The stories behind famous rock and roll albums often tend to be as fascinating as the albums themselves, especially when the album in question is off the beaten path. Bat Out Of Hell is perfect example of this phenomenon and fans will be happy to know that Classic Albums: Meat Loaf -- Bat Out Of Hell tells the album's strange story in all its bizarre, operatic glory. This interview-driven documentary features input from many of the musicians involved in the making of Bat Out Of Hell but the focus is on songwriter Jim Steinman, producer Todd Rundgren and, of course, vocalist Meat Loaf. Each is a natural storyteller and gifted with a good sense of humor so the album's story flows forth in a natural, engaging manner. It's particularly interesting to see each member of this trio breaking down their techniques and inspiration, particularly the moments when the layers of different songs are picked apart at the mixing board. Director Jim Smeaton organizes the material well, giving it a snazzy pace and intercutting the talking-head footage with footage from vintage promo and performance clips to add some extra visual flair. It also helps that the music from Bat Out Of Hell is ever present on the soundtrack, setting the proper mood in the background. All in all, Classic Albums: Meat Loaf -- Bat Out Of Hell is an excellent documentary that is guaranteed to please fans while conveying the excitement of Bat Out Of Hell for novices. It's a must for students rock & roll excess.