Jim Steinman, the composer, lyricist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who wrote all of the songs on Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back to Hell, has died, TMZ and Rolling Stone report. No cause of death was disclosed. Steinman was 73 years old.
Jim Steinman was born in New York in 1947. He grew up on Long Island, graduated from George W. Hewlett High School in 1965 before attending Amherst College, graduating in 1969. As a senior at Amherst, Steinman created and played in the musical theater production The Dream Engine, which he is said to have described as a “three-hour rock epic with tons of nudity”.
Among the audience on The Dream Engine was Joseph Papp, founder of the Public Theater, who worked with Steinman to turn the musical into a show called Neverland, which eventually premiered in 1977. His connection to the public theater brought Steinman to the work Meat Loaf, who appeared in the 1973 production of Steinman’s More Than You Deserve.
In 1975 Steinman left the theater world to focus on making music with Meat Loaf. Two years later their collaboration was spectacularly realized with Meat Loaf’s debut Bat Out of Hell, which would become one of the best-selling albums of all time. Steinman and Meat Loaf spent years apart before reuniting for the 1993 sequel, Bat Out of Hell II: Back to Hell, featuring Meat Loaf’s most famous song, “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Will Not Do It).” Lou Reed is said to have called the album “the future of rock”.
In addition to his work with Meat Loaf, Jim Steinman wrote hits for Bonnie Tyler (“Total Solar Eclipse of the Heart”), Celine Dion (“Now It All Comes Back to Me”), The Sisters of Mercy (“More”) and others. In 1981 he also released the solo album Bad for Good.
Steinman was nominated for four Grammy Awards and received the 1997 Grammy Award for Album of the Year for his work on Celine Dion’s Falling Into You. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2016.
One of the last achievements in Jim Steinman’s lifetime was turning Bat Out of Hell into a stage show. Bat Out of Hell: The musical premiered in Manchester, England in February 2017 and ran in several locations over the next few years. “This should be a musical,” Meat Loaf told the New York Times. “I made it a rock show. Jimmy turned it over and made a musical. That’s how he wanted it. “
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Bonnie Tyler recalled her late coworker: “I was absolutely devastated to learn that my longtime friend and musical mentor Jim Steinman has passed away,” she told RS. “Jim wrote and produced some of the most iconic rock songs of all time, and I was privileged to have received some of them from him. I’ve made two albums with Jim, even though my record company initially thought he wouldn’t want to work with me. Fortunately, they were wrong and can say without a doubt that Jim was a true genius. “