S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership.
S2: Welcome to Hit Parade, a podcast of pop chart history from Slate magazine about the hits from coast to coast. I’m Chris, M.A. chart analyst, pop critic and writer of Slate’s Why is this song number one series on today’s show? 33 years ago this week, in October 1983, America’s number one song was a masterclass in melodrama. It was sung by a raspy voiced woman from Wales who’d only scored one prior American hit. She would never top Billboard Hot 100 again, but her biggest hit became like.
S3: That same week in 1983, America’s number two song was by a duo from the other side of the world, Melbourne, Australia. This Aussie duo had never met the Welsh woman sitting next to them on the Hot 100 that week, but their respective hits sounded uncannily similar to each other, like thundering theatrical twins. The secret to the similarity had nothing to do with the Welsh woman Bonnie Tyler or the Australian duo Air Supply. It had to do with the song’s writer and producer, Jim Steinman. This is what Steinman’s sounds like when he’s singing, but he did not make his greatest mark as a front line performer, Steinman’s pop legend is rooted in the songs he wrote and produced for others.
S4: And more than most producers and songwriters, Jim Steinman has a style so well defined, florid and grand, it often outshines the performers brave enough to take his songs are.
S3: Even when the performers doing Steinmann songs are pretty grand themselves coming back. But there was one performer, Jim Steinman worked with more than anybody, his most frequent frontman and unlikely.
S5: These two men, Jim Steinman and his primary vocalist, who went by the name Meatloaf, would come up in the music business together and scale the charts as a team producing one of the best selling albums of all time, Bat out of hell.
S4: And six years later, against the odds, they would come back with an improbable smash sequel.
S6: Do anything for love, but I won’t do that in the middle of these two Triumph’s, no Steinmann and Meatloaf would have more fallings out than a soap opera couple. You can almost tell the story of Steinman’s career by chronicling all the songs Meatloaf’s sang and didn’t say no more. Sun is coming over today on hit parade, we run right into hell and back with Jim Steinman, the self-declared Lord of Excess and the guy who never met a 10 word song title. He didn’t love a man who started his career writing for the stage and never stopped bringing the drama. Even when his songs proved a better fit for the radio than for Broadway, Steinmann brought camp theatricality to pop music and the top of the charts.
S3: And that’s where your hit parade marches today, the week ending October 15th, 1983, when Jim Steinman was in the middle of a three week run as the sole producer and songwriter of the top two songs in America, the number two air supply hit Making Love Out of nothing at all.
S7: And of course, now I’m only falling apart.
S4: There’s nothing I can do, a total eclipse, so now the number one, Bonnie Tyler, smash Total Eclipse of the Heart, the man behind the curtain was nonetheless hard to miss. So turn around bright eyes because we’re about to go deep into the vampiric world of Jim Steinman, pop’s own Phantom of the Opera. And by the way, he even worked with The Phantom of the Opera.
S8: I know it’s still a little early in the year for Christmas music, but I’m playing Darlene Love’s classic Christmas Baby. Please come home to focus for a moment on the impact of the producer in popular music, because as legendary as Darlene Love is, she’s been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for more than a decade now. The architect of her sound on this song is equally famous, maybe more so. That, of course, is the legendary and infamous producer and songwriter Phil Spector, famed for his Wall of Sound, the classic 1963 album that this song comes from, titled A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector was credited to him, not the performers who sang the holiday favorites.
S1: Over the course of 40 episodes. Hit Parade has focused on several legendary producers, many also songwriters who made an incalculable impact on the sound of the artists they were producing. For example, Giorgio Moroder, along with his associate Pete Belardi, helped Donna Summer change the sound of dancers.
S3: As we noted in our episode about summer, what made Moroder so remarkable was even while working with Summer, he proved versatile weather on the all electronic masterpiece I Feel Love or the rock oriented disco chart topper hot stuff.
S4: And by the 80s, even when Moroder was working with other performers like Irene Carra on the chart topping Flashdance, what a feeling he gave each hit its own distinctive touch.
S1: Or consider turn of the Millennium Pop mastermind Max Martin in our Britney Spears episode, we discussed how his irresistible, mathematically precise deployment of hooks created a sleek new aesthetic for 21st century pop.
S4: But Martin, too, is a chameleon, even when you could tell his Scandinavian melodic math had been the secret sauce behind hits like Britney’s Baby One More Time or Kelly Clarkson’s since you’ve been gone and gone. I think the songs themselves took on different pop forms right up to this year, you may not have even realized that Max Martin is behind one of 2010. His biggest hits, the weekend’s 80s style techno pop throwback, blinding lights. But even more than Max Martin or Giorgio Moroder, the aforementioned Phil Spector is in a category all his own.
S1: The producer whose brand is as big as or bigger than the artists he’s producing, Spector produces the way Martin Scorsese or Christopher Nolan directs a film. He is the author or our tour of his material. Spector shaped the sound of songs as legendary as the Ronettes. My Latently.
S3: Or the Crystals 1962 chart topper, he’s a rebel on which he swapped vocalists and didn’t even tell the actual singer Darlene.
S4: And Phil Spector added cinematic depth to the 1965 number one smash, you’ve lost that loving feeling. The Righteous Brothers hated working with Spector and avoided him for the rest of their career. But he did give them a break through.
S3: However, even Phil Spector came in multiple guises, he angered Paul McCartney by adding strings to the Beatles final number one hit the long and winding road to.
S1: But you couldn’t accuse it of sounding like the Ronettes or even the Righteous Brothers a decade later, when Spector produced the Ramones album End of the Century, he gave the rockers a kind of girl group punch. But he was reinventing his wall of sound for the age of punk.
S3: In other words, if you didn’t know and someone told you that Phil Spector produced the Beatles or the Ramones, you definitely recognize his touches on those recordings. But it is possible to hear these singles and not immediately think of Phil Spector. That is not the case with the subject of this hit parade episode. I’m Jim Steinman has often been compared to Phil Spector, but arguably Steinmann had a sound and songwriting style even more overpowering than Spector’s. Not better. Even Steinman’s fans acknowledge his songs are over the top glorious schlock. But if you know the Jim Steinman sound the first time you hear one of his songs, no matter who the front line artist is, you know it’s him. Are just being done by someone that. Steinmann songs are operatic, bombastic, Wagnerian, even tragic, and they are lyrically purple with knowingly absurd titles like Two out of Three Ain’t Bad or Making Love Out of Nothing at All, or even my favorite title, Objects in the Rearview Mirror, may appear closer than they are even when his titles are relatively pithy, like saying Bonnie Tyler’s 1984 hit Holding Out for a hero.
