Friday, June 21, 2024

RIP Songwriter Extraordinaire Jim Steinman of Meat Loaf, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Fame


Jim Steinman was the man behind Meat Loaf’s success. “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.”

Steinman has passed away at the age of 73.

Steinman’s legacy is the big bombastic anthem that you wouldn’t think would work, but it did. He wrote all of MeatLoaf’s classic 1977 album, “Bat out of Hell,” which coincided with Mr, Loaf’s appearance in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The combination was electric. It didn’t hurt that Phil Rizzuto made a guest appearance on “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”

Many of his hits are the crowning glory of their singers’ careers. “Total Eclipse,” even more than “It’s a Heartache,” is Bonnie Tyler’s legacy. A whole terrific Barry Levinson movie, “Bandits,” is based around it. For those of who can’t stand Celine Dion, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” is the one record that’s palatable.

Steinman had lots of other credits including “assistance” on Ian Hunter’s “All of the Good Ones Are Taken.”

It doesn’t sound like he was very healthy. Steinman suffered a pretty severe stroke 15 years ago. He died of a “medical emergency’ today in Connecticut.

But the songs live on. They’re like mini operas, and will never go out of fashion.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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