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 OST and Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire
Released April 13, 1984
Format CD single, 7", 12"
Recorded 1984
Genre Rock
Length 5:50 (album version)
4:40 (single edit)
Label CBS
Writer(s) Jim Steinman, Dean Pitchford
Producer(s) Jim Steinman
Bonnie Tyler singles chronology
"A Rockin' Good Way"
"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 appeared on her album Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire (1986). 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.

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.

Bonnie Tyler re-recorded the song on her album Simply Believe (2004). German darkwave project Sopor Aeternus & the Ensemble of Shadows recorded a cover for their 2011 album Have You Seen This Ghost?. Another German band, van Canto, released a cover version of the song at their 2014 studio album Dawn of the Brave.1


Bonnie Tyler had already been working with Jim Steinman since 1982 when they began creating the Faster Than the Speed of Night album, which was released in 1983. Steinman was recruited for the soundtrack for Footloose and was asked to compose a song that would fit the scene where the character Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) is challenged to a game of chicken by Ariel Moore's (Lori Singer) boyfriend, which involved driving tractors at each other. At the time, Tyler was Steinman's protege, and so the producers asked Steinman if Tyler could sing the song for the film. She was then invited to Paramount Studios where they played Tyler the scene of the film where the song would feature before she recorded it.

Music video

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 a movie 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 pistol, 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.2

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

Soundtrack appearances


Track listings and formats

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

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