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Jim's Lost Projects

Posted by:
rockfenris2005 03:08 pm UTC 05/07/21

From a write-up I did a while ago. I thought you might find this interesting. I'm sure I'm overlooking something.


The Dream Engine, New York production: after Joe Papp from the New York Shakespeare Festival saw "The Dream Engine" and signed it up during the intermission, there were several attempts at productions in New York that never reached fruition. One version was going to open the Newman Theater in 1971 with the artistic director Gerald Freedman leading the show, but this never came about due to artistic differences between Jim and Gerald, and the Theater not being ready on time either. Next, it was going to be a workshop and a full production at the Arena Stage in Washington D.C. with Richard Pearlman directing, Michael Kamen as the musical director and Richard Gere in the role of Baal, which Jim had played at Amherst. The production ended up being cancelled due to artistic differences. For a time, Jim and the Robert Stigwood Organization were negotiating with singer David Bowie to play the role of Baal, but this never came about either. In 1974, Jim wrote a new script which he called "Neverland", and since "Neverland" was the basis of "Bat out of Hell: The Musical", "The Dream Engine" sort of did happen in a roundabout way.

Skin Alley, New York Shakespeare Festival: Jim was pitching a rock musical futuristic sci-fi version of the Bertolt Brecht play "The Good Woman of Setzuan" but it never worked out, since the Brecht estate didn't allow permission to do this version. Jim had earlier provided the score for a 1971 production of "The Good Woman of Setzuan" performed in Massachusetts and directed by Barry Keating, who had directed and starred as the Historian in "The Dream Engine" and would work with Jim on various other projects.

Titus Andronicus & Arturo Ui: according to the theatre program for the 1975 production of "Kid Champion", Jim was working on a musical version of the Shakespeare play "Titus Andronicus", the most violent Shakespeare play, and an opera based on Brecht's "Arturo Ui" based on the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler, but these projects never eventuated.

Kid Champion Rock Suite: Jim had written a twenty minute instrumental rock suite for the 1975 production of "Kid Champion", which at one point was going to be released as a recording on Island Records.

The Confidence Man, New York Shakespeare Festival: Jim's musical with Ray Errol Fox based on the Herman Melville novel had been written for the Shakespeare Festival, with Billy Atherton and Andrea Marcovicci leading the cast and Leon Russom directing, but this production never went ahead after various talent kept being snapped up for other productions at N.Y. Shakespeare Festival. A cabaret version finally took place at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 1977, gradually followed by a full production at Queens College in 1986.

Neverland, New York Shakespeare Festival: Jim had pitched his musical "Neverland" to Joe Papp along with a demo tape of songs but he opted not to produce it. A workshop version was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with hopes that it would be done Off-Broadway later on, but these plans never materialized.

Ragnarok, musical: Jim and Barry Keating were developing a new version of their 1973/75 rock musical "Rhinegold" in the late 1970s with none other than comic king Stan Lee himself. A concert presentation called "Future Gold" also took place around this time at the Manhattan Theatre Club with Andre De Shields, Ellen Foley and Karla DeVito.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Score: it is mentioned in the 1981 Sandy Robertson book "Meat Loaf, Jim Steinman and the Phenomenology of Excess" that Jim at one point was going to write the score for the Indiana Jones movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

Guitar & Stark Raving Love: around the release of Jim's "Bad for Good" album and Meat's "Dead Ringer", Jim was working on two films called "Guitar" about the life and times of a Fender Stratocaster from the years 1954 to 1986 which would be produced by Warner Brothers, and "Stark Raving Love", but these films never surfaced.

Neverland, Screenplay: Jim was developing a screenplay for "Neverland" to be filmed by CBS Pictures, including songs from both "Bat" and "Bad for Good". Jim and Meat often talked about Meat playing the role of Tink, a warrior deaf-mute version of Tinkerbell.

Def Leppard, Hysteria album: Jim worked for several months on the Def Leppard album "Hysteria" but was fired by the band when the collaboration was not working out. Joe Elliot from the band has said that he still has the Steinman tapes.

Phantom of the Paradise, Musical: in the mid-1980s, Jim was writing music and lyrics for a musical version of the Brian De Palma film "Phantom of the Paradise", but for whatever reason this musical never ultimately went ahead. A demo in the New York Public Library from 1988 surfaced in the year 2010, a compilation of various hit Steinman songs, demos and some new ones which would appear on Pandora's Box "Original Sin".

The Phantom of the Opera, Musical: in 1984, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman spent two weeks working on "The Phantom of the Opera" musical together, but in the end Jim was unable to commit due to the next Bonnie Tyler album "Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire". Jim regards this as the biggest regret of his career, since "Phantom" became one of the most successful musicals of all time.

The Graduate, Musical: in 1988 it was announced that Jim was writing music and lyrics for a musical version of the 1960s film "The Graduate", which would be scripted and directed by Martin Charnin who Jim had worked with on "The National Lampoon Road Show" in 1975. This musical was never produced.

Electric Light Orchestra, Part Two: Jim was involved with this project at an early stage. A demo version of "Kiss Me Red" sung by Rory Dodd and produced by Jim has surfaced from this project on YouTube.

Paul Stanley, Chrome Heart: Paul Stanley from KISS has mentioned that he and Jim had written a song together called "Chrome Heart".

Lorraine Crosby/Mrs. Loud, Album: around the time of "Bat out of Hell II" and "I'd do Anything for Love", Jim was working on an album for singer Lorraine Crosby aka Mrs. Loud who had performed the female vocal on "Anything for Love", but this album never surfaced.

