Like all of the songs on Bat Out Of Hell, this was written by Jim Steinman, a songwriter/producer with a very theatrical style that comes through on this track. Like "Paradise By the Dashboard Light," "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" is a story of young lust, but with a far more satisfying ending for our hero. Set on a hot summer night under the moonlight on a deserted beach, he finds himself so entranced with his flame that he can't even say the words "I Love You," as he is overcome with desire.
It's a song of pure passion, which is classic Steinman. Other songs he wrote include "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" by Bonnie Tyler and "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" by Celine Dion.
The album version of this song contains a spoken intro ("On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses…"). That's not Meat Loaf - the male voice is Jim Steinman and the woman is Marcia McClain, an actress who played Dee Stewart on the Soap Opera As the World Turns.
Steinman wrote the dialogue for his stage production Neverland, which was performed five months before the Bat Out Of Hell album was released. Three songs he wrote for the play were used on the album: the title track, "Heaven Can Wait" and "All Revved Up with No Place to Go."
This was the first single released from Bat Out Of Hell, which was Meat Loaf's third solo album. His first two albums made little impact, but Bat had wings, selling millions of copies not just upon its release, but also for many years later, mostly though catalog sales.
The album took a while to catch on, however. In the UK, this song was released as a single in March 1978 and charted at #33 in May. In America, the single was released in January 1978, and went nowhere. The album gained momentum throughout 1978 as radio stations added the songs to their playlists, especially those running the Album Oriented Rock format that was popular at the time. "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad" was the next single, and this one caught on in the US, reaching #11 in July. After "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" made #39 in September, "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" was re-released, this time going to #39 in January 1979 - 15 months after the album came out.
The album version of this song runs 5:04, but the single release excised the dialog and comes in at 3:48.
Jim Steinman put lots of intimate details into this song's lyric: "fog crawling over the sand," "your lipstick shining." Bruce Springsteen also stamps his songwriting in this manner, and the similarities go beyond the words: two of Springsteen E Street Band members, pianist Roy Bittan and drummer Max Weinberg, played on this track. The album was produced by Todd Rundgren, who later said that the songs were really outsized versions of what Bruce would do.
This over-the-top bombast was noted by the musicians working on the album. Kasim Sulton, who played bass on the tracks (he was also in Rundgren's band Utopia), said in our 2013 interview: "Through the whole process I remember distinctly saying to myself, 'This is just the biggest joke that I've ever been involved in.' It was ridiculous, but it was good. Everybody certainly took it seriously, even though I'm sure that Roy and Max felt the same that I did: 'Okay, I'm just getting paid, it's a record. What am I going to have for dinner tonight?'"
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