As the world celebrates the 2017 total solar eclipse today, the de facto song of the day most certainly will be the 1983 Bonnie Tyler hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” The epic love song hit number one on the Billboard charts and sold over six million copies. It was a huge hit for Tyler, who should consider herself incredibly lucky because the song was actually intended to be recorded by someone else.
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” was written by songwriter Jim Steinman, who is well known for creating bombastic, epic sounding hit love songs. In addition to the Bonnie Tyler track, Steinman was also behind “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” by Celine Dion, “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All” by Air Supply, and—believe it or not—“This Corrosion” by Sisters of Mercy. But the songs he’s perhaps best known for are hits like “Paradise By The Dashboard Light,” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth” and “Bat Out Of Hell,” all from the classic 1977 album Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf.
Bat Out Of Hell was a massive hit for Meat Loaf, who was anxious to try to replicate its success in the early eighties. Steinman had new songs, but the record company had soured on the composer. As a result, Meat Loaf found himself moving in new directions, while songs Steinman had originally writer for him found new voices. And in one week in 1983, “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” by Bonnie Tyler and “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All” by Air Supply held the number one and two slots on the American singles chart.
Meat Loaf did eventually reunite with Jim Steinman for the sequel album, Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell, which produced the number one song “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) in 1993.
There’s a lot more soap opera to the story of “Total Eclipse Of The Heart,” and you can read all about it here.