I have a pet hypothesis about “Dance in My Pants.” There are some reviews and such that talk about Meat Loaf returning to the studio to record Dead Ringer while this album was also still in the works and there being some swapping of songs. The reports vary some but nearly universally say that Steinman brought “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through” over, explaining its presence on a separate EP and Dead Ringer producer Jimmy Iovine’s co-producing credit. Both albums have clear attempts to mimic the “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” formula in “Dance in My Pants” and “Dead Ringer for Love.” A number of places also credit Steinman with piecing together Meat Loaf’s vocals on “Dead Ringer for Love,” for which he does not have any credit on that album. Karla DeVito, after spending years on tour and appearing in the video for “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” doesn’t get a moment on Meat Loaf’s follow-up (Instead, it’s celebrity guest Cher.) but instead is the vocal partner for Steinman here. There isn’t really anything in evidence for it, but I can’t help but wonder if somehow, maybe because of Cher being interested, the duets got swapped, and having “Dance in My Pants” on this album instead of “Dead Ringer for Love” is what led to Steinman taking “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Though” even though he clearly did not believe he could sing it.
And the reason I can’t shake the idea that “Dance in My Pants” is on the wrong album is pretty simple: it’s terrible. No, neither duet comes anywhere near “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” but “Dead Ringer for Love” feels so much less like a paint-by-the-numbers kit version of a Steinman song that it’s difficult to believe that the former is really the one Steinman had written. “Dance in My Pants” is a simplistic, dunderheaded sex rocker masquerading as a Bat out of Hell track by being a male-female duet in a vaguely similar style to “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”Continue reading