♫ Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad ♫

I am in a bit of a rush tonight, for our internet will be going out at midnight until 6:00 a.m. for maintenance, they tell me.  I had this one bookmarked a while back to play, but hadn’t yet gotten around to it, so … what better time than the present, right?

Jim Steinman wrote this song after his friend, the actress Mimi Kennedy, suggested that he write a ballad along the lines of the Elvis Presley song “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.” She was implying that he should write something straightforward and simple, but Steinman doesn’t work that way. He used the phrase, but added a degree of Shakespearean drama that was typical of his work.  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 old Elvis 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.”

The song hit #11 in the U.S., #5 in Canada, and #32 in the UK.

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
Song by Meat Loaf

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 here
And maybe you can cry all night
But that’ll never change the way 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
There’s only one girl I’ll 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
Oh I know

I remember how she left me on a stormy night
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

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jim Steinman
Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad lyrics © Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, Carlin America Inc

20 thoughts on “♫ Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad ♫

  1. Jill, my wife and I love “Meatloaf.” His “Bat out of Hell” album belongs on a list of one of the best albums ever. Every song resonates. Jim Steinman gets a lot of credit as well for producing the album. Yet, the album had a hard time getting off the ground, as it was not fitting in with the Disco era, the Punk Rock era or other Rock-n-Roll songs at that time. It was played at some music conference and kind of laid there, but artists like Billy Joel, who was there, gave it rave reviews and coaxed others to give it a chance.

    The story book song “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is the one that stands out. What I find of interest is Ellen Foley, the diminutive woman who was on the TV show “Night Court,” was the one who belted out note for note with the much bigger Meatloaf. Here is her bio.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Clive and John both concurred with you that “Bat out of Hell” is among the best albums ever made! John tells me that the album has sold over 40 million copies! Amazing!

      I well remember Ellen Foley, whose character I loved on Night Court, was a singer with Meatloaf or that she had 3 solo albums! Thanks for the info and the bio!

      Liked by 1 person

    • After they said the internet would be down from 12:00 a.m. ’til 6:00 a.m., it was only down for less than an hour! Glad you liked the song, and I hope you had a lovely evening! Still cold there?


  2. Talk about wrong lyrics (as both of us have trouble hearing), instead of.. “you’ll never drill for oil on a city street,” my version was “you’ll never find a lawyer on a city street.” Makes about as much sense.
    Meatloaf looked pretty wasted in this video, almost like he had been up all night begging some girl to have sex with him, but failing. If he looks like this while singing this song, what did he look like while singing Paradise by the Dashboard Lights. (Just by the way, Phil Rizzuto, who announced the baseball sequence on PbtDL, was rumoured to have been fired by Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner for disgracing the American sport, but I can find no mention of that on the Internet. If anyone knows for sure, I would like the facts.)
    Great song, Jill, and real from my own experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha … I always enjoy knowing that I am not alone in my lyric bungling!

      I thought he looked rather trashed, too, but it didn’t hurt his singing any. I checked, and didn’t find anything current in the news about Phil Rizzuto. Glad you liked the song!


      • The hint I found about why he looked the way he did was that before he was a singer he was an actor, and he liked to emote on stage. So, apparently, he was just playing a part. One real part he played was Eddie, in The Rocky Horror Picture Show cult classic.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved the song. Jim Steinman and Meat loaf did a number of songs. They tried to do “Making Love Out of Nothing at All and Total Eclispe of the Heart, but Meat Loaf’s record company refused to pay Steinman. Air Supply and Bonnie Tyler had huge sales from the two songs. Not to feel too bad though, the Steinman/Loaf collaboration produced “The Bat Out of Hell album which has sold over 40 million copies and still sells today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Why did the record company refuse to pay Steinman? Could he not seek legal recourse? Both Keith and Clive also mentioned that “Bat out of Hell” was one of the best albums ever made … I shall have to listen to it! 40 million?!?!? That’s a lot of copies!!! I just did a post about a record that sold 2 million, and I thought that was a lot. Thanks for the added info, John!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The company had no legal responsibility. Steinman gave the songs to Meat Loaf for an album. The company said they were not going to pay (I suspect “not invented here syndrome”) So Meat Loaf didn’t record them. Steinman came out okay cause the two songs were big hits.

        Liked by 1 person

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