‘Bat Out of Hell,’ ‘Total Eclipse’ songwriter and producer Jim Steinman dead at 73

Jim Steinman, the best known for his epic and over-the-top work on Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II, Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” the Sisters of Mercy’s “This Corrosion,” and Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” has died. The cause of death has not yet been yet announced, but the Connecticut state medical examiner has confirmed that he suffered a “sudden medical emergency” at his Connecticut home on Monday and later died in the hospital. The legendary Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, record producer, and playwright was 73.

Steinman, whose brand of bombastic, theatrical, Wagnerian rock ‘n’ roll earned him the nickname “Lord of Excess” — a title he proudly used on his own website — was born Nov. 1, 1947 in New York City. He wrote the book, music, and words for his first theatrical production, a dystopian satire called The Dream Engine (which later inspired lyrics and motifs for Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and Meat Loaf’s “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth”) while attending Massachusetts’s Amherst College in 1969. He later briefly collaborated with Bette Midler and Yvonne Elliman, but it was a connection he made with a young actor named Marvin Lee Aday, a.k.a. Meat Loaf, while working on his 1973 musical More Than You Deserve that changed both of their lives.

Meat Loaf’s massive Bat Out of Hell album, produced by Todd Rundgren, was developed from Steinman’s Peter Pan-inspired 1974 rock musical Neverland, with three Neverland songs, “Bat Out of Hell” “Heaven Can Wait,” and “The Formation of the Pack” (retitled “All Revved Up with No Place to Go”) sparking the seven-song project. Steinman and Meat Loaf spent two and half years unsuccessfully shopping the album to record labels, with Clive Davis being one of the many powerful music executives who famously passed. After it was eventually released by Cleveland International/Epic Records in 1977, Bat Out of Hell went on to become one of the biggest albums of all time, with more than 50 million copies sold worldwide (14 million in the United States alone). This established Steinman as the only artist in music history’s top 20 best-selling studio albums to have written all the songs, both music and lyrics, alone.

Jim Steinman in 1981 (Photo: Terry Lott/Sony Music Archive via Getty Images)
Jim Steinman in 1981 (Photo: Terry Lott/Sony Music Archive via Getty Images)

Jim Steinman, the best known for his epic and over-the-top work on Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II, Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” the Sisters of Mercy’s “This Corrosion,” and Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” has died. The cause of death has not yet been yet announced, but the Connecticut state medical examiner has confirmed that he suffered a “sudden medical emergency” at his Connecticut home on Monday and later died in the hospital. The legendary Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, record producer, and playwright was 73.

Steinman, whose brand of bombastic, theatrical, Wagnerian rock ‘n’ roll earned him the nickname “Lord of Excess” — a title he proudly used on his own website — was born Nov. 1, 1947 in New York City. He wrote the book, music, and words for his first theatrical production, a dystopian satire called The Dream Engine (which later inspired lyrics and motifs for Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and Meat Loaf’s “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth”) while attending Massachusetts’s Amherst College in 1969. He later briefly collaborated with Bette Midler and Yvonne Elliman, but it was a connection he made with a young actor named Marvin Lee Aday, a.k.a. Meat Loaf, while working on his 1973 musical More Than You Deserve that changed both of their lives.

Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf in 1977. (Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf in 1977. (Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

Meat Loaf’s massive Bat Out of Hell album, produced by Todd Rundgren, was developed from Steinman’s Peter Pan-inspired 1974 rock musical Neverland, with three Neverland songs, “Bat Out of Hell” “Heaven Can Wait,” and “The Formation of the Pack” (retitled “All Revved Up with No Place to Go”) sparking the seven-song project. Steinman and Meat Loaf spent two and half years unsuccessfully shopping the album to record labels, with Clive Davis being one of the many powerful music executives who famously passed. After it was eventually released by Cleveland International/Epic Records in 1977, Bat Out of Hell went on to become one of the biggest albums of all time, with more than 50 million copies sold worldwide (14 million in the United States alone). This established Steinman as the only artist in music history’s top 20 best-selling studio albums to have written all the songs, both music and lyrics, alone.

