The legendary songwriter and producer is best known for his work on Meat Loaf’s 1977 smash debut Bat Out of Hell and its 1993 sequel Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell. However, the New York native also helmed titanic hits such as Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”, Barry Manilow’s “Read ‘Em and Weep”, the Sisters of Mercy’s “This Corrosion”, Celine Dion’s “It’s Coming Back to Me Now”, and many others.
Steinman was born in New York City in 1947 and graduated from George W. Hewlett High School in 1965 before attaining his bachelors degree at Amherst College in Massachusetts. While there, he both contributed music to and directed productions by the likes of Bertolt Brecht and Michael McClure, and he even penned his own musical titled The Dream Engine. The story followed a young boy named Baal and his gang of rebel outlaws dubbed The Tribe, setting Steinman on a course to become one of pop music’s most notorious renegades.
In the early ’70s, he worked on various theatrical productions that included a 1973 musical called More Than You Deserve, which starred a young man named Marvin Lee Aday, otherwise known as Meat Loaf. A few years later, he would get his big break composing Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell, which remains one of the best-selling albums of all time.
From there, he wrote and produced massive hits for all of the aforementioned artists, while also continuing a successful career as a composer for musicals such as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1996 production Whistle Down the Wind and the 1997 musical remake of Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers titled Dance of the Vampires. In 2017, Steinman’s musical adaptation of Bat Out of Hell premiered at the Manchester Opera House.
Steinman is also known for his work with Def Leppard, Barbra Streisand, and Billy Squier, making him one of the most iconic producer-songwriters of the late 20th century. According to TMZ, no cause of death has been reported, but that the passing was sudden.
R.I.P. Jim Steinman, rock legend and wearer of iconic sunglasses.