Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Bonnie Tyler Reveals ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Was Originally Written for a Vampire Musical

Bonnie Tyler Reveals ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Was Originally Written for a Vampire Musical

40 years after her hit track Total Eclipse of the Heart made its official debut, Bonnie Tyler reveals what she originally wrote the song for. 

In an op-ed for The Guardian, Tyler stated that the song was actually for a Nosferatu musical… yep, vampires. She recalled wanting to work with Jim Steinman, the writer and producer of Meat Loaf. “He played the grand piano while Rory Dodd sang Total Eclipse of the Heart to me. I understood immediately what an incredible song it was.”

Steinman eventually told Bonnie Tyler that the song was specifically for a “prospective musical version” of Nosferatu years before. However, he never finished writing it. “Around the time we were recording, Meat Loaf had lost his voice,” Tyler said. “And after it was a hit he always used to say, ‘Dang. That song should have been mine!’ I poured my heart out singing it.”

Tyler also recalled shooting the song’s music video in what she described as a frightening gothic former asylum in Surrey, England. “The guard dogs wouldn’t set foot in the rooms downstairs where they used to give people electric shock treatment.”

Bonnier Tyler also reflected on working with Steinman and how devastated she was when he passed away in April 2021. 

Bonnie Tyler Recalled How ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Had to Be Shortened From Seven to Four Minutes 

Along with discussing the creation of Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler said that the song was originally seven minutes long.

Tyler said a friend of hers unearthed a letter she had written to her from New York because when the song was created it revealed more details about the song’s length. 

“I recorded an incredible song today,” Bonnie Tyler wrote. “The trouble is, it’s so long, I don’t think anybody will ever play it.”

The song had to be shortened from seven to four minutes. However, Tyler said everyone loved it so much that they played the full album version anyway. 

Tyler previously spoke about why she loves Total Eclipse of the Heart so much. “I’ve done a lot in 40 years but I never get tired of singing Total Eclipse of the Heart,” she told BBC in September. 

Bonnie Tyler then spoke about how long it took to record the song with Steinmann. “The first time I heard it, I couldn’t believe that [Steinmann] was giving me this song. I recorded it in New York and the way Jim works is you sing the song through nine times and you decide which take has got the best feel, which happened to be the second.”