Okay, so previously we've established that The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" is the greatest rock song ever written. As great as it is, there are times when it's just not what I want to hear. Some songs, however, fall into that category in which they are welcome at any time, when I'm in any mood. They're not guilty pleasures, because I'll shout from the rooftops that I like these songs; I feel no guilt about liking them. Still, no one would argue that they're on par with the best works ever written. Songs on this list of mine include Reel Big Fish's "She Has a Girlfriend Now," Greg Kihn's "Jeopardy," Madness' "Our House," the J. Geils Band's "I Do," and numerous others. One song stands out from this list, though.
"Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meat Loaf.
I'm sure most of you just read that and incredulously asked, "Meat Loaf?" Yes. Meat Loaf. It's just a great song. While at first it seems a simple rock and roll song, the complexity of the instrumentation takes several listenings to register. This is to say nothing of the fact that the musicians play both rock and funk incredibly, they play both large and small moments perfectly, and they create drama and suspense in the midst of a fun romp of a song.
Lyrically, this song is right in my wheelhouse. I love a song that tells a story, and the story of Paradise is about as universal as can be, no matter which side of the exchange you're on. Even more, I love songs that have lyrical twists, so when the last movement of the eight and a half minutes arrives, putting a completely different spin on the entire song, I can't help but smile. Plus, it's got Phil Rizzuto! How can you not love a song with a Phil Rizzuto call in it!
When it's over, I get a feeling of satisfaction, as if I'd eaten a perfect meal or finished reading a great novel.