Jim Steinman, Songwriter Behind Bat Out of Hell and Dance of the Vampires, Dies at 73

Steinman wrote hits for Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler, Celine Dion, and more.

The logo artwork for the Bat Out of Hell musical
The logo artwork for the Bat Out of Hell musical
(handout image)

Legendary songwriter Jim Steinman has died.

Born in New York City, Steinman's songwriting career took off as a student at Amherst, writing the book and score for a musical titled The Dream Engine, an adaptation of Brecht's Baal. The production caught the attention of Joseph Papp, founder of the Public Theater and New York Shakespeare Festival, who nearly produced the work at his theater, though it fell through. Still, Papp and the Public produced Stein's first professional production, the musical More Than You Deserve. Off-Broadway, Steinman composed the musicals Kid Champion, Rhinegold, and The Confidence Man.

Steinman's theatrical resume also includes writing lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Whistle Down the Wind, the score for the infamous Broadway flop Dance of the Vampires, and the book and score for the musical Bat Out of Hell, which drew on elements from The Dream Engine and a subsequent rewrite titled Neverland. He earned a Tony nomination for songs contributed to the Broadway musical Footloose.

However, Steinman is best known for his work in the rock, pop, and metal genres. He composed Meat Loaf's debut album, Bat Out of Hell, which is one of the best-selling albums of all time, as well as its sequel, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, with songs including the title track, "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" and "I'd Do Anything for Love But I Won't Do That." He also wrote and/or produced hits for artists including Bonnie Tyler ("Holding Out for a Hero," and "Total Eclipse of the Heart") and Celine Dion ("It's All Coming Back to Me Now"), among others, winning a Grammy for Album of the Year for Dion's Falling Into You.

Steinman was 73.