Bonnie Tyler Biography

Gaynor Hopkins, 8 June 1951, Skewen, South Wales. Tyler’s powerful, melodramatic voice was a perfect vehicle for the quasi-operatic imagination of producer Jim Steinman. After winning a talent contest in 1970, Tyler sang regularly in Welsh clubs and pubs, fronting a soul band called Mumbles. A throat operation in 1976 gave her voice an extra huskiness that attracted writer/producers Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe. Tyler successfully recorded their compositions ‘Lost In France’ and ‘It’s A Heartache’, a million-seller in the USA. ‘Married Men’ (from the movie The World Is Full Of Married Men) was only a minor hit, and in 1981 Tyler changed labels to CBS Records and was teamed with Meat Loaf producer Steinman. He created ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’, a gigantic ballad that is probably Tyler’s finest performance. The single reached number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic while ‘Faster Than The Speed Of Night’ also topped the UK charts. In 1984 Tyler duetted with fellow Welsh singer Shakin’ Stevens on ‘A Rockin’ Good Way’ and her dramatic delivery brought commissions to record the film themes ‘Holding Out For A Hero’ (a Steinman song from Footloose which reached the UK Top 10) and ‘Here She Comes’ from Giorgio Moroder’s score for Metropolis. Next, Steinman paired Tyler with Todd Rundgren on ‘Loving You’s A Dirty Job But Someone’s Got To Do It’ (1986). Songwriter Desmond Child was brought in to produce Hide Your Heart in 1988, and in the same year she took part in George Martin’s recording of the Dylan Thomas verse drama Under Milk Wood.

After a two-year absence from recording, Tyler signed to German label Hansa and Bitterblue was a big hit across northern Europe. Among those writing and producing for the album were Nik Kershaw, Harold Faltermeyer and Moroder. Her new contract with EastWest brought her together with Jim Steinman for Free Spirit. Even he could not rescue the production on an empty album of AOR vagaries, set against a singer with a distinctive voice that demands epic material.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.