Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart Music Video Breakdown.

For those of you that know this video, you’ll be expecting the total batshit mental..ness that’s about to unfold. Before we get there, however, let’s enjoy a few stats about the song and video!

The song was released in 1983, from the 5th album of Welsh songstress Bonnie Tyler! The album version of the song clocks in at just shy of 7 minutes. Thankfully for everyone involved here, the video uses a special edit of the song that is a mere 5m 32s. The actual radio edit is about 4 and a half minutes. Interestingly, when she re-recorded it in 2005, it went down to just over 3 and a half minutes. At this rate, in 20 years time it’ll be 1 minute long. It is, unsurprisingly, Bonnie Tyler’s most successful song, despite it being OFFICIALLY (Chris’s opinion and hard fact) inferior to “Holding Out For A Hero”.

I’ve done very little research, so that’s generally all you can have facts wise. It was a number one, obviously, both here and in the US where it topped the Hot 100. (Have you ever noticed how Americans seem to all know the exact temperature at all times. Like the exact number it is. Whereas, here in the Uk it’s Freezing, cold, fine, hot, fucking hot. That’s it). Anyway. It was number one a lot of other places too, but I can’t be bothered to list them. I do know that the end of the video, which we’ll get to… at the end… was shot at Holloway Sanatorium, which has also been the location for other videos including The Cure and Ozzy Osbourne. I don’t know, however, if any of the rest of the video was shot there. I don’t THINK so, but I’m probably wrong. Thus concludes the facts. On to the video.


[00:00]: Yes, the format is different to last time, again. The video starts, it’s night, we’re outside looking towards an old mansion type of building. Probably one of the most recognised piano intros ever starts to play. We zoom in on the house. Hopefully there’s an attractive roofer inside.

[00:08]: We fade edit inside and find candles lit, and the wind blowing some sort of sheet that, from the looks of it must just be hanging in the middle of the room. We pan past them. In the background we can see our attractive roofer, that’s right, Bonnie Tyler. She’s hiding behind the curtains. No! Wait! That’s just her dress.

[00:16]: Someone throws a dove into a hallway. The dove, realising it’s in a fucking hallway, doesn’t know which way to go and so hovers there.

[00:19]: Back to the curtain clad Tyler. Is it a bath robe? No, it’s definitely a dress. One of the most 80s dresses you’ve ever seen.

[00:21]: Some swinging chandeliers. No sign of Sia. What’s amazing is that we’re 24 seconds in at this point, and “turn around” has been sung three times and we’ve not had to see someone turn around. Congratulations to the 80s on not being so literal all the fucking time.

[00:24]: I mean, we still haven’t seen her face at the point, so it could be anyone fresh out the shower.

[00:28]: The moon. Because why not. It’s dark out, why not just reaffirm that. I mean, the word eclipse is in the title, but there’s no sun. So it’s pointless.

[00:31]: Welcome back to the Antiques Road Show, let’s see what Betty has brought in today.

[00:32]: We finally get a shot of Bonnie Tyler looking fresh faced and beautiful. Definitely more fresh faced than that time she got hammered and went on Never Mind The Buzzcocks. (Feel free to search that on YouTube). She’s doing her best voice throwing act. She’s singing but her lips aren’t moving AT ALL. Incredible. That’s very good. She should take up ventriloquism. She’s a natural.

[00:36]: The normality was too good to last. Here we go. The first mention of “Bright eyes” and some kid with bright eyes shows up, like something from a fucking nightmare. I take back my congratulations, 1980s! Oddly, after he walks in and before he puts his head up, they felt the need to interject another shot of Bonnie Tyler just stood there looking riddled with 80s. I know what you’re thinking about the boy with the bright eyes by the way. If two of them pass each other in the hall, do they have to switch to dips! It’s a good question and honestly I don’t know the answer. We only ever see them on full beams.

[00:45]: Again, Bonnie Tyler still stood there emotionless. Maybe she is just hammered again and can’t remember what she’s supposed to be doing.

[00:48]: The dove hallway is back and now all the doors kick open and wind blows some lovely red material from within the rooms. Fancy.