S1: They are structured like pop arias produced to deliver maximum drama and minimal subtlety, in short, like Phil Spector, Jim Steinman has always been creatively self-assured. Fortunately, unlike Spector, Steinman was not known for pulling guns on his recording artists. But Steinman’s certainly was headstrong. He saw himself as an artistic visionary and in the most basic sense, he was right. He envisioned a lot of his future hit material from an early age. Born in New York City and raised in the five towns area of Long Island, Steinmann was something of a prodigy winning a prize for his writing while still in high school. Entering Amherst College in Massachusetts, he devoted his attentions to the theater. Steinman wrote music for productions of Bertolt Brecht, and he directed a production of beat poet and playwright Michael McClure. The next logical step was writing a show of his own.
S9: And so Steinmann Senior Project was a musical.
S9: That’s a recording of Steinman’s 1969 college production of The Dream Engine. This number is called him to Fire. When Your City is burning, Steinmann produce an epic rock musical at a time when the rock musical itself was still new. Hair on Broadway was at this point less than two years old. Set in a distant future, the dream engine was a tale of generational rebellion, culminating in revolution, and Steinmann gave himself the lead role ball named after the 1918 Brecht play of the same name.
S1: Here’s Steinman as Buhle, singing a melody that might sound familiar, a line he would later use on his hit Total Eclipse of the Heart.
S9: The dream engine drew unusual acclaim for an original college production. Legendary New York theater producer Joseph Papp came to Massachusetts to see it, and by intermission, he had purchased the rights to the show for his public theater. And though the play was never produced at the public, Steinmann began working with Joe Papp and the show brought him back to New York. After college, Steinman got a publishing deal and a tiny office near Broadway, where he could write songs that blended opera and rock and roll. Steinman later told music writer Paul Myers that he was after music that was, quote, very heightened and larger than life. As a boy, I would constantly go from Richard Wagner to literature. Now plugged in to the New York theater scene, Steinmann produced music for multiple shows and recorded demos of his compositions, such as this demo sung in 1972 by a rising Broadway actress named Bette Midler.
S4: Middleton was not yet a recording artist, and this song, Heaven Can Wait would later wind up on Steinman’s magnum opus Bat Out of Hell.
S9: By 1973, Steinman was recording demos of himself, singing songs for his next musical More Than.
S4: These songs, too, would wind up on Steinmann produced albums years later, Joseph Papp agreed to produce More Than You Deserve, and Steinmann staged the show at the Public Theater in late 1973.
S1: But the most important thing about more than you deserve wasn’t the show itself, which ran at the public for about seven weeks. It was the actor Steinmann met who was playing a couple of supporting roles, a large voiced, large size, larger than life performer, the same age as Steinmann born Marvin Lee a day in 1947.
S6: He was already going by the name Meatloaf.
S11: I’m not gonna say it’s going on. That’s a big problem.
S6: By the way, that’s meatloaf and singing lead for a short lived 1968 band called Popcorn Blizzard when he was about 21. The stories about Mr. Adays stage name, by the way, vary. In one version, he claimed that growing up in Dallas, Texas, his family called him Meatloaf as young as four months old. In another story, it was his nickname on his high school football team. Whatever the true story was, the young man did reportedly weigh in at 240 pounds by seventh grade by the early 70s.
S1: Meat, that’s what most people call him, had already tried his hand at both recording and acting. His stage breakthrough came in the 1968 Los Angeles production of Hair Body.
S3: Meatloaf was even briefly a Motown recording artist, he signed to Rare Earth, a subsidiary of Motown, as part of the duo Stoney and Meatloaf, formed with his hair cast mate Sean Stoney Murphy.
S1: Some fun trivia. Meatloaf’s first top 40 hit on a billboard chart was on the soul chart.
S12: Stoney and Meatloaf scored a number 36 R and B hit in 1971 with what you see is what you get a nose job for you and me.
S4: After Stoney and Meatloaf broke up, Meatloaf arrived in New York in late 1972 and joined the cast of the Broadway here. He soon auditioned for the Public Theater’s More Than You Deserve, where Jim Steinman took to his lung busting vocals and instantly began workshopping material with him.
S13: Lourdes, what’s your take on?
S14: Your Steinmann had finally met his goals in 2000, he would tell classic Rock magazine, quote, Meat was the most mesmerizing thing I’d ever seen.
S6: He was much bigger than he is now.
S4: And since I grew up loving Wagner, all my heroes were larger than life meets. Eyes went into his head like he was transfixed. I can seem arrogant at times because I’m certain of things and I was certain of him, unquote.
S1: Meatloaf’s star was on the rise in the theater community. Not long after his stint in Steinman’s show, he went back to Los Angeles after being cast in the first ever U.S. production of Richard O’Brien’s satire of B movie Sci Fi, the stage musical, The Rocky Horror Show in L.A., Meat originated the role of the undead greaser Eddie. And when the show was turned into a movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975, Meet reprised the role singing Eddie’s classic rock and roll greaser anthem Hot Patootie Bless My Soul.
S5: Meatloaf and Jim Steinman kept in touch. They had begun collaborating on songs from the moment they met songs written by Steinman and brought to life by Meatloaf.
S1: At one point, Steinman saw these songs fitting into a musical retelling of the Peter Pan story that he called Neverland. But by 1975, Gym and Meat had begun conceiving of it as a seven song cycle that could play not as a show but as an album. Of course, what also happened in 1975 in The World of Rock gave them further inspiration.
S5: The breakthrough of a certain measures in. Born to run Bruce Springsteen’s third album and Short Break Through not only got the Rocker on the cover of both Time and Newsweek, it also set a new mid 70s benchmark for cinematic maximalist rock to rival Phil Spector’s Wall of sound after seeing Springsteen play New York Club The Bottom Line. In 1975, just before Born to Run release, Steinman called Meatloaf, telling him he had to see Springsteen’s next show because it was exactly what they’d been trying to create with their Neverland’s songs. Quote, I was so impressed with what Bruce was doing, but I could also see how it related to what I was writing, Steinmann later told Paul Myers I wanted to make an album that sounded like a movie.
S1: Fired up by Springstein success, Steinmann and Meatloaf began pitching their song cycle to every record label in New York, showing up for live auditions where Meat and his fellow stage actor and then girlfriend Ellen Foley would bellow the songs while Steinmann pounded the.
S5: If got.
