Bonny Tyler's Total Eclipse Of The Heart: classic or dud?

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I had an epiphany on Saturday night. I was at a party, it was three o'clock in the morning when a luscious drag queen staged a dramatic entry down the stairs into the lounge. On the stereo was Total Eclipse Of The Heart, a song that has always made my skin crawl and my stomach heave. And yet suddenly I realised that it was, in fact, nothing but the purest of genius...

Fred Zed, Monday, 27 October 2003 14:32 (eighteen years ago) link

see also Ned's London Wedding FAP Pictures! (VERY image heavy)

Alan (Alan), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:37 (eighteen years ago) link

Fuckin' classic, of course. Anyone who says otherwise is a humorless enemy of joy.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:38 (eighteen years ago) link

TOTAL CLASSIC. Biggest ballad ever to stalk the Earth, surely! You can hear them really pushing the available limits to make the most colossal pop possible, plus it's a great vocal performance.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Synchronicity or what?

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 27 October 2003 14:39 (eighteen years ago) link

This is one of the few songs I really detested when I was 10 which I love now. "Pass The Dutchie" is another.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:41 (eighteen years ago) link

But is the latter only because of Missy Elliott?

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 27 October 2003 14:45 (eighteen years ago) link

No, it's because it's great (unlike "Pass That Dutch" alas)! I didn't like reggae much at all until quite recently and then like a lot of other dabblers I was converted by Soul Jazz.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:47 (eighteen years ago) link

That new Britfunk comp from Soul Jazz is quite magnificent.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 27 October 2003 14:53 (eighteen years ago) link

i'm with Tom here, except i can't help but love 'Pass That Dutch' (it's Missy, it's 'Work it' with drug refs, duh)

stevem (blueski), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:54 (eighteen years ago) link

stevem blueski OTM. I am beginning to suspect we share a brain.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:55 (eighteen years ago) link

It's "Work It" without a good hook :(

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:55 (eighteen years ago) link

Best "Work It" sequel around at the moment = Blazing Squad's "Flip Reverse"

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:55 (eighteen years ago) link

It's "Work It" with a De La Soul quote and even more extreme booty shaking!

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:57 (eighteen years ago) link

Work It > Pass That Dutch obv. but i like the latter cos it feels a bit heavier than the former and is also a little faster.

back to Bonnie though, isn't 'turn around bright eyes' an interesting line?

stevem (blueski), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:58 (eighteen years ago) link

Sadly I don't think much of Miss E or "Work It," nor indeed of the new Sugababes or new Kylie or new Ellix-Bextor or new Holly Valance or new Rachel S Club records either, and my most played CDs at home, apart from the aforementioned Britfunk comp, are currently Camera Obscura and Belle & Sebastian. No doubt I have finally turned into Nick Hornby, and even less doubt that this is the prelude to the chap in the white coat in ten years' time asking me if I know the name of the Prime Minister.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 27 October 2003 14:59 (eighteen years ago) link

oh but Scooter are genius ;)


no-one mention Nikki French (oh shit)

stevem (blueski), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:59 (eighteen years ago) link

pointless perhaps but Work It > Total Eclipse Of The Heart > Pass That Dutch > Sweet Dreams My La Ex > Slow > Mixed Up World > Hole In The Head (which i think is just OKAY)

stevem (blueski), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Nikki French was one of my college crushes, despite the fact that I had no idea what she looked like.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:07 (eighteen years ago) link

To vaguely drag the thread back on topic - where did megaballads like Total Eclipse vanish to? Who now does them?

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:07 (eighteen years ago) link

Xtina! (See the song she put on the "Honey" soundtrack.)

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:08 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah I was thinking Xtina, "Beautiful" is certainly fairly large.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:09 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm getting to the point where I think I would rather have had Liam Watson producing the new Sugababes album down at Toerag instead of handing them over to Diane bloody Warren or the 4 Friggin Non-Blondes.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 27 October 2003 15:09 (eighteen years ago) link

I hear Busted use guitars!

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:09 (eighteen years ago) link

People should re-evaluate Xtina's _Stripped_ album because it is secretly fantastic.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:17 (eighteen years ago) link

No they shouldn't; it is publicly rubbish, first single notwithstanding.

