Meat Loaf

Dead Ringer For Love

Song Review by

This energetic rock duet, a sort of follow-up to "Paradise By The Dashboard Light," found Meat Loaf teaming up with Cher to create the most commercially successful song on Dead Ringer. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics tell the tale of a guy who’s realized he cant "live by rock ‘n’ roll and brew alone" and sets his sights on his ideal woman: "I don’t know anything about you baby/But you’re everything I’m dreaming of/I don’t know who you are but you’re a real dead ringer for love." The lyric devotes equal time to his vampy object of affection, who says things like "I’m looking for anonymous and fleeting satisfaction/And I want to tell my daddy I’ll be missing in action." This hormonal tale is set to fast-paced rock melody that marries rhythmic verses full of punchy, staccato bursts of notes to a smoother but no less swinging chorus that brings the song to a rousing peak. Meat Loaf’s recording of "Dead Ringer For Love" crackles with energy from start to finish, kicking off with a snarling, metallic guitar lick from moonlighting Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone that is quickly laid over a tub-thumping beat fleshed out by exuberant bursts of horns and doo-wop backing vocals. It also works in an unexpected instrumental break that wraps the horns around a Latin-styled breakdown groove. However, the true attraction of this recording is the inspired duet between Meat Loaf and Cher, both of whom belt out the song with rock and roll abandon (indeed, this song seems like a dry run for Cher’s late 1980's hard rock phase). This unique blend of vocal and instrumental firepower makes "Dead Ringer For Love" feel like a long-lost outtake from the Grease soundtrack on steroids. It failed to get much chart action in the U.S. but became a top-five hit in the U.K., a long-time stronghold of Meat Loaf fandom. "Dead Ringer For Love" remains a cult favorite with Meat Loaf fans today and one of the more inspired rock duets of the 1980's.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Bat Out of Hell 1977 Epic / Legacy 0:00
Dead Ringer 1981 Epic 4:22
Hits Out of Hell 1984 Epic 4:22
Breakaway 1992
Various Artists
Teledisc 4:25
Ultimate Rock, Vol. 1 1993
Various Artists
Heaven & Hell 1994 Sony Music Distribution / Columbia 4:23
No Image 1994 Sony Music 4:23
The Definitive Collection 1995 Sony Music Distribution 4:23
Welcome to the Neighborhood 1995 MCA 0:00
The Very Best of Meatloaf 1998 Epic 4:20
Two Out of Three Ain't Bad 2002 Sony Music Distribution 4:22
No Image 2002 Epic / Sony Music Distribution 4:24
Fallen Angel 2003 Epic 4:23
Greatest Collection 2004 Platinum Disc 4:22
No Image 2008 Epic 4:21
The Rock Box 2011 Sony Music 4:21
Pure... America 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:22
The Essential Meat Loaf 2011 Epic 4:20
Playlist: The Very Best of Meat Loaf 2012 Cleveland International / Epic / Legacy 4:23
80's Songs
Various Artists
Crimson 4:23
Dad Songs
Various Artists
Crimson / Sony Music 4:22