Holding Out for a Hero

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For the British television programme, see Holding out for a Hero (game show).
"Holding Out for a Hero"
Single by Bonnie Tyler
from the album Footloose and Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire
Released 13 April 1984
Format CD single, 7", 12"
Recorded 1984
Genre New wave
Length 5:50 (album version)
4:21 (single edit)
Label CBS
Writer(s) Jim Steinman, Dean Pitchford
Producer(s) Jim Steinman
Bonnie Tyler singles chronology
"A Rockin' Good Way (to Mess Around and Fall in Love)"
"Holding Out for a Hero"
"Here She Comes"

"Holding Out for a Hero" is a song recorded by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler for the soundtrack to the 1984 film Footloose, and later included on her 1986 album Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire. It was written by Jim Steinman and Dean Pitchford. Initially, the song only just reached the Top 100 in the UK Singles Chart, but made it to number 2 the following year, and re-entered the charts again at number 69 in 1991. The song reached No. 1 on the Irish Singles Chart on 28 September 1985. It reached the top 40 in the United States.

The song's instrumental break was reused from an earlier song by Jim Steinman called "Stark Raving Love", which featured on Steinman's 1981 album Bad for Good.


Jim Steinman had been recruited to work on the Footloose soundtrack, for which he wrote "Holding Out for a Hero" with Dean Pitchford. Steinman suggested Tyler's name when he was approached about finding a singer to record the song. Tyler recorded the song at the Paramount Studios, and was shown the scene of the film where the song would feature.

Music video[edit]

Produced by Jeffrey Abelson, directed by Doug Dowdle, concept by Keith Williams, it was the second music-video (following Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear It For The Boy") that successfully promoted Footloose while having no movie footage in the video.

At the beginning of the music video, Bonnie Tyler escapes from a burning house; the video is set primarily in the vicinity of the burning house and on the edge of the Grand Canyon – interspersed with shots of angelic background singers dressed all in white. Evil cowboys dressed in black, carrying neon whips appear before Tyler, threatening her; a cowboy hero dressed in white, brandishing a revolver, appears on horseback and the evil cowboys flee on horseback, with the hero in pursuit. As the song fades out, the hero cowboy appears in front of Bonnie Tyler.[1]

It was used as the opening theme for the Channel 4 American Football show in the 1980s.

Live performances[edit]

Two recorded live performances of "Holding Out for a Hero" have been released on her live albums Bonnie Tyler Live (2007) and Live in Germany 1993 (2011). Video performances have also been released on Tyler's DVDs, Bonnie on Tour (2007) and the DVD edition of Live in Germany 1993.


Other versions[edit]

Since the original release in 1984, Tyler has re-recorded the song three times. Two versions were released under Stick Music, on her album Simply Believe (2004) and EP Bonnie Tyler (2005). She recorded the song again in 2011 on an EP entitled Total Eclipse of the Heart, released by Cleopatra Records.[2]

The song is included as a playable track on Just Dance 2015.

Cover versions[edit]

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Influence on popular culture[edit]

Around the world, Holding Out for a Hero has become considered a torch song. In the LGBT community, The Star Observer of Australia deemed the song a dearly-loved gay anthem.[7] In the United States, the song has been performed by drag queens.

In 2001, the song served as the soundtrack to a lip-synch and dance routine by the late performance artist Tandi Iman Dupree and her dancing partner at the Miss Gay Black America pageant. Their dance performance to this song inspired characters on the hit television series Glee to recreate the dramatic entrance Dupree made at the 2001 pageant, including the playback of Holding Out for a Hero.

The song "Montage" from the film soundtrack of Team America: World Police samples the bass line and drum pattern of this song.


  • The Magic of David Copperfield VI Floating Over the Grand Canyon 1984, David Copperfield & Bonnie Tyler
  • Bonnie Tyler The Video 1986
  • 50 Jahre Rock 2004
  • Discomelodies and Rhythms in Russian 2005

Track listings and formats[edit]

1984 7" single
  1. "Holding Out for a Hero" – 4:22
  2. "Faster Than the Speed of Night" – 4:40
1984 12" single
  1. "Holding Out for a Hero" (Extended Remix) – 6:19
  2. "Holding Out for a Hero" (Instrumental) – 5:15
  3. "Faster Than the Speed of Night" – 4:40
1991 12"/CD single
  1. "Holding Out for a Hero" – 4:41
  2. "Faster Than the Speed of Night" – 4:40
  3. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" – 6:49

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Dancing in the Street" by David Bowie and Mick Jagger
IRMA number-one single
28 September 1985
Succeeded by
"Part-Time Lover" by Stevie Wonder


  1. ^ Music video in Dailymotion.com
  2. ^ "Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Shrek 2 (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) by Various Artists". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Footloose (Music from the Motion Picture) by Various Artists". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Holding Out for a Hero (Glee Cast Version) by Glee Cast". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Van Canto: 'Dawn Of The Brave' Album Preview". Blabbermouth.net. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Bond, Nick (October 22, 2008). "Holding Out for Bonnie". The Star Observer. 
  8. ^ "Bonnie Tyler – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Bonnie Tyler.
  9. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero". GfK Entertainment.
  10. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 316. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  12. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero". Top 40 Singles.
  13. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero". Top Digital Download.
  14. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero". Singles Top 100.
  15. ^ a b "Archive Chart: 1985-08-31" UK Singles Chart. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "sc_UK_Bonnie_Tyler" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  16. ^ a b "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved December 7, 2015. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "sc_Poland_" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  17. ^ "British single certifications – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Holding Out for a Hero in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search