Julio to thread on how Busted should be using D Bailey and K Rowe's guitars.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 27 October 2003 15:20 (eighteen years ago) link

i think Celine Dion killed off the epic windswept ballad. I usually hate them so am not bothered - quite glad even, she had her uses after all.

stevem (blueski), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:22 (eighteen years ago) link

Sorry Marcello, but I disagree (aka NYAH NYAH NYAH YOU ARE WRONG OMG!!!!11!!!).

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:22 (eighteen years ago) link

Any album with "Make-Over" and "Dirrty" on it must by definition be fantastic.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:23 (eighteen years ago) link

The cover makes me vomit.

Diane Warren killed off the windswept epic ballad - definitely the Michael Ray to Jim Steinman's Howard Hawks.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 27 October 2003 15:24 (eighteen years ago) link

but epic ballads were still popular and common up to the late 90s.

stevem (blueski), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:27 (eighteen years ago) link

This was the first time I ever had a "favorite song." My dad had built a bonfire in the back yard for New Year's eve and my folks had let me bring out the radio for the Casey Kasem Top 40 Songs of the Year, and I was crushed when it didn't make #1. ("Every Breath You Take" beat it.)

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:32 (eighteen years ago) link

i...meant...artistically...

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 27 October 2003 15:34 (eighteen years ago) link

Diane Warren killed off the windswept epic ballad

OTfuckingM (and Marcello's right about Stripped as well though Dan is correct that "Make Over" is genius, very demented genius. Alas, there is nothing else on the album quite so good or gone, though "Beautiful" is sure as hell trying to be Jim Steinman, which takes us back to the subject of the thread, and said Bonnie Tyler song is great and the video is weird as hell).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:41 (eighteen years ago) link

yes, celine dion AND bryan adams have really taken the wind out of the epic ballads' sails by churning out such drivel. goddamn canadians.

TEOTH is an abolute classic. i second ned's comment about the video...

Rob Bolton (Rob Bolton), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:46 (eighteen years ago) link

classic. i loved this song so much as a kid. my dad and i would sit around making mix tapes off of mtv when we got a stereo hookup for the television, and i remember being so excited when it came on.
about the video, am i crazy or was there some fellow with glowing eyes in it?

lauren (laurenp), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:47 (eighteen years ago) link

but WHYYY 'bright eyes'? i mean i guess that's part of the reason why he wants her to turn around, and 'turn around, sweet cheeks' would never have worked as well

stevem (blueski), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:48 (eighteen years ago) link

Heh, I like the way on your list Marcello you exhort us to admit TEOTH is a classic - everybody in the universe likes it and needs little prompting to say so! (NB I would have taken "They Don't Know" over "Breakaway" Ullman-wise though both are v.good)

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:50 (eighteen years ago) link

But I wonder how many people who've posted on this thread actually own a recording of TEOTH or have have given it a spin any time in the last 15 years. The enjoyment of songs such as this is essentially passive. Yes, I can get a little something out of it in a camp, ironic way, the way it might be played as a party entrance for a drag queen as per the original post, but essentially I don't have any time for power ballads. It may be uncool to say it, but say it I will: DUD

H., Monday, 27 October 2003 15:52 (eighteen years ago) link

I last listened to it yesterday evening H!

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:53 (eighteen years ago) link

There's an Air Supply song (also by Steinman?) which sounds just like TEOTH, but I can't remember what it is now.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Monday, 27 October 2003 15:55 (eighteen years ago) link

Fair enough, Tico! And yet I still say it's one big overripe absurd dud!

H., Monday, 27 October 2003 15:57 (eighteen years ago) link

tracer, i think you're thinking of "making love out of nothing at all," which is even more over the top than "teoth" if that's possible. at one point, the singer declares that he can "make all the stadiums rock."

lauren (laurenp), Monday, 27 October 2003 16:00 (eighteen years ago) link

speaking of over the top, let's not forget REO Speedwagon's 'Keep On Loving You', or anything by Toto, Asia... it's as if producers in the early 80s suddenly discovered multitrack recording and a magical effect called 'echo'.

Rob Bolton (Rob Bolton), Monday, 27 October 2003 16:06 (eighteen years ago) link

Is anyone going to stand up for 'Keep On Loving You'?

H., Monday, 27 October 2003 16:08 (eighteen years ago) link

Don't know it!

