"I've been called over the top," Steinman says. "How silly. If you don't go over the top, you can't see what's on the other side."
James Richard Steinman
is best known for
his collaborations with artists such as Meatloaf (Paradise by the Dashboard Light,
) and Bonnie Tyler Total Eclipse of the Heart
. His songs have been covered by artists such as Barbara Streisand
(Left in the Dark - here's Steinman's original.
) Barry Manilow
(Read 'Em and Weep, here performed by Meatloaf
) Air Supply
(Demo with Rory Dodd on vocals
) And of course, many of us have seen the “literal versions of his videos for Making Love out of Nothing At All, I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) Total Eclipse of the Heart
, inspired by his flamboyant, theatrical style, which does lend itself to parody.
But of course, there is much, much more.
*Steinman wrote and produced two songs from the Sisters of Mercy’s album Floodland
ofDominion/ Mother Russia
*He also produced Billy Squier's album Signs of Life
(which included the hit Rock Me Tonite
* In the late 1980s, Steinman put together a girl group called Pandora's Box
, which included, performers whom he had worked with on prior projects , including Fire, Inc.( Nowhere FastTonight is What it Means to be Young
) In 1989, they released the album Original Sin
, which included the song It's All Coming Back to Me Now (with Steinman's monologue "Teenager in Love")
which was later famously covered by Celine Dion
and for which he won BMI's song of the year in 1998 "I was under the influence of Wuthering Heights,"
Steinman says of the song. "It's always made much too polite..The scene they always cut out of Wuthering Heights is the scene where Heathcliff digs up Catherine's body and actually dances in the moonlight on the beach with it, and I just think you can't get more extreme, more operatic and more passionate than that, and I was trying to write a song about dead things coming to life, I was trying to write a song about being enslaved and obsessed by love, not just enchanted and happy with it."
More from Original Sin
Original Sin later recorded with Taylor Dayne for the movie The Shadow
Safe Sex (When it Comes to Loving You)
5.Good Girls Go to Heaven
I’ve Been Dreaming Up A Storm Lately
The Opening of the Box
The Want Ad
It Just Won’t Quit
(Performed by Meat Loaf on Bat Out of Hell II
13 Pray Lewd
The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be
(Performed by Meatloaf on Bat Out of Hell III
*In 1981, Bonnie Tyler
sought Steinman’s services to give her music a more “rock edge. Steinman was enchanted with Tyler's distinctive voice.
The incredible thing is that she never loses it. It's an incredibly supple, powerful, brilliant instrument. But it does have that quality. I mean, it does sound like, y'know, Rod Stewart in the middle of an orgasm."
Steinman and Tyler rehearse Total Eclipse of the Heart
(Total Eclipse of the Heart, along with All Out of Love was supposed to be performed by Meatloaf, but his record company did not want to pay for Steinman’s services.
Faster than the Speed of Night
Loving You’s a Dirty Job (But Someone’s Gotta Do It)
Holding Out for a Hero
(some of which was adapted from Steinman's song Stark Raving Love
* In the early 1970s, Steinman worked with an imposing young man named Marvin Lee Aday
, better known as Meat Loaf.
...(Joseph)Papp matched Steinman with playwright Michael Weller on a short-lived 1974 musical called "More Than You Deserve," a show most notable for its lead actor, "a great Gothic beast," as Steinman has described Meat Loaf. During auditions, Steinman was enthralled by the singer's performance of "You've Got to Give Your Heart to Jesus." He insisted that Meat Loaf be cast for the show and rewrote the part for him.
Some unreleased demos from More Then You Deserve
Go Go Go Guerillas
Oh What a War
Give Me the Simple Life (with Meatloaf)
Song of the Golden Egg (sung by Kim Milford)
Steinman's most famous project came about while working with Meat Loaf on a musical entitled Neverland.
In 1977, a brief workshop was held for a work-in-progress musical called Neverland. It was based loosely on Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. While preparing the show, Steinman and Meat Loaf, who were touring with the National Lampoon show, felt that three songs were "exceptional" and Steinman began to develop them as part of a seven-song set they wanted to record as an album.
Some unreleased demos from Neverland
Heaven can Wait
The Formation of the Pack
(http://youtu.be/TwVq-ADbVeo All Revved Up with No Place to Go
Assasins (Who Needs the Young?)
Gods, aka Bolero
- recorded in 1973 with vocals by Barry Keating
Bat Out of Hell
Here performed by Meat Loaf
Steinman on Todd Rundgren’s guitar solo
The final track for Bat Out of Hell was originally from the musical Kid Champion
For Crying Out Loud
Bat Out of Hell version Steinman discusses the song here
- "I love the lyric where it goes:
And now the chilly California wind/ is blowing down our bodies again/ and we're sinking deeper and deeper into the chilly California sand/ and I know you belong inside my aching heart/can't you see my faded Levi's bursting apart?
I love that. *chuckle* 'Cause it's, it's so blatantly a boner line, and having the gall to give it to Meatloaf..."
Here’s another demo from Kid Champion
More from Steinman and Meat Loaf:
Wasted Youth/ Life is a Lemon (live in Toronto, 1993)
Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Close
On a Hot Summer Night (with Steinman and Karla DeVito)
I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)
*Stenman's most successful musical was probably Tanz der VampireVampires
. (based on Roman Polanski's Fearless Vampire Killers
. It was originally performed in Vienna in 1997, but has since been produced in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Estonia and Japan.
Totale Finsternis (sound familiar?)
He, Ho, He, and Ewigkeit
Hungarian cast (Vampirok Balja) performing Ewigkeit and Totale Finsternis (Teljes a sötét)
Finale from the 2011 Stuttgart production
However, its success did not reach the USA. A retooled version of the musical was performed on Broadway in 2002 among much drama
, and closed as one of the costliest failures in Broadway history
TV ad for the Broadway production
Braver Than We Are and The Red Boots Ballet
Death is Such an Odd Thing
The Dream Engine (1970)
You’ve Got to Love Me With the Sun In Your Eyes Until The Day That You Go Blind
Who'd Do The Dirty? - vocals by Andre de Shields
*Assorted 1970s Demos
Train of Love
Heaven Can Wait as sung by Steinman and sung by by Bette Midler)
Water Seller's Song, sung by Barry Keating (1973)
Smoke Song, sung by Barry Keating (1973)
Who Needs the Young (1989)
What Part of My Body Hurts The Most (2006)
Of course, Steinman is quite a performer in his own right as well
Bad for Good
Dance in my Pants
The Storm/ Love, Death, and an American Guitar
Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through (Live version)
Thats me on the balcony of WAGNER'S HOUSE @ Bayreuth, overlooking Wagner's grave,
where I went and was motionless for 90 minutes, paying silent homage to my idol."