Jim Steinman, Composer Behind Meat Loaf’s ‘Bat Out of Hell’ and “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Dead at 73

Sad news for the rock world today, as Jim Steinman, the composer and producer best known for writing Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell and the mega-ballad “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” has passed away. He was 73 years old.

Steinman’s death was initially announced by TMZ, who reported that he died Monday, April 19th. A medical emergency was called in from his home at 3:00am Sunday night for a male patient.

While a prolific recording artist himself, Steinman is best known for his work as a rock composer and producer, his songs bringing a uniquely huge, over-the-top quality inspired by his early years in musical theater.

Steinman’s biggest success is without question Meat Load’s 1977 debut album Bat Out of Hell, whose sweeping rock anthems like “Paradise By The Dashboard Light,” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” and the biker love epic “Bat Out of Hell” made the album an unparalleled success that has currently sold over 50 million copies worldwide. In a poetic twist, those songs eventually became the backbone of a musical named after the album.

However, a close second would have to be “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” a song Steinman originally wrote for a musical version of Nosferatu, but which was made famous by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler. The track has been famously covered and parodied over the years, and ended up being used in the 1997 musical Dance of the Vampires, based on the Roman Polanski film of the same name (known in America as The Fearless Vampire Killers). Steinman also wrote Tyler’s other smash hit, “Holding Out for a Hero,” which is featured prominently in Shrek 2.

Other songs Steinman lent his talents to that readers might recognize are The Sisters of Mercy’s goth classic “This Corrosion,” which he produced, and Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back To Me” (don’t act like you don’t love that song, poser).

Everyone at The Pit sends their heart out to Jim’s friends, families, fans and collaborators during this difficult time.

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Words by Chris Krovatin