05. Meat Loaf, “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad”
Another highlight of Bat Out of Hell, this one was supposed to be influenced by Jim Steinman’s love of Elvis Presley, specifically I Want You, I Need You, I Love You. Jim Steinman said of Meat Loaf: “Meat has Elvis in him. I mean, I’ve never seen him with a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich, but he’s the closest thing to an Elvis. And I loved Elvis.”
04. Air Supply, “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”
Written for Meat Loaf but turned down by his record company, this song was picked up by the Australian duo of singer Russell Hitchcock and songwriter-guitarist Graham Russell, who loved it right away. “The chance to work with Jim was a great one” said Graham Russell: – “But he is a little weird.” But the additional of E Street Band alumni Max Weinberg on drums and Roy Bittan on piano, as well as Rick Derringer’s guitar solo, lifted the song above its soft rock parallels. Bonnie Tyler recorded her own version in 1995.
03. Barry Manilow, “Read ‘Em and Weep”
It made little impression on Meat Loaf’s album Dead Ringer, but Jim Steinman revived and revised the song for a Barry Manilow compilation album and it worked surprisingly well with the lounge singer’s over-the-top delivery. It was a success, hitting #1 on the U.S. and Canadian Adult Contemporary charts, as well as peaking at number #18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the final weeks of 1983, becoming Barry Manilow’s last Top 20 hit on that chart to date).
02. Bonnie Tyler, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
Jim Steinman at his most bombastic, Total Eclipse was a 1983 Number One hit for the Scottish singer Bonnie Tyler, whose previous U.S. hit had been a Seventies folk-rock song, It’s a Heartache. It was Jim Steinman’s inspiration to give her the chance at this belter, a mini-opera described as having ‘about six climaxes’. Though it’s another epic, no DJ dares to fade it out before backing singer Rory Dodd chimes in towards the end with “Turn around, bright eyes.”
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01. Meat Loaf, “Bat Out of Hell”
Written as part of a debut album based a musical based on Peter Pan, Bat Out of Hell was an unlikely hit, particularly since Meat Loaf was better known as an actor than a singer. But the 1977 album produced by Todd Rundgren, and featuring members of Bruce Springsteen’s band, went on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time, spawning two sequels and a stage version. The single version was released in 1979 and again in 1993, and received the Q Magazine Classic Song award in 2008.
So how many of Jim Steinman’s greatest hits did you remember, and how many could you sing along to – even if you couldn’t hit the highest notes?