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Total Eclipse at 90  

Total Eclipse Of Everything
January 2007

Twenty four years after it reached number one, Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse Of The Heart is enjoying a new lease of life. Thanks, of course, to the internet.

Total Eclipse at 90

Pop music can be easily dismissed. But some power ballads refuse to leave the room.

Scroll down for links to 'Total Eclipse' videos.

Sung by Bonnie Tyler, written and composed by Jim Steinman, 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' was released 24 years ago, in 1983.

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"Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming round"? Yes. That's the one.

It was a smash hit. It sold approximately 5-6 million copies in total, and reached number one in the pop charts of many countries. But, unlike most other 20 year old pop sings, it will not go away.

Tyler fever

For me, for example, the dramatic soft rock epic always conjures up mental images of a white, boxy, Fiat Panda, or Uno car. Because the album I first heard 'Total Eclipse' on was given away free - if you test drove a Fiat car.

Another Total Eclipse video
Another Total Eclipse video

I did not test drive the car. I don't still own the album. I don't even think that there were cars on its front cover.

But still, if I hear:

"Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit angry and I know I've got to get out and cry"

I think of a boxy white Fiat Uno, with a low powered engine - being driven by cowboy-hatted country singer Kenny Rogers, up a steep incline.

Now that I've done my
in-depth research it turns out that Kenny did not sing the 'Turnaround' bits. That was done by Rory Dodd - but it's no use telling my brain that - it doesn't want to listen. It's only got ears for Bonnie.

Conversely, when I see a mid-80's Fiat it can trigger a faint echo of:

"Once upon a time I was falling in love
"But now I'm only falling apart
"There's nothing I can do
"A total eclipse of the heart"

Another Total Eclipse video
Another Total Eclipse video

Which is fine. I accept that my view of the world may sometimes have a Bonnie Tyler tinge to it.

But, of course, it's not just me. Now that we've got the internet, people can no longer keep their inner Tylers to themselves.

A world of Total Eclipse Of The Heart

Across the globe people are uploading their silly, serious and odd versions of 'Total Eclipse' to YouTube, GoogleVideo and similar.

A quick internet search reveals hundreds of versions of the song.

There's the video of the two gentlemen, lying side by side, who lip-synch 'Total Eclipse' with towels over their eyes and eyes drawn on their chins.

There's the American ladies grabbing at the air for all they are worth - screaming "I need you more than ever".

There's the half naked college jocks lip-synching their hearts out in their dorm.

There's the 'Total Eclipse of the Heart at 90 MPH!!!' version - filmed while driving through a desert.

Another Total Eclipse video
Another Total Eclipse video
There's the puzzling 'Chris Darvis Tribute' in which 'Stevie13nash' sings along to 'Total Eclipse' while videoing an episode of the Cosby show.

Then there's the cover versions. Which include The Pink Fuzzies' Total Eclipse of The Heart - a breathy version sung by a man wearing full evening dress and white gloves.

A special mention must go to the Hurra Torpedo comedy-grunge version. Three men with their buttocks exposed performing 'Total Eclipse' by damaging cookers, fridges and other kitchen appliances.


There's the... well you get the idea. A video of me dressed as Kenny Rogers driving up a steep hill while lip-synching badly would not be out of place.

Earnest conclusion

Now I don't want to draw an over-earnest conclusion, but I'm going to anyway. I'm tired of typing.

So, what does it all mean?

I think that the videos are proof of the power of the popular song. And that human beings are deeply irrational.
Another Total Eclipse video
Hurra Torpedo's Total Eclipse

The impact of popular music is considerable. For many of us, pop songs are tangled up with our lives and memories in more ways than we can imagine.

Corny or not, Jim Steinman spoke to many when he wrote:

"I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
"We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks"

"Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there's only love in the dark
Nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart"

All over the world, Bonnie Tyler has won a place in our heads and in our totally eclipsed hearts.

By CR for Extrageographic, 2007.

Hurra Torpedo performing Total Eclipse of the Heart

Total Eclipse at 90

Total Eclipse by Dustin and Terrance

The Pink Fuzzies - Total Eclipse

Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart

 
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