05:50]: Meat breaks out his furniture moving powers again, this time to levitate Marjorie so she can pretend to belt out Lorraine’s vocals!

[05:51]: “Will you raise me up…” Ohhhh, so that’s why she’s being raised up. Let’s be honest, Lorraine kills this, her vocals are fantastic. Whilst they have their back and forth, the police continue to close in having done all that detecting with the detective.

[06:18]: Those are some powerful torches. Like… they could take your face off. Also, this house is just a disaster waiting to happen. Fucking candles everywhere and more flowy curtains than you can shake an overpowered torch at. Madness. This won’t have been risk assessed. He didn’t do one before smashing the mirrors either. H&S out the window in music videos yet again.

[6:24]: The detective leading the charge there like he’s done loads of work. He literally took a walk and stumbled upon the place.

[06:26]: So, something smashes for no reason and then she takes off with Meat… lol… down the hallway. She’s showing no regard for the fact she’s barefoot and there’s glass all over the floor. She’s gonna look like Bruce Willis in Die Hard by the time she gets home.

[06:37]: She see’s Meat’s face for the first time. Given how hot she is, she’s probably used to going out with guys way beneath her.

[06:47]: Ahhh the classic sing directly into someone’s face music video trope. I live for this. She gives his face a stroke. In the days of Covid-19, touching someone else’s face is practically hardcore porn. They’re both going to get very ill.

[07:00]: The detective finds the jewellery and looks pensive. Have I missed something? Is that jewellery supposed to be significant in some way? Did he steal it before the video started and that’s why he was being chased? So many questions.

[07:02]: Marjorie pulls Meat’s head into her chest before he lifts his head back up to show he’s now back to his normal self. Marjorie has magic tits it turns out! Better or worse than being able to move furniture? Difficult one to call really. Having been ‘cured’ it’s now Meat’s turn to sing directly into her face.

[07:23]: They both vanish and then we see them biking off into the sunset both of them in flowy robes that are clearly gonna get stuck in the fucking wheels. DOES NO ONE CARE ABOUT HEALTH AND SAFETY ANYMORE!

[07:28]: One last check in with the policemen for no reason whatsoever.

The end. It’s just dawned on me that the bath bit can’t have been her dreaming, so, once she fell asleep Meat picked her up and slung her in the bath? So strange. I’m done.

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