With the passing of songwriter/producer Jim Steinman last week, we were surprised at how many people were unaware of his other contributions to pop history outside of his collaboration with Meat Loaf on the 3 Bat Out of Hell Albums as well as Dead Ringer and Braver Than We Are.
As we mentioned in our brief obituary, Steinman recorded one solo album, Bad for Good. Those songs were intended for a follow-up to Bat Out of Hell, but problems with Meat Loaf led Steinman to record these songs himself. Ironically, over the years, Meat Loaf has recorded or performed nearly all of them; so, if you’re diligent, you can compile your own Bad for Good playlist featuring Mr. Loaf’s versions.
The exceptions would be for “Life & Death of an American Guitar” (which likely would have been voiced by Steinman anyway – similar to Steinman voicing the “Wolf with the Red Roses” speech that precedes “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” on Bat Out of Hell) and “Stark Raving Love.” “Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire” is a little bit tricky as Meat Loaf has never released a studio version of this track, but did perform it in his live shows back in the day. As such, many video clips of Meat Loaf performing this song live exist via YouTube.
Now, once we get past Meat Loaf, Steinman also collaborated with Broadway behemoth Andrew Lloyd Webber on a stage musical called Whistle Down the Wind (Webber handled the music, Steinman contributed the lyrics). The show has seen productions in the UK and the US as well as a “for-records-only” version. A couple of the songs from the show have also been covered by other artists over the years – most notably “No Matter What,” which was a huge hit in England for Boyzone (yes, Meat Loaf has also covered this one).
Unquestionably, Steinman’s most successful recording, bar none, was “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” which he wrote and produced for Bonnie Tyler in 1983. The song topped the charts in countries all over the world, racking up sales of more than 6 million copies and has been recognized as one the absolutely most popular songs to be released during the 1980’s.
But here are some of the other songs Steinman wrote (many of which he also produced):
Yvonne Elliman – “Happy Ending” (1973 – Steinman’s big break as a songwriter)
Barry Manilow – “Read ‘Em and Weep”
Air Supply – “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”
Fire, Inc. – “Nowhere Fast” (from the soundtrack of the film Streets of Fire)
Fire, Inc. – “Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young” (Ditto)
Taylor Dayne – “Original Sin” (Written for the movie The Shadow)
Barbra Streisand – “Left in the Dark”
WWE – “Hulk Hogan’s Theme”
Bonnie Tyler – “Holding Out for a Hero” (Another big hit in the U.S. & several other countries)
Sisters of Mercy – “More”
Celine Dion – “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” (Another #1 single)
Everly Brothers – “A Kiss Is a Terrible Thing to Waste” (Cover of a song from Whistle Down the Wind)
This list is by no means complete, so if you love Steinman’s songs, we wish you happy hunting and hope this will give you a great start!