STORY OF SONG
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” is the 1983 pop rock hit by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler and featured on her fifth studio album “Faster Than the Speed of Night” which was released via Columbia Records. The song was produced and written by the incredible late songwriter, actor, producer and playwright Jim Steinman.
After Tyler’s contract with RCA Records ended in 1981, Tyler ended up hiring David Aspden as her manager after seeing Meat Loaf perform “Bat Out of Hell” live. Tyler visited Steinman in his apartment in New York in April 1982 with Aspden and was presented with “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” and “Goin’ Through the Motions” – both which Tyler loved. A few weeks later, Steinman and Rory Dodd performed “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for Tyler. Speaking to Playbill 2014, Steinman spoke about the song being used in the 1997 musical “Dance of the Vampires”:
“…with ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’, I was trying to come up with a love song and I remembered I actually wrote that to be a vampire love song. Its original title was ‘Vampires in Love’ because I was working on a musical of “Nosferatu”, the other great vampire story. If anyone listens to the lyrics, they’re really like vampire lines. It’s all about the darkness, the power of darkness and love’s place in the dark…”
The music video for “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was directed by Russell Mulcahy and was filmed at Holloway Sanatorium, a large Victorian hospital in Surrey. The video shows Bonnie Tyler in a white, thinking about a boys choir who sing throughout the song. The video was nominated for two awards at the Billboard Video Music Awards in 1983: “Best Performance by a Female” and “Most Effective Use of Symbolism”. As of late April 2021, the video has over 789.5 million views on YouTube.
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” ended up being Tyler’s biggest hit ever.
Release Date: 11th February 1983 (UK) & 12th June 1983 (US)
Songwriter: Jim Steinman
Producer: Jim Steinman
Music Video Release Date: 1983
Music Video Director: Russell Mulcahy
Chart Rankings & Certifications: In its year of release, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” charted at:
– #1 in Australia
– #14 in Belgium
– #1 & #9 on various charts in Canada
– #6 in Denmark
– #3 in France
– #16 in Germany
– #1 in Ireland
– #24 & #18 in the Netherlands
– #1 in New Zealand
– #1 in Norway
– #1 in South Africa
– #9 in Spain
– #3 in Sweden
– #3 in Switzerland
– #1 in the UK
– #7 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart
– #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart
– #23 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart
– #1 on the US Cash Box chart
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” is certified:
– Gold in France and Denmark.
– Platinum in Canada, Italy, UK and the US.
The lyrics to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” can be found here.
Listen to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on Apple Music.
Listen to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on Spotify.