Goofy lyrics? Overwrought production? Histrionic vocals? Undeniable hooks?
Yes, weÁ¢€â„¢re talkinÁ¢€â„¢ Jim Steinman today, kids.
Would you really be surprised if I told you the writer/producer of such irresistibly schlocky classics like Meat LoafÁ¢€â„¢s Á¢€Å“Bat Out of HellÁ¢€ album and Bonnie TylerÁ¢€â„¢s Á¢€Å“Total Eclipse of the HeartÁ¢€ started out writing musical theater? Me neither.
Would you be surprised if I told you Jim had a hit of his own from an album called Á¢€Å“Bad for GoodÁ¢€, which was originally written for Meat Loaf? Á¢€Å“Rock and Roll Dreams Come ThroughÁ¢€ was a minor hit nationally, but HUGE regionally, especially in the Midwest. WGCL and CKLW played the crap out of this song. And why not? It sounds like a Meat Loaf song, only sung by a guy who canÁ¢€â„¢t really sing. And a Boris Vallejo album cover? WhatÁ¢€â„¢s not to like? But seriouslyÁ¢€¦please donÁ¢€â„¢t pay attention to the lyrics. YouÁ¢€â„¢ll hurt yourself.
Three years and a few bigger hits written for others (including Air Supply Á¢€” cringe freely here) later, Steinman went back to his obvious first loveÁ¢€¦an overblown, bombastic rock musical, this one called Á¢€Å“Streets of FireÁ¢€. The soundtrack had a huge hit with Dan HartmanÁ¢€â„¢s Á¢€Å“I Can Dream About YouÁ¢€, but the true cheese was SteinmanÁ¢€â„¢s studio creation , Fire Inc., over-emoting for more than six minutes (the average Steinman song running time) on Á¢€Å“Tonight Is What It Means to be YoungÁ¢€. Diane Lane does a good job lipsynching this in the flick, but the real vocalist was named Holly Sherwood, who got the privilege of working with Steinman again in 1989 on a new project called PandoraÁ¢€â„¢s Box that sold about 43 copies.
I kid the Steinman, but you know what? I own both CDs, so what does that say about me?
Yes, I am gay.
Download Á¢€Å“Rock Á¢€Ëœn Roll Dreams Come ThroughÁ¢€.
Download Á¢€Å“Tonight Is What It Means To Be YoungÁ¢€.
Jim SteinmanÁ¢€â„¢s Á¢€Å“Rock Á¢€Ëœn Roll Dreams Come ThroughÁ¢€ peaked at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Fire Inc.Á¢€â„¢s Á¢€Å“Tonight Is What It Means to be YoungÁ¢€ peaked at #80 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Buy Bad for Good .
Buy the Streets of Fire soundtrack.
EDIT/ADDENDUM: I can’t believe I did a whole post on Jim without giving him total props for his epic production on the Sisters of Mercy’s “This Corrosion” and “Dominion/Mother Russia” – two examples of where bombast not only works, but excels.