Though Jim began in theatre, he is best known as a songwriter/producer whose records have sold more than 100 million copies, described by the L.A. Times as "the Richard Wagner of rock." At Amherst College he wrote and starred in an epic musical The Dream Engine. It caused a sensation, and N.Y. Shakespeare Festival's Joe Papp bought the rights at intermission. His first professional musical was More Than You Deserve at Papp’s Public Theater, where he worked for five years. When a singer named Meat Loaf auditioned for him, Spin Magazine called the meeting "one of the top ten most important moments in the history of rock and roll." Then came his first record, the legendary Bat Out Of Hell, with Meat Loaf, the biggest debut album ever and the second best selling disc of all time. The sequel Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell topped the charts in 38 countries 16 years later in 1993.
#1 songs include: “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” (twice, 1983 and 1995), “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”, “Dead Ringer”, “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All”, “Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad”, “Holding Out For A Hero”, “I'd Do Anything For Love But I Won't Do That” (biggest rock single sales ever), “It's All Coming Back To Me Now”, which was named the 1997 Song Of The Year by BMI, for having had the most broadcasts worldwide - 1.6 million, and "No Matter What," by Boyzone (record of the year in England for 1998 and #1 in 18 countries - the most successful single ever released from a musical in history). He won a Grammy award as producer for Best Album of the year, Celine Dion's Falling Into You. He made one platinum album as a singer, Bad For Good. Film music includes Footloose, Streets Of Fire, The Shadow, and Mask Of Zorro. He has also written the score for Tanz der Vampire - a musical staged by Roman Polanski which opened in Vienna, October of '97 to rave reviews and record box office, and is currently still selling out in it’s 9 th year, now in Berlin. He has also conceived and executive produced the film, and wrote songs/score for, Wuthering Heights 2003 for MTV.
He is currently working on a massive stage spectacle, to be staged in a theatre expressly designed & built for it. It will be moveable too. The show, which may be co-written with Terry Jones of Monty Python fame, will feature motorcyclists doing astounding stunts, BMX riders, skateboarders and a corps of amazing dancers from all around the globe, including the most incredible flying ever seen by a troupe of Russian wizards. All Jim’s songs will be chosen by Jim, and three major new ones too. There is also a new film musical being written by Stuart Beattie, of "Collateral" and "Pirates of the Caribbean ", using all Jim's songs. Jim has also created a new show for Disney TV, an animated show, for the new JET-X channel, a "hipper" Disney animated format, closer to anime. He will write a song a week, and executive produce. The show is developed to use the ORANGE COUNTY CHOPPERS, from TLC's top rated show "MASTER CHOPPERS." It is called "BIKERS OF THE ROUND TABLE".
Tanz der Vampire productions are now playing in Berlin, Tokyo, Poland and Hungary, and there is an upcoming movie of Tanz der Vampire planned as well. Whistle Down The Wind, for which he wrote lyrics to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music, is running again in London’s West End, where it opened to RAVE REVIEWS and rapturous audience response. Finally he, along with Steven Rinkoff, has formed a new group, The Dream Engine, to deliver Jim’s new songs and some classics in a unique and thrilling way
Steinman is also the president of Ravenous Entertainment, which includes Ravenous Records, and is distributed by Sony Records worldwide.