World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)

Article Id: WHEBN0001891923
Reproduction Date:

Title: I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, Meat Loaf, The Very Best of Meat Loaf, Bat Out of Hell (song), I'd do anything for love - Duet - Emerald City.ogg
Collection: 1993 Singles, Billboard Hot 100 Number-One Singles, Dutch Top 40 Number-One Singles, European Hot 100 Singles Number-One Singles, Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, Hard Rock Ballads, Irish Singles Chart Number-One Singles, Meat Loaf Songs, Music Videos Directed by Michael Bay, Number-One Singles in Australia, Number-One Singles in Austria, Number-One Singles in Germany, Number-One Singles in New Zealand, Number-One Singles in Norway, Number-One Singles in Sweden, Number-One Singles in Switzerland, Rock Ballads, Rpm Top Singles Number-One Singles, Singles Certified Platinum by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie, Song Recordings Produced by Jim Steinman, Songs Written by Jim Steinman, Uk Singles Chart Number-One Singles, Vocal Duets
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)

"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"
Single by Meat Loaf
from the album Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell
Released September 15, 1993
Recorded Ocean Way Recording (LA)[1]
Length 12:01 (album version)
7:38 (video version)
5:23 (radio edit)
5:14 (single edit)
Label MCA
Writer(s) Jim Steinman
Producer(s) Jim Steinman
Certification Platinum (RIAA)
Meat Loaf singles chronology
"Rock 'n' Roll Mercenaries"
"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"
"Bat Out of Hell"

"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" is a song composed and written by Jim Steinman, and recorded by Meat Loaf and Lorraine Crosby. The song was released in 1993 as the first single from the album Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell.

The last six verses feature a female singer who was credited only as "Mrs. Loud" in the album notes. She was later identified as Lorraine Crosby. However, she does not appear in the video, in which her vocals are lip-synched by Dana Patrick. Meat Loaf promoted the single with American vocalist Patti Russo.

The song was a commercial success, reaching number one in 28 countries.[1] The single was certified platinum in the United States and became Meat Loaf's first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and on the UK singles chart, and was the best-selling single of 1993 in the United Kingdom. The song earned Meat Loaf a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo.


  • Music and lyrics 1
    • Duet coda 1.1
    • Perceived ambiguity of "that" 1.2
    • Length 1.3
  • Recording 2
  • Music video 3
    • Synopsis 3.1
  • Track listing 4
  • Reception 5
  • Charts 6
    • Weekly charts 6.1
    • Year-end charts 6.2
    • Decade-end charts 6.3
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Music and lyrics

The timings in this article refer to the original album version. There are many shorter single and radio edits.

The song opens with a guitar played to sound like a revving motorcycle. Roy Bittan's piano begins to play, along with the guitars. The vocals begin at the 1:50 point. The opening vocals are accompanied by piano and backing vocals. The song then becomes much louder as the band, predominantly piano, plays the main melody for twenty seconds. An instrumental section follows the first verse and chorus, lasting over 45 seconds, with piano playing the title melody, accompanied by guitar and wordless background vocals by Todd Rundgren, Rory Dodd and Kasim Sulton. The lead vocals recommence with another verse. The phrase "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll" was changed to "Some days I just pray to the god of sex and drums and rock and roll" on the recording, although Meat Loaf occasionally sings the more familiar phrase in concert.[2]

Duet coda

At the 9:28 point, the song transforms into a duet coda. The structure of the verses remains, but the woman now asks what the man would do. He answers in the affirmative for the first four sections.

Will you make me some magic with your own two hands?
Can you build an emerald city with these grains of sand?
Can you give me something I can take home?
I can do that!

The song's tone changes for the final two sections, in which the woman predicts that the man would eventually do things to upset her and their relationship.[3] Both times, he denies it.

The duet part was and still is performed regularly on stage by Meat Loaf with his current featured female vocalist Bat Out of Hell track "Paradise by the Dashboard Light".

