It seems like I've been playing Jim Steinman songs for my entire career. I started in radio just about the time "Bat Out of Hell" came out, and and I swear I wore the vinyl out. All the heartache of being a twenty year old, and I'm a sucker for break up song, anyway, and could Steinman write them.

Steinman died early Sunday. Reading an obituary, it says he started out in musical theatre. In fact, that's how he met Meatloaf, who auditioned for a part in musical. They became good friends, but more so, they struck up a professional collaboration that resulted in "Bat Out of Hell". I'm listening to the album right now as I write this, and it's like listening to a musical from that era. And that's Steinman himself and actress Marcia McClain doing the spoken word intro into "You Took The Words Right out my Mouth."

(Meat Loaf via Vevo/YouTube)

What Steinman and Meatloaf and producer Todd Rundgren managed to do was marry a Broadway musical with rock and roll. Yes, it was overblown, over the top and truly glorious. And I'm two hundred words into this and haven't even mentioned "Two of out Three Ain't Bad."  Or "Paradise By the Dashboard Light". At the station I was at that summer, "Paradise", was the number one song of the year.

Meat Loaf and Steinman had several falling outs over the years after that, even sued each other, but came back for "Bat II", and had another a #1 song with I'd Anything For Love, But I Won't Do That" for Steinman.

Everything Steinman did seems a bit over the top and over dramatic. Here's some folks having fun with the video of Steinman and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

(artistwithouttalent via YouTube)

All of Steinmen's hits were similar, but they were melodic and they were fun. He even managed to get Barry Manilow back on Top40 radio for a short spell with "Read 'em and Weep". That was another thing. The songs all had catchy titles. Making Love out of Nothing at All, It's all Coming Back To Me Now."

“There is no other songwriter ever like him. I can never repay him. He has been such an influence, in fact, the biggest influence on my life, and I learned so much from him that there would be no way I could ever repay Mr. Jim Steinman.” - Meat Loaf  at Steinman’s induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. via Rolling Stone

Reports don't say how he died nor the cause, but Steinman was 73.

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