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 16:09 (eighteen years ago) link

And I meant, every word I said
When I said that I love you, I meant that I'd love you forever
And I'm gonna keep on loving you
Cause it's the only thing I wanna do
I don't wanna sleep
I just wanna keep on loving you

strangest punctuation ever: they put a comma in the pause in the firt line, but then fail to put one after 'keep' in the last.

Another vote for TEOTH being stone cold classic.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 27 October 2003 16:14 (eighteen years ago) link

i can't remember when i last heard TEOTH and i don't intend to listen to it now or in the near future either.

stevem (blueski), Monday, 27 October 2003 16:16 (eighteen years ago) link

I can remember when you last hear it Stevem.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Monday, 27 October 2003 16:18 (eighteen years ago) link

But I wonder how many people who've posted on this thread actually own a recording of TEOTH or have have given it a spin any time in the last 15 years.

A friend of mine gave me the disc, Faster than the Speed of Night as a housewarming present in 1996. It gets an annual airing at least.

http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drd800/d809/d80967c3i9w.jpg

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 27 October 2003 16:18 (eighteen years ago) link

hey Dan your last thing confused me. Are you saying I don't let pop manipulate me or that I do? Cuz I'm SERIOUSLY pop's bitch.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 30 October 2003 00:35 (eighteen years ago) link


another reason for classic status: the inclusion of the video on tv carnage, volume one.

more classic clip on that video: the kid with no legs on the skateboard being chased by the rabid dog

Dean Gulberry (deangulberry), Thursday, 30 October 2003 00:38 (eighteen years ago) link

My only problem with Jim Steinman is that his songs all manipulate in the same exact way - that whole rise and fall thing. I once bummed my mom out by revealing that so many songs she liked were written by the Meat Loaf dude and basically WERE Meat Loaf songs (she doesn't dig the Loaf - she likes the women bombastic and the men mellow if I can overgeneralize). Personally my fave Steinman is "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)," mainly for the part about sometimes praying for silence, for soul and to god of Sex and Drugs and rock and roll. It's so true.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 30 October 2003 00:40 (eighteen years ago) link

Several years ago, I used to share a flat with two-sevenths of a Meatloaf tribute band, and have retained a sneaking admiration for the work of Jim Steinmann. Epic overblown theatrical story-telling pop songs just aren't around enough these days.

Oh, and to answer the thread question, unutterably classic. And I was listening to it last week at my mum and dad's.

ailsa (ailsa), Thursday, 30 October 2003 00:43 (eighteen years ago) link

Absolute Classic. Recently dumped, I'm karaoke-ing it tomorrow when my ex shows up at the bar. I was in NY last year at a piano bar off 42nd, and this girl got up to sing it, and the place went mad of course. The best thing was that the bartender was singing the falsetto "turn around bright eyes" into a wireless headset and mixing flashy cocktails at the same time!!!

David Potts, Thursday, 30 October 2003 01:23 (eighteen years ago) link

I can't believe that no-one has yet mentioned that militant Muslim groups allegedly love Bonnie Tyler and TEOFTH and listen to it while getting revved up for battle.

Total classic.

Sarah Pedal (call mr. lee), Thursday, 30 October 2003 03:13 (eighteen years ago) link

I can't believe that no-one has yet mentioned that militant Muslim groups allegedly love Bonnie Tyler and TEOFTH and listen to it while getting revved up for battle.

Source?

Mark (MarkR), Thursday, 30 October 2003 05:27 (eighteen years ago) link

Well, according to this, Mohammed died on the same day Bonnie Tyler was born hundreds of years later. Uh, yeah.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 30 October 2003 05:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Popbitch claimed that TEOTH was the number one choice listening for bosnian snipers or chechen rebels or something...

Jacob (Jacob), Thursday, 30 October 2003 09:17 (eighteen years ago) link

"Basically it seems that liking this song or not is completely dependent upon how willing you are to let your emotions be artificcially manipulated by a pop single." - Dan

This should be in the FAQ!!!

I figure the reason I can't stomach power ballads like this one is that they're embarassing, though I don't mean that as a pejorative. Bonnie Tyler sounds so exposed, so naked when she sings TEOTH that I feel embarassed for her when I listen to it. It's the same feeling I get when hanging out with singers who frequently burst into song in public. In one sense I envy them for being so free and unrestrained, but I also know I'm not like that. When I want ballads, I listen to singers who sound timid or beaten down but still composed enough to sing their song with their head held high (Billie Holliday, Nick Drake, Robert Johnson, etc).