S1: They were rejected everywhere, Steinman’s songs were as grand as Springsteen’s, but much more operatic and florid, and the label executives didn’t see the plus size. Meatloaf and his quirky accompanist as stars Steinmann to this day still relishes the memory of his rejection by legendary executive Clive Davis, who had just launched his new Arista label but told Steinmann he couldn’t write and that Meatloaf couldn’t sing. Eventually, through a series of fortuitous connections, they found themselves in a New York rehearsal room for a private audition for musician and studio wizard Todd Rundgren. He was both a producer and a fellow performer, and as a hit maker, Rundgren was a one of a kind eccentric.
S6: Todd Rundgren was still coming off the success of his landmark hit 1972 double album Something Anything, most of which he played himself, as well as his successful spinoff band Utopia.
S1: While climbing the charts with these projects under his own name, Rundgren had also built a reputation as a truly eclectic producer.
S3: He’d worked with bands ranging from Badfinger and the band to the New York Dolls and Grand Funk Railroad. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So that day, New York City, as Jim Steinman Meatloaf and Ellen Foley played for Rundgren, their renditions of Steinman’s songs like For Crying Out Loud.
S6: The producer looked amused at first, saying nothing when they played him the more ripe and rollicking tracks like Paradise by the Dashboard Light.
S5: Rundgren laughs.
S1: According to both Steinman’s and Folies Recollections, Rundgren seemed to find the songs hilarious, and as they finished playing, Rundgren stood up and told them, So what’s the big problem? We just record it and that’s it. They had found their producer, Todd Rundgren, would invite Steinman’s team up to his usual work place at Blairsville Studios in Woodstock, New York.
S8: And as 1975 turned to 76, Jim Steinman and Meatloaf began recording the album that would change their. For the bands that will help them realize what became bat out of hell, Jim Steinman wasn’t content to merely imitate Bruce Springsteen’s maximalist sonic approach.
S3: He actually borrowed two players from Springsteen’s E Street Band.
S4: He hired E Street drummer Max Weinberg and keyboard player Roy Bennett, who were fresh off Springsteen’s Born to Run.
S1: And from the opening moments of the album, Bitton and Weinberg brought the epic sound Steinmann heard in his hit.
S3: Quote, I thought Roy was the best pianist I had ever seen in my life, Steinman told Todd Rundgren biographer Paul Myers for the kind of music I do. He’s without parallel. I was very impressed with Max, too. I loved the fact that even when Max was rehearsing Bat Out of Hell, it would speed up. Max’s emotionalism was my favorite thing about his playing. It was like a classical rubato where the conductor controls the flow of.
S8: Wilstein wrote all the songs on the album, he was, of course, not the producer Todd Rundgren was and Rundgren was vital to the creation of Bat Out of Hell. He fronted the costs of the album when the original label backed out, and he did everything from arranging vocals to playing guitar. He, even at Jim Steinman’s request, captured the sound of a revving motorcycle for the album’s title track. Steinmann thought they would need an actual motorbike, but the Wizardly Rundgren emulated it with nothing but his guitar and an overblown amplifier. But even as Jim Steinman happily seated overall control to Todd Rundgren, the album was artistically steinman’s even more than the nominal star Meatloaf.
S5: It was Steinman who asked Rundgren to emulate the sound of vintage Phil Spector on. You took the words right out of my mouth.
S4: Martin Wilkinson Steinmann also directed singer Ellen Foley to sing her part on the Randee teenage epic Paradise by the Dashboard Light, as if she were acting in West Side Story.
S5: I want to make it stop.
S15: Before we go any further, do you love me? Will you love me forever? Do you need me? Will you never leave me?
S6: And it was Steinmann who reached out to veteran New York Yankees shortstop and game announcer Phil Zuda to do the songs mid coital baseball style play by play into the very way. I think that could really make things happen.
S1: And then there was the theatrical overheated dialogue at the start of you took the words right out of my mouth in which a man asks a woman if she would offer her throat to the wolf with the red roses. That’s Jim Steinman reciting dialogue he wrote for the stage show Neverland’s on a hot summer night. Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses? Yes, I bet you say that to all the boy.
S5: Recording bat out of hell only took a few weeks, it was done by early 1976, but finding a label to release the album took the better part of a year.
S4: Todd Rundgren had bankrolled the recording, backed by Bakersville Studios.
S16: But Bears’ Bill’s parent company, Warner Brothers, still turned down the project even when it was complete B.S.. Plus two out of three.
S5: It was months before Jim Steinman and Meatloaf were connected with Steve Popovich and another man who managed his own small imprint, Cleveland International Records. Popovich loved the album and signed the duo after hearing half a song.
S1: Ironically, his Cleveland international label was distributed by Epic Records, one of the labels that originally turned down Jim and meet even after they were signed. It took until late 1977 for Bat Out of Hell to see release.
S3: During that long delay, Meatloaf kept himself busy by recording vocals for Ted Nugent’s 1976 album, Free For.
S17: I of.
S1: And Jim Steinman actually staged Neverland, the show that Bat Out of Hell was originally supposed to be Neverland, played as a work in progress workshop at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1977.
S18: He tells me that.
S3: Bat out of hell vocalist Ellen Foley sang lead on songs like Heaven Can Wait, which would be issued on the LP as a meatloaf song about six months later. Nobody’s going to tell me now, and I don’t care. Got a taste bat out of Hell finally hit record stores in October 1977. It was a slow grower debuting at number 185 on the Billboard LP chart and knocking around the lower reaches of the chart for half a year.
S4: It took television to finally make the album connect on both sides of the Atlantic. Once again, here’s Meat Loaf.
S6: But on March 25th, 1978, Meatloaf was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, performing rousing renditions of All Revved Up with no place to Go, and his then current single Two out of Three ain’t bad. A month after the SNL performance, two out of three ain’t bad cracked the top 40 on the hot 100 on its way to a number 11 peak a couple of weeks after that bat out of hell also broke into the top 40 on the album chart. It would ride the album chart for nearly two years and made. In the U.K., the televised music show, The Old Grey Whistle Test ran a nine minute long video of Meatloaf performing the album’s title track.
S8: It was so popular with the audience, they played it again, the following. Bat Out of Hell entered the British album chart and essentially never left at 522 weeks.
S1: It’s still one of the longest charting albums in UK chart history among studio albums, Bat Trails, Only Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon for UK chart longevity. Back in the U.S., two out of three Ain’t Bad was followed on the charts by Paradise by the Dashboard Light and you took the words right out of my mouth. Both singles peaked at number 39, but given the song’s length, it was remarkable. They scraped the top 40 at all, even edited down for Radio Paradise by the dashboard.
