I need to know: What lyricist said “Angels had guitars even before they had wings”? Please help.
That would be Jim Steinman, the mad-genius songwriter behind Meat Loaf and coiner of modern proverbs such as “We’re living in a powder keg and givin’ off sparks.” The angels line was in his song “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through.” He released it as a solo single in 1981 (the album was the disappointingly limp Bad for Good) and it hit #32. In 1994, Steinman recorded a new version with Meat Loaf, amping up the melodrama, improving the sax solo, and adding a new verse with the “angels had guitars” line. Meatloaf’s version hit #13, proving either that the “angels had guitars” line was worth exactly 19 places on the top 40, or that America prefers pop songs when they’re sung by 340-pound guys.
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)