Bonnie Tyler: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was written for a Nosferatu musical

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In a new interview, Bonnie Tyler reveals some details about the iconic song ” Total Eclipse of the Heart »

There’s no shortage of stories about the creation of the rock anthem ” Total Eclipse of the Heart “, and on Meat Loaf’s irritation at seeing that the song written by Jim Steinman had been entrusted to Bonnie Tyler rather than him. Today, Bonnie Tyler shared more details about recording the song and making the music video.

In an interview given to GuardianBonnie Tyler reveals the origins of the ballad: “ Jim told me that he had started writing the song for a future musical version of Nosferatu years ago, but never finished it. We shot the video in a spooky old gothic asylum in Surrey. The guard dogs did not want to set foot in the rooms on the ground floor where people were given electroshocks. »

The singer adds that she loved working with Steinman and was devastated when he passed away in 2021: “ Recently, a friend unearthed a letter I wrote to her from New York back in the day. She says: ‘I recorded an incredible song today. The problem is that it’s so long that I don’t think anyone will ever play it. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” had to be shortened from seven to four minutes, but everyone loved it so much that they played the full version of the album anyway. »

In the interview with GuardianRory Dodd, who recorded the song with Tyler, recalled working on the project with Steinman, who affectionately called the singer ” Icehead » because of his Canadian roots: “ Jim wrote ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ like a duet for Bonnie and me. He liked the reversal of roles between a female voice for the gruff side and a man for the purely angelic tenor. He was like a vampire: he liked to work at night. I had been singing for ten hours when he asked me to do my lead part of the duet for Eclipse. So I sang ‘Turn around bright eyes…’ at 2 a.m. I suffered that my name did not appear on Eclipse, alongside Bonnie’s, but I would give anything to answer a call and hear those words again: “Hey, Icy. I wrote a song. Do you want to come sing it?” »

In a 1983 interview, Steinman said he was caught off guard when he was first asked to work with Bonnie Tyler. “ I was mainly known for making records for Meat Loaf and my own records, which were thunderous, Wagnerian, almost heavy metal, epic, stormy recordsdid he declare. I was a little surprised that they asked me that, but then I thought it was a real challenge. And I thought she had one of the most passionate voices I’ve ever heard in rock & roll since Janis Joplin. »

Steinman says he was inspired to write “ Total Eclipse of the Heart » with the image of a lunar eclipse. “ I considered it more of a song about feverdid he declare. Most pop songs deal with the lyrical side of love, the pleasant side. I always liked writing about the other side, the dark side. An eclipse seemed like the perfect image to describe someone being totally overwhelmed by love. It’s like an eclipse. There is no more light at all. »


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Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.