Bat Out of Hell’s Steinman-produced sequel, released in 1993 after the estranged Steinman and Meat Loaf resolved various financial and legal disputes, was also a smash. Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell sold 14 million copies on the strength of the iconic single “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned Meat Loaf a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo. Steinman also wrote seven of the 14 tracks on 2006’s Desmond Child-produced Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose, although that release was surrounded by another legal dispute between Meat Loaf and Steinman over use of the “Bat Out of Hell” trademark.

Steinman’s success continued well into the ‘80s, as he released his only solo album, 1981’s Bad for Good; it featured the song “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through,” which made it to No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was later an even bigger hit for Meat Loaf. Steinman put his indelible stamp on two massive, operatic songs from Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 album Faster Than the Speed of Night: the title track and “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” the latter hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 100 while another song he wrote and produced, Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” simultaneously held strong at No. 2. That same year, a song Steinman wrote for Barry Manilow, “Read ‘Em and Weep,” occupied the top spot on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart for eight straight weeks.

A year later, Steinman produced and cowrote Tyler’s hit “Holding Out for a Hero” for the teen dance movie Footloose. Also in 1984, he contributed two signature songs, “Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young” and “Nowhere Fast,” to the Streets of Fire soundtrack — the former written in just two days, to replace the titular Bruce Springsteen song that had been pulled from the film. Steinman’s perhaps most surprising ‘80s collaboration, however, occurred in 1987, when he was brought on to produce two Gothic college radio anthems for British post-punk band the Sisters of Mercy’s Floodland album, “This Corrosion” and “Dominion/Mother Russia,” and later “More” from 1990’s Vision Thing. In 1989, Steinman formed Pandora’s Box with Ellen Foley, Elaine Caswell, Gina Taylor, and Deliria Wilde, and while that band’s one album was not even released in North America, a song from it, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” was a massive international hit for Celine Dion in 1996, cracking or topping the top 10 charts in 22 countries.

In the later years of his career, Steinman focused mainly on musical productions. One of his final projects was Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of HellThe Musical, based on songs from the Bat Out of Hell trilogy. The stage show premiered at England’s Manchester Opera House in February 2017 and opened in London’s West End in June that same year.

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Cheap Trick’s new album, ‘In Another World,’ bows at #1 on ‘Billboard’ Top Rock Albums chart

Cheap Trick‘s latest studio effort, In Another World, has become the band’s first album to debut at #1 on the Billboard‘s Top Rock Albums chart.

In celebration of the milestone, the band posted a message on its social media sites that reads, “In Another World is officially the #1 ROCK ALBUM! Thanks for listening, sharing, and rocking out with us in this new chapter. We’re blown away by your support.”

As previously reported, In Another World is Cheap Trick’s 20th studio effort. The 13-track collection features 12 original songs, plus a cover of the 1971 John Lennon gem “Gimme Some Truth,” which includes a guest appearance from Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

The album is available now on CD, black vinyl and digitally, while a limited-edition vinyl LP pressed on blue-and-white-splattered vinyl will be released on June 4 and sold at independent record shops across the U.S. In addition, Target is offering an exclusive limited-edition picture-disc version of the album that also will arrive on June 4.

Cheap Trick launches an Australian tour dubbed the Under the Southern Stars 2021 trek on April 30. The outing also features BushStone Temple Pilots and Rose Tattoo.

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ROB ZOMBIE’s Movie Reboot Of ‘The Munsters’ Could Be PEACOCK Exclusive

According to Bloody DisgustingRob Zombie‘s rumored movie reboot of the classic 1960s sitcom “The Munsters” could turn out to be an original/exclusive for NBC‘s Peacock streaming service that will open day-and-date in theaters via Universal Pictures/UPHE, similar to what Warner Bros. is doing with HBO Max.

