Jim Steinman Biography

1 November 1948, Claremont, California, USA. American songwriter, producer and musician Steinman first came to the public’s attention in 1975 as musical arranger for the comedy company National Lampoon. He was also a playwright and it was at a 1971 audition that he first met Dallas singer/actor Meat Loaf. Together they conceived one of the biggest rock albums of all time, Bat Out Of Hell. Steinman’s unique Wagnerian production technique was later to grace songs from countless other artists, from Bonnie Tyler (‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’) to Barry Manilow. With Meat Loaf unable to record a follow-up, Steinman grew impatient and decided to record the album himself. Released in 1981, Bad For Good lacked the vocal impact of Meat Loaf and was not a bestseller - it was, however, still a superb album, featuring Todd Rundgren as guitarist and co-producer. Many of the songs would later appear on the Bat Out Of Hell II album which heralded a reunion with Meat Loaf, having parted company after the latter’s Deadringer set, also from 1981. Perhaps the most stunning track from Bad For Good was a spoken-word piece titled ‘Love And Death And An American Guitar’, where Steinman proclaims in a style reminiscent of Jim Morrison’s ‘Horse Latitudes’, that ‘I once killed a Fender guitar’. He was also the mastermind behind the 1990 project Original Sin, a concept piece based on sexuality - at times almost operatic in construction, it was not taken seriously and so he returned to production work where he remains most in demand. Steinman produced Bonnie Tyler’s Free Spirit in 1996, the same year that he negotiated a long-term publishing contract with PolyGram Records. One of the first fruits was the rock opera Dance Of The Vampires. That year he also worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber on a musical based upon the 60s movie Whistle Down The Wind, which was eventually staged in London’s West End in summer 1998.

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

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