Jim Steinman is an American composer and record producer. He has been associated with plenty of rock and pop bands including Meat Loaf, Pandora’s Box, The Sisters of Mercy and Celine Dion.
Jim Steinman was born on November 1, 1947 in New York. Steinman attended W.Hewlett High School and Amherst College. Several reports indicate that he underwent plenty of training in composition at Amherst.
Steinman’s early works were musicals that he wrote while he was still at Amherst College. His first complete work, “The Dream Engine”, was written in 1969. He had previously written two musicals, titled “A Man’s a Man” in 1967 and “Baal” in 1968. Steinman’s remarkable creativity outshone in “The Dream Engine” and it was this quality that caught the attention of the founder of the New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp. Thus began the professional career of Jim Steinman.
In 1973, Steinman wrote a song for Yvonne Elliman which was titled “Happy Ending”. “Happy Ending” turned out to be Steinman’s first recorded song. In 1975, Steinman continued his collaboration with Joseph Papp; he contributed to the play, “Kid Champion”, by writing its music and lyrics.
Steinman met Marvin Lee Ray while writing the music for “More than you deserve” in 1973. Ray would go on to adopt the stage name “Meat Loaf”, under whose name Ray, in collaboration with Steinman, achieved great success. Ray’s first collaboration with Steinman for an album was after they had worked together for a project called “Neverland”, a play which had given birth to three of Meat Loaf’s most popular songs, “Bat out of Hell”, “Heaven can Wait” and “All Revved Up with No Place to Go”. After much effort in finding a record company who was willing to sign them, Steinman and Meat Loaf finally released their debut album, “Bat out of Hell”, with Cleveland Records. It was later reported that the album sold a stunning forty million copies worldwide. Meat Loaf also collaborated with Steinman for the next two albums in the “Bat out of Hell” Trilogy, each of which was extremely successful.
Steinman also collaborated with Celine Dion during 1996. He wrote and produced three of her songs, including the highly popular “It’s all coming back to me now”, which ultimately reached No.2 on the Billboard ratings. The album which featured the song also won two Grammies in 1997, including the highly coveted “Album of the Year” award. The result of this was that Steinman was invited to produce Dion’s next album, “Let’s talk about love”.
Steinman was also popular for his collaborations for Andrew Lloyd Webber, who was famous for his Broadway and West End Productions. Steinman provided the music and the lyrics to “Whistle down the Wind”. Steinman was even approached by Webber for lyrics to his legendary work “The Phantom of the Opera”, however, Steinman had declined, citing prior commitments.
Steinman’s production works for Bonnie Tyler were also great commercial successes. These included Tyler’s fifth album titled “Faster than the Speed of Night”, and “Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire”. He also wrote what many believe to be Tyler’s most famous song, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.
Today, Jim Steinman is still active with Meat Loaf and Terry Jones. His collaboration with Jones centers on a heavy metal rendition of “The Nutcracker”.