S3: Light was over five and a half minutes, but I. 40. When I’m on it, I got a bat out of hell would ultimately peak at number 14 on the Billboard album chart in the fall of 1978. It never cracked the top 10, but it just kept selling. It was certified platinum in 1978, quadruple platinum in 1984, diamond by 1994 in America alone. That sales, according to the RIAA, stand at 14 million copies around the world. Sales are reportedly over 40 million copies and.
S1: Bat out of hell made stars out of both Meatloaf and Jim Steinman meat began acting in more movies such as playing a menacing biker in 1979 scavenger hunt.
S14: You got some kind of death wish or something? Nobody touched one of our bikes. No, no.
S1: And taking the lead role in 1980s, roadie opposite a dozen music stars, including Alice Cooper. Redfish can fix it. Redfish can fix anything.
S19: But he’s the best roadie in the whole world. And just about anything for a bus ticket home, a bus ticket home, buy the whole damn.
S1: But as for Jim Steinman, going Hollywood meant scoring some actual films for the 1980 movie, A Small Circle of Friends. Steinmann once again reused one of his own prior melodies, the tune to which he had sung Turn Around Bright Eyes in his college musical back in 1969.
S6: It still wasn’t a pop song. But the challenge for Steinmann and Meatloaf would be following up bat out of hell. They tried no less than three times to record a sequel. As early as 1978, Steinman began writing songs for a purported Follow-Up called Renegade Angel last Thursday.
S1: Down on the corner and on tracks like Lost Boys and Golden Girls displayed Steinman’s pensioned for heroic titles and overblown themes. He even began creating spoken word interludes that would provide a kind of storyline for the new album.
S21: I don’t remember if it was a Telecaster or a Stratocaster, but I do remember that it had a heart of chrome and a voice like a Harley.
S1: I don’t in an unexpected twist, these recordings would ultimately be released under Steinman’s own name. That was because Meatloaf was unable to record them, exhausted and overwhelmed by his newfound fame. The singer had a nervous breakdown around 1979, and he lost his singing voice for about a year. While Meatloaf visited psychiatrists to get past his emotional block. Steinman finished the recordings not as renegade angel, but under the album title. Bad for Good. He issued Bad for Good as a Jim Steinman album in 1981, and though it sold modestly, one track, Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through, sung by frequent Steinmann collaborator Rory Dodd, actually cracked the U.S. Top 40, reaching number 32 on the hot 100 in the summer of.
S5: I treasure.
S22: Show you are using.
S1: Meanwhile, when Meatloaf finally got his voice back around 1980, he and Steinmann regrouped to record a different sequel to Bat Out of Hell.
S6: The result was the ill fated 1981 Meatloaf album Dead Ringer. I’m going to love a football sporting one of the most outrageously lavish and freekeh album covers ever. Seriously, Google Meatloaf, Dead Ringer and brace yourself.
S3: I hope you like Greek Mythology meets sophomore album was a near total misfire, only its first single, I’m Going To Love Her for the both of us cracked the hot 100 and it peaked at a lowly number 83. This time, Jim Steinman, not Todd Rundgren, was the producer, and as with Bat Out of Hell, all of Dead Ringers songs were penned by Steinmann, some dated back years, including the title track from the 1973 Steinmann musical where he and Meat met more than you deserve.
S23: He came for an.
S6: By dropping this album in September of 1981, nearly four years after Bat Out of Hell, Meatloaf had landed in a new pop era. Dead ringer arrived one month after the launch of MTV.
S4: And the music topping the charts in late 1981 was tighter and more new wave driven, and it came packaged with music videos, sporting telegenic pop stars like Rick Springfield. Of course, Meatloaf and Jim Steinman had never shied away from the visual and meat tried to keep up. He shot a video for the song Dead Ringer for Love, a duet with none other than Cher. Cher even agreed to appear in the clip.
S6: I don’t know about that ring up until I ran and ran up, but Cher herself was focusing more on her acting than her singing in 1981 and the song went nowhere, either at MTV or on the charts.
S1: Dead Ringer peaked at number 45 and was off the album chart before Christmas 1981. In the wake of the failed follow up, Jim Steinman and Meatloaf would wind up suing each other over profits from bat out of hell. And they stopped collaborating directly for nearly a decade, contractually obligated to record at least one more album for EPIK and Cleveland International meatloaf’s next LP 1983 s midnight at the Lost and Found was his first without Steinman’s in a magazine.
S16: And he found that you.
S5: And what was ironic and perhaps tragic about this early 80s rupture in Meatloaf’s relationship with his collaborator was that Steinmann was about to score the biggest hits of his career as both a producer and songwriter. And these hits could all have gone to meet the.
S7: By the time I was falling in love, now I’m only falling apart.
S4: There’s nothing I can do, a total eclipse of the heart during his first decade, Jim Steinman had worked with a range of people in the theater world. But in the pop world, his main claim to fame was still meatloaf.
S1: It was only in the early 80s, as Jim and Meat became professionally estranged, that Steinmann began working with a wider array of pop collaborators. One of them would be the vehicle for his most enduring song, but she had already had hits of her own years before she met Jim Steinman.
S5: Bonnie Tyldum, born in Scotland, Wales, began recording in London in 1976, and by the end of that year she had her first British top 10 hit.
S1: The Poppy Abourezk lost in France, reached number nine in the U.K. a little over a year later, however, Tyler scored an even bigger hit around the world.
S3: It’s a holiday.
S6: It’s a Hanis was not only a blockbuster single reaching number four in the U.K. and a remarkable number three in America in the summer of 1978, it also established a vocal persona for Bonnie Tyler, a rough hewn throat, ear, huskier voice, a kind of gravelly female analogue to Rod Stewart.
S4: The challenge, of course, with a fluke smash like it’s a heartache is following it up. The songs, country music overtones led her management to push Vonne toward twanging her songs at a time when country pop crossover was doing well on the charts.
S3: However, Tyler’s 1979 single, My Guns Are Loaded, only managed to bubble under the hot 100, peaking in America at number 107. Hi guys, love. By 1981, after several flop singles and albums, Bonnie Tyler fired her management and signed to a new label, CBS Records.
S4: When asked by her new team, whom she’d like to work with, Tyler said she wanted the modern equivalent of the Phil Spector sound, something big and soulful.
S3: And she figured the one guy who could do that is the man behind Meatloaf’s bat out of hell.
S4: And so Tyler chased after Jim Steinman, at first he wasn’t interested.
S1: Eventually he had an idea of how they could maybe work together and he agreed to a meeting. When they met, Steinmann decided to test Tyler by playing her two of his favorite songs from two totally different bands, one by Swamp Rock hitmakers, Creedence Clearwater Revival.
S5: Have you ever seen The Rain?
S24: Have you been very.