Perceived ambiguity of "that"

Meat Loaf says that the question, "What is 'that'?" is one of the most popular questions he is asked.[4]

Each verse mentions two things that the man would do for love, followed by one thing that he will not do. The title phrase repetition reasserts that he "won't do that". Each mention of "that" is a reference to the particular promise that he made earlier in the same verse.[5] The four things he says he will never do are:

  • "forget the way you feel right now"
  • "forgive myself if we don't go all the way tonight"
  • "do it better than I do it with you"
  • "stop dreaming of you every night of my life"[6]

At the song's conclusion, the woman predicts two things that he will do: "You'll see that it's time to move on", and "You'll be screwing around". To both of these, the male emphatically responds, "I won't do that!"

In his 1998 VH1 Storytellers special, Meat Loaf even explained it on stage using a blackboard and a pointing stick.[5] In a 1993 promotional interview, Steinman states that the definition of "that" is fully revealed in the song in each of the several verses in which it is mentioned.

It sort of is a little puzzle and I guess it goes by - but they're all great things. 'I won't stop doing beautiful things and I won't do bad things.' It's very noble. I'm very proud of that song because it's very much like out of the world of Excalibur. To me, it's like Sir Lancelot or something - very noble and chivalrous. That's my favorite song on the record - it's very ambitious.[7][8]

Meat Loaf believed that the lyrics were unambiguous, but Steinman predicted that they would cause confusion.[9] An early episode of the VH1 program Pop-up Video made this claim at the end of the song's video: "Exactly what Meat Loaf won't do for love remains a mystery to this day."[10] A reviewer writing for Allmusic commented that "The lyrics build suspense by portraying a romance-consumed lover who pledges to do anything in the name of love except 'that,' a mysterious thing that he will not specify."[11] Frank O'day says the lyrics provide "an enlightening example of how listeners project their own thoughts, values, and concerns onto the meaning of the song with misconstrued lyrics."[3]

Steinman had previously used the line "I'd do anything for love, but I won't do that" as part of the lyrics of the track "Getting So Excited" on Bonnie Tyler's album Faster Than the Speed of Night.


Steinman's songs are usually long, and "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" is no exception.[9] The song is a full 12 minutes, and Steinman was deeply upset when executives advised him that he had to cut it down to get radio play.[9] Manager Allen Kovac warned that any song over five minutes would not be played on radio, saying that if Steinman and the group did not make the cuts then the stations would. Even after they made the cuts, Steinman sent his own version to the stations.[9]

The single version was edited down to five minutes and 25 seconds, with the motorcycle introduction omitted.[9] The video version was whittled down to seven minutes and 38 seconds, with part of the motorcycle intro remaining.[12] In the video version and single version, the lengthy instrumental break is completely omitted; in the video and single versions, the refrain is abridged as well Lorraine Crosby sings six verses in the complete song. In the video version, the second and third verses are omitted. In the single version, the second, third, and fifth verses are omitted.


Lorraine Crosby, a singer from North East England, was the guest singer, though Allmusic incorrectly attributes the female vocals to Ellen Foley.[11] Crosby and her partner Stuart Emerson had moved to Los Angeles to work with Jim Steinman, who became their manager. He secured them a contract with Meat Loaf's recording label MCA. While visiting the company's recording studios on Sunset Boulevard, Crosby was asked to provide guide vocals for Meat Loaf, who was recording "I'd Do Anything for Love". Crosby recalls, "in I went and sang it twice and I never thought anything more of it until six months later when I got a phone call saying, 'Would you mind if we used your vocals?'" Cher, Melissa Etheridge and Bonnie Tyler had been considered for the role.[13] However, as Crosby had recorded her part as guide vocals, she did not receive any royalties from the song.[13]

Music video

Michael Bay directed the music video. He also directed the videos for "Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer than They Are" and "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through", also from Bat Out of Hell II. Filming took place in Los Angeles County, California in July 1993; the opening chase was filmed at Chávez Ravine, with the interior mansion scenes filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.[10] The cinematographer was Daniel Pearl, particularly known for filming The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in 1973. Pearl says that this video "is one of my personal all-time favorite projects... I think the cinematography is pure, and it tells a story about the song."[14]

The video is based on Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera. Bob Keane did Meat Loaf's make-up, which took up to two hours to apply. The make-up was designed to be simple and scary, yet "with the ability to make him sympathetic."[15] It went over budget, and was filmed in 90 °F (32 °C) heat, across four days. According to one executive, it "probably had the budget of Four Weddings and a Funeral."[2] It is the abridged seven minute single version, rather than the twelve minute (11:58) album version.

