Rock 'N' Roll Hero is a compilation drawn from Meat Loaf's 1984-1987 stint at Arista Records, during which he recorded two studio albums, Bad Attitude (1984) and Blind Before I Stop (1986), as well as the concert album Live at Wembley (aka Live, 1987). The 77-minute disc mixes up seven of the nine tracks from Bad Attitude (including the British hits "Modern Girl" and "Piece of the Action") with six of the 11 tracks from Blind Before I Stop (including the British hit "Rock 'N' Roll Mercenaries"), then concludes with two songs from Live at Wembley, versions of the Bat Out of Hell numbers "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" and "Bat Out of Hell." This period in Meat Loaf's recording career stands as a valley in between the massive success of Bat Out of Hell (1977) and the massive comeback of Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell (1993), and it finds him working without his songwriting partner Jim Steinman. (Actually, he did record two Steinman songs on Bad Attitude, but they are the two songs from that album not included here.) On his own, sometimes contributing to the songwriting himself, he makes conventional hard rock with synth pop and Euro-disco elements, still singing in his passionate tenor. This is not the best of Meat Loaf, but it is worth hearing for fans.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann