Related artists and collaborators
Most singers Jim has worked with have been good, some of them have been amazing. The instrumentalists who’ve played in Jim’s band have almost all been more than amazing. There have also been a few great guest stars on Steinman albums such as Cher (vocals) and Mick Ronson (guitar) on Dead Ringer, Brian May (guitar) on the Billy Squier album, Edgar Winter (sax) on the first Bat and Lenny Pickett (sax) on the second.
Jim’s vocal groups:
Holly Sherwood sang in Fire Inc, did a “special vocal performance” in Pandora’s Box singing lead vocals in Good Girls Go to Heaven, and sang background vocals in some other songs. Her voice is very soulful and slightly husky sounding a bit like Bonnie Tyler and Ellen Foley at their best. I have no idea of what else she’s done. (More information and a picture needed!)
Rory Dodd has sung background vocals on almost every Steinman record. He’s also sung on many other artists’ albums from Lou Reed to Billy Joel. He was also one of the lead singers in the band Fire Inc and on some songs on Steinman’s solo album Bad for Good. (More information and a picture needed!)
Eric Troyer often works with Rory Dodd, and sang in ELO Part II. (More information and a picture needed!)
Ellen Foley was Wendy in Neverland and a backround singer on Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell singing the female vocals on Paradise by the Dashboard Lights. She has also made solo albums, none of which feature songs by Steinman.
Elaine Caswell and Gina Taylor have sung backround vocals for several artists.
Deliria Wilde didn’t sing much on the Pandora’s Box album, probably left the music business after it.
Piano and keyboards:
Jim’s a good pianist himself but usually just plays some keyboards leaving the solo piano parts for people like these:
Roy Bittan has played the piano on almost every Steinman record, in Springsteen’s E-Street Band and on many other artists albums. Listen to the duet of his piano and David Bowie’s sax on the song TVC 15 on Bowie’s album Station to Station.
Steve Margoshes is one of the most talented people Jim has worked with. He has been in Jim’s musicals and albums as the arranger since More than You Deserve (1974). He also played the piano on Pray Lewd. His best known work without Steinman is the musical Fame.
Jeff Bova is the synth wizard (yes, I know that’s a banal and stupid phrase) who also plays the haunting piano on More by The Sisters of Mercy
Todd Rundgren was the producer and guitarists on Bat Out of Hell but since then he has worked with Jim mostly as the arranger and background vocalist. I’ve heard only one of his own albums, Something/Anything, which is a good and diverse pop album. I’ve also liked some of the albums he’s produced, such as the first Sparks album.
Eddie Martinez has been the main guitar player on Steinman albums since Floodland and Original Sin. He’s played on several artists’ albums (Yoko Ono, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker) and in a jazz band. (More information and a picture needed!)
Davey Johnstone who played on Dead Ringer, Jim’s Bad for Good and Streets of Fire, has been the lead guitarist in Elton John’s band. His playing is rather simple but effective and melodic, and reminds me of Bowie’s Mick Ronson (who played with him on Meat Loaf’s version of More than You Deserve) and ELO’s Jeff Lynne.
Steve Buslowe is the main bass player on Steinman albums, and has been the musical director in Meat Loaf’s band.
Kasim Sulton used to play in Todd Rundgren’s band Utopia, and has been in Meat Loaf’s band as bass and guitar player for years.
Max Weinberg who played on Bat Out of Hell, Bad for Good and the Bonnie Tyler albums, is from Springsteen’s E-Street Band. Nowadays he makes himself look like a fool as the band leader in Conan O’Brien Show.
Kenny Aronoff is the main drummer on Steinman albums nowadays. He’s played on several artists albums. (More information and a picture needed!)
Jim’s lead singers:
Meat Loaf has recorded four albums without Steinman songs. They aren't masterpieces but there's a few good songs on each of them. My favorite of these albums is his Motown album Stoney and Meatloaf (1971). Two of it's songs, I'd Love to Be as Heavy as Jesus and What You See Is What You Get are absolutely fantastic.
Bonnie Tyler has recorded many albums but I know only two of the songs she's made without Steinman so it's hard for me to say much about them.
Steve Barton (1954-2001) was Count von Krolock in the Vienna version of Tanz der Vampire. He appeared in more than 70 plays in 7 countries, and was best know for playing Raoul in Phantom of the Opera in West End of London and on the cast album, and the Phantom on Broadway. He was going to be con Krolock in the Broadway version of Tanz but sadly died in June 2001.
Celine Dion has recorded some good songs but I'm not crazy about her as a singer. I'm not a fan of the songwriter J-J Goldman but I think she's at her best when she sings in French.
Barbra Streisand is definitely not one of my favorite actresses but as a musical singer she's one of the best.
Bands Jim has produced:
Sisters of Mercy is the greatest goth band of the world. Unfortunately they are not very productive, only three real albums (+ some compilations and a side project) in almost 20 years.
Boyzone writes most of their songs themselves. Some of those songs are good but I think they are at their best when they sing songs written by other people.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has always some great tunes in his musicals. Especially I like Aspects of Love and Requiem.
