Friday, January 15, 2010

Meat Loaf -- I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)

Ahhh. What have I gotten myself into?

OK, I wasn't going to do a preamble for this one, because it is so long, so very long (that's what she said), but Wikipedia has so many juicy little tidbits to tantalize me. So here they are, bulleted:
  • This song reached number one in twenty-eight countries, the first being Australia on September 4, 1993, where it stayed for 8 weeks, becoming the highest selling single of the year there. It stayed at number one for seven weeks in the United Kingdom and was also the biggest seller of the year in that country.
  • Quote from Jim Steinman, who wrote this song for Meat Loaf: "It sort of is a little puzzle and I guess it goes by - but they're all great things. 'I won't stop doing beautiful things and I won't do bad things.' It's very noble. I'm very proud of that song because it's very much like out of the world of Excalibur. To me, it's like Sir Lancelot or something - very noble and chivalrous. That's my favorite song on the record - it's very ambitious."
  • Michael Bay directed the video (!)
  • In the UK, it topped the singles chart, becoming the longest running song on top there since The Beatles' hit "Hey Jude." (!!)
  • Meat Loaf himself appeared in a 2009 A1 Steak Sauce commercial singing a rendition of the song. It was also featured in an Egyptian McDonald's commercial, featuring a similar scenario, however the boyfriend essentially chases his girlfriend away so he can indulge in a Big Mac combo. (?!&@^)!@)
OK, good. Let's get down to it!

And I would do anything for love, I'd run right into hell and back / I would do anything for love, I'll never lie to you and that's a fact

I dunno, this sounds pretty good, but running right into hell and back actually sounds sort of fun. I mean, if you have some sort of relationship with the lords of the underworld as Meat Loaf clearly does. You can just run in real quick, say your hellos, and then dash on back, and hey, nobody is any worse for the wear, and then you have a great story to tell at parties. "Hey, did I ever tell you about the time I visited Hades itself and lo found myself strip'd bare before the throne of Satan himself? Funny story..." Kind of like when you are in a sauna and you run out and roll around in the snow for a second and then run right back into the sauna.

Not lying? Ever? Now that's difficult. Sign me up for running right into hell.

But I'll never forget the way you feel right now / Oh no - no way - and I would do anything for love, oh, I would do anything for love, I would do anything for love / But I won't do that, no I won't do that

"I'll never forget the way you feel right now" is a weird thing to say.

And some days it don't come easy, some days it don't come hard / Some days it don't come at all, and these are the days that never end

Trying ... not ... to .... make .... dick .... joke .... haaargrghgggglftz

Some nights you're breathing fire / Some nights you're carved in ice / Some nights you're like nothing I've ever seen before, or will again

I wish this line was literally true. I imagine Meat Loaf coming home, dressed in a firefighter's outfit, with like one of those big flame retardant shields, and then seeing his beloved and being all like "Oh, fuck, she's carved in ice tonight. Better break out the parka and the blowtorch." Why didn't he just make a little schedule for the refrigerator with three columns so he would know which weird thing she was going to be that night? Bad planning, Meat Loaf. Didn't you learn anything at Wharton?

And maybe I'm crazy, oh it's crazy and it's true / I know you can save me, no one else can save me now but you

I wish my local newspaper (The Bumwad County Bimonthly Gazette & Mirror) carried a lighthearted feature called "Crazy & True!"

As long as the planets are turning, as long as the stars are burning / as long as your dreams are coming true / you better believe it!

Planets turning? Check. Stars burning? Roger that. Dreams coming true? Fuck!

This is like one of those lottery tickets where you always get everything you need except one thing, so you feel like, oh shit, I was SO CLOSE! And then you buy another lottery ticket and another, until you have exhausted your life savings and have to go home and tell your wife that you were abducted by aliens (AGAIN, wtf is going on, so weird, am I right, sweetie?) and it's time to pack up and move over to the next town again.

Those kind of lottery tickets exist, right? I wouldn't know because I live in American Samoa and lottery tickets are fashioned from giant blocks of granite and weigh 12 tons here so nobody buys them.

That I would do anything for love, And I'll be there 'til the final act / I would do anything for love, and I'll take a vow and seal a pact

OK, OK, I believe you! You would do anything for love. I believe you, Meat Loaf! Case closed. Send in the dancing bears.

