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Secret Dreams & Forbidden Fire

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 1, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000008UAY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,943 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on December 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Secret Dreams And Forbidden Fire is Bonnie's second Jim Steinman-produced album. Looks like the Meat Loaf got a little too rancid. Anyway, like Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell, operatic choruses abound on this album more than Steinman's first Bonnie Tyler album, Faster Than The Speed Of Night, which while having its moments, was kind of uneven in consistency. Secret Dreams is more polished than its predecessor even though none of its songs blazed up the charts like "Total Eclipse." In fact Jim Steinman penned four of the songs here, including the first two singles.
However, the honour of penning the Bon-Jovi-like "If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man) belongs to ace songwriter Desmond Child, who also cowrote Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name". Compare the stylings of the music,as applied to these lyrics: "If you were a woman, and I was a man, would it be so hard to understand. That a heart's a heart and we do what we can" with "Shot through the heart, and you're to blame/You give love a bad name." Identical tempos and rhythms. This was the single following "Holding Out For A Hero" and it's one of the best songs here.
"No Way To Treat A Lady" is the second Bryan Adams-Jim Vallance song done by Bonnie, although if I recall correctly, this wasn't done by the Adams-Vallance team previously. The rhythms in the chorus make it a close cousin of Aretha Franklin's "Who's Zooming Who."
The centerpiece and crown jewel of this album is nearly eight minute opus "Loving You Is A Dirty Job But Somebody's Gotta Do It", which is a combination of "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" and "Faster Than The Speed Of Night," meaning that it's the big emotional hit of the album plus the racing intense operatic Meat Loaf style song.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the little-known second cousin spawned by Jim Steinman's second project, the woman named Bonnie Tyler (His first being the thing named Meat Loaf). For those who remember 'Total Eclipse of the Heart', yes, that's her, and yes, that's Him writing the music and lyrics. Faster Than the Speed of Night contained two absolutley stellar Steinman tunes among a bunch of average to good tunes. Secret Dreams is a much more focused, solid effort. Steinman contributes four tracks this time, all are good, two are great (Rebel Without a Clue and Loving You's a Dirty Job). One of his songs, Holding out for a Hero, became a hockey-rink staple across the nation. But unlike the non-Steinman material on Faster the remainder of Secret Dreams is very good, catchy material as well. It's obviously not as good as Steinman's songs (and what is?) but 'If You were a Woman' was a huge UK hit and songs like 'Before this night is Through', 'Band of Gold' (a rocking cover of one-hit wonder Freida Payne's version) and the tear-jerker 'Lovers Again' round this effort out to an album that should have been far more successful than it's predeccessor.
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Format: Audio CD
This album was the follow-up to "Faster than the Speed of Night," the album that featured 'Total Eclipse of the Heart.' It contains no hits except for 'Holding out for a Hero' which is also available on the "Footloose" soundtrack, and it peaked at 106 on Billboard's Top 200, but it contains Jim Steinman's best writing and Bonnie Tyler's best recordings. Absolutely anyone who enjoyed "Bat Out of Hell" or "Bat Out of Hell II" should purchase this album. 'Ravishing' has all the great kick-off, epic rock power of the title track to "Bat Out of Hell." "Loving You's A Dirty Job, But Somebody's Gotta Do It" with Todd Rundgren is the earlier, female dominated version of "I'd Do Anything For Love, But I Won't Do That." "Holding Out For a Hero" is of course the song about pining away for the knight on a white charger, but "Rebel Without a Clue" is positively the best song here. Clocking in at 8:35, it is the titanic power-ballad about a prostitute turned vampire and her eternal lover. The two Desmond Child tracks are also fantastically perfomed and produced. "No Way to Treat a Lady," written by Bryan Adams, is a rather up beat point amid all this gloom and despair while "Band of Gold" remains sad but actually rocks. "Before This Night is Through" does not appear to be on this disc anymore. Columbia Records had put this album out of print for a few years, and now this track seems to have been deleted. A pity, but luckily the Steinman is still here. For four years, I've owned this album, and it is still my favorite. For every lover of epic rock or the power ballad, it is a must own.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
How does great music disappear from our consciousness? How does a fantastic musical work become difficult to find, out of print, or just plain forgotten? It's a mystery to me. Case in point, this album. As has been noted, it is the followup to Faster Than the Speed of Night. Other reviewers have done a fine job describing the songs, but I want to just interject that IF you are a Jim Steinman fan, as I am, this should be, must be, added to your catalog. It is amazing how few full fledged works there are from this master song writer and producer. This is one that should not be missed, if you are a fan of his work. If you are a pure Bonnie Tyler fan, well, this may not be quite for you.

Steinman took Tyler as his voice, my guess is after some of his ongoing problems dealing with Meat Loaf. Their first effort was very well received, this one seems to have gotten lost. That is terribly unfortunate. For Steinman, this production had to have taken a lot out of him, as the production is incredible. Is it bombastic? Of course it is. Someone on here mentioned that the songs stretch out a little too long. That is classic Steinman. He wraps you in an envelope of sound, and then seals it. There is no one quite like him.

It is interesting to hear this again, and now realize that, in all likelihood, the song "I Need a Hero" was attached hereby the record company, and that the true album was the first eight songs, ending with the more plaintive song "Before the Night is Through," which would be classic Steinman. The original layout, with the epic "Loving you is a Dirty Job" forming the meat of side one and "Rebel Without a Clue" forming the meat of side two is also classic Steinman.
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