Dave M. (rotten03), Thursday, 30 October 2003 10:25 (eighteen years ago) link

hey Dan your last thing confused me. Are you saying I don't let pop manipulate me or that I do? Cuz I'm SERIOUSLY pop's bitch.

Look at how I originally spelled "artificially".

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 30 October 2003 14:17 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...
REVIVE! Been listening to this a lot in the last week, the full-length album version (which I'm not sure I'd heard before). Six and a half minutes of bliss.

Mark (MarkR), Thursday, 5 October 2006 13:16 (sixteen years ago) link

C L A S S I C !

mister the guanoman (mister the guanoman), Thursday, 5 October 2006 13:25 (sixteen years ago) link

Is this the original Guilty Pleasures thread?

Actually, come to think about it "Make Over" is pretty out there...

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 5 October 2006 13:29 (sixteen years ago) link

That Steinman fantasy upthread!

W T F

Onimo (GerryNemo), Thursday, 5 October 2006 14:09 (sixteen years ago) link

i don't like it, sorry

Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Thursday, 5 October 2006 14:29 (sixteen years ago) link

bye then.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 5 October 2006 14:30 (sixteen years ago) link

the most absurd part of this song might be the 40-something second fadeout

Jimmy Mod is like a child who walks into the middle of a movie (The Famous Jimmy, Thursday, 5 October 2006 15:44 (sixteen years ago) link

to this day, I still comb the pages of every X-Men comic that comes out, in the hopes that this will finally be the issue where someone sneaks up behind Cyclops, holds a gun (or claw, or whatever) to his head, and says "Don't turn around, bright eyes."

bernard snow (sixteen sergeants), Thursday, 5 October 2006 15:48 (sixteen years ago) link

I was SURE this thread was revived because of this:

Total Eclipse of the Lawsuit
He was a retiring co-pilot. She was an aging 80's rocker flying first class. No one expected her multi-platinum hit to "fall apart" but when Air France flight attendants awoke Bonnie Tyler and asked her to sing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in honor of a pilot making his final flight, passengers did more than just "turn around", they up and sued the airline. According to reports, a group of disgruntled travelers, believed to be Belgian, first lodged a complaint claiming they were traumatized by the experience, and are now alleging in a lawsuit, that Tyler's 1983 hit incited a celebration so raucous they feared for their safety. Good thing she didn't try "Holding Out For a Hero" or things might have really turned ugly.

By Emil Steiner | September 6, 2006; 2:29 PM ET

chaki (chaki), Thursday, 5 October 2006 16:14 (sixteen years ago) link

Personally my fave Steinman is "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That),"

You're a sick man. I see your broader point about JS though. As with Bat Out of Hell, I played the hell out of it for a while after buying it (the 7" in this case) but I don't know if I'll ever put it on again. Classic with a shelf life?

Sundar (sundar), Thursday, 5 October 2006 19:56 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...

I don't understand why anyone in their right mind would like this song now, despite the fact that I loved it when it came out.

Bimble, Friday, 23 May 2008 10:46 (fourteen years ago) link

Thank fuck I'm not in my right mind.

Dingbod Kesterson, Friday, 23 May 2008 10:48 (fourteen years ago) link

total classic. awesome beyond belief. age shall not wither her.

m the g, Friday, 23 May 2008 10:52 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm not sure I "like" it, in the traditional sense - it's not a song I'm going to go home and put on and soak in because I want to, ever - but one has t6o admire the sheer fucking structural power of it. It's a phenomenon.

Scik Mouthy, Friday, 23 May 2008 10:56 (fourteen years ago) link

Tyler's duet with Todd Rundgren on "Loving You Is a Dirty Job (But Somebody's Got To Do It)" is IMO Tyler and Steinman's best moment. Great title too.

Geir Hongro, Friday, 23 May 2008 11:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Great song, and I guess everyone's already seen awesome cover of it.

Tuomas, Friday, 23 May 2008 11:26 (fourteen years ago) link

I liked the Eurodance cover version of this song too. Actually, I think there were two Eurodance covers of it back in the nineties, but the first one was better.

Tuomas, Friday, 23 May 2008 11:29 (fourteen years ago) link

The Hurra Torpedo version is of course classic.