Zombie‘s film reboot of “The Munsters” will reportedly begin filming in May and feature Zombie‘s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, cast as Lily Munster, and Jeff Daniel Phillips as Herman Munster. The cast will also reportedly include Richard BrakeDan RoebuckJorge Garcia and Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson.

“The Munsters” aired on CBS for two seasons from September 1964 to May 1966.

Zombie, who is said to be a massive “Munsters” fan, recently joined Butch Patrick for a commentary track for the film “Munster, Go Home!”, which was released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory last year.

A musician, filmmaker, and author, Rob Zombie has directed eight feature films, including 2019’s “3 From Hell”, 2016’s “31” and 2012’s “The Lords Of Salem”. His other directing credits include the cult favorite “House Of 1000 Corpses” and its companion, “The Devil’s Rejects”, along with the 2007 re-imagining of John Carpenter‘s “Halloween”, plus its sequel, “Halloween 2”Zombie also developed his own comic book series into an R-rated animated feature, “The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto”.

Zombie admitted to The Pulse Of Radio a while back that it’s been tough for him to break out of the horror genre. “The movies I’ve made up to this point have been pretty dark and pretty much in that world because those are the opportunities that were presented,” he explained. “You know, the people that put up the money for these things know that if I stick to that sort of thing, it’s easily more profitable. So it’s a much bigger challenge to break out of it.”

Zombie released his seventh studio album, “The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy”, on March 12 via Nuclear Blast. The LP marks his first new album in nearly five years.

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L.A. GUNS Feat. PHIL LEWIS And TRACII GUNS To Release New Album, ‘Checkered Past’, In November

L.A. GUNS, featuring singer Phil Lewis and guitarist Tracii Guns, has set “Checkered Past” as the title of its new studio album, due in November via Frontiers Music Srl. This will be the third studio album since the much welcome reunion of the band’s core foundation of Lewis and Guns. It will follow the well-received studio albums “The Missing Peace” and “The Devil You Know”, plus the live release “Made In Milan”, and a covers EP “Another Xmas In Hell”.

Guns revealed the title of the new L.A. GUNS LP during an appearance on “The Jasta Show”, hosted by HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta. Speaking about the band’s plans for the coming months, the guitarist said: “There’s a live L.A. GUNS record coming out in July. All ‘Cocked & Loaded’; It’s all [the songs from] ‘Cocked & Loaded’ live. And then a studio record comes out in November — a new L.A. GUNS studio record. And that’s called ‘Checkered Past’.”

L.A. GUNS performed its second album, 1989’s “Cocked & Loaded”, in its entirety on November 28, 2020 at the Fremont Country Club in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event was livestreamed via Veeps.

In May 2020, L.A. GUNS released a new single, “Let You Down”. The song was written and recorded while the band was in the midst of working on its next studio album.

L.A. GUNS is:

Phil Lewis – vocals
Tracii Guns – guitars
Ace Von Johnson – guitars
Johnny Martin – bass

Scot Coogan – drums

This band is not to be confused with drummer Steve Riley‘s version of L.A. GUNS, which released its first album, “Renegades”, last fall via Golden Robot Records.

Riley‘s version of L.A. GUNS made its live debut in May 2019 at the M3 Rock Festival. The drummer is joined in the group by Orlando, Florida-based guitarist/vocalist Kurt Frohlich, bassist Kelly Nickels (a member of L.A. GUNS‘ “classic” incarnation) and guitarist Scott Griffin (who played bass for the band from 2007 until 2009, and then again from 2011 to 2014).

In January 2020, Riley was sued by Lewis and Guns in California District Court. Joining Riley as defendants in the case are the three musicians who perform in his recently launched rival version of L.A. GUNS; that group’s manager, booking agent and merchandiser; and Golden Robot Records.