But I'll never forgive myself if we don't go all the way tonight / I would do anything for love! But I won't do that, no I won't do that...

Wait, what? You haven't even gone all the way yet? Loser.

Seriously, though, I don't really want to get too deep into what "that" is, because it's kind of a fool's errand but, what is he talking about here? In my opinion he can only be talking about oral sex. Right? Or having a threesome with a wolf. I wouldn't do that either. That's just gross. And dangerous.

I would do anything for love / Anything you've been dreaming of / But I just won't do that...

Yeah, I mean, at the end of the song we are supposed to believe that not doing "that" means not cheating on her and/or leaving her. So how do these verses make sense? If he said "and" instead of "but" it would sort of make sense although it would be a bit superfluous and kind of weirdly defensive but ... argh. Why are you making me do this, Meat Loaf? I said I wasn't going to do it. I said I wouldn't do that!

Some days I pray for silence / And some days I pray for a soul / Some days I just pray to the god of sex and drums and rock 'n' roll


Maybe I'm lonely, and that's all I'm qualified to be / There's just one and only, one and only promise I can keep

I kind of like the first line here. Hey, did I mention the video for this song is totally bizarre and just completely batshit insane? I like at the end when the cops show up with their flashlights for no apparent reason.

As long as the wheels are turning, as long as the fires are burning / As long as your prayers are coming true, you better believe it

Wheels turning? I mean, I guess so, in a way. Fires burning? Sure, why not. Prayers coming true? Aaaagh! Fuckshit! Give me another one of them Monster Megabillions, and hey, throw in a Dollar Blaster Extreme and maybe one of those Bucket O' Golds.

That I would do anything for love / And you know it's true and that's a fact / I would do anything for love and there'll never be no turning back

But I'll never do it better than I do it with you / So long, so long / I would do anything for love, I would do anything for love, I would do anything for love, I would do anything for love, but I wont do that, I wont do that!

Oh my god, this song is ridiculous.

Watch Meat Loaf break it down right here!

I would do anything for love, anything you've been dreaming of, but I just won't do that...

Fun fact! Meat Loaf's given name is Marvin Lee Aday. Check out the abundance of bizarre names in this truncated Wikipedia tidbit: "Meat Loaf was born as Marvin Lee Aday. He was the first child of Wilma Artie (née Hukel), a school teacher and a member of the Vo-di-o-do Girls gospel quartet, and Orvis Wesley Aday, a police officer. Marvin and his mother would drive around to all the bars in Dallas, looking for Orvis to take him home. Because of this, Marvin often stayed with his grandmother, Charlsee Norrod."

And, look at this weirdness!

But I'll never stop dreaming of you / Every night of my life - no way / I would do anything for love, but I won't do that, no I won't do that!

The vocalist in this next part is not Stoney, as much as Meat Loaf probably wishes it was.

Female vocals : Will you raise me up? Will you help me down? Will you get me right out of this godforsaken town? Will you make it all a little less cold?

This must be one of those nights when she's carved in ice.

Meat Loaf : I can do that! / I can do that!

More things that Meat Loaf can do! Yaaaaay!

Female vocals: Will you cater to every fantasy I got? Will you hose me down with holy water if I get too hot? Will you take me places I've never known?

Did the Vatican ever weigh in on this song? I think filling a hose with holy water and indiscriminately spraying it at some horny temptress is probably a little bit sacrilegious.

Meat Loaf: I can do that! I can do that!

I want to just recap all the things that Meat Loaf can (or would) do.
  • run right into hell and back
  • never lie to her (and that's a fact)
  • never forget the way she feels right now
  • be there 'til the final act
  • take a vow and seal a pact
  • anything she's been dreaming of
  • never stop dreaming of her
  • raise her up
  • help her down
  • get her right out of this godforsaken town
  • make it all a little less cold
  • cater to every fantasy she's got
  • hose her down with holy water (if she gets too hot)
  • take her places she's never been
But still he won't do that! It has to be a threesome with a wolf, right?

Female vocal: After a while you'll forget everything / It was a brief interlude, and a midsummer night's fling/ and you'll see that it's time to move on

And still she's not convinced. He promised to hose you down with holy water, stolen from inside the gates of hell, despite the fact that the Pope has specifically forbidden him to do so! Doesn't that count for anything?

