Song: “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” by Bonnie Tyler
Reached #1: October 1, 1983 (her first, 4 weeks)
It should come as no surprise that this Jim Steinman track was meant for Meat Loaf. The Steinman/Meat Loaf combination has made some incredibly dramatic (almost “epic”) tracks.
But for some reason, Meat Loaf’s record company didn’t want “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” or “Making Love (Out Of Nothing At All)”. The latter went to Air Supply (arguably their only good song). The former went to a Welsh singer who had some British success but hadn’t really broken out anywhere else.
She had been born Gaynor Hopkins, and had briefly sung as Sherene Davis before taking her better-known stage name in the mid-‘70s. She’d had one big hit (“It’s A Heartache”) before Steinman gifted her with “Total Eclipse”, which has become the one song she’s known for (OK, maybe the Footloose single “Holding Out For A Hero”, too).
In fact, she’s ridden the song to most of her success – including a 2003 French remake (“Si Demain”) which led to a French remake of “It’s A Heartache”.
But she probably wouldn’t have had the success if she’d just listened to her doctors. In 1977, she had surgery to remove nodes from her vocal cords. She’d been told to keep silent for six weeks to let it heal – but one day she lost it, and let out a scream. It was feared she’d ended her singing career. Instead, she’d saved it – the new rasp in her voice made her more marketable…
Tyler and her husband, Robert Sullivan, will celebrate 40 years of marriage next summer. Good for them… long celebrity marriages are even more rare than #1 hits…
Tomorrow, one of the first big stars of the 2010s.
Other songs that reached #1 on October 1:
1977 – “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Song (Medley)” by Meco (his first, 2 weeks)