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Songwriter-composer-producer Jim Steinman (1947-2021)


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Jim Steinman, the prolific Grammy Award-winning songwriter, composer and producer known for his collaborations with Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler and Céline Dion, has died at the age of 73.  He succumbed to kidney failure at a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut  on Monday, his brother said.

Steinman, who had been sidetracked by strokes in recent years, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.

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In the 1970s, the Hewlett, N.Y.-born Steinman began a fruitful collaboration with the power singing Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas). The 1977 album "Bat Out of Hell" was not an immediate hit, but it went on to sell more than $50 million copies worldwide and spawned two sequel LPs. "...[Y]ou can’t just have a great voice and sing a Jim Steinman song," Meat Loaf told a Rolling Stone writer. "You have to become a Jim Steinman song. You have to be the song. You don’t sing the song. You are the song."

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The song "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" from "Bat Out of Hell" featured a memorable play-by-play commentary by Phil Rizzuto, the New York Yankees great turned baseball announcer. 

Another track from "Bat Out of Hell" was the Steinman song "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," which peaked at No. 11 in 1977 on the Billboard pop chart.

Steinman provided the music score for director Rob Cohen's 1980 campus drama "A Small Circle of Friends," which starred  Brad Davis, Karen Allen, Jameson Parker and Shelley Long. The soundtrack featured early versions of "Total Eclipse of the Heart." 

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Steinman's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was  a huge success in 1983 for the Welsh  singer Bonnie Tyler. In the United States, it was Billboard magazine's No. 6 song of the year. 

Written by Steinman, "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" was a hit for the the Australian duo Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock -- a.k.a. Air Supply. The song was released in 1983 and spent three weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart. 
In 1984, Tyler performed the Steinman song "Holding Out for a Hero," which was used in the soundtrack of the hit film "Footloose." The pictured starred Kevin Bacon as a big city teen adjusting to his new home -- a small town that bans dancing. The film also starred John Lithgow, Lori Singer, Dianne Wiest, Chris Penn and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Steinman wrote "Nowhere Fast" and "Tonight Is What It Means to be Young" for Walter Hill's 1984 film "Streets of Fire," billed as "A Rock and Roll Fable."  The picture starred Diane Lane as the kidnapped pop singer Ellen Aim and Michael Paré as Tom Cody, the ex-military man hired to rescue her from the clutches of Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe) -- the leader of a motorcycle gang. As it happened, Ellen also was Cody's ex-girlfriend. Also starring in the film: Deborah Van Valkenbugh, Amy Madigan, Rick Moranis, Bill Paxton and E.G. Daily.  

In 1993, the first single  from Meat Loaf's LP "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell" was Steinman's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)." The tune earned Meat Loaf the 1993-1994 Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo. Steinman was nominated for Song of the Year, the songwriting award. The music video was directed by Michael Bay.

Céline  Dion's 1996 cover of Steinman's song "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" was one of the hits from her Grammy Award-winning album "Falling into You." The single reached No. 2 on Billboard's U.S. pop chart. The LP was named Album of the Year, and Steinman received his only Grammy for his contributions to the release.



I am absolutely devastated to learn of the passing of my long term friend and musical mentor Jim Steinman.



RIP to the great Jim Steinman, who shared this wisdom with me a couple years ago.
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