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

Album: Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell (1993)
Charted: 1 1
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This was Meat Loaf's comeback song. In 1977, his album Bat Out Of Hell produced the hits "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad," "Paradise By The Dashboard Light," and "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth," all written by the piano player Jim Steinman. After a falling out with Steinman and difficulty in his personal life, Meat Loaf released several unsuccessful albums before reuniting with Steinman for Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, which was considered a sequel to the 1977 album. This has a very similar sound to Meat Loaf's previous hits, and the bombastic, piano-driven style went over well with his old fans as well as a new generation of listeners, helping make this a massive hit.
  • The female vocalist is Lorraine Crosby. Also known as "Mrs. Loud," she has appeared on backup vocals for a number of artists and sings at various social functions in the UK. Patti Russo is Meat Loaf's backing singer who sings the vocals live in concert with him, and in the video for the song, the model Dana Patrick is lip-synching to Lorraine's voice. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Julia - London, England
  • In the line, "I will do anything for love, but I won't do that," the "that" is whatever he said just before that. For example: "But I'll never forget the way you feel right now, Oh no - no way - I would do anything for love, But I won't do that" - The "that" in this particular verse is "forget the way you feel right now." Meat Loaf said this himself on his Storytellers episode on VH1. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Melly - Chicago, IL
  • The album version is about 12-minutes long. The radio mix runs 7:58, which was still a very long song to receive airplay. In both the US and UK, it is the longest #1 hit ever. It beat the previous record-holder, "Hey Jude" by The Beatles, by a margin of 47 seconds. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Emery - London, England
  • In the UK, this was the biggest hit of 1993, selling 761,200 copies. It was #1 on the UK charts for 7 weeks, and would have been the Christmas #1 in 1993 if it stayed #1 for the eighth week. It was beaten by Mr. Blobby's Christmas single.
  • Meat Loaf won a Grammy for Best Rock Solo Performance for his work on this song.
  • Michael Bay directed the video for this song. David Fincher was the first choice, but he wanted $1.7 million for the budget. Seems hard to believe, but Bay - the man who would later direct the movies Transformers and Pearl Harbor - was the cheaper option. Bay did it for $750,000, and it made heavy rotation on MTV. The next two Meat Loaf videos were also directed by Bay: "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" and "Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer than They Are."
  • Many music critics turned up their noses at this song, putting it a lot of snarky "Worst Of" lists at the end of 1993. Blender magazine named it one of the 50 worst songs of all-time in their 2004 list.
  • In the movie Spiceworld, where Meat Loaf plays the Spice Girls' bus driver, there is a problem that the toilets are always clogged. When Clifford (the girls' manager) asks Meat Loaf to fix them, he says, "Listen, I love these girls, and I'll do anything for them... but I won't do that." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lisa - Alabaska, AL

Comments: 55

  • Anthony from NyHe wont Cheat
  • Don from ChicagoIn the first phrase, he says "I'd never lie to you and that's a fact". That is the "that" that he won't do. He just won't lie to her.
  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, Philippinesgod of s-- and drums and rock and roll = I know who Jim Steinman is referring to. He refers to the archenemy of God and Jesus. I think Steinman's songs' lyrics have dark connotations and I don't like his songs in general although some of them used to be my favorite "to sing" songs... There I caught you Steinman. That particular line from this song confirmed my suspicions on him.
  • Marc from -, MdFirst-ever interview with the girl in this video, including what she's doing now and never-published pics: http://noblemania.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-girl-in-video-id-do-anything-for.html
  • Thomas from Mannum, Australia"That" = "anal"
  • Michael Scott from Punta Gorda, FlI liked 2 out of three ain't bad alittle better it tells the beginning of this song, last verse sooner or later you'll be foolin around, but he won't do that.
  • L from Melbourne, AustraliaDoes Meat Loaf in the film clip to this song remind anybody else of the Gatekeeper from that old video/board game 'Nightmare'? I remember watching this film clip when it first came out, I was about 10 or so years old and to me he looked a dead ringer for the Gatekeeper! Either way, it's a top song, one of my favorites and the film clip is awesome and very entertaining.
  • Nick from Cairns, AustraliaJesus of surburbia, check out dream theater's octavarium, that goes for 24 minutes and still catches the great ochestral and progressive rock energy in the song. Anyway great song but bat out of hell is heaps more epic.
  • Alec Thorp from Yorktown Heights, NyThere was a contestant on American Idol who sang this song very badly and totally destroyed it. I will never listen to this song the same way again! Also, I think this is a very good song.
  • Alec Thorp from Yorktown Heights, NyThere was a contestant who sang this song very badly and totally destroyed it. I will never listen to this song the same way again! Also, I think this is a very good song.
  • Meghan from Glendale, AzFirst of all some people need to do better research...Look up Patti Russo...Then watch the videos "I would do anything for love" and "I'd Lie for You"
    Its her. watch it live on youtube...
    Dana Patrick isn't in "I would do anything for love".
  • Sam from Warwick, AustraliaMarilyne, you are partially wrong and partially right. A model by the name of Dana Patrick was the woman he was chasing after. But, in the video for 'Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through', which is from the same album, Angelina Jolie is the young girl.
  • Jan from Byfield, MaFor how many, many years have my DH and I debated the "that" topic?!? BTW, he's wrong and I'm right.
  • Andy from Halesowen, West Midlands, United KingdomI like the way you think Mae :))
    But if that were the case you would expect the woman to sing "I won't do that" as guys seem to be me more keen on using the rear enterance than girls are to hav it used!! Then again, perhaps the girl is into some really weird stuff... not going there!!!
  • Amy from Morecambe, United KingdomI just love this song :D
  • Mooler from Detroit, MiIn my opinion, "that" means change. I think he is saying he wont change who he is just for love. I have never seen the Storytellers episode and I have never been to a concert.
  • Nora from Small Town , Fl"I know the territory, I've been around
    It'll all turn to dust and we'll all fall down
    Sooner or later you'll be screwing around"

