Bonnie Tyler

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Song Review by

"Total Eclipse of the Heart" gave Bonnie Tyler the success she was looking for, and then some, going all the way to number one and staying at that spot for an astounding four straight weeks. From 1983's Faster Than the Speed of Night, a Jim Steinman production, the album contains a stockpile of Steinman's metaphorical wit and lyrical flamboyance, not unlike the songs that make up Meatloaf's repertoire. The difference, though, was in Tyler's wonderfully gritty voice, which she attained after a throat operation in 1976. With session singer Rory Dodd on backing vocals and Roy Bittan's dreamy piano playing, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" came to be one of the finest ballads ever to hit radio. Tyler's voice produced the perfect type of "desperate lovelorn" effect to suit the romantic lyrics, while the intermittent keyboard work from Steve Margoshes added to the song's enchanting ambience and midnight feel. There's no doubt that this song, and the rest of Faster Than the Speed of Night, glows with a distinct '80s sheen, swept along by lush instrumentation and a well-proportioned musical flow. Tyler almost found the same success with "It's a Heartache" in 1978, which halted at the number three position. She cracked the Top 40 only once after the triumphs of "Total Eclipse of the Heart," bringing Footloose's "Holding Out for a Hero" to number 34 one year later. In 1995, an Englishwoman by the name of Nicki French took a souped-up dance version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" to number two, which regained momentary prominence for Tyler a decade after her smash single.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Billboard Top Hits: 1983 1983
Various Artists
Rhino 5:36
No Image 1984
Various Artists
CBS Records
Rock of the '80s 1987
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets 0:00
No Image 1989 CBS Records
No Image 1990
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:28
Best of 1980-1990, Vol. 2 1990
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:28
Greatest Hits [Sony] 1991 Sony Music Distribution 4:31
#1 Hits: 1980-1984 1994
Various Artists
GNP / Crescendo 6:59
Read the Hits/Best of the 80's 1994
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 6:58
Lo Mejor de Los 80's, Vol. 2 1995
Various Artists
4:29
Billboard Top Hits: 1980-1984 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 5:36
Greatest Hits of the '80s, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 6:59
No Image 1995 Castle Music Ltd. / CC Special Items
After the Love 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:28
Greatest Hits of the Eighties, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:27
The No. 1 Love Album 1996
Various Artists
Music Club Deluxe 4:31
The Very Best of Bonnie Tyler [Castle] 1996 Castle Music Ltd. 4:31
Sounds of the Eighties: The Early '80s 1996
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 4:44
Women on Top of the Charts 1997
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:29
Moody 80's 1998
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 5:29
Rock & Roll Relix: 1980-1989 1998
Various Artists
Eclipse Music Group 7:00
Love Bites: More Romantic Power Ballads 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 5:36
Body Talk: Language of Love 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Time / Life Music 5:36
The Best of the Best 1999 Columbia 4:32
Simply the Best 1999 Sony Music Distribution 6:58
80s Monster Rock, Vol. 5 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 6:58
Hits Of 1983 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music 6:59
Super Hits 1999 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 6:59
Love Songs [Time Life] 1999
Various Artists
Chakras Dream 5:36
Kuschelrock, Vol. 8 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:21
Legends of Music: Ladies of the 80s 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Legends of Music Collection 5:28
Let It Rock 1983 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 6:57
The Official American Bandstand Library of Rock & Roll 2000
Various Artists
Atlantic 6:59
The Eighties Collection 2000
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 3:30
Burning Hearts, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Polygram 4:27
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Platinum Entertainment 6:59
Love Songs of the 80's [Sony] 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 6:58
Greatest Hits of the 80's [Sony] 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 6:58
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:30
Power of Love: Anything for You 2001
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:37
Like, Omigod! The '80s Pop Culture Box (Totally) 2002
Various Artists
Rhino 5:35
Pop and Soul Divas [Box Set] 2002
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 6:57
No Image 2002 Epic / Sony Music Distribution 6:58
Metal Ballads 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:28
Elite '80s 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 4:29
Holding out for a Hero [CBS] 2003 Columbia 6:57
On Your Radio [Box] 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:23
Faster Than the Speed of Night/Secret Dreams & Forbidden Fire 2004 Columbia 7:01
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:31
Ultimate Love Songs: Vision of Love 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:35
Wings 2005 Sbme Special Mkts. 3:50
#1 Hits: Best of 80s Rock Radio 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 4:30
#1 Super 80's Hits 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 4:46
No Image 2007 Sony Music Distribution 4:30
Mullets Rock! Too! 2007
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:27
Karaoke: Party Hits, Vol. 1 2007
Karaoke Cloud
All Star Karaoke 0:00
The Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection [Time Life] 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:35
The Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection: The Flame 2007
Various Artists
Rhino 5:35
The Power of Love: 60 Powerful Love Ballads 2008
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:27
Now That's What I Call the 80s 2008
Various Artists
RCA / Sony BMG / Universal Distribution / Zomba / Sony Music Distribution 4:25
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Sony BMG 4:29
101 Power Ballads [EMI] 2008
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:27
Mum Rocks! 2009
Various Artists
Virgin 4:28
The Pop Years: 1982-1983 2009
Various Artists
Demon Music Group 4:27
Essential: The Power of Rock 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:29
Love Songs: The Ultimate Collection 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:30
Easy 80s 2011
Various Artists
Time Life / Time / Life Music 5:37
I Love Maman 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 6:58
Pure... Love 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:27
Saturday Night Party: '80s Party, Vol. 1 2012
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing 3:52
Latest & Greatest: Soft Rock Ballads 2013
Various Artists
USM Media 4:27
The Collection 2013 Music Club Deluxe 6:58
300 Hits: Beach Party 2014
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing / Wienerworld 3:52
'80s [Cleopatra]
Various Artists
Cleopatra 4:36
100 Hits: The Best Eighties Album
Various Artists
100 Hits 4:31
100 Hits: The Best Rock & Power Ballads
Various Artists
100 Hits / Sony Music 4:31
300 Hits: Saturday Night Party
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing / Wienerworld 3:52
300 Hits: The '80s
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 3:53
80's Songs
Various Artists
Crimson 4:32
80's [Cleopatra]
Various Artists
Cleopatra 4:36
More Than a Feeling [Tellydisc]
Various Artists
Tellydisc
On Your 80's Radio
Various Artists
Columbia 4:23
Rock & Romance Collection
Various Artists
Time Life 5:35
Romantically Yours
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:37
The Greatest Ever... Party Album
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 3:55
The Greatest Ever: Pop Songs
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing / Wienerworld 3:55
The Strangers: Prey at Night [Original Motion Picture Score] Varèse Sarabande 6:57
No Image
Various Artists
Columbia