Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Paradise by the Death Star Light



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf. Released in October of '77. Contains the smash hit "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," a song about getting it on in a car. Isn't that a lovely mental image? Meat Loaf getting it on in a car? But I kid the Loaf. "Paradise" is a very good song, I think. I especially like the Phil Rizzuto play-by-play. Did they actually get him in the studio for that, or was it lifted from an old broadcast? I guess I missed that part of "Meat Loaf: Behind the Music."


- The singing in "Bat Out of Hell" start at the same moment the camera pans down after the scrolling text disappears.

- The line "there's evil in the air and thunder in the sky" in "Bat Out of Hell" is heard the moment the two warring spaceships come into view.

- C-3PO and R2-D2 are seen aboard the Tantive IV during the attack as the line "when it's over, you know, we'll both be so alone" is heard in "Bat Out of Hell."

- "Bat Out of Hell" softens for a moment as the Rebels are crouched in the corridor of the Tantive IV, awaiting the Imperial invasion; the song gets heavy again at the same time the door explodes and the stormtroopers enter.

- "Bat Out of Hell" stops for a brief moment toward the end to shift musical gears; this brief stop coincides with the explosion that convinces C-3PO to get into the escape pod.

- The line "I gotta make my escape" in "Bat Out of Hell" is heard as the escape pod carrying the droids soars down to Tatooine.

- The line "the beach was burning" in "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" coincides with a shot of C-3PO walking through the Tatooine desert.

- The phrase "rolling over the sand" in "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" coincides with the first shot of the sandcrawler.

- The camera is on Luke as the line "all I got is time" is heard in "Heaven Can Wait."

- As the line "I won't look back" is heard in "Heaven Can Wait," C-3PO turns away from R2-D2 after the robot auction to walk toward the Lars homestead.

- The line "I was nothing but a lonely boy lookin' for something to do" in "All Revved Up with No Place to Go" is heard as Luke complains to C-3PO about how dull life is on Tatooine.

- Much of the first verse of "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad" reflects the argument between Luke and his uncle regarding Luke's future, which is going on as that verse is heard: "baby, we can talk all night, but that ain't getting us nowhere/I told you everything I possibly can, heres nothing left inside of here/and maybe you can cry all night, but that'll never change the way that I feel."

- The line "you'll never find your gold on a sandy beach" in "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad" is heard as Luke scans the sandy horizon of Tatooine for R2-D2 (and doesn't find anything).

- The chorus of "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad," which is the same as the title," is heard after the Tusken Raider attack in which only two of the three main characters (Luke and C-3PO) are felled.

- The line "I've been waitin' so long for you to come along and have some fun" in "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" coincides with a shot of Obi-Wan talking to Luke in the Jundland Wastes (Obi, obviously, is the one who has been waiting for Luke).

- The lines at the end of Phil Rizzuto's play-by-play in "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" ("it's gonna be close, here's the throw, here's the play at the plate, holy cow, I think he's gonna make it") coincide with Obi-Wan successfully lying to Luke about his father's death despite looking very uncomfortable.

- The line "oh babe, don't you hear me crying, don't go" in "For Crying Out Loud" is heard as Luke is running to his landspeeder as Obi-Wan warns him not to go home.

- The line "how was I to know?" in "For Crying Out Loud" coincides with Luke's reaction as he pulls up to his homestead.

- The line "I'm gonna need somebody" in "For Crying Out Loud" is heard as Luke turns away from the sight of his dead relatives, clearly shaken.

- We see the little alien in the cantina reaching out for his drink as the line "feelin' so dry" is heard in "For Crying Out Loud."


I had a feeling about this one. I just knew lots of crazy junk would happen. Twenty-one synchs. That's as many as The Gray Race. Meat Loaf and Bad Religion now have something in common (aside from ridiculous, over-the-top vocals).

The Rizzuto synch I may get called out on, seeing as we don't actually find out Luke's father isn't dead in this movie, but that plot twist is such common knowledge that you can't really watch Star Wars without looking for little hints. The scene with Luke and Obi-Wan is a biggie. Something's up with Luke's dad. Total set-up. That's how I feel today, anyway. I tend to flip-flop on the whole how-far-ahead-was-all-this-planned? debate.

One fact that cannot be questioned is the line Meat Loaf sings repeatedly at the end of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." "It was long ago and it was far away, and was so much better than it is today." "Long ago?" "Far away?" Come on. No way that's just coincidence. This album came out six months after Star Wars. The Loaf totally copped that phrasing, and if he can look me in the eye and tell me he didn't, I'll eat my hat (by the way, during this experiment, that line was heard as the Imperial guys argued in the Death Star conference room).

You know that's all Meat was doing between recording sessions - popping over to the nearest theater to watch Star Wars. That's all anybody was doing. People blamed the lousy economy back then on Jimmy Carter, but it wasn't his fault. Productivity was down across the country because the entire American workforce was dippin' out early (and sometimes not showing up at all) so they could see the nutty little space movie for the third or fifth time. It's a fact. If I could find my charts, I could show you the exact correlation. Unfortunately, my secretary quit two days ago, and now my office is a complete mess.

That reminds me; I need to call the temp agency.

Goddammit, where's my rolodex?


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