Meat Loaf’s ‘Heaven Can Wait’ Audio Challenge

Heaven Can Wait by Meat Loaf: The story behind the song
By Dave Ling
Februry 20, 2022

Meat Loaf's 'Heaven Can Wait' Audio Challenge
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The Album That Was Penned But Never Should Have Been

It’s the summer of 1977, and singer Meat Loaf and songwriter Jim Steinman are preparing to unveil an astonishing album that by rights shouldn’t have existed. At this point, Meat and Jim, plus record label boss Steve Popovic and producer Todd Rundgren, are among a tiny handful of people in the world crazy enough to believe in the potential of the singer and songwriter’s masterpiece, Bat Out Of Hell.

To Read More On The Story Behind This Iconic Album, Click On More On Meatloaf

Most Delicate Song ‘Heaven Can Wait’ Demo’d By Bette Midler

Mister D: I swear every time Meatloaf talks about this song whether in interviews or concerts, check out VH1’s Storytellers Acoustic set, he always brings up Bette Midler. I think most of it has to do that he was a Bettehead himself. I’ve seen photos of him at premieres of her concerts, maybe “I’ll Eat You Last, and he was always beaming, but never looked well.

Anyway, he’d talk about her demoing the song ‘Heaven Can Wait’ but it had this bizarre countryish tinge to it. Needless to say, he said he could tell she hated the song, just from her low-key delivery. Meatloaf thought it was funny, and he said in typical fashion she barged out of the recording booth and went up to the writer/composer, Jim Steinem, and blurted out, “What the fuck is this about?” 

Turns out I wrote about Bette and Meatloaf several times. One of them was this – This demo was produced by Michael Kamen. Rumor has it she thought the lyrics were too surreal and silly. Can’t prove it. Just saying. It was meant to go on her second album when it was all polished up.

Meat Loaf & The Other Artists Who Covered ‘Heaven Can Wait’

Bette Midler sings "Heaven Can Wait
Meat Loaf's 'Heaven Can Wait' Audio Challenge
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There Are 5 Songs In This Accordian Feature – Click Little Down Arrow To Get To The Next Song

Bette Midler: Heaven Can Wait (Demo) 1972

Karla DeVito: Heaven Can Wait – September 1981

Ellen Foley: Heaven Can Wait – November 11, 2015

Meat Loaf: Heaven Can Wait – from Bat Out Of Hell – October 1977


Heaven Can Wait
(Jim Steinman)

Heaven can wait
And a band of angels wrapped up in my heart
Will take me through the lonely night
Through the cold of the day
And I know, I know
Heaven can wait
And all the gods come down here just to sing for me
And the melody’s gonna make be fly
Without pain, without fear
Give me all of your dreams
And let me go along on your way
Give me all of your prayers to sing
And I’ll turn the night into the skylight of day
I got a taste of paradise
I’m never gonna let it slip away
I got a taste of paradise
It’s all I really need to make me stay
Just like a child again
Heaven can wait
And all I got is time until the end of time
I won’t look back
I won’t look back
Let the altars shine
And I know that I’ve been released
But I don’t know to where
And nobody’s gonna tell me now
And I don’t really care
No no no
I got a taste of paradise
That’s all I really need to make me stay
I got a taste of paradise
If I had it any sooner you know
You know I never would have run away from my home
Heaven can wait
And all I got is time until the end of time
Well I won’t look back
I won’t look back
Let the altars shine
Heaven can wait
Heaven can wait
I won’t look back
I won’t look back
Let the altars shine
Let the altars shine
Share A little Divinity

4 thoughts on “Meat Loaf’s ‘Heaven Can Wait’ Audio Challenge

  1. I hate to comment on this, as it is almost sacrilege, but I feel everybody did a better job on this song than Bette. Very bizarre because I think Bette is the best interpretive singer in the business, and nobody can match her ability to deliver a message within a song, and it make it heartfelt, real, and oft-times gut-wrenching. Not the case with this song. I got the impression that she was merely reciting lyrics, whereas I felt a greater gravitas with the other singers, where the lyrics and the music struck more of a resonant chord with me. You know, win a few, lose a few. Bette can still sing a song better than most if not everybody out there, but I agree with the notion that she didn’t quite feel the passion in this song. Kind of glad this demo didn’t make the final cut to album. This round goes to Meatloaf (may he rest in peace).

    1. Well I heard him say somewhere Bette hated the song. It has an awful arrangement. And then there’s that line in the article where she asks Steinman what the fuck does this song me. Someone like her is not going to do well on a song she just doesn’t understand. But I had the same feeling as you just about. I thought she sounded like she just wanted to get it over with lol

  2. The song is “O.K.’, but I have to agree with Bette “What the fuck is this song about???”.
    Yes, her heart is definitely not in it, but as I was following the lyrics as she was singing I just kept shaking my head saying “What???”
    But I will agree that the other singers, especially Meatloaf did a good job with what is there.
    An interesting story I will share about MeatLoaf,
    I used to cook for the performers at a music venue in Clearwater, Fl.
    I cooked for Meatloaf about 13 years ago when he played there.
    He had brought a boombox with him, it was in his dressing room and he hated the sound on it so he yelled to his assistant to go out and get a better one and he asked me if I wanted the old one so I said yes.
    It sat in my garage for years until I sold it for $25.00 at a yard sale…I don’t think the guy who bought it believed me when I told him it belonged to MeatLoaf …probably ended up in the trash eventually…

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