The actress in the video, Dana Patrick, is miming to Crosby's vocals,[1] however, as she would to Patti Russo's in the 1995 song "I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth)".[10] According to the captions aired on Pop-Up Video, Patrick received several offers for record deals after the video aired, by executives who assumed she was actually singing in the video.[10]

Rob Lowe has a small roll in the video as a Police Investigator.


The video's climax: Dana Patrick, as "Beauty", confronts Meat Loaf, as "The Beast"

The story begins with the opening credits saying: "I have travelled across the universe through the years to find her. Sometimes going all the way is just a start." We then see "The Beast" character – a deformed man portrayed by Meat Loaf, on a motorbike being chased by police officers and a helicopter. As the chase continues into night, the Beast passes through into a graveyard and into what appears to be a very ornate mausoleum hiding from his pursuers. He mournfully examines his deformed hands and features; as the officers enter and examine the mausoleum he crashes through the wall with his motorbike and he accidentally knocks down a police officer (whose shotgun goes off) and causes one of the chandeliers on the ceiling to fall and kill the officer.

In desperation the Beast flees into the nearby woods where he comes across a beautiful woman bathing/cooling herself by a fountain. Oddly enough, the woman appears to be in sunny daylight, while the rest of the woods and castle clearly show that it is night-time, although this may be a symbolic representation of the woman being the light to the Beast's own mental torture or "darkness" or a romance cliché. The woman looks into a mirror and glimpses the Beast watching her. She turns and he flees leaving only an amulet hanging on a branch. The woman picks it up and pursues him.

As she approaches the castle, the Beast is watching her movements through the reflection of his drink. As she comes into the castle the Beast hurriedly removes himself. The woman sits in his chair and rests by the fire. The beast watches her from his hall of mirrors and contemplates approaching her but is ashamed of his appearance. She later is seen having a bath interspersed with the police officers finding the dead officer's body and preparing to raid the castle. She is later seen trying to sleep while being seduced by 3 vampy women while the Beast sits in a chair (a reference to Dracula and the Brides). The Beast leaves the room and, seeing his reflection, begins to smash up the mirrors. The woman, hearing the noise, comes out and follows him into a presumable living room. The Beast observes her from above and levitates the chaise she is sitting on.

The Beast, then hearing the officers are near moves away, pulls the chaise back down breaking a lamp. The two run away and the woman removes the Beast's hood so she can look at him clearly. She accepts him and caresses his face while they embrace. As they pull away, the Beast is returned to his human form, and the two disappear just before the police catch them. The woman and the transformed Beast finally ride off into the sunrise on his motorbike.

Track listing

The single cover is a cropped version of the painting Leavetaking by fantasy illustrator Michael Whelan, who also painted the Bat Out of Hell II cover.[16]

All songs written and composed by Jim Steinman. 

UK CD single[17]
No. Title Length
1. "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"   7:52
2. "Back into Hell"   2:45
3. "Everything Louder than Everything Else" (live) 9:18
US 45 RPM/Cassette single
No. Title Length
1. "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" (single edit) 5:09
2. "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" (edit) 6:36


The song reached number one in the charts in 28 countries.[1] In most countries, it was Meat Loaf's first and only number one solo single. It was number one in the US for five weeks and sold over 1.4 million copies there.[18] In the UK, it topped the singles chart, and at seven minutes and 52 seconds, "I'd Do Anything for Love" becoming the longest song on top there since The Beatles' hit "Hey Jude".[19] This was then broken when Oasis released their 1997 hit "All Around the World", clocking in at 9 minutes and 20 seconds.

In the UK, this was the biggest hit of 1993, selling 761,200 copies and staying at number one for seven weeks.[20] As a result of its success, "Bat Out of Hell" was reissued in the UK, this time reaching the top ten (which it didn't achieve on its first release in 1979), meaning Meat Loaf achieved the rare feat of having two singles in the UK top ten at the same time.

