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Flashback Video: 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' by Bonnie Tyler

Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly  impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing  that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos  from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.

This issue we will cover "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. The song was released in the U.S. in June of 1983 and went on to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October of that year.  "Total Eclipse of the Heart" held the top spot for four weeks and ranked #6 on the year-end chart for 1983. The single was an international success hitting #1 in at least seven other countries and the Top 10 in at least six more. The song received plenty of radio airplay, but its music video also was in heavy rotation on MTV.

The music video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was directed by Russell Mulcahy, who is probably best known for his work with Duran Duran where he directed "Hungry Like the Wolf""Rio", "Is There Something I Should Know?", "The Reflex" and "The Wild Boys" among others. Mulcahy became one of the most prolific music video directors of the decade also working with other artists including The Buggles "Video Killed the Radio Star", The Vapors "Turning Japanese", Rod Stewart "Young Turks", Kim Carnes "Bette Davis Eyes", The Motels "Only the Lonely", Fleetwood Mac "Gypsy", Billy Joel "Allentown", Spandau Ballet "True", Elton John "I'm Still Standing", Elton John "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues", Billy Joel "A Matter of Trust", Kenny Loggins "Meet Me Halfway" and Billy Joel "We Didn't Start the Fire" in addition to dozens of others. Mulcahy was recognized for his incredible work when he received the Video Vanguard Award at the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards. He later moved on to direct films including 1986's cult favorite Highlander and others in later decades.

The music video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is a little strange to say the least. It was filmed at Holloway Sanatorium, a Victorian-era mental institute near Virginia Water, Surrey, England which had closed in 1980. The surrealist video features Tyler wearing all white seemingly dreaming or fantasizing about students in a boys boarding school. Some of the boys eventually have glowing eyes which may be a reference to the song's lyric "bright eyes". At the end, it almost seems like Tyler is actually a teacher at the school, which would make her fantasies even a little more creepy. Here is the music video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler...

In September 2023, the video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart" exceeded one billion views on YouTube. That doesn't happen unless viewers find it worthwhile. Someone created a "literal" version of the song based on the video and this is quite enjoyable as well...

Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!


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