[00:50]: Tyler is on the move, traversing the hallway whilst presumably concentrating really hard on walking in a straight line. The doors, which were already open you’ll remember from TWO FUCKING SECONDS AGO, all start opening again. Prepare yourself for some Bullseye.

[00:54]: INNNNNNNNNNNNN 1. Some schoolboys at their desks. Their shirts blow open from all the wind, that is now apparently blowing inwards as well as outwards. That clever wind. Maybe Bonnie Tyler has windy tits, who knows.

[00:57]: Bonnie Tyler stands and looks at underage boys chests for a moment and then it’s on to the next door.

[01:03]: INNNNNNNNNNNNN 2. A boy holding a dove sits on a chair that has wings on the back of it. He looks up and makes eye contact with old windy tits. He throws the dove, which probably didn’t behave like they wanted it to given that it briefly just looks like it was frozen. Thankfully, as it starts to flap it’s wings, which would have been a good camera shot, they cut away.

[01:09]: Why wouldn’t you cut away, we want to see more Bonnie Tyler walking down a hallway.

[01:10]: INNNNNNNNNNNNN 3. More schoolboys, this time in a greater stage of being undressed. Why have they got goggles on? Oh no… no… NOOOOOOO…. HER NAME IS RIO AND SHE DANCES ON THE SAND!

[01:12]: Bonnie Tyler floats across the floor like a ghost. That has to be the stealthiest thing I have ev….. WTF? NINJAS?! DANCING NINJAS?! You think you understand the world, and then Bonnie Tyler transitions some sort of ballroom whilst you’re amazed by dancing Ninjas. I just…

[01:20]: Bonnie Tyler finally turns around AND starts actually singing. I think that’s enough, lets just stop here.

[01:23]: These guys get it, they’re gonna have a toast that the 80s have fully arrived.

[01:26]: Bonnie poses like she’s just ripped off her top in the style of Hulk Hogan. She didn’t actually rip off her top though. She’s not legally allowed to without first issuing a severe weather warning.

[01:29]: Those dudes finally finish their toast and smash their goblets together. Right on that drum beat as well. That was handy.

[01:31]: Back in that ballroom place. Hopefully she knows about the Ninjas. They were behind her before so she maybe didn’t see them. Quick, it’s been more than a second, cut to some…

[01:33]: Well, people fencing wasn’t what I had in mind. Wait, they’re gone again. What was that? Half a second?

[01:34]: Tyler still giving it both barrels across the ball room, let’s try again on cutting to something even remotely relevant…

[01:37]: Nope, half a second of a man in leggings and a man in tube socks doing back flips and cartwheels wasn’t what I had in mind. Did anyone have that in mind?

[01:38]: Bonnie looks like she was gonna hold herself as she sang “If you’ll only hold me tight” but then decided not to at the last minute. Anyway, don’t dwell on that too much…

[01:40]: Especially when there’s half a second of American Football players to gorge yourself on.

[01:41]: Back to Bonnie again. Still safe from ninjas. Phew.

[01:44]: No, it’s the fencers again! No, they’re gone again.

[01:45]: To the poor bastard that had to edit this together, you have my condolences. Bonnie gives it her all in the face of wind.

[01:50]: GIANT NINJA FENCERS! Wait.. it was just their shadows. That was disappointing.

[01:51]: Bonnie kicks some doors in to appear back lit, like a Welsh angel. Thankfully, it looks like we’re past the insanity!

[01:53]: Oh no, we pan down to 6 guys in jeans, leather jackets and sunglasses who then do the shortest dance routine in history. Don’t worry, I’m using dance routine very loosely. Let’s call it a flourish. The guy in the middle looks alarmingly like Leo Balmudo from Grease and Grease 2. (Two things. One, yes, Balmudo’s first name is Leo, and two, I do not know why I know that.)

[02:01]: “I don’t know what to do, I’m always in the dark”. So relatable.

[02:03]: These guys are back. Another flourish.

[02:04]: Bonnie is giving it the old Jesus arms. Does anyone have a nail gun?

[02:11]: Bonnie Tyler running in that dress is the very definition of bravery. Up some stairs no less!

[02:13]: Now the American Footballers are back. In front of a mirror. That Bonnie then runs into. Yeah, me neither.

