Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman is the composer behind Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell along with many other enormous hits.    His style is instantly recognizable for its, oh, let’s call it “epic” quality.  The songs are big, insane, and catchy as hell.

So maybe you know “Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young” from the Streets Of Fire soundtrack or the aforementioned Bat Out Of Hell.  That’s a great start, but there’s more Steinman lunacy out there for you to explore.  Take these for a spin and let me know:  Is he a mad genius or a schlocky hack?

“Bad For Good,” Jim Steinman.  From the 1981 album of the same name.  This was supposed to be Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell follow-up, but the big man lost his voice so Steinman decided to record the album himself.  Yeah.

“More,” Sisters Of Mercy.  I have a love/hate relationship with this band, leaning about 80/20 toward hate.  I always felt like I should like them due to the baritone Bowie vocals so I tried, I really did.  It hasn’t gotten any better with age, either.

“Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere),” Pandora’s Box. Pandora’s Box is to Jim Steinman as Vanity 6 is to Prince — a girl group vehicle for his songs. Makes sense: A lot of his work sounds Phil Spector-ish.  This cut was coverd a few years later by Meatloaf on Bat Out Of Hell III.

“Hulk Hogan’s Theme,” WWF All-Stars.  A moment of silence from me while you wallow in your Hulkamania.

“Nowhere Fast,” Fire Inc.  Sorry, I couldn’t pass it up.  My favorite part of this clip is how the drummer manages to get an electronic tone out of that traditional kit.

“Read ‘Em And Weep,” Barry Manilow.  Q:  What’s more bizarre than Barry Manilow?  A:  A mime Barry Manilow channeling Meatloaf.

“Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Bonnie Tyler.  Dig those lasers — it’s the future!

2 replies »

  1. People can make fun of Steinman’s schlocky songwriting, but at certain moments of life, nothing applies more. That said, I think he needs Meatloaf to do it best, but maybe that’s just my own prejudices. Then again, I love Sisters of Mercy, so what do I know? ;P

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