"I poured my heart out singing it."
The origins of Bonnie Tyler's rock ballad "Total Eclipse of the Heart" can be traced back to Transylvania.
The Welsh singer revealed that the late Jim Steinman initially wrote the 1983 track for a prospective Nosferatu musical adaptation "but never finished it." The story goes that the song was intended for Meat Loaf, whom Steinman wrote and produced for; according to Tyler, she stepped in after Meat Loaf had lost his voice.
"I’d just signed to Sony and wanted to change from country rock to rock," she recalled to The Guardian. "I’d seen Meat Loaf on the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test doing "Bat Out of Hell," so I told Muff Winwood at Sony that I wanted to work with Jim Steinman. Muff looked at me like I was barmy and told me that Jim would never do it. 'I just want you to ask him,' I said."
"Jim liked my voice, so three weeks later my manager and I went to his apartment overlooking Central Park in New York," Tyler continued. "We came home on a high — we’d met Jim Steinman! — and three weeks later he sent for us again. He played the grand piano while Rory Dodd sang 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' to me. I understood immediately what an incredible song it was."
Around the time they were recording, Tyler said, "Meat Loaf had lost his voice, and after it was a hit he always used to say: “Dang. That song should have been mine!” I poured my heart out singing it." Staying true to the original Nosferatu theme, "We shot the video in a frightening gothic former asylum in Surrey," Tyler recalled. "The guard dogs wouldn’t set foot in the rooms downstairs where they used to give people electric shock treatment."
Tyler didn't think the hit would make airwaves since it was "so long" and "had to be shortened from seven to four minutes," but "everybody loved it so much they played the full album version anyway."
The storied ballad appears on Tyler's fifth studio album Faster Than the Speed of Night, which turned 40 this year. A 40th anniversary vinyl edition of the album, which debuted at No. 1 on U.K. charts and No. 4 in the U.S., is available to purchase now.
Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.