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Meat Loaf’s ‘Bat Out of Hell’ Album Reaches All-Time High Chart Position After His Death (But It Won’t Go Top 10)

Is it possible one of the best-selling rock albums ever never even reached the top 10 in the '70s? Yep.

Meatloaf
AP

Meat Loaf songs are filled with parenthetical clauses, so it feels appropriate to use one in the service of explaining what happened with his 1977 “Bat Out of Hell” album on the new Billboard 200 chart: In 2022, following his death, it soared to its peak position to date. (But actually reach the top 10? It didn’t do that.)

“Bat Out of Hell” reenters the album chart at No. 13 this week, Billboard reported Monday. Is it possible that one of the biggest-selling albums of all time never previously reached any higher than that? It is. The blockbuster album’s zenith, in its original run, was somehow a mere No. 14 back in 1977, marking it as a serious slow burner in its climb to finally being certified 14-times-platinum just in the U.S.

But if you were looking for some charts where Meat Loaf did place in the top 10 or even at No. 1, Billboard had quite a good number of those.

On the Billboard Artist 100 chart, which takes in all the sales and streaming data for an artist’s entire catalog, Meat Loaf stands at a hefty No. 3 for the week — not surprising considering that fans also gravitated toward other items in his ouevre, like the “Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell” album and other titles from his half-century-long career.

If you’re looking for outright No. 1s for the late singer, “Bat Out of Hell” stands at the top of two charts: catalog albums and rock albums.

The original “Bat” was a near-miss for first place on the album sales chart; it made it to No. 2. (This chart, of course, tracks only sales and leaves out the streaming data that figures into the overall Billboard 200.)

On the vinyl albums chart, “Bat” had to settle for No. 20, a number that reflects just how little stock brick-and-mortar stores had to met the sudden customer demand.

Percentage increases for the week for the album were astronomical across categories. The total album-equivalent unit figure for “Bat” was 28,000, an increase of 3,677%, per PMC Data. Its 16,000 in pure album sales marked a 7,375% gain.

In all, PMC reported, Meat Loaf’s album catalog collectively sold 47,000 album-equivalent units, a weekly boost of 3,201%.

The song that consumers wanted to hear most was not from the “Bat Out of Hell” album, though. It was “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That,” from 1993’s “Bat II.” It didn’t make the domestic Billboard Hot 100, but it did enter the Billboard Global 200 — an international chart that didn’t exist upon the song’s initial release — at No. 49. It was the No. 2 digital download track for the week, selling 20,000 copies, an increase of 8,876%.

The other best-selling songs by Meat Loaf, in order: “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” (No. 5 among digital song sales); “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (No. 5 on that same chart); “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” (No. 12); “Bat Out of Hell” (No. 17); and “I’d Lie for You (and That’s the Truth)” (No. 49).

When it came to streaming and not sales, though, the order of fans’ two favorite songs was reversed. In that ranking, “Paradise” was the most streamed song of his catalog, at 4.5 million on-demand listens, followed closely by “I’d Do Anything” with 4.4 million.

Overall, Meat Loaf’s songs were streamed on demand 57.7 million times worldwide in the week after his death — with 21.1 million of those streams happening in the U.S.