Meat Loaf: I won't do that! / I won't do that!

And he said he won't do it! OK? Good enough?

Female vocal: I know the territory, I've been around, It'll all turn to dust and we'll all fall down, sooner or later you'll be screwing around

Jesus. You are such a bitch.

Meat Loaf: I won't do that! No, I won't do that!

And Meat Loaf, you are a pussy.

Anything for love, I would do anything for love / I would do anything for love, but I won't do that, I won't do that

There you have it, folks! He won't do that. Whatever it is. I guess we can rule out "star in an A1 Steak Sauce commercial" but other than that it's really pretty murky.

Wow. That was exhausting. Good thing I didn't analyze the full version of the song. I'm serious. It's really like 12 minutes long. 7.5 minutes apparently is not enough time to convince us that he will not, in fact, do that.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Loverboy -- "Working for the Weekend"

If the only funny part of this whole post is the picture below, then I think I've done my job.

See? Told you.

Why is the tip of the middle finger so red? It's like he tied a rubber band around it, or put a little tiny condom on it or something. Let's sincerely hope it's not the latter.

Wikipedia: "The popular Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, which is known for naming each episode after an 80s hit song, named an episode after this song." Whaaaa? Am I the only blogger who has a blog devoted to making fun of songs that are for the most part from the '80s who wasn't aware of this?

This calls for another gratuitous picture of somebody's ass.

Oh! Here's a full episode guide. I guess that other Wikipedia page wasn't kidding, although it looks like they didn't really commit to naming every episode after a song until Season 2, unless there are popular '80s songs called "Basketball Diaries" and "Family Politics" and "Parents' Day" that I am unaware of.

And no, I didn't expect to be Googling "degrassi the next generation episode guide" tonight, thank you very much.

Hey, have you ever heard of this band Loverboy? Like Degrassi: The Next Generation, they are Canadian. What a happy coincidence. Apparently "Working for the Weekend" was their follow-up to the smash hit "The Kid Is Hot Tonite."

Here's a list of bands and artists mentioned on Loverboy's Wikipedia page, in its entirety:
* Cheap Trick
* ZZ Top
* Def Leppard
* Kansas
* Journey
* Judas Priest
* Jon Bon Jovi
* Richie Sambora
* Bryan Adams
* Brian MacLeod (?)
* Enrique Iglesias
* Foreigner

That seems about right.

Fun fact! In 2000, Loverboy bassist Scott Smith was declared dead after being lost at sea!

Another fact: Loverboy has won the most all time "Juno Awards," which is a thing that a) I have never heard of and b) is apparently like the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy.

So, my question is, really? Come on, Canada! I was going to go on a tirade about like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot and Rush and plenty of other fine Canadian musicians whose names are not coming to mind, but it appears the Junos, while they officially began in 1970, have a sort of spotty history and at one point may have been solely devoted to classical music, but, all that being said, even so, really?! Loverboy??

By the way, my train of thought while writing this post has somehow led me to start downloading George Michael songs. What?

Ok, time for some anticlimactic lyrics ...

Everyone's watching, to see what you will do / Everyone's looking at you, ooh

I'm not sure what to say about these lyrics. They seem to just be nonsense. There are two verses in the song, and an eight-line chorus, and none of them appear to be at all related to each other.

Everyone's wondering, will you come out tonight? / Everyone's trying to get it right, get it right

Still not sure what to say.

Everybody's working for the weekend / Everybody wants a new romance / Everybody's goin' off the deep end / Everybody needs a second chance, oh

These lyrics are nice, and fun, but what do they have to do with the first verse we just saw?
Also, first eight lines all start with either "everyone" or "everybody."

'Cause I gotta have faith / Ooh, I gotta have faith

Whoops, sorry about that.

You want a piece of my heart / You better start from the start / You wanna be in the show / Come on, baby, let's go

Again, what? What show? Who is he talking to? Who is he? (Besides awesomely named lead singer Mike Reno, that is.)

"Start from the start"?

Where am I?

Everyone's looking to see if it was you / Everyone wants you to come through

Mike Reno sounds a little bit like Geddy Lee here. Canada!

