“Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” is in fact a tender love song, one of the most classic ballads of all time. But that doesn’t mean that all of the wording necessarily makes sense. In fact Jim Steinman originally wrote it for a musical entitled Nosferatu, which is in fact about a vampire. And he actually intended it to be, according to his own words, “a vampire love song”. That’s why the lyrics are so ‘dark’, as he also classified them. And such a pretext apparently explains what the title of this song actually means symbolically, as in an “eclipse” alluding to darkness and “the heart” love. But such isn’t really revealed via the usage of the term in the lyrics.

But more obviously, the narrator is clearly distressed. And she is so due to the absence of the addressee, her significant other. These are the basic sentiments which are being expressed. And the implication is that the reason they are not together is due to their romance being a tumultuous one. But yet and still, she is more or less prepared to take the good with the bad. That is to say that even though she perceives they are not 100 percent compatible, she also has spent enough quality time with him to understand that they are very much in love.

Release Date of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

This song was officially released on 11 February 1983. Bonnie Tyler released it as the lead single from her fifth-studio album – a project titled “Faster Than the Speed of Night”. And it was put forth by Columbia Records.

Did Bonnie Tyler write this classic?

No. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was both written by one Jim Steinman, a regular collaborator of American singer Meat Loaf, who (at least according to some reports) composed it specifically with Bonnie Tyler in mind. It is worth noting that Jim also handled this classic’s production duties.

Such a Huge Hit!

Anyone familiar with this song from its heyday knows that it was a big hit. For instance, it topped the most prominent singles charts in the UK. It replicated the same feat with America’s most relevant singles chart (the Billboard Hot 100). Furthermore, it reached number 1 in a handful of other countries.

And in topping the Hot 100, Bonnie became the first Welsh singer to accomplish that feat.

Moreover it has been certified platinum in the US, UK, Italy and Canada. Additionally, it earned Bonnie a Grammy nomination and ultimately sold more than 6,000,000 copies worldwide.

Indeed “Total Eclipse of the Heart” has proven to be Bonnie’s signature tune, one that she performs at all of her concerts.

Different Versions

The full version of this track, as featured on “Faster Than the Speed of Night”, is approximately seven-minutes long. The version most of us are familiar though is the radio edit, which was shortened to four and-a-half minutes in length.

Prominent Covers of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” was also a major hit for English singer Nicki French in 1995.  German vocalist Jan Wayne also made it onto the UK Singles Chart with his own rendition in 2003.

And a cover of this song also proved to be a notable hit for the Glee cast in 2010.

An Eclipse Song

This song is known to experience a spike in popularity every time there is an eclipse. In fact in 2017 Bonnie actually performed it aboard a premium cruise ship during a solar eclipse.

Music Video

Russell Mulcahy, a director from Australia, helmed the music video to this track, which was filmed in Holloway Sanatorium in Surrey, England. The visuals were influenced by a 1976 film entitled Futureworld. And it went on to receive a couple of nominations at the 1993 Billboard Video Music Awards.

Supporting Vocalists

This track features backup vocalists from E. Troyer, H. Sherwood and R. Dodd. And it is Dodd who performs the song’s famous “turn around, bright eyes” line. Those particular lyrics were derived from a musical Jim Steinman wrote back in 1969 entitled The Dream Engine.

1 Response

  1. Another Bonnie says:

    Absolutely love this song 🎵

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