Music Video of the Day: Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler (1983, dir. Russell Mulcahy)


I wanted to hold off on this video till later, but the sun and the moon made other plans. So, let’s go through it.

Why is Bonnie here in the first place?

Is the bird practicing to be thrown later?

Swinging lamps…

on loan from Harden My Heart by Quarterflash.

Harden My Heart (1981)

It’s safe to look at Total Eclipse Of The Heart…

but don’t look at the total eclipse of the sun today with the naked eye, or you could end up like this guy.

Doors also on loan from Harden My Heart.

Harden My Heart (1981)

It’s a Russell Mulcahy video. You can usually be assured that his videos will contain metaphoric liquids and/or homoerotic imagery.

Is this the same bird from earlier?

The Reflex!

The Reflex by Duran Duran (1984)

The Reflex by Duran Duran (1984)

It was nice of Godfrey Ho to let Mulcahy borrow some ninjas.

Gentlemen, welcome to The Skulls.

Another thing from Harden My Heart.

Harden My Heart (1981)

Since both videos were filmed in Holloway Sanitarium, I like to think that while Bonnie was upstairs, Ozzy Osbourne was being chased around the basement by a werewolf for Bark At The Moon.

The Judas Priest dancers reaching for Bonnie.

And Bonnie’s reaction…to the entire video.

There’s more Harden My Heart in here, but I choose to show this person upside-down instead.

Definitely Mulcahy.

Pressure.

The Thin Wall by Ultravox (1981)

I love that they almost missed Bonnie with the altar boy.

Exactly how many birds is he supposed to have? We could see some others earlier, and there are a few behind him. Does he just wait around to throw them at people who pass by?

Wild Boys cameo

The Wild Boys by Duran Duran (1984)

Then Bonnie is rescued by an angel from the clutches of Mulcahy.

Or is she?

In reality, it was a bit of both.

Here’s what Mulcahy had to say about this video in the book, I Want My MTV:

I collaborated on the storyboard for Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with Jim Steinman, who wrote and produced the song. Jim is fabulously, fabulously crazy. We would banter ideas over a bottle of red wine. I’d say, “Let’s set it in a school and have ninjas in one scene,” and he’d say “Let’s have a choirboy with glowing eyeballs.” We shot it in an old abandoned insane asylum in London. We had one sequence, which was Steinman’s idea, where a shirtless young boy is holding a dove and he throws it at the camera in slow motion. Bonnie came around the corner and screamed, in her Welsh accent, “You’re nothing but a fucking pre-vert!” And she stormed off.

There was nothing perverse intended. The imagery was meant to be sort of pure. Maybe slightly erotic and gothic and creepy, but pure. Anyway, the video went to number one, and a year later Bonnie’s people rang up and asked if I would direct her new video. And I told them to fuck off, because I was insulted about being called a fucking pervert. And I was a little mad because pervert wasn’t pronounced correctly.

So the bird throwing kid was Steinman’s idea. Interesting. Perhaps her comment is why he isn’t shirtless in the video.

I wonder what video Bonnie’s people wanted him to come back to direct a year later. I ask because the video for Faster Than The Speed Of Night, which came out the same year, puts a kid throwing a dove to shame.

Faster Than The Speed Of Night (1983)

Needless to say, regardless of their falling out, this kind of video became Bonnie Tyler’s thing for awhile.

Holding Out For A Hero (1984)

If mvdbase is to believed, she even got Jim Steinman back to co-direct If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man). It’s something you’d hardly notice if you watch the video.

If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man) (1986)

If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man) (1986)

If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man) (1986)

I’m glad she followed up Total Eclipse Of The Heart with similar videos. The songs are great, and the videos make them unforgettable.

Enjoy the eclipse!

30 Days Of Surrealism:

  1. Street Of Dreams by Rainbow (1983, dir. Storm Thorgerson)
  2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Children by Dio (1985, dir. Daniel Kleinman)
  3. The Thin Wall by Ultravox (1981, dir. Russell Mulcahy)
  4. Take Me Away by Blue Öyster Cult (1983, dir. Richard Casey)
  5. Here She Comes by Bonnie Tyler (1984, dir. ???)
  6. Do It Again by Wall Of Voodoo (1987, dir. ???)
  7. The Look Of Love by ABC (1982, dir. Brian Grant)
  8. Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol (1984, dir. David Mallet)
  9. Somebody New by Joywave (2015, dir. Keith Schofield)
  10. Twilight Zone by Golden Earring (1982, dir. Dick Maas)
  11. Schism by Tool (2001, dir. Adam Jones)
  12. Freaks by Live (1997, dir. Paul Cunningham)
  13. Loverboy by Billy Ocean (1984, dir. Maurice Phillips)
  14. Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics (1983, dir. ???)
  15. Talking In Your Sleep by Bucks Fizz (1984, dir. Dieter Trattmann)
  16. Sour Girl by Stone Temple Pilots (2000, dir. David Slade)
  17. The Ink In The Well by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
  18. Red Guitar by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
  19. Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers (1985, dir. Jeff Stein)
  20. Sweating Bullets by Megadeth (1993, dir. Wayne Isham)
  21. Clear Nite, Moonlight or Clear Night, Moonlight by Golden Earring (1984, dir. Dick Maas)
  22. Clowny Clown Clown by Crispin Glover (1989, dir. Crispin Glover)
  23. Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden (1994, dir. Howard Greenhalgh)
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6 responses to “Music Video of the Day: Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler (1983, dir. Russell Mulcahy)

  1. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Harden My Heart by Quarterflash (1981, dir. ???) | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Eurythmics (1983, dir. Jon Roseman & Dave Stewart) | Through the Shattered Lens

  3. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Far Side Of Crazy by Wall Of Voodoo (1985, dir. ???) | Through the Shattered Lens

  4. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Wide Boy by Nik Kershaw (1985, dir. Storm Thorgerson) | Through the Shattered Lens

  5. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Wouldn’t It Be Good by Nik Kershaw (1984, dir. Storm Thorgerson) | Through the Shattered Lens

  6. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: The Riddle by Nik Kershaw (1984, dir. Storm Thorgerson) | Through the Shattered Lens

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