Roman Polanski is one of my favorite movie directors. His best known movie may be The Fearless Vampire Killers on which Tanz der Vampire is based but I prefer such movies as Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby and The Tenant.
Artists who I'd like to record Jim's songs
When you ask Steinman fans who they’d like to record Steinman songs, they usually first say either that Jim definitely should record another album with Meat Loaf or that Jim definitely shouldn’t record more music with Meat Loaf. I’m not the biggest Meat Loaf fan but I’m not a a Meat hater either. So for me a new Loaf-Steinman collaboration would be great but not essential. At the moment I’d like a new musical completely written by Steinman. And there are some great singers who I’d like to record his music:
Tom Jones. He's had a long career but as you can hear in Vaults of Heaven, he's still one of the best. His voice is strong, dramatic and sexy, and he's got a great sense of humour. That's exactly what a Steinman singer needs. For some reason I think I'll Kill You If You Don't Come Back might be a good song for him.
Roger Taylor. Few people realize that Freddie Mercury wasn't the only great singer in Queen. Roger doesn't sound like Freddie, but more like Bonnie Tyler. Listen to his second solo album Strange Frontier (1984).
Some other singers with strong voices: Marc Almond, Michael Ball, Cher, Mick Jagger...
It also would be interesting if Jim produced music for some bands whose sound normally is very different from his sound. For example Offspring (Phil Spector produced a Ramones album so why couldn’t Steinman produce a melodic punk album too) or Massive Attack. Or he could write a concerto for harpsichord or release a jazz album or...
And of course there are some great singers who have worked with Steinman mostly as background vocalists: Kyle Gordon (Scarpia), Rory Dodd, Holly Sherwood...
And the wonderful stars of his musicals: Lottie Mayor, Irene Molloy, Walter Herron Reynolds, Jassi Zahharov.
These are some artists Jim has mentioned as his influences or music that he likes. I think he has a good taste.
Richard Wagner: The greatest man of the German music drama. Bombastic and beautiful.
Phil Spector: The man who brought big sounds into pop music. In the 60's he produced such groups as The Ronettes, The Crystals and The Righteous Brothers. Unlike everybody else, I think it's Spector's production is what makes the Beatles song The Long and Winding Road really great.
The Doors: Psychedelic music and mystical lyrics. An important influence for many goth bands.
Giuseppe Verdi: The greatest man of Italian opera. Composer of Aida, La Traviata and Don Carlos.
Bernard Hermann: A groundbreaking movie composer, best known for Psycho.
Stephen Sondheim: One of the greatest musical composers and lyricists (Follies, Company, Sweeney Todd, lyrics for West Side Story)
Igor Stravinsky: Started his career with expressionistic ballets, then composed neoclassical, jazz and dodecaphonic music.
The Beach Boys: The greatest pop group which has also recorded some quite wild psychedelia. Check out such albums as Pet Sounds, Smiley Smile, Sunflower and Surf's Up.
The Beatles: The most popular band of the world has been an influence (intentional or not) for every songwriter after them. I like the albums as Abbey Road and Revolver.
Bruce Springsteen: I’m not crazy about Springsteen I know there’s some similarities between his and Steinman’s work. Somehow Springsteen is too all-American and serious for me. Some arrangements in his early songs are great. He’s also had some excellent musicians in his E-Street Band.
Leonard Cohen: A folk singer in 60’s and hit making crooner in 80’s. Try his album Death of a Ladies' Man which was produced by Phil Spector.
Little Richard: The rock'n'roll man.
Chuck Berry: The rock’n’roll man
The Who: The wildest rock band ever.
J.M. Barrie: Author or Peter Pan.
They like Steinman too
Jane Eaglen, one of the leading Wagner sopranos of the world, was amazed to see Jim in her audience and says she’s a huge fan of his. Jim said he would write a song for her.
Courtney Love, the lead singer of punk/grunge band Hole, says Steinman is her god.
Lou Reed, the former lead singer of Velvet Underground, loved Bat II. Reed’s Velvet Underground albums and the solo albums Transformer (produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson) and Berlin (produced by Bob Ezrin) are definitely worth listening to.
Beta Band sampled Total Eclipse of the Heart on one of their songs.
You might also like
These are some artists that I enjoy and other Steinman fans might enjoy too. Some of them sound like Steinman, some don't. But they all have something in common with him.
Queen: The number one band of bombastic rock.
Jacques Brel: A Belgian singer-songwriter who wrote some extremely dramatic chansons. If you want to hear good English versions of his songs, try Marc Almond’s album Jacques or Scott Walker’s S.W. sings Jacques Brel.
Valensia: His main influences are Queen and Kate Bush but I’m sure many Steinman fans would enjoy his beautiful melodies, strange chord progressions and over the top arrangements.
Type O Negative: Melodic and gloomy goth metal. A bit like the Sisters of Mercy at their most bombastic. Try listening to In Praise of Bacchus on the album October Rust.
Dennis Wilson: Everybody knows The Beach Boys but only few know that their drummer was a talented songwriter who was influenced by Wagner’s operas. His music is emotional, lushly orchestrated and often quite eerie. You can hear his music on the 1968-1973 Beach Boys albums and on the rare solo album Pacific Ocean Blue.