    Will you cater to every fantasy I got?
    Will ya hose me down with holy water if I get too hot?
    Will ya take me to places I've never known?

    WHOO, GREAT LYRICS ! THIS SONG GIVES ME CHILL EVERYTIME I LISTEN TO IT ! SO FULL OF POWER,LOVE, LUST, ANGER, SADNESS......GATTA LOVE IT !

  • Clair from Llandudnojct, WalesWhen he says love i think he is refering to making love (as in sex) Soo i fink the screwing around bit he is trying to say he will do anything for sex but he wont cheat! And yeh he does mean he will do anythink but what he said before he actualy explains that in meatloaf storyteller if anyones ever seen it. :)

    LEGEND! X
  • Jesus Of Suburbia from Frinton On Sea, AlThe Album version lasts an amazing 11:52 incredibly long time i haven't heard many songs longer than that
  • Nora from Victoria, CanadaI think Greg in Australia is on the right track. In Paradise he gave HIMSELF up for a physical treat, this song is a follow up and has him trying to redeem himself in that he will do anything for love but he won't deceieve HIMSELF again. Clear as mud???
  • Kristine from Naga City, Otherdid u know that we discussed this song in our humanity class? our professor said that the "that" in this song is to make love with the girl... that is, he won't make love to the girl! I find it kind of amusing, which further triggered my curiousity as to the real "that" in this song... What do u guys think?
  • Stinne from Skærbæk, DenmarkI love this song so much, I've heard him play on "Rock under broen" )a danish festival) and it was just SO big... i could cry when he played that song!!!
  • Jason from Rochester, Nyi always thought "that" meant murdering her ex. thats what i heard
  • Everett from Tuscaloosa, AkI always thought "that" refered to meeting her parents.
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlI still have a theory that Meatloaf and Chris Farley were separated at birth. I can do without both.
  • Craig from Adel, AustraliaThe "that" has nothing to do with cheating, look at this for an example.

    But I'll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life, no way
    I would do anything for love
    Oh, I would do anything for love
    I would do anything for love, but I won't do that
    No, I won't do that

