"Total Eclipse Of The Heart" was written and produced by Jim Steinman, whose songs were always passionate, often opulent, and sometimes perplexing. This one is all three. Steinman rarely divulged the meaning behind his lyrics, but he did say this one was a tribute to the 1922 vampire film Nosferatu, an adaptation of the Dracula story. This helps explain the "love in the dark" that permeates the song. The singer is on edge, at times lonely, nervous, and terrified. She calls out for her lover, ready to join him in a forever that may be more than metaphorical (vampires are immortal). When he comes for her, it's a total eclipse of the heart. Forever starts tonight.
Jim Steinman wrote all of Meat Loaf's hits, including "Paradise By The Dashboard Light," "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad." According to an October 26, 2006 article in the Australian newspaper The Herald Sun, he first offered this song, along with "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All," to Meat Loaf for his 1983 album Midnight At The Lost And Found. For financial reasons, Meat's record company wanted him to write his own songs for the album, so "Total Eclipse" went to Tyler and "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" went to Air Supply.
Bonnie Tyler, from Swansea, Wales, was best known at the time for her 1977 hit "It's A Heartache." Jim Steinman thought her distinctive raspy voice was the perfect vessel for "Total Eclipse Of The Heart." "It sounded so sensual but so ravaged," he said on the ITV program Smash. "It sounded heroic that she could sing at all."
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