[02:17]: Back on the balcony. Is someone controlling her arms? Do they only have 2 settings? Up and down? We pan down and into the doors.

[02:33]: Fade cut to Bonnie sticking her head into the mirror. Who doesn’t want to hug themselves.

[02:40]: The mirror is gone again and Bonnie puts her hand on her head to show she’s… I’ve got no idea. Tired?

[02:48]: Back to the corridor to check on that and the bloody curtain thing has fallen down. That’s some strong wind.

[02:51]: Another fade cut and we find Bonnie running again, this time outside. Now that we’re outside here THAT is definitely the Holloway Sanatorium. The video ends here. At the end. Later on. After the other stuff.

[02:57]: Another acrobat type person does a flippy thing before we’re back in the corridor, traversing it in first person. Don’t look behind you! We’re being chased by Bonnie Tyler.

[03:05]: Sweaty man puts his sweaty hands through his sweaty hair whilst looking sweatily buff.

[03:07]: These guys, clearly not happy with the toast they made earlier set about fucking that table up. Meanwhile Bonnie is still running. More table fuckery.

[03:12]: We’re gonna find out who the fencer is! NOOOOOO they cut to the fucking corridor again and more of Bonnie Tyler running. At this point I’m willing to bet any money this is Tom Cruise’s favourite music video.

[03:16]: Table fuckery continues some more, followed by more running.

[03:21]: Finally we get back to the fencer… lots of glitter pours out of his mask, we see his face briefly, but not enough.

[03:23]: Bonnie comes in through a different door this time. Back lit again.

[03:25]: Some people rise up out of John Carpenter’s The Fog.

[03:27]: It’s an entire choir of bright eyed children. NOT TERRIFYING AT ALL.

[03:30]: EVERY NOW AND THEN I FALL APART!!!!!!!!!!!

[03:32]: Not content with how creepy they already are, they make one of them fucking fly towards the camera.

[03:35]: Bonnie giving it everything again and then…

[03:38]: Flying bright eyes comes in to land. How annoyed do you think they were that he was slightly twisting as it happened. I’d be really annoyed. REALLY annoyed.

[03:39]: Bonnie continues to sing. Now, in the last shot she was right in front of him. Am I to assume she’s now telling this kid that she needs him now tonight, that she needs more than ever, and IF he’d only hold her tight, they’d be holding on forever? (That lyric pans out of the next few shots, which are even more mental). We start revisiting the dove kid and the opened shirt boys who sing various backing vocals, and then we culminate in running up the stairs with everyone dancing around Bonnie in various states of undress (with one guy looking like “leather daddy” if you’ve seen Arrested Development), and all that is inter-cut with her singing in front of and being surrounded by the Bright Eyes Choir. I’ve bunched a load of stuff together there, but jesus fucking christ.

[04:25]: Bonnie falls to her knees, no one helps her and they carry on dancing. Savages.

[04:29]: A brief shot of Bonnie that looks like the album cover to Phil Collin’s Hello, I Must Be Going.

[04:31]: An angel comes down and puts his wings around her before we cut back to the Phil Collins album cover.

[04:39]: Finally this hellish night is over and we can all get on with our lives. We’re back outside Holloway. We pan down and see that it’s a school of some sort and the headmaster is introducing a, now power suit clad, Bonnie Tyler to the students. The students which, presumably she got pissed up with the night before!

[04:54]: One arrives late and squeezes in from the back. What a scamp. She strokes his hair and then the headmaster ruffles it. Ahh, the 80s. Simpler times.

[05:04]: She carries on down the line saying hello until this kid reaches his hand out to her.

[05:07]: To quote the youth, Bonnie is SHOOK!

[05:09]: Why he needs those on during the day, I don’t know. He sings in her face, because it’s the 80s, and you’re thinking, well this couldn’t get any creepier.

[05:17]: Only to find out that you’re wrong, and when he sings in her face without his full beams on, it’s weirdly creepier.

[05:20]: They all push past her and go inside. Bonnie, still SHOOK! remains on the steps so we can pan away in a thoughtful fashion like we’ve all just learned stuff. Like don’t take acid right before you make a video.

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