Jim Steinman, the songwriter who composed bombastic and enduring hits for Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler, Air Supply and Celine Dion, died on Monday.
His brother Bill Steinman confirmed his death to the Associated Press, telling the organization Jim died from kidney failure after a long illness. Steinman was 73.
A native of New York City, Steinman worked as a composer, record producer and lyricist, yet all of his productions were distinguished by a fevered extravagance. His music married the pomp of musical theater with the overdriven emotions of rock ‘n’ roll, a combination unveiled on “Bat Out of Hell,” the 1977 album he wrote for Meat Loaf.
Consisting partially of songs Steinman originally workshopped for a musical adaptation of “Peter Pan,” “Bat Out of Hell” became a word-of-mouth blockbuster, selling over 50 million copies worldwide on the strength of the hit singles “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night),” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”
Meat Loaf and Steinman’s initial attempt at a sequel stumbled. The singer bowed out during the recording sessions for “Bad for Good,” leaving the songwriter to finish the album on his own in 1981.
“Bad for Good” was the only album Steinman would release in his lifetime. He found greater success collaborating with other artists, writing and producing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for Bonnie Tyler and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” for Air Supply, songs that battled each other for Billboard’s No. 1 slot in 1983 (Tyler was victorious). During the remainder of the decade, Steinman collaborated with artists ranging from Barbra Streisand to goth-rockers the Sisters of Mercy.
Steinman and Meat Loaf reunited in 1993 for “Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell,” an international blockbuster that revived their careers, led by Meat Loaf’s only No. 1 Hot 100 hit, “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).” In its wake, the songwriter went on to work on Celine Dion’s 1996 album “Falling into You,” writing and producing its lead single “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” Steinman would share the album’s Grammy Awards for album of the year and best pop album in 1997.
During his last decades, Steinman concentrated on musical theater, writing the book for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1996 musical “Whistle Down the Wind” and adapting “Bat Out of Hell” into a musical in 2017.
A longer version of this article is coming soon.