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Jim Steinman, ‘Bat Out of Hell’ Songwriter, Dies at 73 – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/20/arts/music/jim-steinman-bat-out-of-hell-songwriter-dies-at-73.html

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While Meat Loaf went from that project to a role in the cult film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Mr. Steinman contributed music to another show at the Public, “Kid Champion,” which starred Christopher Walken. Then Mr. Steinman and Meat Loaf found themselves together again on a National Lampoon touring show.

Mr. Steinman had by then begun playing around with his idea for the post-apocalyptic “Peter Pan,” writing several songs for it. When he couldn’t secure the rights to the elements of the “Peter Pan” story that he wanted, he channeled those songs into “Bat Out of Hell,” recruiting his friend to bring them to life.

Todd Rundgren eventually agreed to produce the record, but no big label wanted it; Mr. Sonenberg often joked that he thought people were creating new record labels just for the purpose of rejecting “Bat Out of Hell.” Eventually Cleveland International Records, a small label distributed by CBS, took a chance.

Mr. Steinman, who lived in Ridgefield, Conn., is survived by a brother, Bill.

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Meat Loaf and Mr. Steinman had their differences over the years, including legal ones, but they continued to work together. Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose,” released in 2006, wasn’t a pure collaboration like the previous two “Bat Out of Hell” albums, but it did include some Steinman songs. “Braver Than We Are,” Meat Loaf’s 2016 album, again consisted of Steinman songs.

Mr. Steinman also wrote the score for “Tanz der Vampire,” a parody musical based on the 1967 Roman Polanski film “The Fearless Vampire Killers.” The show had its premiere in Vienna in 1997 and has enjoyed success in Europe. But a 2002 Broadway version, “Dance of the Vampires,” with Mr. Steinman providing the lyrics and contributing to the book, lasted less than two months.

“The overall effect is of a desperately protracted skit from a summer replacement variety show of the late 1960s,” Ben Brantley wrote in The Times, “the kind on which second-tier celebrities showed up to make fun of themselves.”

“Bat Out of Hell: The Musical” seemed on track to do better, but a United States tour was aborted in 2019 in a financing dispute. Mr. Sonenberg said the project was expected to get back on track once the Covid-19 pandemic lifts.

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