Everyone's hoping it'll all work out / Everyone's waiting, they're holding out

Yep. That's the whole song. Is there any rational way to link all these random lyrics together? Is this a trenchant social commentary on American society, as legions of workers whose souls were crushed to powder long ago trudge to factories or cubicles, fooling themselves into thinking they are "working for the weekend" when their weekends really consist of just more mind-numbing monotony, just in front of the TV instead of the Excel spreadsheet or the ... uh ... wall of the coal mine, or whatever it is they look at all day at work? And, the rambling and nonsensical lyrics are meant to be emblematic of the pointlessness of this inexorable march toward death?

Goddam Canucks always thinking they're better than us ... well I'll show ... zzzzzzzzzz.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Steve Perry -- "Oh Sherrie"

Awesomely Bad Lyrics, Vol. XL: In which Steve Perry rubs up suggestively against a wrought-iron balcony.

So after watching the video, in which said rubbing transpires, I was thinking, "Oh boy, this is just another bizarre, poorly conceived rock video that consists basically just of a bunch of random images and scenes that make no sense." Which is true.

But! There is a longer version that makes perfect sense and is actually sort of clever and mildly entertaining. I suppose it had to be cut down for MTV, in which case, worst editing job EVER because it is basically impossible to understand what's going on without the context that's removed.

Also, I really love how the YouTube label for the shorter version makes it seem as if it is a song by Journey called "Oh Sherry (Steve Perry)."

You should've been gone knowing how I made you feel / And I should've been gone after all your words of steel

Coming soon from Roget's: "WORDS OF STEEL"!!!! This ain't your grandpa's thesaurus!!!

Oh/ I must've been a dreamer / and I must've been someone else / And we should've been over

OK, I'm sensing a theme here. Sherrie should've been gone AND you should've been gone AND you must've been a dreamer AND you must've been someone else AND your relationship should've been over. That's a lot of strikes against this blessid union of souls. So, ipso facto, there must be some amazing reason that this partnership should, against all odds, work out. I can't wait to hear it!

Oh Sherrie, our love holds on, holds on / Oh, Sherrie, our love holds on, holds on

Uh. OK. Well, that's not a reason. Just ... a thing. Good old Steve Perry must just be building anticipation for the big reveal, though. What a storyteller!

While we're waiting, did you know the girl in the video is actually Sherrie? Sherrie Swafford. She was Steve Perry's girlfriend when he wrote the song.

I want to let go, you'll go on hurtin' me

More bad stuff. You are really building a strong case for ending this relationship, Steve. (Keep in mind also that Sherrie is a real person who he was romantically involved with when he wrote this song. How would you have felt if you were Sherrie and you heard this little ditty? I would've felt bad. Steve Perry likes to make people feel bad.)

You'd be better off alone if I'm not who you thought I'd be

OK, more bad stuff (I think). But I have a feeling that we're about to find out just what it is that makes these two tick!

But you know that there's a fever

(leans in closely) Uh-huh???


(cocks head in anticipation)

that you'll never find nowhere else

(braces for inevitable disappointment) And?

Can't you feel it burnin' - on and on?

That's it, folks! That's why Steve Perry and Sherrie Swafford continue to date despite overwhelming evidence that they should not: "There's a fever" (where?) that she will "never find nowhere else." (Which, I guess, means that Steve Perry *can* find the fever? What a fucking arrogant bastard.)

Surprise! Steve and Sherrie broke up in 1985, the year after this song came out. Now, nearly a quarter-century later, when you search for "sherrie swafford bio" on Google, the first page that comes up is called "Steve Perry's Biography." So, that must make her feel really good. Are you happy, Perry? Are you?!

Oh Sherrie, our love holds on, holds on

You son of a bitch.

But I should've been gone long ago, far away

Why are you still singing?

And you should've been gone / now I know just why you stay

Because Steve Perry is such a sexy bastard, and he sings like an angel and is utterly irresistible to every man, woman, child, and beast of the field. Right? Right?!?!


CODA: Apparently after he and Sherrie broke up, Steve Perry wrote an explanation of why it happened on his Web site. It's ineloquent, but clearly heartfelt and sort of touching. It makes me feel bad that I just made fun of him and called him names.

Steve Perry likes to make people feel bad.