S3: The other, a deep cut by prog metal band Blue Oyster Cult going through the motions.
S5: It was a tidy summary of the breadth of Steinman’s tastes, passion crossed with pomposity. If Tyler had expressed disinterest in either song, Steinmann knew it would be folly for them to work together. But she loved both. In fact, Tyler would wind up covering both songs for her next album, Faster than the Speed of Light, which Steinmann would produce.
S1: At that point, Steinmann hadn’t produced a full album since Meatloaf’s ill fated 1981 album Dead Ringer, and by 1983, Meat had moved on to different producers and songwriters for his midnight at the Lost and Found album.
S5: He said, and if Bonnie Tyler hadn’t shown up in Jim Steinman’s life, he probably would have presented his next set of songs to Meatloaf.
S1: The most promising was an irresistible melody that Steinman had been refining and reusing for multiple projects over a decade, including, to refresh your memory, his college musical, The Dream and the score to the 1980 film, A Small Circle of Friends.
S6: Steinman finally turned this melody, culminating in the lyric Turn Around Bright Eyes into a complete song that he bequeathed to Bonnie Tyler.
S1: They recorded it with many of Steinman’s favorite players from the Bat Out of hell sessions, including pianist Roy Bitton and drummer Max Weinberg from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, as well as vocalist Rory Dodd, who provided falsetto counterpoint that was so prominent on the song.
S4: It was practically a duet in every way, sonically, spiritually and on the charts. This song was a vast around.
S25: Every now and then I get a little bit.
S4: Of all the years gone by, total eclipse of the heart, let’s be honest, it doesn’t make much sense, not the title, not its lyrics, and certainly not its glossy bankers and much ridiculed music video in which Tyler is a teacher.
S3: Or maybe the headmaster of a boys prep school where the boys are possessed. Both the song and the video might be the ultimate expression of the Jim Steinman aesthetic. No logic, all feeling.
S26: This will never be.
S8: And what’s wrong with that in 2020, for his long running Stereogum blog, the No.
S5: One’s Tom Bryan wrote, quote, The term power ballad doesn’t adequately describe total eclipse of the heart, if only because the word power just doesn’t have enough power.
S4: It’s an extinction level event rendered in musical form. Pop music as heart pounding, chest thumping, blood gurgling, heavens falling, passion explosion. It’s sheer spectacle. And right when it seems like total eclipse is about to end, it somehow becomes even bigger. Who the fuck cares what it’s about?
S5: It was also a massive hit debuting on the hot 100 at number 75 in July of 1983. Bonnie Tyler’s total eclipse of the heart took a dozen weeks to reach No one, knocking out Billy Joel’s tell her about it. The first week of October 1983, it gave Jim Steinman not only his first top 10 hit ever remember meatloaf’s biggest hit, two out of three ain’t bad had peaked at number 11 in 1978.
S3: But of course, it was also Steinman’s first number one total eclipse of the heart remained on top for four weeks.
S1: But it wasn’t Steinman’s only chart smash in the fall of 83, rising alongside Total Eclipse of the Heart was another bombastic ultra power ballad from the Jim Steinman Cinematic Universe. And the front line artist for this hit was a far unlikelier collaborator than Bonnie Tyler. Based on this duo’s prior hits, you might never have guessed they’d wind up working with Jim Steinman.
S27: So lift your eyes if you can. Reach for a star and I’ll show you.
S6: I figured it may be hard to remember, even for those of us who were alive at the time, but air supply, the Australian soft rock duo of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock were the schlocky kings of the charts at the turn of the 80s, starting with their 1980 number three hit Lost in Love.
S3: Air supply racked up seven consecutive top five hits from 1980 to 82, including their mawkish 1981 number one smash, the one that you love to. And they’re equally cheesy hit, even the Nights Are Better. A number five hit in 1992, the not.
S6: And these hits were power ballads of a sort, albeit not at Jim Steinman’s scale and air supply, lead vocalist Russell Hitchcock did possess a potently histrionic voice.
S1: At the end of 1982, Air Supply sensed they needed a change of direction when their top five streak ended. Two straight singles barely scraped the top 40 in the age of MTV and New Wave. They needed something beefier. And Jim Steinman had just the thing yet another melody he’d been tinkering with for years.
S6: This main title theme from the 1980 film A Small Circle of Friends, was turned by Steinmann into a full blown song with lyrics.
S1: By 1982, he gave it the melodramatic, quintessentially Stijn and title making love out of nothing at all.
S3: And the demo for the song was performed by his frequent vocal collaborator, Laurie.
S15: I know just how to whisper and I know just how to cry.
S9: I know this demo found its way to air supply, who were looking for a new single to add to their 1983 Greatest Hits LP, Jim Steinman agreed to produce air supplies, making love out of nothing at all.
S3: And it would give lead singer Russell Hitchcock the biggest vocal workout in his life to let loose and. Steinman produced the air supply single with his usual team, Biton Weinberg Dodd, in fact, 90 percent of the players from Bonnie Tyler’s total eclipse of the heart played on air supplies, making love out of nothing at all.
S4: So, of course, the two songs came out sounding like twins.
S28: How do we make another?
S3: And even though they were on rival labels, Columbia and Arizona, Bonnie Tyler’s and Air Supply’s respective singles scaled the Hot 100 together, it was a total Jim Steinman chart conquest the week ending October 8th, 1983, when Tyler’s total eclipse was in its second week at number one, air supplies making love rose to number Chouf, giving Steinmann, who was the sole producer and sole songwriter of both, hits a hammerlock on the top of the charts, which he held for three years from an atmospheric.
S4: Billboard reported that Steinmann was the first songwriter producer to have the top two hits in America since the BeeGees locked down the chart in 1978 at the peak of Saturday Night Fever, as if that wasn’t enough. About a month later, as Steinman’s twin hits began their chart descent, yet another client of his cracked the top 40.
S29: Oh, it’s very Kansas City tonight. We’re gonna look at the.
S3: Barry Manilow, the king of 70s Broadway style power balladry, was attempting an 80s career makeover similar to air supplies.
S1: Like them, he was seeking material for a greatest hits album. And Manilow possessed the kind of showtunes caliber voice ideally suited to Jim Steinman.
S6: So Steinmann gave Manilow Read Them and Weep, a song he’d previously written for Meatloaf’s 1981 Dead Ringer album.
S3: Meatloaf’s version hadn’t been a single, let alone a hit, but Manolo’s read em and weep. Now the president is no out.
S6: Broke into the top 40 in late November 1983, while the Bonnie Tyler and air supply hits were still in the top 20.
