Meat Loaf

Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are

Composed by Jim Steinman

Song Review by

This minor hit from Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell is quite possibly the most personal song in the Meat Loaf catalog. The reason for this is that "Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are" draws its inspiration from the singer’s often-tragic childhood. The lyrics portrays a man who has overcome tragedies in his life yet still feels haunted by their memory: "It was long ago and it was far away/Oh God, it seems so very far/And if life is just a highway and the soul is just a car/And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are." The music takes the concept of a power ballad to epic heights: the verses build from somber softness to piercing heights of drama before giving way to a chorus that releases the tension with a meditative melodic figure that underlines the hypnotically-repeated title in a soothing fashion. Meat Loaf’s recording of "Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are" captures its ebb and flow nicely, starting with gentle piano and synthesizer licks that are built up with power chords to enhance their drama and weaving stirring, choir-styled backing vocals into the chorus that keep its repetition fresh by giving it new layers. Meat Loaf delivers one of his greatest vocals over this cinematic backdrop, a powerhouse effort that utilizes everything from a dainty whisper to an operatic roar as it wrings every drop of drama out of the tear-jerking lyrics. It all added up to a ballad so dramatic it was almost overpowering but "Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are" went on to become a top-40 hit. It remains a major favorite with Meat Loaf’s fans thanks to its autobiographical quality.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell 1993 MCA 4:59
No Image 1996 MCA
Live Around the World 1996 Tommy Boy
The Very Best of Meatloaf 1998 Epic 9:41
3 Bats Live [DVD] 2007 Hip-O
Top of the Pops 1994 2008
Various Artists
EMI 10:17
The Essential Meat Loaf 2011 Epic 9:45
Icon 2014 Geffen 4:57
blue highlight denotes editor's pick