Bat Out Of Hell 2100, Screenplay and Stage Musical: Jim was working on a new version of "Neverland" called "Bat Out Of Hell 2100". A demo CD from June 1997 surfaced on the internet, with songs like "It's All Coming Back To Me Now", a new version of "All Revved Up With No Place To Go", a demo of Ellen Foley singing "City Night/Midnight Serenade" and a version of "Love Duet" from "Tanz der Vampire" and more, along with a "Neverland Overture" suite of songs Jim had composed, similar to "Pray Lewd" from Pandora's Box "Original Sin". A draft of the screenplay surfaced after the opening of the "Bat out of Hell" musical, including previously unseen lyrics like "In the Underbelly of the Beast" and "Designated Angel". This project was in development as both a film and a stage show, and the film would have been released by Miramax Pictures. This time Meat Loaf would play Hook.

Pandora's Box, Screenplay: Jim wrote a screenplay with David Rimmer and Ellen Sandhaus called "Pandora's Box" which was about the lives of a pop group.

Whistle down the Wind, Screenplay: the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman musical had begun as a screenplay by Patricia Knop, which would have been directed by Steven Spielberg and possibly starring Kirsten Dunst and Johnny Depp. After Andrew's Sydmonton Festival in 1995, the project became a stage musical with Harold Prince directing.

Total Eclipse of the Heart, Screenplay: Jim had written a screenplay with Patricia Knop which was a contemporary version of "Wuthering Heights". This project would eventually surface in 2003 as the MTV movie "Wuthering Heights".

Metal Philharmonic, Orchestral Group: Jim and Andrew Lloyd Webber were working on a rock orchestral group together called Metal Philharmonic, which actually performed at the Sydmonton Festival in 1997, but the only recording from this project ever to surface is the demo version of "A Kiss is a Terrible Thing to Waste" released on the 2001 Andrew Lloyd Webber box set "Now and Forever".

The Little Prince, American Television Network: Jim was working in the late 1990s on a musical version of "The Little Prince" for the American Television Network.

Neverland and Lulu, Musicals: the theatre program for the 1998 production of "Whistle down the Wind" mentions that Jim is working on two musicals called "Neverland" and "Lulu". "Lulu" is possibly based on the play from Frank Wedekind which was the basis for the 1920s silent movie classic "Pandora's Box".

Batman, Musical: Jim was famously working on a musical version of "Batman" in the late 1990s and early 2000s, which at one point was going to be directed by Tim Burton himself, returning to the franchise after the failure of the movie "Batman & Robin". This musical never went ahead, probably due to the collapse of Jim's "Dance of the Vampires" on Broadway. In 2006, Jim released several demos on his blog. The songs "In the Land of the Pig the Butcher is King" and "Not Allowed to Love" were reused in "Bat out of Hell: The Musical".

Bat out of Nashville: Jim was planning to produce a Nashville version of "Bat out of Hell" around the early 2000s, which would also contain songs from the second "Bat out of Hell". It would have been released on Restless Records.

Frank Wildhorn's The Romantics, CD collection: American musical theatre composer Frank Wildhorn was developing a series of mini-musicals on his Atlantic Theatre label called "The Romantics". Each musical would contain about three songs each. Jim would have written lyrics for one of the installments, a version of the 1980s film "Ladyhawke".

Karine Hannah, Album: Jim had written and produced several songs for a 2001 debut album from Canadian singer Karine Hannah, among them the new song "Braver Than We Are" from "Tanz der Vampire", but this project never surfaced. The demos have since leaked.

Dance of the Vampires, Broadway Cast Recording: the Broadway cast recording was planned for release on Interscope Records, but due to the failure of the musical the recording never went ahead.

Frenchie Davis: in the theatre program for the 2003 Hamburg production of "Tanz der Vampire", it is mentioned that Jim is working with artist Frenchie Davis, but no such project materialized.

Cry-Baby, Musical: Jim wrote and recorded several songs for a musical version of "Cry-Baby", among them "Cry to Heaven", "Speaking in Tongues" and "I Don't Have Enough Middle Fingers for You". A "Cry-Baby" musical was produced, but without Jim's involvement.

Bat Out Of Hell III, Album: Meat Loaf and Jim would have reunited a second time for a 2005 release of "Bat Out Of Hell III: The Last At Bat", preceded by a single in 2004, all of which would be announced at a press conference in 2004. This project never went ahead with Jim's involvement, probably due to a combination of things like Jim's ill-health and Meat and Jim's managements being unable to reach an agreement between them. According to Jim on his blog in July 2006, his version would have included songs like "We're Still the Children", "Braver Than We Are", "Paradise Lost", "No Lips, Hands or Butts", "God has Left the Building", "The Monster is Out of the Cage", "Cry to Heaven", "The Powers of Darkness" and "What Part of my Body Hurts the Most".

Bat Out Of Hell: Conclusions and Climaxes, Album: after the release of "Bat III", both Meat and Jim talked about a special album for the 30th called "Conclusions and Climaxes" which would contain various songs Jim had intended for "Bat III".

The Dream Engine, Album: following several live shows in New York and Connecticut under the name "Over the Top: Songs by Jim Steinman", this group was formed to record and perform classic and new songs written by Jim. Several demo recordings were released online but in the end no album was released.

Westlife, Mega Eclipse of the Heart: Jim produced a remix version of the Westlife cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart", but it was never released. The recording leaked online.

Excalibur, Musical: Frank Wildhorn's bio in 2006 mentioned that he was writing a musical called "Excalibur" with lyrics by Jim and book by Gregory Boyd. This musical was eventually performed in Switzerland in 2014 but with no involvement from either Jim or Boyd.

Nutz, Musical: Jim was working with Terry Jones for a number on years on a new musical version of the Tchaikovsky ballet Nutcracker. A reading directed by Terry Jones took place in New York in 2014.

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