In Germany, the song is the 7th best-selling pop hymn ever.[21]

Critical reaction was mixed. AllMusic said that "Meat Loaf sells the borderline-campy lyrics with a full-throated vocal whose stirring sense of conviction brings out the heart hidden behind the clever phrases."[11] Meat Loaf won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo for the song.[22]



  1. ^ a b c d "Lorraine Crosby's biography". Lorraine Archived from the original (archived copy from the  
  2. ^ a b Producers: Gina & Jerry Newson (1995-06-12). "Marketing Meat Loaf". The Music Biz. Season 1. Episode 4. BBC2. 
  3. ^ a b Bader, Anne (2007). "Media myths in popular love songs". In Galician, Mary-Lou; Merskin, Debra L. Critical thinking about Sex, love, and romance in the mass media: media literacy applications. London: Routledge. pp. 155–6.  
  4. ^ Meat Loaf (commentary) (2004). Meat Loaf Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (DVD). Melbourne: Warner Music Vision. 
  5. ^ a b "Meat Loaf", VH1 Storytellers, [DVD]
  6. ^ "Kicked Out of Hell". Indy's Meat Loaf fan site. Retrieved 2006-08-29.  ; "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". Indy's Meat Loaf fan site. Retrieved 2006-08-29. 
  7. ^ Jim Steinman (1993). Back into Hell: Meat Loaf & Jim Steinman interview (DVD). Virgin Records. 
  8. ^ "The Artist's Mind". Retrieved 2006-10-22. 
  9. ^ a b c d e  
  10. ^ a b c d "Episode 5". Pop-up Video. VH1. 
  11. ^ a b c Guarisco, Donald A. "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". Allmusic. Retrieved 2006-09-29. 
  12. ^ Video available on Bat out of Hell II: Collector's Edition, Virgin
  13. ^ a b Holt, Pauline (Dec 7, 2003). "All on her own". Sunday Sun. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  14. ^ "Pearl Looks Forward to Future, 25 Years after Texas Chainsaw Massacre". International Cinematographers Guild. Retrieved 2006-08-29. 
  15. ^ Meat Loaf (1993). Back into Hell: Meat Loaf & Jim Steinman interview (DVD). Virgin Records. 
  16. ^ "Leavetaking". Gallery Collection. The Art of Michael Whelan. Archived from the original on 2006-11-17. Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  17. ^ "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) [Alex CD Single] - Meat Loaf | Credits". AllMusic. 1993-10-18. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  18. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1993".  
  19. ^ "Weekly World News" 15 (10). Dec 7, 1993. p. 13. 
  20. ^ "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)". Retrieved 2006-08-29. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Grammy Awards: Best Rock Vocal Solo Performance". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  23. ^ " – Meat Loaf – I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  24. ^ " – Meat Loaf – I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  25. ^ " – Meat Loaf – I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  26. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 58, No. 16, October 30, 1993".  
  27. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Suomi) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi.  
  28. ^ " – Meat Loaf – I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" (in French). Les classement single.
  29. ^ " – Meat Loaf Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  30. ^ "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song".  
  31. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 45, 1993" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  32. ^ " – Meat Loaf – I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". Top 40 Singles.
  33. ^ " – Meat Loaf – I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". VG-lista.
  34. ^ " – Meat Loaf – I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". Singles Top 60.
  35. ^ " – Meat Loaf – I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  36. ^ "Archive Chart: 1993-10-23" UK Singles Chart.
  37. ^ "Meat Loaf – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Meat Loaf.
  38. ^ "Meat Loaf – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Meat Loaf.
  39. ^ "Meat Loaf – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Meat Loaf.
  40. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s.  

External links

Preceded by
"The River of Dreams" by Billy Joel
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
September 4, 1993 - October 23, 1993
Succeeded by
"Mr Vain" by Culture Beat
Preceded by
"Relight My Fire" by Take That featuring Lulu
UK Singles Chart number-one single
October 17, 1993 for 7 weeks
Succeeded by
"Mr Blobby" by Mr Blobby
Preceded by
"Boom! Shake the Room" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
October 17, 1993 for 6 weeks
Succeeded by
"Bryan Adams
Preceded by
"Dreamlover" by Mariah Carey
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
November 6, 1993 - December 4, 1993
Succeeded by
"Again" by Janet Jackson
Preceded by
"What's Up?" by 4 Non Blondes
Austrian number-one single
November 14, 1993 - January 30, 1994
Succeeded by
"U Got 2 Let the Music" by Cappella
Preceded by
"What's Up?" by 4 Non Blondes
Swiss number-one single
November 21, 1993 - January 16, 1994
Succeeded by
"U Got 2 Let the Music" by Cappella
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.