Meat Loaf - Hits Out Of Hell

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Biography - Cast
Year Released 1991
Running Time 57:23 minutes
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Director  
Epic Music Video 
Sony Music
Starring Marvin Lee Aday
Case Black Brackley
RPI $34.95 Music Marvin Lee Aday

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536 Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision ? Smoking No
Subtitles English Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

   If you have read my earlier review from the Classic Album series, Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell album, you will know that that is an album I hold in very high regard, and the man himself is one of the best entertainers I have ever seen. So there was no surprise when I stuck my hand up to review this particular DVD.

   The songs on offer on is DVD are:

  1. Bat Out Of Hell
  2. Read 'Em And Weep
  3. Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad
  4. Razor's Edge
  5. More Than You Deserve
  6. I'm Gonna Love Her For Both Of Us
  7. If You Really Want To
  8. You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
  9. Paradise By The Dashboard Light
   Most of the big titles from that ground-breaking first album are included here, but there is a dearth of titles from his other albums. That is partly explained by the age of the video itself, but really this is not a true representation of the career of Meat Loaf and severely underutilises the capabilities of the DVD format. There was ample scope to take the opportunity to update the video contents here.

   Whilst this would normally have been a most welcome addition to the collection, the lack of updating of the ten year old video, coupled with the relatively poor quality transfer, means that this is a severe disappointment in every respect. Ten songs is hardly good value for money on DVD.

Transfer Quality


    The video itself was first released in 1991 but the actual material contained therein dates back even further. This transfer makes no attempt to hide the vintage. At best this can only be considered an average-looking transfer. The transfer is presented in a Full Frame format and is of course not 16x9 enhanced.

    This looks for all the world like the video tape that I used to own (it died many years ago) if I recall correctly. It really is not a great example of the superiority of DVD at all. Whilst much of this could be attributed to the age of the material, there is no denying that in general this is a somewhat diffuse looking effort that is not exactly blessed with copious amounts of detail. Indeed, there is nothing here that you will mistake for great definition, except perhaps in the slightly more recent If You Really Want To and Razor's Edge. Clarity is nothing especially memorable and the whole transfer is blessed with a degree of grain throughout. It should be remembered that a lot of this will be inherent in the source material, and thus was expected. Shadow detail is nothing special either. There did not appear to be any low level noise problems in the transfer.

    The colour palette also demonstrates the age of the source material, lacking an awful lot in saturation. There is no vibrancy whatsoever here and the whole thing has a somewhat flat look in the colours - made worse by the obligatory problems presented by stage lighting. This tends to result in washed-out looks, although the red stage lighting does on occasion increase the appearance of oversaturation in the transfer. There is the odd indication of colour bleed in the transfer, most notably Meat Loaf's tie in Razor's Edge. There really is nothing here that really looks at all natural.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There are no readily apparent film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. Just about every individual video is blessed with a range of film artefacts, mainly in the form of rather noticeable dirt marks.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two soundtracks on the DVD, being an English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack whilst sampling the Linear PCM soundtrack. The short story is that neither is especially wonderful.

    The music comes up reasonably well in the transfer and is fairly clear. There are just a few hints of audio sync here and there but they are more than likely inherent problems in the source material than mastering issues.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is a rather mundane sounding effort, as well as slightly inconsistent. For starters, it sounds less like a 5.1 effort and more like a 3.1 effort at best! There is little if anything being pushed through the rear channels, with only a little more coming through the front surrounds. The soundtrack really sounds at times as if it is coming generally from the centre channel, with the bass channel tossing in some support. That support however varies from being generally minor to the odd track having a bit more contribution. Unfortunately, Razor's Edge in particular suffers from too much bass and sounds just a little unnatural as a result - and vastly different from most of the rest of the DVD. More Than You Deserve suffers a little from distortion towards the end of the song, but that is the only evidence of any inherent problems in the source material. Overall, this is not a stellar example of 5.1 remastering at all and lacks a fair degree in clarity and presence.

    The Linear PCM 2.0 soundtrack is also a pretty ordinary sounding effort, with a degree of congestion throughout the sampled bits. This is one of the poorest examples of the uncompressed Linear PCM sound that I have yet heard. It lacks any sort of real clarity in the sound, lacking the air that this sound is usually associated with. This is not in the same league as a CD recording, to which these soundtracks can normally be compared, and is just a tad difficult to enjoy.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    All things considered, this is a pretty woeful collection.


    Themed upon that famous album cover, they are lacking any sort of animation or audio enhancement.


    A short and not especially well detailed effort, better than nothing but not a whole lot more.


    A monumental disappointment indeed - a single page listing of album titles. Lacking even simple details like year of release, given the available space on the DVD this should have been so much more. A complete track listing for each album, a photo of the album cover and even a sound bite or two from each album would not have gone astray at all.


    As far as we have been able to ascertain, there are no censorship issues with this title.

R4 vs R1

    As far as we have been able to ascertain, this is identical to the Region 1 release.


    Meat Loaf - Hits Out Of Hell is ultimately a disappointing release. Pretty much a straight reissue of the ten year old video tape, it looks and sounds as if it were mastered from the self same ten year old video tape. If you have the video tape, then there is little need to update at this price. If you do not have the video tape, I would recommend that you wait for something better than this effort. The whole package really gives the distinct impression of having been tossed together as cheaply as possible.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
14th June, 2001.

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL