Meat Loaf vs. Bonnie Tyler In the Jim Steinman Power Ballad Battle
Round 3: Which track is easier to understand?
While its vocals and music are great, "I'd Do Anything" does have one major problem: People seem to have a real hard time comprehending what the song is about. It seems there are many, including whomever wrote the bubbles on Pop-Up Video, that don't know what "that" thing that Meat Loaf wouldn't do is.
You could argue that these people have a point; although the song does explain what "that" is it does so in a pretty roundabout fashion. As for "Total Eclipse," I've never once heard anyone complain that they didn't know what Tyler was singing about. Sometimes you win by not losing.
"I'd Do Anything": 2 "Total Eclipse": 1
Round 4: Which track would you rather sing?
I've never once heard anyone sing "I'd Do Anything" at karoke. I've never seen anyone cover it. Although I've seen it on a few people's mix CDs I rarely see anyone singing along to it in the car. On the other hand most people seem to love singing "Total Eclipse."
You get someone who thinks they have a decent singing voice, get a little bit of alcohol in them, and start the song and they'll be belting it out like there's no tomorrow. I assume this goes back to the "ease of understanding" thing; because we understand "Total Eclipse" better it's easier for us to sing it.
"I'd Do Anything": 2 "Total Eclipse": 2
Round 5: Which track makes the best use of its running time?
At 7:02 and 12:01 these songs aren't exactly short. Even the versions released as singles are way longer than the average track that hits radio. I think most people feel that the single release of "Total Eclipse" is the best. It cuts out an entire verse that's unnecessary as evidenced by the fact that no one knows any of the lyrics to it.
This round goes to "I'd Do Anything," because at the end of the day it is Steinman at his most Steinman; it has a mock motorcycle intro that takes up the first 30 seconds of the song, the big version of the hook doesn't hit for seven minutes, and you don't even find out there's a duet part for almost ten. And yet it's perfect just the way it is.
While they're both great songs, in the end "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" takes the battle three rounds to two, and thus is the best power ballad that Jim Steinman or anyone else has ever written.