I think only Meat Loaf fans were super familiar with Jim since he was the primary writer on Bat Out of Hell but his main speciality was ballads. Great examples are the two he authored for Bonnie Tyler: “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” and “Holding out for a Hero.” Air Supply used his help too. Then he was supposed to team up with Def Leppard yet it didn’t go well and they made the 12-million-seller Hysteria with Mutt Lange.
Normally, Jim’s style of music wasn’t my thing, I couldn’t stand “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” for it was a staple of Midwestern radio, some weddings (as a mean joke) and some club in Milwaukee thought it was danceable. He still gets a nod from Picayune for contributing to the larger over culture of Western Pop music and for producing what I think is the most iconic songs that scream, this is what Goth is! In 1986-87, he worked with Sisters of Mercy on their breakthrough Floodland which had the hits “This Corrosion” and “Dominion/Mother Russia.” Lead singer Andrew Eldritch said it best on what Jim did, “We needed something that sounded like a disco party run by the Borgias, and that’s what we got.” I couldn’t have said it better myself in what those hits sound like. They continue to sound great 30-plus years later.
Reuniting with Meat Loaf was inevitable as they did Bat‘s sequel and had a conspicuous hit throughout 1993, “I Would do Anything for Love (But I Won’t do That).” It was a tie between this and “Bohemian Rhapsody” on what would make me want to put knitting needles in my ears. I remember the hit was also a lazy punchline for David Letterman.
Thanks for everything Jim. I may not have liked everything but you were an unusual musical artist who proved that sometimes, giving a pop song a dramatic, over-the-top flair can be cool.