Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler had her only UK No.1 single with a song written by Meat Loaf's producer, Jim Steinman, 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart'. Also No.1 in the US, (the only Welsh artist to score a US No.1), Canada and Australia, the single sold over 5 million copies.
"Total Eclipse of the Heart" is a song written and produced by Jim Steinman, and recorded by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler for her studio album Faster Than the Speed of Night.
Released as a single in early 1983 in the UK and later that summer in the US, it was the first release from the album and became Tyler's biggest career hit, reaching number one in several countries including the UK, where it was the fifth-best-selling single in 1983, and the US, making her the first and only Welsh singer to reach the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100. It was Billboard's number-six song of the year for 1983.
With physical sales in excess of 9 million copies, Tyler's recording is one of the best-selling singles of all time. In a 2013 UK survey, the song came first in a list of most popular songs to sing in the shower, above songs by Justin Bieber, Robbie Williams, One Direction and Elton John.
After her contract with RCA Records ended in 1981, Tyler found a new manager in David Aspden and after seeing Meat Loaf perform "Bat Out of Hell" live on The Old Grey Whistle Test, approached Jim Steinman and asked him to be her producer. Tyler visited Steinman in his apartment in New York in April 1982 with her manager, where she was presented with two tracks — "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" and "Goin' Through the Motions". She stated that had she not liked the songs Steinman played for her, he would have rejected Tyler. She returned to his studio apartment weeks later, where Steinman and Rory Dodd presented "Total Eclipse of the Heart" to her. Steinman told People magazine he "wrote it to be a showpiece for Tyler's voice."
The power ballad remains Tyler's most successful song, peaking at No. 1 in the United States, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. At its peak, it sold 60,000 copies per day, and approximately 6 million copies in total. It won the Variety Club award in the UK for best single of 1983. The song also made number 82 of VH1's top 100 love songs.
According to Meat Loaf, Steinman had written the song, along with "Making Love Out of Nothing at All", for Meat Loaf's album Midnight at the Lost and Found; however, Meat Loaf's record company refused to pay Steinman and he wrote separate songs himself. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was then given to Bonnie Tyler and "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" to Air Supply. Tyler has denied this claim.
The song's melody originally appeared as part of the soundtrack for the 1980 film A Small Circle of Friends.
Mike DeGagne from Allmusic described "Total Eclipse of the Heart" as "one of the finest ballads ever to hit radio." He noted the "lush instrumentation" and said that Tyler's voice "produced the perfect type of "desperate lovelorn" effect to suit the romantic lyrics." Donald A. Guarisco, also from Allmusic, reviewed Faster Than the Speed of Night, and noted the song as an "epic ballad," describing the whole album as "rock at its most melodramatic." Jim Beviglia from American Songwriter said that Tyler's raspy vocals helped to legitimize the "melodrama inherent in the lyrics," and described the song as a "garment-rending, chest-beating and emotionally exhausting ballad" that suits the throes of a turbulent relationship.
The music video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was directed by Russell Mulcahy. It was story-boarded by Jim Steinman and drew inspiration from the 1976 film Futureworld. The Gothic-themed video features Bonnie Tyler clad in white, apparently having an erotic dream or fantasy about her students in a boys' boarding school. Young men are seen dancing and participating in various school activities such as swimming, karate, gymnastics, football, fencing, soccer, and singing in a choir. The video was shot at Holloway Sanatorium, notable for its Gothic architecture and distinguished for the multi-arched grand entrance as seen at the end of the video.