S1: Jim Steinman had more credits within the Billboard Top 40 at that moment than Michael Jackson or Lionel Richie. Manolo’s Read Him and Weep eventually reached number 18 on the Hot 100 in early 1984 and number one on Billboard’s adult contemporary chart, another first for the song’s sole producer and only songwriter, Jim Steinman.
S3: By 1984, Steinman had fully reinvented himself as pop’s ultimate gun for hire. His fingerprints were all over the charts. When screenwriter and songwriter Dean Pitchford went looking for songs for the soundtrack to his upcoming film Footloose, he invited Bonnie Tyler, which meant that Jim Steinman came with the package Steinman co-wrote Holding Out for a Hero with Dean Pitchford. And Steinmann produced the song in High Jim Steinman’s stock.
S4: Serving as a de facto sequel to Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, the explosive holding out for a hero peaked at number 34 on the Hot 100 in April 1984.
S5: Three months later, Steinman’s name was back in the top 40 with another collaborator. Arena Rockabilly Squire brought in Jim Steinman to produce his 1984 album Signs of Life. Though the album bore fewer of Steinman’s sonic touches and Squire wrote all his own material, Steinman’s Way with a pop hook gave Squire his biggest ever.
S4: Top 40 hit Rock Me Tonight peaked at number 15 that summer, two weeks after Billy Squires hit peaked.
S3: Another Jim Steinman production broke into the hot 100 and this one sounded a lot more like him. Your mom, like her fellow showtunes veteran Barry Manilow, Barbra Streisand requested a theatrical lung buster from Jim Steinman. He served up yet another song from his vault called Left in the Dark. He had written and recorded it himself for the 1981 project that started as a Meat Loaf album and turned into the Jim Steinman album, Bad for Good. But still, Gottstein introduced a new version of the song for Barbie and gave it the full STEINMANN treatment with pounding pianos and piles of background vocals. Serving as the lead single Streisand’s 1984 album Emotion, it was also her first video to appear on MTV, Left in the Dark, reached number 50 on the Hot 100 and the top five on the adult contemporary chart.
S1: Not all of Steinman’s production jobs worked out for a few weeks in 1984, he was hired to produce the long awaited Def Leppard album that would eventually be titled Histeria Steinmann and the band did not get along in the studio. Steinman attempted to capture big, brassy moods, while Def Leppard were more about crafting meticulous recordings. They parted ways before 1984 was over, and Histeria was eventually produced by Leppard’s usual mastermind, Robert John Mutt Lang.
S5: Jim Steinman was also brought in to rescue the soundtrack to the summer 1984 movie Streets of Fire, a notorious flop named after a Bruce Springsteen song that the filmmakers couldn’t get the rights to from Springsteen.
S1: Steinman contributed to replacement songs to the film, both performed by a fictional band he named Fire Inc.. While the Streets of Fire soundtrack did produce a 1984 hit in Dan Hartmans, I can dream about you.
S3: Steinman’s contributions tonight is what it means to be young and nowhere fast went nowhere on the charts. Speaking of nowhere fast, that Jim Steinman song appeared on another 1984 album, Meatloaf’s Bad Attitude The Cold War between Mitt and Jim persisted. They were still not working together, but Meatloaf was recording the occasional Steinmann song on his own band.
S30: I mean, the 80s was a lost decade for meatloaf.
S4: He scored virtually no hits after 1981 and attempts to recreate the Jim Steinman sound with other writers and producers generated limited results.
S5: The very Steinman’s Monegasque 1984 single Modern Girl was a top 20 hit in the U.K. where Meat Loaf was still beloved, but it flopped in most other countries, including the U.S..
S1: Meanwhile, gun for hire Jim Steinman kept busy with his wide array of projects, including No Kidding, writing the 1985 theme song for World Wrestling Federation star Hulk Hogan.
S5: And more predictably, Steinmann produced Bonnie Tyler’s long awaited 1986 follow up album, Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire.
S1: Even when Steinmann didn’t write the songs himself, his bombastic sound prevailed.
S3: As on the anthemic single If You Were A Woman and was a man, why didn’t you say Steinmann recruited journeyman songwriter Desmond Child to write If you were a woman and I was a man for Bonnie Tyler, Steinman gave very explicit instructions to child about the kind of gender crossing anthem he wanted. The finished song was so catchy. You the.
S5: And that child was convinced the song had to be a hit, annoyed that Bonnie Tyler’s label didn’t promote the single enough to get it passed.
S1: Number 77 on the Hot 100, Desmond Child took it with him to his next recording project and essentially rewrote the same song for the this well-known hair metal band who made it a number one hit song.
S6: I’m so sorry I had to play Bon Jovi again, You Give Love a bad name co-written by Desmond Child with Bon Jovi wasn’t intentional, merely note for note remake of Child’s Bonnie Tyler single.
S1: It had no involvement from Jim Steinman, but it might as well have. From its verbose title to its anthemic chorus, it sounded like Bat out of hell infused with Aqua Net You Give Love a bad name affirmed that the Steinmann aesthetic was colonizing all corners of the radio dial. Well, almost all corners, despite the pronounced Gothic overtones of Steinman’s anthemic rock, he had never tried his hand at what might be called modern or alternative rock, which made his next move surprising but perhaps inevitable.
S5: The Sisters of Mercy, led by the gloomy voiced singer Andrew Eldridge, was one of the most iconoclastic English goth bands of the 1980s. They proffered a blend of domy hard rock and dance music backed by a throbbing drum machine that Eldridge considered a member of the band. The song, This Corrosion, from their 1987 album Flood Land, was written by Eldridge as Goth style dance rock with big hooks and a towering sound. It was an ideal playground for Jim’s stunning. Steinman agreed to produce this collection, and he lobbied the Sisters of Mercy label Warner Brothers to provide a budget big enough to hire a 40 person chorus to back Andrew Eldredge. The song became the sister’s biggest British hit to date, reaching the top 10 in the UK in 1987.
S6: In the U.S., the song did well on alternative and college stations, and if Billboard had had an alternative rock chart in 1987, this corrosion probably would have been a hit in America, too.
S1: By the end of the 80s, as we’ve discussed in previous hit parade episodes, Billboard had indeed launched its first ever modern rock chart. It was typically led by the likes of The Cure, Depeche Mode and Love and Rockets.