    When he says "I Won't Do That" he means he'll never stop dreaming of her. Just like "He Won't" forgive himself if he doesn't go all the way tonight etc. It's that simple, it's all in the lyrics =)
  • Brandon from Peoria, IlThis was used in a Dr. Pepper commercial in the early '00s (that's so weird to write) where a guy is doing stuff for his girlfriend (like buy tampons and watching girly movies) and all the while the song is playing, but when she reaches for his Dr. Pepper, he pulls away and the song sings "but i won't do THAT." I finally realized what the THAT was in the song...Thanx Dr. Pepper :)
  • Marilyne from Miami, FlI want to know who is the actress that meatloaf was running after in the video "I'll do anything for love...but I won't do that" I swear that she was Angelina Jolie I have a bet on this one who is right?
  • Markus from Stockholm, SwedenJason: There's just one thing... Dunno if I got you right here but he doesn't say "I would do anything for love but i won't do that" after the girl sings "Sooner or later you'll be screwing around" ... He only says: "I won't do that"... so he isn't stating that cheating is doing anything for love.. you get me?
  • Jesse from Haddam, CtSex and drums and rock and roll. good line
  • Jason from Troy, IlIt's obvious that the "that" is whatever was said just before. What is causing so much confusion and why we still question the song to this day is the last verse that this "Mrs. Loud" character sings. "Sooner or later you'll be screwin' around", and he responds "I won't do that", as we all know. The only part of this that you should question is how him cheating is doing anything for love. I would do anything for love but I won't cheat. I guess he assumes some people do cheat for love. It just doesn't make any sense.
  • Jennifer from New Haven, CtDid you know this was the song that got Evanescence together? :) Amy Lee played this on the piano at a summer camp and the guy from Evanescence (forgot his name) asked her to join a band with him (which later became Evanescence). Pretty cool, huh?? :)
  • Mark from Bradford, Englanddid you know meatloaf's album "bat out of hell" was in the uk charts for 9 years. and in the song i would do anything for love, "that" means i wont cheat. i would do anything for love but i would not cheat on you.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnThis was Meat Loaf's high energy comeback. It was also one of the longest songs ever recorded on Bat Out of Hell II, which contained songs titled Life is a Lemon and I want My Money Back and Object in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are.
  • Mike from Idaho Falls, IdI did a little searching for those of you who don't want to or don't care that much. The album gives credit to Dana Patrick for the vocals on Anything For Love. The album was released the same year that Patti Russo joined Meat. So that could end some confusion. P.S...No mention of Lorraine Crosby on the credits.
  • Maxine from LincolnshireOk,
    1 - meat is not that ugly lol
    2 - It IS Lorraine Crosby's vox on the record
    3 - Patti Ruso did not join Meat until the bat out of Hell 2 tour,
    4 - The THAT, is THE LINE BEFORE EVERY CHORUS - FACT, NOT ADULTERY OR ORAL SEX
    p.s, Meat n patti rock! xx
  • Sarah from West Jordan, UtThe Mrs. Loud featured on the cd wasn't Patti Russo OR Lorraine Crosby, it was Dana Patrick.
  • Sean from Toronto, Canadai have a 5:13 version i dont know if anyone else does. but i have seen that commercial its funny
  • Julia from London, EnglandLorraine Crosby entered the UK Pop Idol competition this year, she got through the first audition
  • Richard from Calgary, Ab, Canada"that" refers to cheating. She says "...sooner or later you'll be screwin' around" and he says "I won't do that!"
  • Ali from Islamabad, Pakistani was once told that the song is about the famous beauty and the beast fairytale. i guess thats true, meatloaf looks ugly in the video. my favourite verses are: Somedays I pray for silence
    Somedays I pray for a soul
    Somedays I just pray to the God of Sex and Drums and Rock'N Roll
  • Kyle from Lawn, Newfoundland, CanadaMeatloafs i would do anything for (but i wont do that) like many of his songs are the best songs ever. The (that) in the song refers to "After a while you'll forget everything
    It was a brief interlude
    And a midsummer night's fling
    And you'll see that it's time to move on" as quoted fom the girl in the song.
  • Serkan from Ankara, TurkeyA perfect composition, perfect vocals and such a perfect video. It was the best of 1993, and it's a classic now...
  • Tony from Pasco, WaWhen Meat says "I wont do that" he's saying he wont cheat on her.
  • James from Billingham, EnglandThe "That" is the last word before every chorus.

    E,G

    "I'll never stop dreaming about you every night of my life

    I'd do anything for love but I won't do that"

    So its basically him saying he won't do something like stop dreaming about the woman every night of his life.
  • Douggie from Trenton, Dcyou have to listen to the lyrics to understand what "that" is. When the female singer sings her verses. Meatloaf begins at first saying, "i can do that" to all the good things she says. Then she says that he'll desert her and cheat on her. then he says, "I wont do that!!!!!!!!!!!!!, I WONT DO THAT!!!" So that is just forgeting his love for her or something like that. Just think about it. Im out.
  • Melania from Moscow, Europewow, i know a lot of people hate this but i freakin' love it!
    great song, great video, amazing vocals!
  • Amy from Middlesbrough - England, EnglandThe woman who sings with meat loaf from ill do any thing for love : is not the woman in the video. the actual singer is from england and called Loriane Crosby and she sings in social clubs i have met her and she is really nice. i am a big meat loaf fan and hope one day i do get to meet him x
  • Jeff from Sacramento, Cathe "that" is oral sex, as any teenage guy can tell you. I still remember the dashboard lights...
  • Adrian from Merthyr Tydfil, Algrow old gracefully
  • Honzin from Prague, Czech RepublicThe singer is Patti Russo, check out http://meatloafonline.com/meat_patti.htm
  • Catherine from Glasgow, EnglandSomeone told me this song was based on beauty and the beast. Its the Beast saying he would do anything for someone to love him and break the spell.
  • Max from Scranton, United Statesthe singer is not pattie russo her name is Lorraine Crosby other wise know as Mrs. Loud
  • Walker from Null, Otherfunny cause VH1 put this on their top 50 awesomely bad songs list because they didnt know what he meant by "that" yet he explained it on his storytellers episode
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandThe song has been further edited to 5:25. I'm not sure if that was the single or not.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

dUg Pinnick of King's X

dUg Pinnick of King's XSongwriter Interviews

dUg dIgs into his King's X metal classics and his many side projects, including the one with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.

British Invasion

British InvasionFact or Fiction

Go beyond The Beatles to see what you know about the British Invasion.

John Lee Hooker

John Lee HookerSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write the blues.

Chris Squire of Yes

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.