You can’t have a Sweaty Video Hall of Fame without finding some paradise by the dashboard light or in this case Meatloaf’s more than eight-minute narrative of what going all the way down at the lake can get you.
Written by Jim Steinman, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” reached No. 39 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1977. While it wasn’t a hit on the charts the song has been a classic rock staple for decades. (Note: it did No. 1 in the Netherlands in 1978)
The video, take from a live on a soundstage performance, was originally created to be shown to audiences waiting to see midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which of course featured Meatloaf. It later became popular in MTV’s early years despite being filmed in the previous decade.
The female voice on the album is Ellen Foley (she’s also the subject of The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and would star on the comedy Night Court for a short time). But the woman in the video is Karla DeVito (future wife of actor Robby Benson) lip synching to Foley’s vocals. DeVito also did the live shows.
The song and the video also feature the New York Yankees’ Hall of Fame Broadcaster Phil Rizzuto describing baseball action to coincide with Meat Loaf trying to “score.” In the video, baseball plays from yesteryear are shown somewhat matching Rizzuto’s descriptions.
A very sweaty Meat Loaf wears suspenders, a formal shirt and a red scarf, giving it his all like it was a real concert. The rest of the band are seen sweating as well. Videos for two other Bat out of Hell songs “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” were filmed at the same time as “Paradise”, so you can see the sweat begin and then continue to pour.