S5: This might seem an unlikely chart to be commanded by the man behind hits credited to Meatloaf, air supply, Barry Manilow and Barbra Streisand. But when did general limitations ever stop Jim Steinman? For the Sisters of Mercy 1990 album Vision Thing, Steinmann teamed with Andrew Eldridge to not only produce, but Cole right, the lead single in a rare instance of succinctness for Steinmann, the song’s title had just one word more, and it certainly sounded like more. And nothing more was golf done, Steinhorn started with a cinematic sound and just a hint of Broadway, it topped the modern rock chart for five weeks at the end of 1990, holding off hits by Morrissey and the Happy Mondays thanks to the Sisters of Mercy.
S1: Jim Steinman, a man who’d previously topped Billboard’s pop and adult contemporary charts, now had the top alt rock hit in America. Around the time the Sisters of Mercy were number one, Jim Steinman reconnected with his old friend and collaborator, Meatloaf. The two had long settled their legal disputes, and in a later interview, Steinman said, quote, Working together again seemed like the cool thing to do, unquote. Meat Loaf had kept his career afloat in the late 80s by touring extensively, but he hadn’t had a serious hit in years. And in their time apart, Steinman had written so many songs that so easily could have been meatloaf’s.
S5: One of these was from a Short-Lived 1989 STEINMANN project, an all female vocal group he had assembled and dubbed with his typical grandiosity Pandora’s Box.
S3: Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere was named after a quote made famous by early 20th century sex symbol Mae West.
S4: It was classic Jim Steinman anthemic Muscular Rock with a coy wink and big pop hooks eventually recorded by Meatloaf.
S5: It would form the scene of his next album.
S6: At last, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman could begin work for the third time on a proper sequel to Bat Out of Hell, but the most pivotal song grew out of a single lyric.
S4: Jim slipped into an album cut on Bonnie Tyler’s smash 1983 LP Do Anything for Love that I pulled to safety in case it hasn’t been cleared. At this point in the episode, Jim Steinman was not a guy who’d let a catchy, aphoristic phrase go unnoticed, so he wasn’t about to let this throw away Bonnie Tyler lyric. I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that get thrown away.
S3: So of course he built a whole song around doing a thing, but I won’t do that.
S6: Go to meatloaf’s I do anything for love, but I won’t do that. The lead single from his 1993 album Bat Out of Hell to Back into Hell, has to be regarded as one of the most amazing pop comebacks of all time. Actually, comeback isn’t quite right. Maybe come up is more appropriate. Remember, as big selling as 1977 Bat Out of hell turned out to be, it grew slowly and it never generated a top 10 hit. Whereas charts wise, this 1993 single and album were the opposite. Mere instant chart topping primus it for the same. In October 1993, the music business was stunned when meatloaf’s bat out of hell to Back into hell debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart all the way up at number three, right behind albums by Garth Brooks and Mariah Carey. Four weeks later, back to reached number one, leaping over CDs by Brooks and Nirvana and giving both Meatloaf and Steinmann the first chart topping album of either man’s career. One week after that, I do anything for love, but I won’t do that. Did the even more improbable rising to number one on the Hot 100? The song stayed on top for five weeks, one week longer than Steinman’s 1983 number one with Bonnie Tyler.
S22: Total eclipse of the sun screen at. Sex and drugs and rock n roll.
S6: What about the. Six years after that one, fans greeted Battoo as if 1981, a dead ringer had never existed.
S1: And as if the official Battoo had come out only a year or two after its predecessor yet again, Steinmann was rebooting old songs from his catalog. Arguably, he was finally producing them with the man they were meant for.
S3: Meatloaf recorded Steinman’s minor 1981 hit Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through and took it higher on the charts in 1994, reaching number 13 on the Hot 100.
S1: With the album was also packed with more hilarious Jim Steinman phrases where the title alone sold the song on Billboard’s album Rock Chart Meatloaf Took Life is a Lemon and I want my money back to number 17.
S6: And as for the aforementioned power ballad, objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are. It was the album’s third top 40 hit, reaching number 38.
S31: Is just a highway and the soul is just a couple. Objects in law give you. Appear closer than they are.
S4: By the end of 1994, meatloaf’s bat out of hell to back into hell was on its way to quintuple platinum. Remarkable for an album by two guys in their late 40s and its hit songs set up Jim Steinman for another chart streak.
S1: Mind you, he did not return to his hit making peak in the early to mid 80s. But for four years running from 1993 to 1996, Steinman scored at least one Top 40 hit as a writer or producer. In fact, his 1995 hit as a songwriter very nearly topped the Hot 100, and Steinmann couldn’t have seen it coming.
S5: For once, he had no hand in its creation. Nikki French was a veteran British session singer who in 1994 had the chance to work with producers Mike Stock and Matt Aikin. They were two thirds of Britain’s phenomenally successful stock and Watermann production team who had scored a slew of hits since the mid 1980s with the likes of Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue and even Donna Summer for Nikki French Stock and Aitkin produced a high energy dance cover of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart. That was a smash around the world in 1994 and 95. In America, Frenches throbbing take on total eclipse peaked at number two in June 1995, giving songwriter Jim Steinman yet another smash and re-establishing total eclipse as his all around most successful composition. It would not be the last time Steinmann would benefit from that indelible melody.
S1: Speaking of indelible melodies, that same year Steinman was invited to contribute to a forthcoming blockbuster album that would go on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year Falling Into You, the fourth English language album by French Canadian power chanteuse Celine Dion. Other than perhaps Barbra Streisand in 1984, Dionne in 1995 was the biggest vocalist in every sense of that word that Steinmann had ever had the chance to work with. So he brought out the big guns, won more mega power ballad from his vault that had been recorded once before but never reached its potential.
S5: It’s all coming back to me now. Was first recorded by Pandora’s Box, the aforementioned female group Steinmann assembled in the late 80s. Group member Elaine Caswell, a power vocalist herself who worked with Steinmann on numerous projects, took the lead in classic Steinmann fashion.
S6: The song was inspired by a heaving romantic classic from decades before Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights.
S4: In a 1989 promotional video for the Pandora’s Box project, Steinmann never lacking the confidence to explain the song’s.
S32: It’s all coming back to you now is my attempt to write the most passionate romantic song I could ever write. I was writing a while under the influence of Wuthering Heights, which is one of my favorite books. It was about the dark side of love and about the extraordinary ability to be resurrected by it. Once that I just tried to put everything I could into and I’m real proud of it.
S1: According to Meatloaf, Steinman considered the song for Bat Out of Hell too, but he gave meat. I do anything for love instead. Essentially, it’s all coming back to me now. Was destined for a vocalist like Celine Dion and Jim Steinman spared no expense. He brought in several longtime collaborators, including Roy Bitton and Rory Dodd. Even Todd Rundgren provided backing vocals and the result with Celine Dion taking the lead you could predict.