The complaint, which requests a trial by jury, alleges that Riley‘s version of L.A. GUNS (referred to in the case docket as “the infringing L.A. GUNS“) is creating “unfair competition” through its unauthorized usage of the L.A. GUNS trademark. In addition, Guns and Lewis are seeking relief from and/or against false advertising, breach of contract and unauthorized usage of their likenesses.

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Late KISS Drummer ERIC CARR Subject Of Upcoming Documentary

An official Eric Carr documentary is in the works.

According to SiriusXM‘s Eddie Trunk, the documentary is backed by the late KISS drummer’s family and is “totally legit.”

On Saturday (April 17), Trunk took to his Twitter to write: “Going to be interviewed next week for a coming Eric Carr documentary. His family is behind it & contacted me about it so it’s totally legit. Happy to be a part of it & more excited to see it! Eric was a dear friend I miss greatly. His legacy deserves this!”

Back in 2000, MVD Visual released an Eric Carr documentary called “Inside The Tale Of The Fox: The Eric Carr Story”. The 120-minute documentary, directed by Jack Edward Sawyers, included extra footage, outtakes, pictures and interviews, as well as previously unreleased music written and performed by Eric from his pre-KISS and KISS days, plus interviews with Bill AucoinBruce KulickCarrie Stevens, members of SLAUGHTERFred Coury, and more.

Carr replaced Peter Criss in KISS in 1980 and made his recording debut with the band on 1981’s “Music From ‘The Elder'” album. His final recording with KISS was “God Gave Rock And Roll To You II”. His last public appearance before his death was at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 1991.

Carr contributed his talent to the bands many gold and platinum albums during his tenure, and can be heard on the band’s many hit songs from the 1980s, including “Lick It Up”“Heaven’s On Fire”“Crazy Nights”“Tears Are Falling” and “Forever”, to name a few. In addition to his musical contributions, Carr was equally known for his inviting personality and genuine love for the fans. From the time he joined the band to this very day, Carr remains one of the most beloved members of the KISS family.

Carr died on November 24, 1991 of a rare heart cancer. He was 41.

Back in 2011, on the 20th anniversary of Eric‘s passing, KISS frontman Paul Stanley stated about Carr: “At a time when KISS was in the midst of upheaval and turmoil, Eric brought calm and an optimism that refocused our priorities so we could move forward. I can’t overstate his contribution to our rebirth. His dedication to his music was only matched by his dedication to his fans. He was a kind soul who couldn’t say an unkind word about anyone and I think of him all the time.”

Added KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons: “I never knew anyone more humble in my life. Eric Carr was a kind soul who never said anything bad about anybody. He was also a double threat on drums, and vocals. I miss him.”

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Canadian DJ/Multi-Instrumentalist JHNN Gets Personal With New Album, StereoTYP

Canadian DJ & Multi-Instrumentalist JHNN has unleashed his highly-anticipated new album, StereoTYP.

StereoTYP is a personal dark album redefining the definition of what it means to be a walking “StereoTYP” who enjoys different kinds of music.

For fans of: NINE INCH NAILSBOY HARSHER & DANIEL AVERY.

JHNN says regarding the album,

“Basically the album was made from 2016 – 2020 and it’s about my biggest pet
peeve of society which is the existence of StereoTYPs. It only scratched the surface of what I like to talk about; what it means to be a black man who just likes, is not afraid of experimenting, and making synth pop without being too expressive. I wanted to have fun as well and I wanted to get the point across. I also wanted to show all my sides of trying to cope like in the song “Darkness Will Always Be There”, the fact that all the people in power won’t matter; “Children Are The Future”, dealing with being anxious “The Warning/Warfare” and some views on religion “Greatest Lie.”
Buy/Stream “StereoTYP” Now

JHNN (pronounced J-H-double-N), or John K Arum, is a producer/DJ from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Having been active in production and DJing since 2009 in his bedroom while bringing his DJing skills to clubs three years later, he’s developed a sound that can be described as “mellow dark disco”

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