They actually did this as part of a project where they would "slaughter" various not-too-credible songs, mostly Norwegian language ones. But it's this cover version that has stuck and gotten international attention.

Geir Hongro, Friday, 23 May 2008 11:32 (fourteen years ago) link

oulseek must have a conscience after all, electing to spare you from the sonic blight that is the Speedwagon's excretion.

I suppose it's statements like this that get me in trouble.

Alex in NYC, Friday, 23 May 2008 11:33 (fourteen years ago) link

"It's a Heartache" is so much of a better song than this wanna-be Meatloaf song.

Pleasant Plains, Friday, 23 May 2008 14:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Just because Ronnie Scott co-wrote it doesn't make it so.

Dingbod Kesterson, Friday, 23 May 2008 14:38 (fourteen years ago) link

two years pass...

*yadadadadadadah!IREALLYNEEDYOUTONIGHT!*

It occurs to me that one day Kanye will fully remake the video if not the song. And maybe both.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=840B27zYfOk

Then again, Flight of the Conchords has already been there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vQuf49Ya30

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 4 May 2011 14:43 (eleven years ago) link

I'm concerned of what this says about me, but I fell semi-in love with a girl while slow dancing to TEOTH the other night. Jeez.. I've always liked the song, but only in the usaual ironic, waxing 80s nostalgia kind of way. But for a moment that night, all of that was gone, and what was left was the sheer power of that gigantic ballad. I may have been fooled, manipulated, whatever, but it felt pretty fucking great.

Classic.

Mule, Monday, 16 May 2011 23:36 (eleven years ago) link

so you're trying to say that forever's gonna start tonight

2010 = the year of (exactly) 500 Rogers! (La Lechera), Monday, 16 May 2011 23:41 (eleven years ago) link

this song reminds me of my mom

2010 = the year of (exactly) 500 Rogers! (La Lechera), Monday, 16 May 2011 23:42 (eleven years ago) link

At this second someone is singing this in a karaoke bar.

ginny thomas and tonic (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 16 May 2011 23:42 (eleven years ago) link

xpost

Well, it depends on the girl, I suppose

Mule, Monday, 16 May 2011 23:47 (eleven years ago) link

"the sheer power of that gigantic ballad"

That why this song is freaking awesome and will rule forever. I hear it's out on Rock Band. Must investigate. Classic classic classic.

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 02:04 (eleven years ago) link

wow, don't know what drugs i was on 7 years ago as i re-read my posts and was shocked at how sounded snotty and dismissing i sounded,

love the song,

turn around bright eyes is brilliant and will feed into another post

H in Addis, Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:46 (eleven years ago) link

eleven years pass...

Hero

39 years on and I still can't explain this pic.twitter.com/y3RY9Z51bz

— Bonnie Tyler (@BonnieTOfficial) September 20, 2022

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 21:52 (two weeks ago) link

dud atp

dyl, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 21:59 (two weeks ago) link

Madness

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 22:06 (two weeks ago) link

It is one of the most perfectly overwrought songs ever written and performed. Total classic.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 20 September 2022 22:12 (two weeks ago) link

I love Total Eclipse of the Heart. I had never paid it any attention, until this one time I was trying to get over a rough breakup and it came on the radio in the IHOP I was working at. I had to conceal actual tears while slinging pancakes. Very overwrought and cheesy, but it hit me like a missile.

Haven't knowingly listened to the rest of her music, except in the course of doing research for the Givin' It All You Got thread, when I came across this 1990 song of hers from German action sports film Fire, Ice, and Dynamite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nlWeTL4dtk

peace, man, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 16:35 (two weeks ago) link

<3 lovely post

absolute classic btw, especially for drunk karaoke

nxd, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 17:33 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsgWUq0fdKk

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 17:40 (two weeks ago) link

When I was in high school a dance troupe came through to perform for the entire school. The lead dancer gracefully danced until one by one, her skills faltered as she shared a dance with different partners. Each partner was dressed completely in black and had a different word written on their back. ALCOHOL. MARIJUANA. COCAINE. HEROIN.

She eventually fell to the ground, at which point the blacked-out dancers lifted her up and placed in a Jesus Christ crucifix pose to the audience.

This entire performance was done to “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 17:45 (two weeks ago) link

Wish I'd been there!

bendy, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 18:08 (two weeks ago) link

lol, that's amazing.

peace, man, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 18:14 (two weeks ago) link


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