S3: Subtle it wasn’t. If you want Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back to now was in many ways the culmination of Jim Steinman’s lifelong art project, Wagnerian drama, thundering production, overpowering romanticism and a towering performance by the ultimate vocal diva. The song reached number two on the Hot 100 in October 1996, heartbreakingly, for Celine Dion and Jim Steinman, it was blocked by Lucedale Rio’s Macarena.
S1: Nonetheless, during the short run of It’s All Coming Back to me now, Deon’s Falling Into You album doubled its sales from four million to eight million copies, and it gave Jim Steinman his fourth straight year with a Top 40 smash. This was Steinman’s last major hot 100 hit, but certainly not the end of his career as a purveyor of grand sentiment.
S8: Indeed, in 1996, Steinman was finally pivoting back to his first love, his stage into the band Man.
S6: We could do a whole episode about Jim Steinman’s latter day adventures in the world of the big budget stage musical. It’s beyond the scope of this Chart History podcast, and I will cover it only briefly.
S4: Of course, Steinman had been writing for an imagined stage all along and his theater roots deeded to his college days and his time working with Joseph Papp. Now he at last had the clout to work with Broadway level impresarios and to have his heart broken. Suffice it to say, for this exceedingly confident music maker, only the theater has proved a humbling experience. A kiss is a terrible thing to waste. There’s another punching Steinmann song title came from Whistle Down the Wind. Steinman’s collaboration with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the maker of Evita, Cats and Phantom of the Opera, wrote the music.
S1: Steinmann was the lyricist. The musical played in Washington, D.C. in 1996 and in London’s West End in 1998. Reviews for the U.S. version were tepid and a planned Broadway production was canceled. Arguably, the biggest hit that resulted from Whistle Down the Wind was the song No Matter What, which was a UK number one and a minor U.S. pop radio hit for the British boy band Boys in 1998.
S28: I know no Mayor Rahm.
S1: With a more acclaimed production, at least at first, was Tonsorial Vampira or Dance of the Vampires, a musical adaptation of the 1967 Roman Polanski film The Fearless Vampire Killers. Jim Steinman composed all of the music and yet again, as he had done throughout his career, he borrowed musical motifs from his prior works, including his biggest performance.
S4: Almost as though the musical received acclaim and even awards when it played in Vienna and Stuttgart, the trouble came when Dance of the Vampires was brought to Broadway. That’s when Team Steinmann got the chance to work with a top tier Broadway star, Michael Crawford, who originated the role of the Phantom of the Opera in Andrew Lloyd Webber as Blockbuster.
S6: Your eyes will link on our show page to a New York magazine article about the troubled history of the Broadway version of Dance of the Vampires, starring Michael Crawford. It’s a saga nearly as troubled in its day and costly as Broadway’s infamous Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark.
S1: A decade later, Jim Steinman himself would wind up disavowing the Broadway show, which to this day remains. Steinman’s only fully produced Broadway musical, though it played just 61 previews and 56 performances in 2002 and 2003, if nothing else. Dance of the Vampires finally got Steinman’s total eclipse of the heart recast as the song Vampires in Love onto a Broadway stage.
S27: Run the scissors and knives. Now, I need you more than ever. I think you’ll only hold me tight, will be holding on forever and will only be a total eclipse.
S6: Remains Jim Steinman’s most unkillable. Perhaps I should say, undead composition. As recently as the 2010s, it made the hot 100 twice, once in a cover by the cast of Fox TV’s Glee, which briefly cracked the Top 40.
S3: And in 2017, a cover by Chloe Kazansky, a winner on NBC’s singing competition The Voice.
S6: And as for Steinman’s nearly lifelong collaborator and muse, Meatloaf, in addition to continuing to act in more than 50 movies, including 1999 acclaimed Fight Club and a 2011 season of The Apprentice, Mr. Hlophe continues to dabble in the Jim Steinman songbook from time to time in 2006.
S8: Meet finally got to wrap his pipes around. It’s all coming back to.
S3: Meatloaf recorded the song that Celine Dion made famous for Bat Out of Hell three, the monster is loose, though Meat couldn’t persuade Jim to join him for the 2006 album. Steinmann was then recovering from a reported heart attack.
S4: The singer managed to complete the album with producer Desmond Child, and even in Steinman’s absence, that three did reasonably well, reaching the top 10 on the album chart and going gold as late as 2016. Just shy of his seventieth birthday, Meatloaf was still taking on Steinman’s challenging and quippy compositions, including one that Steinmann originally wrote for Bonnie Tyler in the Eggs Loving Use a dirty job.
S3: But somebody’s got to use a dirty.
S8: Somebody has got to be.
S4: And Jim Steinman himself, he’s still trying to fulfill his great white way dreams for decades after he and Meatloaf recorded Bat Out of Hell, he finally turned their 1977 magnum opus into a show.
S6: It’s full and oh so humble. Title is Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell. The News of the Night that the man on the other side.
S3: It’s more than an adaptation of Bat Out of Hell, the musical is a tour of Steinman’s entire career, not just the songs he did with me of the Bat musical has played in both London’s West End twice as well as Toronto and Germany, touring versions in Australia, across the UK and in the hard rock chain of hotels and casinos that were supposed to play in 2020 have all been postponed, hopefully temporarily, due to the covid-19 pandemic.
S1: Oh yeah. And by the way, Bat Out of hell. The musical played in New York, albeit off Broadway. Just over a year ago. It was playing the New York City Centre Theater for about a six week run. Reviews from the tough New York theatre critics were bemused, sometimes withering. But the critics largely agreed that Steinman’s songs, however ridiculous and purple, were also indelible. And that’s about right. Bat out of hell. The musical is a supersized victory lap. Each night in the late summer of 2019, on the city centre stage, a group of young actors belted out such prolix chestnuts as Paradise by the Dashboard Light, making love out of nothing at all. You took the words right out of my mouth. I do anything for love, but I won’t do that. Come on. You know all the words. You can only imagine that, as Jim Steinman, the self-proclaimed Lord of Excess, looked upon this spectacle, it was all coming back to him now.
S3: I hope you enjoyed this episode of Hit Parade. Our show was written, edited and narrated by Chris Melaniphy. That’s me. My producer for this episode was Benjamin Fresh, and we also had help from Rosemary Nelson. Special thanks also to Todd Rundgren, biographer and all around swell guy Paul Meyers. June Tonguç is the senior managing producer, and Gabriel Roth, the editorial director of Slate podcasts. Check out their roster of shows at Slate dot com slash podcasts. Thanks for listening and I look forward to leading the hit parade back your way. Until then, keep on marching on the one. I’m Chris Mowafi.