Aside from a limited edition 12", this was never issued as a single in the US, but it was the first song many radio stations started playing after the album came out. Running 9:56, it was far too long for Pop radio, but embraced by the Freeform and Album Oriented Rock stations that were all over the airwaves.
Bat Out Of Hell
went on to sell about 30 million copies (give or take a few million depending on whose accounting you believe), but when it was released, its success was anything but a given. Meat Loaf was a very obscure artist and the album was unconventional, with nothing that sounded like a standard radio hit. This break in convention ended up distinguishing the album and prompting the huge sales figures.
Even the guys who played on the album thought it would flop. In our interview with Kasim Sulton
, who was the bass player, he said that while recording it, he thought the album was "the biggest joke that I've ever been involved in." He learned that it was not a joke when he heard the song on the influential New York City radio station WNEW-FM. "I hear this track, and I said to myself, 'That sounds vaguely familiar. Where have I heard that song before?'" Sutton said. "Then it hit me: 'I played on that!' It was 'Bat Out of Hell,' that track. And then after hearing it on WNEW, the record exploded."