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Meat Loaf: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

American rock legend Meat Loaf has sold more than 80 million records worldwide in a career spanning 50 years to date - and the 70-year-old icon is showing no signs of slowing down. Released in 1977, his most famous album, Bat Out of Hell, was in the charts continually for nine years and still sells 200,000 copies annually today.

He won a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for his 1993 hit single I'd Do Anything for Love and won Brit Awards in 1994 for Best Selling Album for Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell and for Best Selling Single, I'd Do Anything for Love.

He has also starred in more than 50 films and TV shows, including the cult movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975, when he played biker Eddie. He also played Tiny in Wayne's World in 1992 and starred alongside Brad Pitt as Robert "Bob" Paulson in Fight Club in 1999.


Early life

Born Marvin Lee Aday, in Dallas, Texas, on 27th September 1947, Meat Loaf began his acting career in productions at Thomas Jefferson High School. After graduating from North Texas State University in 1967, he isolated himself in his apartment for more than three months following the death of his mother. On emerging, he caught the next available flight out of Dallas - ending up in Los Angeles.

He formed his first band there (Meat Loaf Soul) while working as a nightclub doorman. He has told many different stories about why he changed his name to Meat Loaf and has admitted he was bored with being asked the same question, and that he has often lied!

The most likely story was that it was a name given to him by his high school football coach, because of his weight and solid build. He also changed his first name by deed poll from Marvin to Michael in 1984, because of an advert for Levi jeans with the unfortunate slogan, "Poor fat Marvin can’t wear Levis."

He said being called Marvin was suddenly so embarrassing that he changed his name legally. Yet oddly, the name Meat Loaf never offended him, even though in one version of his story it related to his size.


Career highlights

Although his first band had some success, it was his acting career that took off first, with a role in the musical, Hair, leading him to Broadway and a role in the stage show, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 1975, he starred in the big screen version with Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon. The film became a cult hit and a major commercial success, grossing more than $112 million at the box office.

He continued with his musical career and in 1977 recorded his best-selling album, Bat Out of Hell, which cemented his place as a rock legend, making him a multi-platinum star.

Over the next four decades, he continued with his acting and music careers, releasing a continual stream of hit records and completing 26 live concert tours to date, including the most recent, Braver Than We Are, in 2017.


Best songs

Apart from his best-selling singles, Meat Loaf has also released a host of other classic rock anthems that are equally moving, although perhaps not as well-known as the iconic Bat out of Hell, Dead Ringer for Love, or I'd Do Anything for Love.

One of these is Where the Rubber Meets the Road, from his 1995 album, Welcome to the Neighbourhood. This particular song has left fans on fan sites having discussions to explain its complex lyrics.

In popular culture, urban dictionaries describe the phrase "where the rubber meets the road" as meaning that the time to make a decision and take action is now. It defines a point in a situation where action is needed, as opposing views finally clash head-on. It's the moment when ideas must face reality and a decisive step must be taken.

The phrase has been widely adopted as corporate-talk, often used in a business sense. It has been described as a means of delegates "pepping up their conference vocabulary" when making a point, saying "Let's get down to where the rubber meets the road," before expressing their view of what the likely outcome will be.


Concept album

In the Meat Loaf song, he relates the phrase directly to relationships. The song contains a serious message, referring to whether it's the right time to take the relationship to the next level and whether both parties feel the same way.

Welcome to the Neighbourhood was Meat Loaf's seventh studio album and tells the story of how a relationship evolves over the years. Each song appears in chronological order to describe the various stages of the relationship. Where the Rubber Meets the Road is the first track, when a young couple have first met and are starting to get serious. Described as a concept album for Meat Loaf, it went platinum in the UK and the US.

When you reach the stage where the rubber meets the road and you need to buy the best quality rubber matting, browse Coruba's extensive range of rubber matting products for every application.

It's a popular flooring choice for environments such as gyms, stables and kennels, marine applications, swimming pools and ice rinks, where a non-slip surface is essential. Please contact us for further details of our rubber matting products and how they can improve your premises.

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