When It Comes To Meat Loaf, “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”… The Song And A Review

We all know what a very special and rare album Bat Out Of Hell is.  I was listening to this and making out with the first girl I ever said I love you to.  Yes, she broke my heart.  You hear that, Amy… Ooops!

That was made even more obvious last night at the Wiltern.  No, she wasn’t there!

Before almost every song, the album cover and title would flash up on a screen, the band would kick in… and the crowd (ranging from 20s-60s) would go nuts.  Well… especially when the cover for Bat Out Of Hell came up.

While “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” is my favorite Meat Loaf song (I could swear that it is now Steve Buscemi doing the Phil Rizzuto parts) and  “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” is right up there, if in fact not tied.

The show opened up with Pearl, his daughter, who has a fantastic voice and is a cross between Janis Joplin (I am guessing she is named after Joplin’s Pearl album) and Melissa Etheridge… and she has the range of going rough and ragged or quite sweet.  I was impressed.

Meat Loaf came on and it was loud… almost painfully loud.  Seriously.  And you know how many shows I go to.  This was LOUD.  They pulled it back as the night went on, but wow.

He did not do “Heaven Can Wait” or “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” and I think I know why.

Let me preface this by saying that his energy is still right on… He has that dramatic flair and still knows how to milk and rile the crowd.    He has a great sense of humor and fantastic showmanship… What he doesn’t have is that beautiful voice he once did… the falsetto is long gone.

It happens… and it sucks.  Age strips away a lot of the nuances of a vocal range.  And years and years of thrashing your chords with Rock n’ Roll does not help either.  It is a very rare performer indeed who can sound almost as stellar as they once did.  Springsteen sounded amazing on this past tour.  That is a truly special thing… and so not the norm.

So you can either accept it and find a new repertoire, which also offers a mixed bag… Rod Stewart doing standards anyone???  Or you can fight through.  Last night Meat Loaf fought through.  Strangely his voice was stronger as he sang his newer material from the 2012 Hell In A Handbasket record… Though as my friend Rob said, he needs to sell those records.  For the classics he affected a bit of a vibrato and kind of spoke/sang through a few parts, and I think it was simply because those highs were just not there.

It was frustrating, but the fact that he is still out there and trying is a good thing.  At some point it just won’t work, and then we’ll have to be the ones to decide if two out of three ain’t bad…

Meat Loaf – “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” (Written by Jim Steinman)

“Baby we can talk all night
But that ain’t gettin’ us nowhere
I told you everything I possibly can
There’s nothing left inside of me

And baby you can cry all night
But that’ll never change the way that I feel
The snow is really piling up outside
I wish you wouldn’t make me leave here

I poured it on and I poured it out
I tried to show you just how much I care
I’m tired of words and I’m too hoarse to shout
But you’ve been cold to me so long
I’m crying icicles instead of tears
And all I can do is keep on telling you

I want you, I need you
But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad

You’ll never find your gold on a sandy beach
You’ll never drill for oil on a city street
I know you’re looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks
But there ain’t no Coup de Ville hiding at the bottom
of a Cracker Jack box

I can’t lie, I can’t tell you that I’m something I’m not
No matter how I try
I’ll never be able to give you something
Something that I just haven’t got

Well there is only one girl that I will ever love
And that was so many years ago
And though I know I’ll never get her out of my heart
She never loved me back,ooh I know

I remember how she left me on a stormy night
How she kissed me and got out of our bed
And though I pleaded and I begged her not to walk out that door
She packed her bags and turned right away

And she kept on telling me
She kept on telling me
She kept on telling me

I want you, I need you
But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad

I want you, I need you
But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad

Baby we can talk all night
But that ain’t getting us nowhere.”

Meat Loaf made fun of Wikipedia last night… He called it Why kuh peedia… but I will still quote from it…

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” is a love song by the American musician Meat Loaf in his solo career, preceded by “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” and followed by “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”. It is a track off his 1977 album Bat Out of Hell, written by Jim Steinman. It reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming one of his highest-charting U.S. releases.

It was the final song written for the album. In a 2003 interview for the VH1 Ultimate Albums series, Steinman recalls:

“I remember Mimi Kennedy [a cast member of Jim’s then-current musical Rhinegold] telling me, she said, you know, when I was probably complaining why no one liked my stuff and couldn’t get a deal, she says, “Well Steiny, your stuff is so complicated. Can’t you write something simple?” And while she was saying that the oldies station was on the radio and it was playing that oldElvis song, ‘I Want You, I Need,’ whatever it was. ‘I Want You, I Need You, I Love You’, you know. I just started singing my own song but it was ‘I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.’ She said, “Why don’t you write something simple like that, ‘I want you, I need you, I love you’?” I said, “Well I’ll try.” I don’t try to make them complicated. I remember going home and I tried so hard but the best I could do was: I want you, I need you but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you, don’t be sad, ’cause two out of three ain’t bad. So it was still a twist but it was my closest to a simple song, and one Elvis could have done.”

So there it is… which prompts me to say… Long Live Rock!!!

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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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