In putting together songs for his movie Footloose
, Dean Pitchford used seven different co-writers and eight different artists, since he wanted a variety of styles. On this song, he wrote with the mercurial Jim Steinman, who wrote most of Meat Loaf's hits, including "Paradise By the Dashboard Light
" and "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)
." In our interview with Dean Pitchford, he told us how this one came together: "We decided that we were going to go after Bonnie Tyler, who was not even really happening at the time. I had fallen in love with Bonnie Tyler because she'd sung 'It's a Heartache
,' and the song 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart
' was a hit in Australia when I heard it, but it had not broken in the United States yet. But when we went to try to find her, nobody at Columbia Records knew who had signed her and where she was. We finally tracked her A&R rep down to Nashville, because in the United States she had been signed as a country act, and that was where 'It's A Heartache' had first broken. But in order to get to Bonnie Tyler and to get her to sing something for us, I was going to work with Jim Steinman. And I'd known Jim Steinman's work from all of his Meat Loaf days. So I sat down and listened to a lot of Jim Steinman. And I came up with 'Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods? Where's the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?' I wrote that lyric with an ear toward snaring Jim Steinman, and it worked. He looked at the lyric and he immediately knew what to do with it because it was so much in a style that he was familiar with. So in every case I tried to write a lyric that was in the style of the artist I was working with or the writer that I knew I would have to write with. Bill Wolfer, for instance, was a producer for Shalamar, and I knew what I needed to do in order to snare his involvement. And 'Dancing in the Sheets' is different than 'Holding Out For A Hero' is different than 'Almost Paradise.' So every one of those represented a different head set, a mindset."