Bonnie Tyler: a beginner’s guide

If you're unfamiliar with this year's UK Eurovision entrant and her work, we've prepared a refresher course for you...

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Veteran pop star Bonnie Tyler will be packing up her wind machines and industrial-sized cans of hairspray and jetting off to Malmö in Sweden later this year to represent Britain at the 58th Eurovision Song Contest.

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Having lent her voice to a fair few international hit singles in the past, Bonnie’s name value and musical clout should stand her in good stead at the continental singing contest.

But Bonnie’s last big hit in Britain was released almost thirty years ago. It’s been quite some time since she’s been in the limelight in this country and, let’s face it, a great many people who’ll be tuning in to Eurovision this year weren’t even born the last time Ms. Tyler was riding high in the charts.

So if you’re not familiar with Bonnie’s oeuvre, here are her five biggest hits to give you some idea of what to expect from the Welsh songstress when she takes the Eurovision stage in May.

Lost in France

This early Bonnie Tyler single was a big success both here and in Europe, having made it to number 9 in the UK singles chart when it was released in 1976. Musically, it’s rather countrified and features Bonnie belting out the lyrics like a sober and less banshee-like Janis Joplin.

It’s a Heartache

Released in 1977, this is one of those songs you’ll definitely have heard at some point even if you don’t know it was by Bonnie Tyler. It’s a Heartache made it to number four in Britain but topped the charts in France, Norway and – crucially – Sweden when it was first issued.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Arguably Bonnie’s best known song, Total Eclipse of the Heart was a number one smash both here and in the States when it came out in 1981. As well as being a fine demonstration of ‘80s power balladry, this tune’s music video also has to be seen to be believed. Prepare yourself for giant hair, gale-force wind turbines and inexplicable scenes of men fencing.

A Rockin’ Good Way

Bonnie Tyler meets Shakin’ Stevens for a synthesised take on 12-bar rock ’n’ roll. Whether its fifties-style chord progression stirred up fond memories in a generation of ageing Teddy Boys, or the public just really liked the idea of Bonnie and Shaky teaming up, this tune made number five on the UK singles chart in 1984.

Holding Out For a Hero

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Drum machines! Catchy vocal hooks! Footloose! This crowd-pleaser made its way, quite properly, to number 2 in the charts in 1985. And the video’s a hoot, featuring Bonnie alternating between playing a damsel in distress and belting out the song’s lyrics while stood on the side of a mountain. Top stuff.