James Richard Steinman (November 1, 1947 – April 19, 2021) was an American composer, lyricist, record producer, and playwright. He also worked as an arranger, pianist and singer. His work included songs in the adult contemporary, rock and roll, dance, pop, musical theater and film score genres. Beginning his career in musical theater, Steinman’s most notable work in the area included lyrics for Whistle Down the Wind and music for Tanz der Vampire.
His work included albums such as Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell (which is one of the best selling albums of all time) and Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and producing albums for Bonnie Tyler. His most successful chart singles include Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”, Meat Loaf’s “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”, the Sisters of Mercy’s “This Corrosion” and “More”, Barry Manilow’s “Read ‘Em and Weep”, Celine Dion’s cover of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” (originally released by Steinman’s project Pandora’s Box) and Boyzone’s “No Matter What” (the group’s first and only single to be popular and chart in the US). The album Bad for Good was released in his own name in 1981.
Jim Steinman is credited with book, music, and lyrics for Bat Out of Hell: The Musical, which, following a successful preview run in Manchester, had two runs on London’s West End, two runs in Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre, a German-language production in Oberhausen, and a short run at the New York City Center.
Responding to an interviewer’s assertion that his songs are tragic, Steinman said he has “never been stomped on literally. Figuratively, I am stomped on every day … anyway, that is the way I feel sometimes. I’ve never had my heart broken the way you are talking about. I’ve never been dumped… but probably because I don’t allow myself to be dumped.”
At the time of his death, Steinman lived in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Steinman had a stroke in 2004 and temporarily lost the ability to speak. He died from kidney failure at a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, on April 19, 2021, at age 73.